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What Do You Have On

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
June 8, 2021 8:00 am

What Do You Have On

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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June 8, 2021 8:00 am

From the ancient Greeks to Shakespeare to Mark Twain it’s been said that the clothes make the man. But in this special message from Jonathan Evans, we’ll discover there’s actually a biblical basis to that age-old clich.

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We want to present righteousness.

That's why everybody shows such a great face. But Jonathan Evans says we need to make sure our source of virtue is legit. Going to the world for righteousness is no different than going to the water to dry off. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans.

Author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. From the ancient Greeks to Shakespeare to Mark Twain, it's been said that clothes make the man. Well, in today's message from Jonathan Evans, we'll discover there's actually a biblical basis to that age-old cliché.

Let's join him as he explains. Genesis chapter 3 21 simply says, the Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. Adam and Eve were already dressed, so why would God put more clothes on them when they were already covered? It was something about what they were wearing that was insufficient to God. If you think about God as a stylist and he's coming through the garden as it says in chapter 3 verse 6 and 7 in the cool of the day, and he sees Adam and Eve, he must have been unsatisfied with what they covered themselves with.

There was a covering that they had on and then in the same chapter it says the Lord God re-clothed them. So I can hear him going through the garden in the cool of the day and approaching Adam and Eve and seeing what they were wearing and saying in the old Dallas slang, what y'all got on? Where do you think you're going in that? What you have on doesn't match where this story is headed. So I need to change your clothes because you're not wearing a true covering that can take you where I'm taking you. You're wearing something but what you're wearing, you're not wearing it right. I need to change your clothes and there's many Christians today who are claiming Christianity while wearing the wrong clothes. And we're wondering why God isn't taking us and maybe he's saying you're simply not dressed for the occasion.

You're wearing something but you're not dressed right. Understand that God cares about what we're wearing. All through the Bible he talks about what you're wearing. If you go to Matthew 22 and you look at the parable of the wedding feast, Jesus comes and he returns his second coming.

He will be wed to his bride. He invited some guests into the wedding feast and then he noticed that there was a man in there that was improperly dressed. And he told that man that was improperly dressed, go to the outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth because you thought it would be okay to come to my wedding feast without the right outfit on. You can't come to my wedding feast unless you're dressed for the occasion. I have a dress code. And if you're not wearing the dress code that's conducive to where this story is heading, you may be dressed. You may be covered in your way but you're not dressed and covered in my way.

And I'm the one running this show because this is my wedding feast. This one verse gave me pause because he re-clothed Adam and Eve when they were already dressed. There must have been something about this verse. The Lord God clothed them with garments of skins, Adam and his wife. He didn't like what they were wearing. You're saved but does God like what you're wearing?

I remember when me and my wife were going out on a date early on, she married an athlete now. When I say that, that means when it comes to dress, I want to be comfortable. Just give me some basketball shorts and a t-shirt and I'll try to dress it up with some Jordans. I just walk out the house like this with a slow limp, just trying to make it.

I just want to be comfortable. And she said, okay, we're going on a date. Go ahead and get dressed. I said, how much time we got? She said, we got about 40 minutes. I said, call me in there when we got 10 minutes left. I don't need that much time to put on my basketball shorts and my t-shirt and dress it up with some Jordans. She said, man, get in here and get your clothes on so we're not late. So I go in there and I get my t-shirt. I saw some shorts on the floor.

Those will work. I put those on. I put my Jordans on to try to dress it up a little bit. And she came into the closet where I was getting dressed and she was combing her hair. And then she stopped and dropped. Now, my wife has two facial expressions. She'll either smile at you. She'll give you one set of teeth or she'll give you both sets of teeth. And she came into the closet and gave me both sets of teeth.

She said, and when she really doesn't like it, she talks with both sets of teeth. Is that what you're wearing? And, you know, I'm like, what is that, a leading question?

Yes, this is currently what I have on. Yes, ma'am, this is what I'm wearing. No, it starts making noise. She came into the closet, moved me to the side. She picked out a button up, got some jeans, you know, gave me some shoes. And she said, can you please put this on, please?

Can you please put this on? I said, okay, but why do I have to change my clothes? She said, because what you're wearing is not conducive to where we're going. And threw her head back and walked out. I said, what?

Okay. What I was wearing was simply not conducive to where we were going. The question is, is what you're wearing conducive to where this story is headed? There's many of us that claim Christianity and we're dressed like a heathen. And God is saying, you look good to you and you look good to other people, but I'm showing you both sets of teeth.

Because you're simply not dressed for where this thing is headed. And God clothed them with skins, Adam and his wife. It's amazing to me that Adam and his wife, they went to the environment to find their covering instead of going to the God that they've offended and the environment that they're in. They're chasing after the world and covering themselves with the environment instead of going to the God that will give them the true covering in order to move forward to where this story is headed. And there's many Christians today that are chasing after what the environment has to offer to cover ourselves so that I can at least look good in front of you. Adam and Eve at least look good in front of each other.

They covered themselves with the fig leaves so that they could at least cover up the issues in front of each other so that their issue would be a non-issue so that they could return back to the state where they didn't have issues. And I at least want to present to you that I'm covered. I at least want to present to you that I'm secure.

I at least want to show the right face. We've become professionals in this culture of getting likes and people following me and wanting to be liked and wanting everybody to see my pictures and what I have going on. We've become professionals at covering ourselves well while God is still giving us both sets of teeth. Because of the culture that we live in, many people dress nice from a dirty closet. And we seem to think simply because people who are around us are applauding us, simply because the culture is saying, oh you look nice, good job, good career, good house, good car, you put yourself together well, you pray well, you always come to the front, you always raise your hands, you're here on time. And I applaud you but understand the applause of man and the applause of God are not synonymous.

But that's the culture that we're in. If I could be honest, there's men in the Christian world that do not love their wives but there'll be a church on time and they'll button up their tie and they'll be saying pharisaic prayers and they'll join the leadership team, they'll become deacons, they'll do all of those different things. And everybody is thinking one thing and God is thinking something totally different. He's coming into your garden in the cool of the day and he's saying, what are you wearing? As I was reflecting on this in my own study, it made me look at the closet of my heart and wonder, Jonathan, what do you have on?

Because one day he will return, his wedding feast will start, you are invited, don't get kicked out. And it seems to be that what we should be thinking about is what I have on and I guess it wasn't the exterior from the environment and what the environment could bring and what the environment could provide but if you think about it, we sure are chasing. We're chasing. We want that.

Let me get that. If I can just get here, somehow the environment has the ability to provide the security, protection and covering that God provided Adam and Eve before they had the problem. They went to the environment, let me get that, let me get that.

That makes me feel better, at least in front of you. And God is saying, is that what you're wearing? That's not where the story is going.

That's not going to cover you. But Adam and Eve, what did they do? They found, they weren't stupid. Adam and Eve had perfect brains before sin. They had already surveyed the garden.

So I'm sitting here thinking about this. Well then why did they choose fig leaves? Fig leaves were large leaves. If you wanted to get some shade from the sun, sit under a fig tree because there are some large leaves that are not easily torn.

They're even in the east right now in the marketplace. You can go shopping in the marketplace and they will place your fruit in a fig leaf and wrap it in a fig leaf so that you can carry your fruit through the marketplace. Or if you're buying a lump or a cake, they'll wrap it in a fig leaf because they are so large and so strong and then they will tie them together and put a little pretty bow on it so you can present it as a gift to someone. They are valuable, they are large, and they are strong. And Adam and Eve went to the things in the environment and the things in the world that were valuable, large, and strong. Oh come on into my house.

It's valuable and it's large and it's strong. Let me give you a tour. Oh yeah, this is nice. You got that. Oh yeah, you got that. Let me give you a tour.

And it makes me feel better about myself that you like it. Never mind that it's never become a home. Never mind that we're fighting all the time in it.

But as long as you like it, let me give you a tour of this. And we're chasing after these fig leaves as long as they're big, the biggest in the culture, as long as they're strong, and they're definitely valuable in the marketplace. But just because it's applauded in the marketplace doesn't mean you won't get kicked out of the wedding feast. And I'm looking at this one verse. And God clothed them with garments of skins, Adam and his wife. So I started looking at what I'm wearing. Because there's many of us in the room that are not conscious about the life that we're living.

You see, your dress represents your life. And when we go before the judgment seat of Christ, he's going to notice our life by how we're dressed and whether we're really ready for the occasion. Adam and Eve, you have this problem, but don't go to the environment to solve the problem.

Go to the God who knows how to cover you within the environment that you're in. It's amazing how they were covered when they were naked. But all of a sudden, even though they covered themselves, they felt naked because they hid from God. And we're getting further and further from God, chasing after the environment, chasing after the environment, and we cover ourselves up while simultaneously feeling naked. But I could have little. But if I have God, I have a lot.

I'm dressed. Jonathan Evans will have more on wearing appropriate spiritual attire when he returns in just a moment. But first, as you've heard, the Urban Alternative is celebrating 40 years of ministry this year. In a recent conversation, Dr. Evans recalled how God opened doors leading to a path that would ultimately better prepare him for the work to lay ahead. Well, I was so excited about learning the Scripture, studying the Scripture, that I decided to go to seminary. And I planned to go to Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana.

We went up there, found a place to live. I had been accepted. And so that was where we were going to go until a professor named Doug McIntosh asked me one day, had I ever considered Dallas Theological Seminary? And I hadn't.

I thought it was going to be too difficult to get into there. And even though I had studied from many of the professors of DTS in some of my courses in college. So he said, if I pay your application fee, would you at least apply? And, you know, I did apply. I didn't expect to receive anything because it was late in my year of graduation. So it would have been too late to be accepted.

But when he paid and I applied, they provisionally accepted me. And then in consultation with my wife, it was decided that it would be better for me health-wise as well as community-wise because Winona Lake is a little small community as opposed to Dallas, a big city, urban city, where I could interact more with the reality of issues of the day. And because I was acquainted with so many of the professors there through my study and the reading of the books, we decided to go to Dallas. So in 1972, we got in our green nova and drove from Atlanta to Dallas Theological Seminary to continue our biblical training. Dr. Tony Evans, reflecting on 40 years of God's faithfulness to the ministry of the Urban Alternative.

And he'll be back on the air with us following the conclusion of this special two-week series called Forever Starts Now. This collection of lessons can provide just the kickstart you need if you feel like your life has become stuck and lacking motivation. In these messages, author, speaker, and chaplain Jonathan Evans will equip and encourage you in the areas of understanding God's providence in your life purpose and fulfilling your destiny by applying God's wisdom to day-to-day thoughts and decisions. We'd like to send you all nine full-length messages in this series in instant digital downloads and on CDs as our way of saying thanks for your contribution to help continue this ministry on the air and around the world. And as a special bonus, we'll also include a copy of Jonathan's brand-new book, Your Time is Now, Get What God Has Given You. In it, you'll learn how to finally overcome your fear and procrastination and step up to the big call God has for your life. This is a limited-time offer, so don't delay. Contact us right away at tonyevans.org or call our resource request line at 1-800-800-3222, where one of our team members will be happy to help you.

Again, dial 1-800-800-3222. I'll have that information for you again after part two of today's message and this. Whether you're facing a decision or a dilemma, it's smart to ask, what would Jesus do? But first you have to know what Jesus did and what God has to say about the situations you face. Well, if building your biblical foundation is your goal, the help you need is as close as your computer or mobile device, thanks to the Tony Evans Training Center. It's packed with online courses covering core concepts of the faith and in-depth scripture studies you can work through any time you want at any pace you want. Along the way you'll explore key teachings and learn how to apply them in real-world situations. There's lots of exclusive content from Tony to keep you interested and motivated and an online forum where you can ask questions, get answers, and collaborate with other students.

It's almost like having a seminary on your smartphone. Visit tonyevans.org today and connect with the Tony Evans Training Center, where you can explore the kingdom anytime, anywhere. I was with my son, Camden. If y'all seen my son, Camden, you know, that's my mini-me. He is my strong-willed child.

I have two. I have Kelsey's strong will, but Camden takes the cake. We put a baby gate up when he was about 18 months to keep him from going up the stairs. This boy went to the outside of the stairs and went up because he's determined to do what he wants to do. We're walking down the stairs and I'm holding his hand.

He's only about 20 months. I know he can't get down the stairs by himself, but he's steady yanking his hand away from my hand. And I'm trying to say, boy, stop, stop. You can't go down these stairs by yourself, Camden. And he just, nah, nah, nah.

I don't know what he's saying, but it wasn't nice. So I let him go. We only had one step left. I ain't gonna let my son tumble all the way down. Isn't it nice to know that God won't let you tumble all the way down? Something bad's gonna happen, but he insisted on doing it his own way. And sometimes God will just let you do it. I can't make you believe.

I'll let you learn to believe the hard way. Adam and his wife were naked, and they recognized that they were created for righteousness precisely because of the sin. The problem with Adam and Eve is that they ran to the culture for righteousness. They knew they were covered when they lost their covering. Then they tried to cover themselves to go back to the covering they had, which was God's original intent. That's exactly what we do.

We're just doing it the wrong way. We want to present righteousness. That's why everybody shows such a great face.

That's why everybody dresses well. That's why everybody presents things a certain way, because embedded in you is the image of God, and you were made for righteousness. That's why you defend yourself, even if you're wrong, because you really want to be right. Because you were created for righteousness. But going to the world for righteousness is no different than going to the water to dry off.

Your direction has just contradicted what you were put here for. And the Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. Well, now you know why. Because it was unacceptable dress. But what made God's garments better than the environment's garments? Why was God satisfied by the skins when he wasn't satisfied by the leaves? Well, you know the obvious answers. Well, God made it. They made those. God did the work.

They did the work. We know those answers. We've been in church a long time. But as I thought about the Bible, and I thought about what Genesis 2.17 says, Genesis 2.17 says, Adam, the day you eat from this, you will surely die. Adam lived till he was over 900 years old. You say, well, he died spiritually.

No, no, no, no. The day you eat from this, Adam, you will surely die. Then why he didn't die? It was a promise from God. Ah, the Lord God made garments of skins and clothed them.

Now you've got to discover where God got those skins. You see, in the garden was the first sacrifice. God sacrificed an innocent lamb in the garden.

He took the skins off of the lamb and placed it on Adam and Eve as a constant reminder that the only reason why you live is because that innocent lamb died. The propitiation for your sin has been covered. I am satisfied. And now your clothing shall be a testimony to everyone who comes after you that this is the way you get this done. This is the way you're supposed to dress.

And this is the way that you can stay as a part of the wedding feast. I wonder if there's anybody in here who's living a life of testimony that the only reason why I live is because he died. The only reason why I'm here is because there was an innocent lamb who was slain for me and I'm taking the skins off of him and I'm putting it on him so I am wearing the righteousness of Christ. Why do you think Cain got in trouble?

He brought that bogus sacrifice and he's looking right at the skins of his parents. He's looking at the testimony and choosing to do it in a different way. And as I look at the testimony of the generation who has come before us, how in the world can I choose to do it a different way? I will be clothed in the righteousness of Christ. I will be clothed in the innocent lamb who was slain so that I can move forward and go to the place where God is calling me to go. If there's anybody in here under the sound of my voice that understands that the only reason why you live and the only reason why you're here is because Jesus Christ was the innocent lamb who was slain to give you the opportunity to chase the destiny that you have.

Jonathan Evans will come back in a moment with a final challenge to wrap up today's program. But first, if you'd like to get the full-length version of today's lesson, which includes material we couldn't fit into our program time, visit tonyevans.org for details on the message called, What Do You Have On? Better yet, receive a copy of this lesson when you take advantage of that special double offer I mentioned earlier. Jonathan's complete nine-message audio compilation, Forever Starts Now, and his inspirational new book, Your Time Is Now. They're yours as our gift to you when you make a contribution to help us keep this program on this station each day. This is a limited-time offer, so don't wait. Get the details and make your request today at tonyevans.org. Or give us a call at 1-800-800-3222, where we have team members standing by day and night to help with your resource requests.

Again, that's 1-800-800-3222. Well, Dr. Evans will return to the airwaves on June 22, following completion of this special series, Forever Starts Now. Tomorrow, Jonathan Evans will explain how God can turn any negative situation into something good for us and for those around us.

Right now, though, he's back to close out today's message with this final thought. Are you clothed in the righteousness of Christ? Isaiah 61, 10 says, I will rejoice in the Lord, because he has clothed me with garments of salvation, and he has given me a robe of righteousness. Revelation 19, 8 says, her garments were like fine linen, and the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

My question is simple. God clothed Adam and his wife with garments of skins. God provided the provision. He took the skins and gave it to them as a testimony. Is your life a testimony? Are people looking at you and saying, oh, yeah, the only reason why they live is because Jesus Christ died? The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by the Urban Alternative and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-07 15:02:00 / 2023-11-07 15:11:46 / 10

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