God does the clothing of sinners
Revised from my Supper talk I preached in Southbridge on 1/15/06
Preached in Quabbin Valley on 10/12/08
Genesis 3:21 And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
Babies are incapable of feeding, changing, and clothing themselves. They are in a real sense helpless. When Ethan was born the first thing that would happen in the morning when he woke up was he would need to be changed and he would need to be clothed and then feed. He was unable to do any of this for himself. As a child gets older they often want to do things for themselves and they want to be independent. But that independent often leads to more problems. The infant or young child doesn’t know that pulling on the lamp cord is going to pull down the lamp and hurt. Or running outside might get them hit by a car.
a. You know that men and women have always wanted to do things for themselves. We like to be independent and not rely on others. In fact, in this day and age, independents is a virtue. People want to be seen as able to go it alone. But we have to ask are we really able to “go it alone”?
b. On November 20, 1988, the Los Angeles Times reported: A screaming woman, trapped in a car dangling from a freeway transition road in East Los Angeles was rescued Saturday morning. The 19-year-old woman apparently fell asleep behind the wheel about 12:15 a.m. The car, which plunged through a guard rail, was left dangling by its left rear wheel. A half dozen passing motorists stopped, grabbed some ropes from one of their vehicles, tied the ropes to the back of the woman’s car, and hung on until the fire units arrived. A ladder was extended from below to help stabilize the car while firefighters tied the vehicle to tow trucks with cables and chains. “Every time we would move the car,” said one of the rescuers, “she’d yell and scream. She was in pain.” It took almost 2 1/2 hours for the passers-by, CHP officers, tow truck drivers, and firefighters—about 25 people in all-—to secure the car and pull the woman to safety. “It was kinda funny,” L.A. County Fire Capt. Ross Marshall recalled later. “She kept saying, ‘I’ll do it myself.’ ”
c. You know Adam and Eve were under this assumption. They thought that they could go it alone, that they didn’t need God; they didn’t need to obey God. After they trusted themselves and ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge they realized they had messed up. But instead of admitting they messed up they still though they could go it alone and tried to fix the problem by put some leaves together but the leaves were not adequate. The leaves couldn’t fix the problem. They couldn’t fix the problem. They were very much like infants, unable to Change or cloth themselves. Much like that woman dangling in that car.
d. We are all more like infants than we really like to admit.
2) Need to be clothed
a. We read in Genesis 3:21 “And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
b. It was God who clothed them and it is God who clothes us.
3) Our need
a. We can’t escape the fact that we are sinners. We fail daily to live holy and acceptable lives to God. When we are left to ourselves we run around trying to sow fig leaves together.
b. Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
c. 1 John 1:8 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:10 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
d. The fact is that even if we locked ourselves in our rooms for the day and could keep ourselves from physically doing anything sinful we would have our thoughts that might be sinful but even if we controlled our thoughts we would be sinning because sin is not only doing what is wrong it’s not doing what is right.
e. James 4:17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
f. Failing to love my wife the way I am supposed to, failing to help when help is needed is sinful. We are not only to refrain from doing things that are sinful we are to do the things we are called to. We are to do what is right. Remember that sin means missing the mark, missing the perfect bulls eye.
g. The fact is that we need God to change us and cloth us and he has in Christ. In Christ Jesus we are changed from the inside out and clothed with Christ that is we are righteous and holy in his sight. We don’t always act in accordance with that truth but as we walk in the light as he is in the light the blood of Christ cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
h. Galatians 3:26-28 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
i. 2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
j. 1 Peter 2:9-10 9 ¶ But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
k. It’s by being clothed with Christ that we have these blessings and in Christ that we find forgiveness and holiness, and righteousness. God clothed us in Christ. There was nothing we could do to cloth ourselves. Now we have the choice to come to Christ for our clothing but we in no way paid for or cleansed and clothed ourselves.
I hope that as we partake of the Supper that we remember that we didn’t change ourselves, we didn’t cloth ourselves but God in Christ has done what we could never do. We are remembering that in Jesus Christ we have life. We are proclaiming once again the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Paul says:
1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
We will proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes and we will proclaim that God has clothed us in Christ.