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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Thursday-Off and On

 

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

 

Colossians 3:9,10

 

It’s not that I don’t like shopping. As a matter of fact, I sort of like shopping. I like getting out of the house. It’s fun for me to look through all the stuff that’s for sale. Meeting the staff is a chance to talk and joke with people that I’ve never met before.

 

But of all the different kinds of shopping, the one I dislike the most is clothes shopping. And it’s not even close. In my humble opinion, clothes shopping is far and away the worst. And it’s not that I don’t like the shopping experience itself. The thing that makes me uncomfortable about it is all that trying on. You have to go into a small changing room that has all the attraction of being locked up in a cell without the benefits of bars. Then there’s the immediate danger of stepping or sitting on one of the 10,000 straight pins that litter the entire place.

 

Then the real fun begins. You take off your clothes in this cramped closet and put on something new that has that new clothes smell. You know what I’m talking about. It’s not like the new car smell that excites and says “Buy me!” It’s some kind of chemical cleaner aroma that yells, “I’m going to give you a rash.” The whole point of trying on clothes is not to try on one thing and then go home. Oh, if only that were true. You have to try on lots and lots of things. One after the other. Off and on. Off and on. One after another. After another. You become a mindless robot fashion assembly line.

 

Paul’s telling the Colossians that while they’re to take off the old and put on the new, that it stops right there. It’s not like buying clothes where you try on so many different colors. Styles. Makers.

 

When they became Christians, they took off their old self once and for all and put on the new self that God gave them in Jesus. And they put on those new clothes once and for all. Period. No more changing. The once-and-for-all payment was done. They were made new in Jesus.

 

They had changed. Period. Like changing their clothes, it started with taking off their old self. The person they were. When you take off clothes, they’re off. That’s it. They're either on or they're off. And the Colossians had definitely taken off the old person they were. And after taking off clothes, they’d put on a completely new set of clothing. They were clean inside through the death and resurrection of Jesus. And now they put on a whole new outfit that was clean.

 

And of all the things that Paul might have picked from, he starts with their continual lying. Even though all their newness in Jesus was real, they brought along some of their old habits. They were liars before they gave themselves to God through Jesus. They had practiced and perfected being liars all their lives. They had advanced through the elementary, middle, and high school of lying. Heck, they’d even go to lying college and got a degree in lying. A few had even gotten their masters in lying.

 

They should stop lying because they had put off the old man with the way they lived, that person they were before they were saved. But it doesn't stop there, they had put on the new man, that person they were now in Christ Jesus, this new person being constantly renewed with respect to a complete and perfect knowledge which is according to the image of the One who created them. There are four different kinds of lying that they need to immediately stop.

 

  1. Lying to God. Since God says that he loves them so much that he gave Jesus to save them[1], to tell God that he doesn’t love them is a lie.

  2. Lying to themselves. Since God says that they’re new in Jesus[2], to tell themselves anything else is a lie.

  3. Lying to other Christians. Since God says that he’s made all Jesus followers one, to tell another Christian anything else is a lie.

  4. Lying to all other people. Since God says Christ died for the whole world[3], to say anything else is a lie.

 

Now God certainly has the right and power just to order us to stop lying. That’s good enough of a reason. But there’s something more important to why God wants them, and us to stop all our lying. Are you ready for the reason? God is truth and always speaks the truth. Period. He never, never, never lies. He never twists the truth. He never backs away from the truth. He’s never afraid of the truth.

 

  • Jesus “is truth” 1 John 5:20

  • Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

  • The Holy Spirit is called “the Spirit of truth” (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13).

  • We’re told that “It’s impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18).

 

When we become one of his children, we’re to become like our Heavenly Father. We’re to follow his example[4]. And when it comes to the truth, there’s no putting on and off. There’s only putting it on. It stays on. No more changing our minds about the truth, because the truth never really changes. The truth really does set us free[5].

 

Noodling Questions

 

  • What parts of life do we do lots of putting on and off?

  • Why has lying become so easy and commonplace in life?

  • Describe the best ways to fight lying.


[1] John 3:16

[2] 2 Corinthians 5:17

[3] 1 John 2:2

[4] Ephesians 5:1

[5] John 8:32

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