THE BOOK OF COLOSSIANS
Put on the Virtues of a New Like in Christ
Colossians 3:12-17 SCC 5/6/12
‘And so Chosen of God’ is the divine side of our salvation. We cannot save ourselves but God does so through the provision of His Sons payment for our sin. That salvation we receive identifies us as chosen of God. The outcome is that we are Holy describing sinners who have supernaturally been set apart and separated from the profane, common, unholy world. Saints are in a sense now distinctive "trophies" of God's amazing mercy and grace. Beloved means to love unconditionally and sacrificially as God Himself loves sinful men and the way He loves the Son.
Put on means to put on as a garment meaning to clothe oneself. The imperative calls for immediate, even urgent, effective action. All believers (plural) are to do this now! In other words do not put off putting on! So what are we to promptly and constantly put on:
1. The heart of compassion - "The bowels of mercies" and note both words are plural - not just one act of mercy and we're through for the day! Speak of a tender sensitivity to others. The phrase "I feel it in the pit of my stomach" is a modern parallel. So it refers to that deep, internal caring comparable to the modern expressions of deep feeling such as “broken-hearted” or “gut-wrenching”.
2. Kindness is action that reveals compassion, action that arises out of a sense of sympathy. It can take many different forms---a smile, a kind word, a pat on the shoulder, an invitation to lunch, an offer of help. We are to put on compassion and kindness as we start our day and throughout the day.
3. Humility literally means to think or judge with lowliness and thus speaks of humiliation of mind, lowliness of mind, lowly thinking, the quality of unpretentious behavior, a humble attitude, modesty an unassuming in the estimation of one’s abilities or without arrogance. Humility is the root of all virtue! What is its ultimate source? Pride says, “Man.” Humility says, “God.”
4. Gentleness describes the quality of not being overly impressed by a sense of one’s self-importance. It describes "a wild horse that's been tamed"; a person tamed by the grace of God and His indwelling ongoing ministry of His Spirit in sanctifying us.
5. Patience is literally long-temper (as opposed to "short tempered), a long holding out of the mind before it gives room to action or passion. It describes a state of emotional calm or quietness in the face of provocation, misfortune or unfavorable circumstances.
6. Bearing with one another is used of a holding back or stopping of hostilities; a truce; making allowance for each other's faults or simply stated put up with each other; to be patient with, in sense of enduring possible difficulty; to endure, to hold out in spite of persecution, threats, injury, indifference, or complaints and not retaliate”
7. Forgiveness is the act of violating justice (an eye for an eye) by accepting upon ourselves the hurtful consequences of someone’s action. So if we hope for justice, seek revenge, harbor bitterness, or maintain hatred, we have not forgiven. Specifically, this forgiveness is to be applied toward whatever grievances or complaints we may have against others. How? By forgiving them as the Lord forgave us—that is, graciously, freely, generously.
8. Beyond all these things - Literally "upon all these things” as if love was the "capstone" of this moral edifice, overarching all other Biblical standards of moral/ethical behavior. The idea is that what follows is the chief or best.
Put on - the translators add these words as they continue the metaphor of the putting on of a garment. Love is the outer garment, which has a binding effect upon the others, keeping them in their places. Love is the most important moral quality in the believer’s life, for it is the very glue that produces unity in the church. Believers will never enjoy mutual fellowship through compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, or patience; they will not bear with each other or forgive each other unless they love one another.
Perfect describes the state of completeness, perfection, and complete maturity, full grown or in good working order. ‘Bond of Unity’ This phrase ironically conveys the idea of a prison chain or bond, which is described as leading to Christian maturity. The love produced by Christ constrains, restricts, or forces Christians to love and serve one another. The bond of perfection, i.e., the power which unites and holds together all those graces and virtues which together make up perfection.”
9. AND LET THE PEACE OF CHRIST RULE IN YOUR HEARTS: The peace of Christ, the peace He gives is not only peace we experience when there is no conflict, but gives us a sense of wholeness and well-being, completeness and totality. And ultimately, the peace of Christ is even more, for it is in its essence the very presence of Christ.
Rule in your hearts The Greek word means arbitrate and was frequently used in the sense of rule because a conspicuous part of a ruler’s work was to pronounce decisions in matters open to question. In this context the heart describes the home and the throne of the peace of Christ. Our heart is like our "control center", a good place to have the peace of Christ ruling!
TO WHICH INDEED YOU WERE CALLED IN ONE BODY We are called to one body, and our relationship in that body must be one of harmony and peace. The unity of the body of Christ is a strong reason for peace among the members, and the peace of Christ enables the body to retain its oneness.
10. Keep on becoming thankful means we need to allow this to be our habitual practice. Praise on the lips naturally flows out of peace in one's heart. When there is peace in the heart, there will be praise on the lips.
11. LET THE WORD OF CHRIST Paul exhorts us to let. He won't force His Word upon you. You have to make the volitional choice to allow it entry and not just a crack in the door. Open widely the door to your heart and mind. The false teachers came to Colossae with man-made traditions, religious rules, and human philosophies. They tried to harmonize God’s Word with their teachings, but they could not succeed. God’s Word always magnifies Jesus Christ. It was not the word of false teachers that brought salvation to the Colossians; it was the Word of the truth of the Gospel.
Dwell within means to take up residence, and make one's home in or among. The idea of “be at home,” defines the depth and extent to which faith has become a vital and integral part of our lives. Note also that Paul uses "you" plural, so that he is referring to the body of believers at Colossae, which of course includes individual believers. What is the point? The idea is the Word would not make just a short stay or an occasional visit, but that it would take up residence and be given the run of the house. Christ’s teachings are to “live” in the believer.
There are three outcomes that follow from Christ’s word indwelling us. Each starts the word ‘With’:
A. With all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another: Wisdom is the ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge on how things usually work. Wisdom is a skill for living life with an understanding of how things usually are. Teaching means to provide instruction in a formal or informal setting. Inherent in teaching is the intent to influence understanding of person taught with the aim being to shape will of one taught. Admonishing describes exertion of influence by warning, cautioning, gently reproving, exhorting. It literally means to place in the mind and so to warn or give notice to beforehand especially of danger or evil.
B. With psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, and singing: Psalms describes a set piece of music, sacred ode expressing deliverance and/or praise. A hymn is a song or hymn in honor of God. Whereas a psalm is the story of man's deliverance or a commemoration of mercies received, a hymn is a declaration of how great someone or something is. A hymn is a direct address of praise and glory to God. Spiritual song is sung in praise or honor of someone. Singing means to sing and in NT always of praise to God.
C. With thankfulness in your hearts to God: Thankfulness means thanksgiving, and indicates a grateful spirit. It may also indicate that our singing is from the heart and not just with the lips. It should be noted that the singing is to be "in your hearts," as well as to God.
1. Every dimension of your life must be considered as a significant place of stewardship 17a.
2. Every dimension of our lives must be lived under the authority and approval of Jesus Christ 17b.
3. Every dimension of our lives must be lived with a thankful spirit toward our Father thru His Son 17c.