Clothed by God…….

READ: Genesis 3:20-24

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them (Genesis 3:21).

God sheds blood in order to make clothing for Adam and Eve – the first animal sacrifice. He made them from the skins of animals, and therefore those animal lives were sacrificed to clothe Adam and Eve. This is but a picture, as all animal sacrifices are but pictures—a kind of pre-school of grace—in order to teach us the great truth that God eternally attempts to communicate to us. As John the Baptist said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away [and in my opinion, who is continually taking away] the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Paul uses a wonderful phrase in Ephesians: “accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6 KJV). When we have acknowledged our guilt, and acknowledged that what we have done is contrary to what God wants, and we stand there with nothing to defend ourselves with and make no attempt to do so, but simply are in honest acknowledgment of our own doing, then we are “accepted in the beloved.”

My Grandfather was a shepherd in Scotland and I was brought up on stories of spring lambing. Spring time in Scotland is a lot colder than here in Amblecote. Often there are long, drawn out seasons of bitter cold during lambing time. Many lambs and some ewes during this type of season can die. As a result, My Grandfather could have many mothers whose newborn lambs have died and many newborn lambs whose mothers have died. It would seem that a simple way to solve the problem would be to take the lambs without mothers and give them to the mothers without lambs, but it is not that simple. If you take a little orphan lamb and put it in with a mother ewe, she will immediately go to it and sniff it all over, and then she butts it away and refuses to have anything to do with it. But Shepherds have devised a means of solving this. They take the mother’s own dead lamb and skin it and take the skin and tie it onto the other orphan lamb. Then they put the orphan lamb with this ungainly skin flopping around—eight legs, two heads—in with the mother. She pays no attention at all to the way it looks, but she sniffs it all over again, and the lamb is accepted, and all is well.

What has happened? The orphan lamb has been “accepted in the beloved” . There came a time when God’s Lamb lay dead on our behalf, and God took us orphans and clothed us in His righteousness, and thus we stand “accepted in the beloved,” received in His place. That is where repentance brings us. That is the way you begin the Christian life. But if you think that is where it ends, you are wrong. We must be continually repenting of those areas where we fail or fall back upon a way of living that God has said is not right. I must repent of my self-dependence—and so must you.

Teach me, Lord, to continually repent. Thank you for clothing me in the righteousness of Jesus, that I may be “accepted in the beloved”

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