This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
BY H. C. G. MOULE,
Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans xiii. 14.
IT is very remarkable, when we come to consider it, how the great
works of Almighty God, wrought for us, and in us, for our salva-
tion, are typified (so to speak) by our own ordinary yi^orks, that we
to do every day. Our sleeping and waking, our lying down and rising
up, our washing and dressing, our eating and drinking, our natural
affections and endearing ways, one with another, as parents and
children, brethren and sisters, husbands and wives ; also our common
every-day employments and relations, between masters and servants,
debtors and creditors, buyers and sellers : — all these things are
by God's infinite condescension and mercy, into so many Divine
parables, so many tokens to our souls from the great Lover of souls,
to save them from ruin, or to make their salvation more glorious.
Just as wakening is a sign to us of the first conversion of the
heart to God ; and as rising up is a sign of both resurrections — our
first resurrection in the regeneration of baptism, and our rising finally
from the grave after death ; — and as our washing ourselves in the
morning is a token of the washing of baptism ; so our putting on our
clothes is the Scriptural type and image of baptismal sanctification ;
that renewing of the Holy Ghost, which S. Paul tells us of, when he
says, ' ot by works of righteousness which we have done, but accord-
ing to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration,' which
is also (for so his words mean) a washing ' of renewal by the Holy
Ghost."* This great and miraculous change, on which our all depends
for eternity, we do, as in figure, enact and rehearse, by that very
simple and ordinary act of putting on our clothes in the morning.
I. For what is our natural state but a state of nakedness ? ' We
brouglit nothing into this world : ' nothing, that is, of either earthly
or spiritual clothing. either the fig-leaves of natural compunction
and horror, nor the coats of skin provided by the Lord in the sacrifices
and other works of penitence commanded in the Law, could at all
clothe the soul again with that real holiness and righteousness which
it lost when it consented to sin. That robe of true glory she might
not any way put on again, except by being new-made, new-created
in that image of God, after which she had been formed at the begin-
ning. And that could only be by incorporation and ingrafting into
Him Who vouchsafed to be our second Adam, Who took our manhood
into God, i.e. into His own Divine Person ; Who became incarnate for
us men and for our salvation, bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh,
that we might be united, body and soul, to Him. As He is the
express image of the Father'^s Person, so we must become one with
Him, in order to recover the image in which we were made — the
image of that Godhead which is common to the Father and the Son.
Through Him and by Him alone can we be partakers of the Divine
nature. And when we are made so, when a sinful man, through the
Lord's unspeakable mercy, is new-made in Christ after God's image,
then is fulfilled that which the Holy Ghost, by the Apostle, has
taught us to call putting on Christ: 'putting on the Lord Jesus
II. And it would seem that of this wonderful change, not only the
clothing of priests in their holy garments, and of kings in their royal
apparel, but the ordinary dressing of each one of us every morning,
is made in Scripture a sort of type or token. Daily, when our sleep
leaves us, and we are putting on our clothes, that we may be ready
to go out into the world, and do the work of our several callings, we
are, without knowing it, representing as in a parable the saving
change which our Lord makes in His elect. Christ is not only our
OUTLIES O THE EPISTLE
light, our uprising, and our cleansing, but He is our clothing and
our apparel also.
When our Lord came, He also in His parables announced from
time to time the same gracious mystery, — of divine clothing to be
provided for the soul. He said He would be a Father to His fallen
and returning children, as in other respects, so in this, that He would
order His servants to bring forth the best robe and put it upon each
of them. His Church was to be a royal palace-hall, where a marriage
feast should be holden for the king's son, and no man should come in
thither, except he had on a wedding garment. And, accordingly,
when He had cast the devils out of that unhappy person, who, being
possessed with a whole legion, represented most exactly the miserable
condition of those who are without God in the world, it is particularly
mentioned, as one chief mark of the man's cure, that he was found
at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind. All these were, I
suppose, so many hints of that which was soon to come to pass : that
the Apostles, and those who by their means should be brought to
Christ, should be ' endued," tliat is, clothed, ' with power from on
high,' with the Holy Ghost, Who is the great power of God ; and
that the Church, made up of such souls, was to be ' clothed with the
sun,' with our Lord Christ Himself, the Sun of Righteousness.
HI. If any one gave you a beautiful white robe, which not only hid
your nakedness, but made you fair and glorious in the eyes of all,
would this make you careless about keeping yourself clean ? Would
it not make you consider a little before you ventured into any place,
or any company, where you would be likely to spoil it ? If then, by
the mercy of God, any one has a reasonable hope that he has been,
so far, kept from serious and grievous sin, let him not be high-minded,
but fear. ' Blessed is he that watcheth and kecpeth his garments.'
However rich and noble the robe may be, there is no blessing for him
who does not watch over it.
And consider this also, that such as really delight in their apparel
are apt to employ themselves, if they may, in making it still finer
and more gorgeous. Persons who are fond of dress generally love to
be adorning themselves more and more. In one way, we all have
seen, many have experienced, a great deal too much of this ; as when
Christian women neglect the caution of S. Peter and S. Paul, and
think too much of the outward ornaments of gold and pearls and
costly array. But there is a great and holy lesson, which Scripture
teaches us to draw from the sight of such things. The Prophet asks,
* Can a woman forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire ? Yet
My people have forgotten Me days without number.' As if he should
say, You know how diligent they are in continually devising new and
more becoming fashions : and do they not thereby put to shame the
souls of Cliristians, the souls that are betrothed to Christ, for not
taking pains to grow in grace, to improve themselves in that inward
acli)niing, which is in the sight of God of great price ? Whereas the
mind of the true Church, the undefiled bride of Christ, is to be ever-
more making herself ready, — decking herself with inward ornaments,
adorning herself with heavenly jewels : endeavouring to abound more
and more in whatsoever will please her heavenly Lord, Him Who
vouchsafes to be her beloved. And this is, in other words, putting on
Christ more and more.
IV. We are always to be putting on Christ, if it were only for this
plain and most serious reason, — that if we do not, we shall be clothing
ourselves with a very different garment, even with the likeness of the
evil one ; with foul and accursed habits, which will make us more
and more fit for the foul and accursed place, the outer darkness.
This the holy Apostle signifies, in that after bidding us put on the
Lord Jesus Christ, he adds, ' Make not provision for the flesh, to
fulfil the lusts thereof.' Let Jesus Christ and His righteousness — all
His good and holy ways — be the dress which you put on every
morning in the purpose of your heart, and do not either in mind or
body be willingly like those who dress themselves with a view to
bodily and sensual enjoyment, whose very clothing is a provision
which they make for the satisfaction of their pride or lust. Be not
ye like unto them, either in your outward dress, or in the habits of
your mind and conduct. But you will be like unto them, unless you
are diligently striving and praying to put on the contrary habits.
For as we must wear some clothing, so our hearts and souls must be
trained and habited in some way or other. If we are not trying to
keep ourselves clean, we must be rendering ourselves daily more and
more unclean. J. KEBLE,
The Warnings of Advent, p. 34.
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, Romans xiii. 14.
I. HRIST our Lord comes into the world to restore the investiture
we have lost, or rather to be Himself for us and upon us, all
that our sin has cast away. The original word of Scripture represented
in our English version by the word atone, or make atonement, literally
means to cover. In this manner, Jesus the Lord comes to cover our
sin ; covering first our liabilities in the sins that are past, by the
ance of God and the honour He confers on God's instituted justice by
communicating to us in the penal scathing and curse of our transgres-
sions, and secondly and principally, in the sense that He undertook to
be the Divine character upon us. Yea, the Divine glory. For He does
not merely teach us something, as many fancy, which we are to take
OUTLIES O THE EPISTLE
up notionally and copy item by item in ourselves, but He undertakes
to copy Himself into us, and be the righteousness of God upon us.
H. But we are to put Him on. And here is the difficulty. You
cannot see, it may be, how it is done. The very conception is un-
intelligible or mystical, and you cannot guess, it may be, what it
means. What, then, does it mean to put on Christ ?
It does not mean, of course, that you are only to make an experi--
ment of putting on the garb of the new life and see how you will like
it. o man puts on Christ for anything short of eternity. The end
must be a finality ; even at the beginning, whoever contemplates even
the possibility of being without Him, or of ever being without Him
again, does not put Him on.
either do you put Him on when you undertake to copy some one
or more of the virtues or characters in Him — the gentleness, the love,
the dignity — without being willing to accept the sacrifice in Him, to
bear the world's contempt with Him, to be singular, to be noted,
to go through your Gethsemane, and groan under the burdens
of love. either do you put Him on when you undertake only to
realise some previous conceptions of character that are your own.
The dress is to be not from you, but from Him, the whole Christ,
j ust as He is, taken upon you to shape you for the mould of His own
Divine life and spirit.
HI. But we must be more positive. First, then, there must be a free
and hearty examination of your past life. As the Apostle words it
in another place, you must put off the old man in order to put on the
new. You cannot have the new character to put on over the old.
We put Him on by faith — only by faith. For rest the soul comes
to Him, shivering in the cold shame of its sin, and gives itself over
to Him, to be loved, protected, covered in by His gracious life and
passion. You will put on Christ by obedience to Him, for whoever
obeys Christ willingly, trusts Him, and whoever trusts Him obeys
Him. And you are always to be putting on Christ afterwards, as
you begin to put Him on at first. AH the success of your Christian
life will consist in the closeness of your walk with Christ and the
completeness of your trust in Him. H. BUSHELL,
Christ and His Salvation , p. 57.
Christ the Victory in Temptation.
Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans xiii. 14.
THESE sacred words, like most other utterances of Holy Scripture,
are illuminated by their context. They stand in a paragraph
which brings up the thouglit of weapons and of war. The Christian
man is called upon to be up and waking, not to consciousness only, but
to action and to battle. He is to throw off the night-robe of the works
of darkness, and to ' put on^ instead ' the armour' and arms of light,
and then in that accoutrement to move up and down amidst the
realities of life. Strong and ready, watchful and victorious, he is to
icalk, to ' walk seemly, as in the day.'
This is the special reference stamped here upon the word ' put on.'
Tiie tiiought is not of a robe, rich and flowing. It is not of crown
of king or wreath of victor. It is of coat of mail and cap of steel.
It is of the knight panoplied for the dreadful field, or for the road
through fens and forests, the haunt of robbers, and giants, and wild
beasts. To put metaphors and similes apart, we look here at the
Christian believer arming himself, as to his whole being, with what
shall give him victory over sin; with what shall make him — not
hereafter but now, not in Eden but in Babylon — more than con-
queror against the devil, and the world, and the flesh.
ow think again, as in this context, of the phraseology of the im-
mediate text. Here again is ' put ye on.' But here, for the armour,
for the weapons, of the light, stands this astonishing equivalent and
synonym — the Lord our Redeemer, the Person, the Self, of Jesus
Christ. The imagery breaks down halfway, to let in at once this
wonderful reality in its living truth — this blessed Being, in all the
titles of His grace and power, not one designation left out — the Lord
1. I point first to that severe and solid fact, the need of this put-
ting on. I remind you of an old, an unalterable thing, the infinite
holiness of God versus the all-pervading sinfulness of man. I point
to that fathomless mystery, that hard, keen reality, the whispered ' I
ought ' met by the muttered ' I will not,' or at best, ' I do not.' I
apprise you, as if it were news, of the deceitfulness of sin, of the self-
delusion of the heart. I bring before you, as if never seen before, the
absolute spirituality of the holy Law, piercing to the joints and
marrow of the soul. I place its mirror, as of glass mingled with fire,
before your life and before mine. I ask you to see there pictured,
not now the cruder sort of sins, the ghastly blots and hideous wen^
of impurity of act and word, things done and said in dena of vice, or
planned and wrought in stifling solitude; no, nor now the opener
forms of a gross self-indulgence, the flaccid deformities of a life mani-
festly earthy and of the earth. I ask you now to see in that micro-
scopic mirror how looks the thought of foolishness, the resolve of
petty selfishness, the miserable swell of most concealed self-praise, the
burst of small impatience, the suppressed consciousiitss of neglected
right and permitted wrong, the lack of love to the Lord that bought
you ; the tacit refusal to live out your life, which is not your own, to
OUTLIES O THE EPISTLE
Him ; the non-response to His Spirit's strivings ; the subtle prefer-
ence of self to God in Christ which lurks in the kernel of every sin.
Look at these things, I pray you, brethren, in the glass of the holy
and absolutely immovable Will of the Eternal. And in that glass,
in the background, see too the environments of influence and circum-
stance which do not create your sin, as they do not create yourselves,
but which bear, as by a law of moral gravitation, upon your sinful-
ness ; the pains and the pleasures, the caies and the ease, the crowd
or the solitude, the blame or the praise, with which the Tempter
works on your already tainted will.
II. ' But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.' In face of the
realities of sin, of Roman sin in ero's day — but let us forget Rome
and ero ; they were only dark accidents of a darker essence ; — full
in face of tlie realities of sin, S. Paul writes down across them all
these words, this spell, this ame, the Lord Jesus Christ put on.
Take a steady look, he seems to say, at the sore need in the light of
God ; but then, at once, look here^ look off. Here is the more than
antithesis to it all. Here is that by which you can be, nevertheless,
more than conqueror. Take your iniquities at the worst ; this can
subdue them. Take your surroundings at the worst ; this can eman-
cipate you from their power. It is the Lord Jesus Christ, and the
putting on of Him.
(1) First, then, the Lord Jesus Christ is Himself a Fact. He was,
and being what He was. He is. The Christ of Prophets, Evangelists,
and Apostles, is. Sure as is the existence now of His universal
Church, as the observance of the historic Sacrament of His death, as
the impossibility of Galilaean or Pharisaic imagination having com-
posed, not photographed, the portrait of the Incarnate Son, of the
Immaculate Lamb; sure as the glad verification in ten thousand
blessed lives to-day of all, of all, that the Christ of Scripture under-
takes to be to the soul that will take Him on His own terms — so
sure, drawn across all oldest and all newest doubts of man, across
all gnosis and all agnosia, lies the present fact of our Lord Jesus
(2) Then, secondly, it is a fact that man, in the mercy of God,
can put Him on. He is not far off. He presents Himself to your
touch, to your possession. He says to you. Come to Me. He unveils
Himself as literal partaker of your nature, bone of your bone. He
shows Himself to you as stricken and smitten, your Sacrifice of
Peace, your Righteousness, through faith in His blood. He shines
on you through the glory of His promises, as the Head and Life-
spring, in an indescribable union, of the deep, calm tide of life
spiritual and eternal, prepared to circulate through your being.
He invites Himself to make His abode with you ; with you, did
I saj ? Yes, but more : ' I will come in to him ; I will dwell in
his heart by faith.' In that ungovernable heart of ours, that inter-
minably self-deceptive heart, He engages to reside, to be permanent
Occupant, to be present Master. He is prepared thus to take, with
regard to your will, a place of power nearer than all circumstances,
and deep in the midst possible inward traitors ; His eye upon
their plots. Hi? not yours, upon their necks. Yes, He invites
you tl -"^ ij embrace Him into a full contact, to ' put Him on.' Or,
leciy to change the metaphor, not the truth, you can come to Him,
led by His Spirit, and can find in that coming realities of result as
strong as they are joyful : a power divinely personal working in you,
resources not your own for purity, and peace, and victory, which are
just in their essence this — the living presence of our Lord Jesus Christ,
as your well of life, your origin and cause of patience, of unselfishness,
of strength for steadfast and prosaic duty, of ever new will and skill to
work for Him, and for others as for Him.
1. 68 FREE BOOKS
2. ALL WRITIGS
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.