Thursday, June 28, 2018

don’t leave your best dress in the closet

The Word for today:
Ruth 4
Every now and then we come across a Bible verse that stands for something much larger than what it seems to be saying. One of those verses is Ruth 3:3:
Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes…
The verse can stand as the picture of every sinner who comes to Jesus:
1. Wash yourself.
First we are forgiven at the cross: The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7). But the process of salvation has just begun…
2. Anoint yourself.
Then we are anointed by the Holy Spirit. Anointed is a biblical word which denotes the person and work of the Holy Spirit, who comes upon all believers to empower and teach them:
But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. (1 John 2:20/ESV)
Another version says it this way:
But you have had the Holy Spirit poured out on you by Christ, and so all of you know the truth. (1 John 2:20/GNT)
The reason you and I can understand the Bible is not because of our superior intellects. It is a direct result of the empowering Holy Spirit:
For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. "For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ. (1Corinthians 2:10-16)
As the mind of Christ develops within us, the "outside" changes too. This is expressed in the third part of Ruth 3:3:
3. Put on your best clothes.
Galatians 3:27 tells us that we have put on Christ:
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
At the moment we were forgiven by the blood and empowered by the
Spirit, we also received the "robe" of Christ-righteousness:
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Many believers stop at #1. They consider themselves "washed," but that's about it. So they live as if they were nothing more than forgiven criminals.
But God has changed us all the way from the inside out. He has empowered us with His Spirit and transformed us into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). So...
Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes.

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