Good day to you all.
A couple of years ago I was a regular traveller by public transport. My journey was in four parts:
1.Bus to the station
2.Train to Kings cross
3.Tube across to Paddington
4.Train from Paddington, changing onto a branch line (one that escaped Dr Beeching!) to to my destination.
As I travelled I often wondered how many of those around me were, as the apostle Paul would say, Fellow workers; fellow labourers in Christ.
We hardly need statistics to tell us that, unless we happen to be on the very train that is being used for a church day out, the likelihood is that we will be among the minority; maybe even a lone worker.
There is, of course, no reliable way of knowing; some may wear a discrete “fish” badge or Ichthys, others a cross. Most of us simply make no attempt at a public declaration in that way.
There is no Christian uniform or corporate clothing (unless you’re a minister); it’s dress down Friday, every day.
However, when we look into God’s word we find that, although we aren’t expected to wear any particular identifying garment, we find something much bigger than that;
firstly ,Matthew 6: 25, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?”
We need not concern ourselves with these material things, but keeping on the track of what we put on, we can look to the apostle Paul for advice:
Ephesians 4: 24, “put on the new man which was created according to God in true righteousness and holiness”
Putting on “the new man” is far more than a dress code that we observe; the new man is just that, our transformed self -
2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
This is the transformation that we all. As Christians, go through as we are born again; a new creation;
Ephesians 4: 21 - 23, “If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus; that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man, which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind”
Put off the old man and put on the new man; our old and new self, our old and new nature.
While that might not sound like something that will be visible, identifying us to the other passengers on the train, it’s in the putting off of our former conduct (v22); the way in which we are seen to conduct our lives, that is visible; our witness to Christ.
So, as we saw in Matthew 6, we need not concern ourselves with what we physically put on; we need only ensure that we have put on the new man; that we are seen to conduct our lives in the manner of the new man, then we can walk worthy of the calling with which we were called.
As Val Doonican sang, “Walk tall, walk straight and look the world right in the eye”
May God bless you.