Church is a wonderful place.

You can be uplifted, strengthened, and encouraged. You can spend time in fellowship with others, and build strong relationships. You can help others bear burdens.

But if you aren’t dressed up in the nicest wardrobe, then what’s the point of even going?

If you aren’t dressed up, you don’t have a shot at pleasing God. You don’t have a shot at being a good Christian. You don’t have a shot at making a difference.

 You’ve heard the expression “dress your best.”

Well the sad truth is, you can’t. Your best isn’t good enough.

We have all become like one who is unclean,
    and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
We all fade like a leaf,
    and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. -Isaiah 64:6

That is you. That is me. That is all of us outside of Jesus Christ.

We are disgusting, ragged and dirty.

At this point I think you realize, I’m not talking about your clothes.

If you darkened the door of a church this Sunday – without Christ –  the verse above describes how God views you. Even if you wore your “Sunday best.”

That’s pretty harsh, huh? None of us want to be viewed like that. None of us want to seem unkempt and dirty.

So how do we dress up?

First, it’s important to remember that adjusting our outward appearance does nothing for us.

  • “All your righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.” -Isaiah 64:6 You can be – for all intents and purposes – a good person, but helping old ladies across the street, donating to a charity now-and-then, and yes, even dressing up for church doesn’t improve your standing with God one iota.
  • In God’s holy and righteous eyes, none of us started in a good place to begin with. Perhaps you are familiar with Romans 3:23 – “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

Second, realize that there is only one person who has ever “dressed well enough.”

  • Because of how bad we really are, not only are we unable to increase our standing with God, but our attempts to do so are an offense to Him. Because of our great trespass against God, we face righteous judgement. 
  • But God, in infinite and sovereign grace, prepared a substitution for us. Someone who could bear the wrath we so rightly deserved. God clothed himself in flesh through the person of Jesus Christ, and bore the full punishment for our sin. As 1 John 3:5 puts it, “he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.”
  • Christ lived a sinless life we could never live, and died absorbing the wrath for God’s children.

Now, let’s get real. When you read this story, you may scratch your head and say, wait a minute – let me get this straight: God needed to send Himself to earth to have Himself killed, to help save people from Himself, so He can forgive them? That makes no sense! 

Christian logic:God Needed to send himself to earth, to have himself killed to help save people from himself, so he can forgive xD literally makes no sense

I’ve seen the memes mocking the gospel narrative like this. I’ve read the posts bemoaning the illogical nature of Scripture. But let me tell you, it makes sense, and it is beautiful.

At a glance, God may look weak to you. And with the view of God portrayed in media, I can’t blame you for that idea. One pastor/author writes,

“The Bible says that God made us in his image, and it seems we like to return the favor. For many years I wanted nothing to do with Jesus, not knowing that I did not really know anything about the Jesus of the Bible and was instead rejecting the lobotomized, flannel-graph, NyQuil Jesus of my Sunday school purgatory. It seems like every generation seeks to give Jesus an extreme makeover.” Vintage Jesus, pp. 42

Please don’t rely on media for your stereotype of God. Family Guy and Passion of the Christ simply don’t do Him justice, and for that matter, neither do most Christian books.

Family Guy, Fox Broadcasting Company

I encourage you to study God in Scripture – His own words – and judge by that standard.

I assure you He doesn’t come off like the sardonic image above. In fact, the narrative looks a lot more like this: God – being holy – cannot dwell with sin. Anything corrupted by sin cannot withstand His holiness and is immediately destroyed in His presence. By His standard, God would be wholly just and righteous to destroy mankind. But, desiring to show His own goodness and holiness to man, sovereignly humbled Himself, and sent His only Son to bear the wrath intended for us, completely paying the penalty for our sin.

That’s a God worthy of adoration.

Finally, put on Christ!

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” – Acts 16:31

Remember earlier how I said you can’t “dress well” enough or act good enough for God? Well, Jesus did! And God is willing to accept Christ’s perfection on YOUR BEHALF! Isn’t that awesome?

You don’t have to worry about wearing your Sunday best, combing your hair, getting straight A’s or donating to some religious institution. No amount of legalism or personal standards will get you to Heaven. To receive favor from God, you don’t have to keep the law – in fact, you can’t – all you have to do is believe on His Son! That is the good news of the gospel!

Now, it’s important to realize, that simply believing that historically there was a man named Jesus is not enough to get you a golden ticket to Heaven. The quote rings true, “Demons have some of the highest Christology in the gospels, though they themselves do not love Jesus or receive the gift of salvation from him.”

So what must one believe to be saved? How do you put on Christ’s righteousness?

  • Believe that Scripture’s account of Christ is true. (John 5:39)
  •  Believe that Christ was God become flesh and that he dwelt among us, living the perfect life we could never live. (John 1:14) We are completely lost in sin and incapable of saving ourselves. (John 8:34)
  • Believe that Christ was crucified for us, and bore the full wrath of God for all those who would believe on Him, rising again three days later as the Bible says. (1 Peter 2:24-25)
  • Believe that Jesus Christ is not only Savior, but that He is Lord. Christ being Lord, we must turn from our sin and allow Him and Him alone to govern our lives according to His word. This is called repentance. (Acts 3:19, 2 Corinthians 7:10) Remember: Good works do not save you, but if you are genuinely saved, they will be a result. (James 2:17-18)


If you will believe these things, and commit yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ, you will be saved. You will be dressed in the righteousness of Christ, and finally be able to please God – not by your own merit, but by the merit of the only one who was ever good enough.



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