Why White?

May 6, 1999
by Bill Russell

Romans 6:18-19 – You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. (NIV)

The other evening, on the way into a prison for a praise and worship time with our brothers, I noticed from a distance that a group of men in prison blue were not marching as I usually see them in the compound. As I came closer I realized that they had just come in from a work party and could not march, but only shuffle. They were not swinging their arms, because their ankles and wrists were in chains.

Upon clearing security and entering the chapel I was introduced to a minister, the speaker for the evening, who was wearing a clerical collar. I suddenly remembered a person who shared with me his theory as to the significance of the clerical collar, based on the apostle Paul's reference to himself as being the bondslave of Christ (Romans 1:1, Galatians 1:10, Titus 1:1). He suggested that the clerical collars that ministers wear are a symbol of their slavery to God. The whiteness of the collar is for their purity to God and Jesus Christ, just as the Church is the cleansed, spotless bride of Christ. Experts may disagree on this point, but his theory has a good application to all of us. Isn't it great that through forgiveness in Jesus Christ we are no longer slaves to sin, but have the whiteness of purity in him!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the blood of Jesus so that we are no longer slaves in the bondage of sin. May the power of the Holy Spirit continually guide us so that we may be white as snow. Amen.

About the author:

Bill Russell <billrussell@rogers.com>
Brampton, Ontario, Canada

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