NORMAN — In addressing the Christians in Rome, Paul writes “clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 13:14)
This is an interesting statement, one you or I would never find ourselves using in conversation today. The Greek phrase “to be clothed with another” means to assume the personality and character of the other person.
The apostle Paul is telling us to copy the character and manner of Jesus and to take on His interests. That’s what it means to be a follower of Christ.
The phrase also gives us the idea of theater, of plays and actors. It means to imitate another, to take on his views.
A good actor researches the role he or she will play and totally immerses into the character. I have read about some actors who are so committed to their roles that they stay in character even after the director says “cut.”
In this passage in Romans, God calls you to play the most important role you could possibly play; He gives you the opportunity of a lifetime. God looks at you and says, “You are a star.”
This is your big break — God the Father chose you to portray His Son to the world around you. He wants you to become like His son, Jesus.
Even children understand this concept of immersing into character. My wife and I have two young daughters who love playing dress-up. When one of them is clothed in the Snow White dress, she immediately transforms into Snow White.
The same holds true for any of the other Disney princesses — when the girls put on the Ariel costume, they become Ariel. When they wear the Belle dress, they are Belle. And when either of them dons the Sleeping Beauty costume, guess what? You’re right — she transforms into Sleeping Beauty. But for whatever reason when they put on the Cinderella dress, I immediately become the wicked stepmother.
To the Christians in Galatia, Paul used this exact same phrase. There, the Bible says, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (Galatians 3:27)
God wants you to portray Jesus to those around you to the very best of your ability. Do you know Jesus? Have you researched your role? Have you clothed yourself with Christ?