Off with old and on with the new–Two coats!

Scripture:
Zechariah 3:3-4 ” Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, ‘Take off his filthy clothes.’ Then he said to Joshua, ‘See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.’”

Observation:
Zechariah saw a vision from the LORD where he witnessed the high priest, Joshua, standing in front of the court of heaven with angels standing about. He was dressed in dirty clothes, which the angels were to remove and replace with clean clothes from God, his pure, priestly garments. In doing so, God told the priest that he had taken away his sins and thus forgiven him of them.

Application:
This passage reminds me of a very familiar and oft quoted passage from Paul. He stated that to God our righteousness is as a pile of filthy rags. Well, this very vision passage from Zechariah may have been the reference for Paul’s statement, as well as being inspired by the Holy Spirit to pen those words again. One might say that we have the Word of God on this matter established by two (or three) witnesses: one from the OT and one from the NT. Thus, we can be sure that the Bible is in agreement on this principle and can be taken as truth.

What I see out of it is that I am a new creature in Christ. When I became ‘saved,’ God removed the dirty clothes of sin that this flesh wore and replaced it with garments of praise and holiness, his righteousness. I was no longer considered filthy and unclean and hence unholy and prohibited from having a personal, intimate relationship with God. God did the work and blessed me in the process. He redeemed, reconciled me, delivered me, saved me, sustained me, healed me, provided for me, restored me, defended me, loved me, favored me, poured out his blessing on me, and all the other wonderful things he did for me, and HE WILL DO FOR YOU!

And if we will be astute, we will notice that it was nothing the priest did. It was totally the work of God. That picture speaks to us of God’s saving grace: his unmerited favor that spares us from a demon’s hell and grants us entry into his kingdom, family, and eternity with him. Paul wrote that salvation is by grace alone and that through faith, a gift from God and not of ourselves to prevent anyone from boasting about saving oneself through observance of the Mosaic Law. In fact we know that Paul teaches us that the law brings death but the Spirit life.

Know this—that God’s saving grace is there for you and all mankind!! All you have to do is receive it. You cannot buy it, earn it, or do anything to get it except believe that God raised Jesus from the dead through the Spirit and confess that Jesus is LORD! That is the step to receiving salvation and having a personal relationship with the God of the universe!! Imagine that!!

Prayer:
Father like the old song says, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found. I was blind but now I see.” A blind lady wrote those Spirit-inspired words that ring so true. Your grace is truly amazing because it makes no sense to the human mind why an omnipotent God would desire to have a relationship with a fallen creature like us?!? The even crazier thing is that you would give of yourself to die in our place to save us from the ill-fated eternity of demons. What can we say and do but give you thanks and praise and have joy in our hearts knowing that you love us that much? Once again, from a humble and ever-grateful heart, thank you!!!!!! In Jesus’ name, Amen.


(Watch a live rendition by Pastor Tommy Bates)

Enjoy these lyrics from a really old mountain gospel song (about 100 years old) called ‘Two Coats”–

Two coats were before me
An old and a new
I asked my sweet master
Oh what must I do

The old coat was ugly
So tattered and torn
The other a new one
Had never been worn

I’ll tell you the best thing
I ever did
I took off the old coat
And put on the new

The first man was earthy
And made from the ground
We bore all his image
The whole world around

The next was my savior
From heaven so fair
He bought me this new coat
You now see me wear

I’ll tell you the best thing
I ever did
I took off the old coat
And put on the new

Now this coat it suits me
And keeps me warm
It’s good in the winter
It’s good in the storm

My savior has dressed me
In a garment so rare
He bought me this new coat
You now see me wear

I’ll tell you the best thing
I ever did
I took off the old coat
And put on the new

I’ll tell you the best thing
I ever did
I took off the old coat
And put on the new

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