Do not lie to one another, 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. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all (Col. 3: 8-11).

A bath and a set of new clothes changes our image, doesn’t it?

Our lives are like that too. Imagine yourself living on the street for years – nowhere to sleep and nowhere to take a bath and put on fresh clothing. However you lived in your homeless existence, you accumulated the filth and the vermin of the streets and there was nowhere you could go to take a bath or change your clothes. You were doomed to live in your environment of dirt with no hope of even changing your circumstances.

Then someone sees you in your plight and takes pity on you. He drives you to his home in his luxury vehicle, runs a hot bath, sets out soap, shampoo, perfume, a thick, fluffy towel, and a set of new clothes. He leads you to the bathroom and invites you in to clean up.

How would you feel when you emerged from the steamy tub, towelled off and dressed in clean clothing? You would feel like a million dollars! You would have no desire to return to your life on the street, complete with its filth and the vermin that were your constant companions.

Then, on top of that, your compassionate benefactor does the unthinkable – he invites you to become a part of his household – a son, in fact. There is a place at his table for you. He shows you to your own bedroom, complete with a closet full of new clothing and everything you need to live a clean and respectable life. Would you be fool enough to refuse his generosity and go back to your old life of poverty and squalor?

That is what happened to you spiritually when you accepted Jesus’s invitation to go home with Him and ‘clean up’. You shed the filthy rags of your old life; your efforts to live a good life; to earn God’s approval for your attempts to live up to His standards; or even your couldn’t-care-less, happy-go-lucky, selfish, unrestrained, boundary-less, anything-goes life.

He took you home to the Father who welcomed you as His lost son. He power-washed your innermost being in His own blood, removing all the fear, guilt and shame of your old life. He clothed you with the spotless garment of His own righteousness. He gave you a place at His banqueting table and a room of your own in His house. He gave you access to all His resources and the right to use them as long as you use them in line with His character and will.

He asks of you only one thing – to live in union with Him so that you can accurately represent Him to a world that does not acknowledge or know Him. You are a new person now, no longer alone and having to fight for an existence. You are part of God’s family, those who have been rescued from their terrible plight, with a new identity – children of God. All the credentials of your old life no longer count.

‘Now,’ says Paul, ‘since you have been washed, clothed, given a new identity and a new family, live like a member of God’s household. Forget who you were and live who you are, a son or daughter of God. You don’t have to cover up who you were. Your past has been obliterated forever. You don’t have to pretend to be who you are not. You have been fully accepted as God’s child and you are fully loved. Just be who you are, a beloved son or daughter of God.’

What a relief to know that you can just be you because God is working in you! He is renewing His image in you as you get to know Him and learn to obey Him as your loving Abba, papa, daddy. You no longer have to be a homeless beggar, living by your wits just to exist. You are no longer an orphan.

You have a name, a home and an inheritance because you are God’s child!

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is who we are! (1 John 3: 1a).

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Luella Campbell

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