It’s week 10 in our study of the Book of Colossians! Welcome back! Last week we had the session we could have called, “What NOT to Wear.” Have y’all ever seen that show on TLC? Stacy London always picks apart the current closet of her client…THEN she gives them a $5000 gift card to buy what will be their new wardrobe. She helps her clients to replace what is ugly, useless and tacky with what is beautiful, useful and tasteful. Today’s session is the “What TO Wear!” portion of Colossians 3. Except, the worth of this new wardrobe far exceeds any monetary value we could assign to it. What we receive as our ‘new self’ has infinite worth!
And when the Lord our God saves us & gives us the Holy Spirit, we have unlimited access to the power to put on a new wardrobe that looks good on us & in us and allows us to show His greatness to the lost and dying world around us. We are saved for purpose…not merely for our lives to look better and be better, but to draw people to the Savior!
Here is the link to this week’s notes and 5 days of homework: Col PN 3.12-17
According to what we learned last week from Colossians 3:1-11…
Because we have been raised with Christ,
our minds are set on things above;
we are hidden with Christ;
we’ve put to death what is earthly;
we are being renewed in the knowledge of Him, and…
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,
- Because we are chosen, holy, and dearly loved, we gladly put on the new self. (Col 3:12)
I want to visit each of the items on Paul’s lists. I think it’s incredibly important that we break this down and not just skip over what we feel we do well. For just a moment, take a deep breath and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you as you read these. Be bold enough to ask for conviction where you lack, and ask Him to fill what is lacking. He is so good like that; He will no resist a child who comes humbly asking for something He passionately wants to give to you.
Compassionate hearts: These are 2 Greek words which together mean, “a heart in which mercy resides; bowels in which compassion resides”
One of the Greek words means: “bowels of mercies.”
Culturally speaking, we don’t give a terrible amount of attention to the word “bowels,” however, we are more inclined to think of our “gut”, aren’t we? “I felt it in my gut” or “I just had a gut feeling about this or that.” Typically, to us, these are most likely situation where we feel a warning or a red flag.
In the 1st century, though, bowels were regarded as the seat of the more violent passions, such as anger and love; but by the Hebrews as the seat of the more tender affections, esp. kindness, benevolence, compassion; hence our heart (tender mercies, affections, etc.). Isn’t that interesting? What today we consider “heart” emotions, they considered “gut” emotions. This is why we find all our English translations using the “heart” aspect of the word instead.
Kindness: According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary it signifies, “not merely goodness as a quality, rather it is goodness in action, goodness expressing itself in deeds; yet not goodness expressing itself in indignation against sin, for it is contrasted with ‘severity’ in Rom 11:22 (which says God is both kind and severe), but in grace and tenderness and compassion.”
Humility: Humility is the opposite of pride. It’s having a humble opinion of oneself, a deep sense of one’s “littleness”, modesty, and lowliness of mind. Humility is living in a way that focuses little on self (either negatively or positively), and focuses on others and the Lord our God. This Greek word is fascinating, it’s a compound of 2 words, one means “diaphragm, parts of the heart, and the mind” the other word means, “not rising far from the ground.”
Pride is puffed up; humility is a person who has gone low. (See Isaiah 6:5 and Revelation 1:17-18)
Meekness: mildness of disposition, gentleness of spirit. This definition makes me think of someone who is easy to get along with and easy to be around. Jesus was like that (Matthew 11:29).
Patience: This 1 word means all these things: patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance, longsuffering, and slowness in avenging wrongs
bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
- Because Jesus forgives, we forgive. (Col 3:13)
Bearing with one another: Fascinating again with the Greek language here, this word is another compound word that means “to hold up, to hold one’s self erect and firm, to sustain, to bear, to endure” – and the second word means, “ONE ANOTHER, RECIPROCALLY, MUTUALLY.”
This is where it is so evident that this life is about walking with brothers and sisters in Christ, side by side, holding one another up, reciprocating the support they are giving you, and mutually enduring whatever may come.
There is a shift in Paul’s writing starting at v.13 after he lists “bearing with one another,” he goes on to say, “and, IF ONE HAS A COMPLAINT AGAINST ANOTHER…
Forgiving each other: It means to bestow favor unconditionally, to do something pleasant or agreeable to someone, to show yourself kind or benevolent or gracious to someone, to pardon, to give freely or bestow, to forgive, graciously to restore one to another. Paul used this word in Colossians 2:13 for Jesus forgiving us of our sins. We, too, should follow His lead and forgive others when they sin against us or disappoint us or ignore us or do anything else where our flesh wants to refuse to do that list above for them…Jesus says to do it, therefore we will humble ourselves and forgive, amen?!
Verse 13 goes on to tell us this exact thing! “AS THE LORD HAS FORGIVEN YOU, SO YOU ALSO MUST FORGIVE.” Period. End of story. If you have something against another, any kind of complaint at all…forgive them. Nope, no buts, just forgive. He suffered and died on a cross to forgive you and I while we were rebelling against Him; we can, by His grace, die to our flesh and forgive another person for whom He also died to set free.
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
- Put on love, because it holds it all together (Col 3:14)
We will see another transition here in Paul’s list of things we are to “Put On” in verse 14. He says, “ABOVE ALL THESE PUT ON LOVE, WHICH BINDS EVERYTHING TOGETHER IN PERFECT HARMONY.”
The NIV says, “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Love: It’s agape love again that Paul uses here; affection, good will, benevolence. We studied it way back in week 1, in day 5 of your homework. In Romans 5:5, it’s the Holy Spirit-given love; it’s God’s kind of love toward us. In Galatians 5:22, it’s a fruit of the Spirit. It’s how, in Matthew 22, we are to love the Lord our God in return, and also love our neighbors as ourselves.
This kind of love is what takes all those awesome, virtuous things we just discussed one-by-one, puts them together and ties them up in the most beautiful bundle of a person who is sold-out to live this life not for himself or herself; but a life poured out as an offering on the nail-scarred feet of a Savior. A Savior Who did not shrink back from what was hard; but He bravely endured the cross scorning its shame, and took His seat at the right hand of the Father, living every single day to intercede for His chosen ones as we walk this Christian life together side-by-side.
Jesus said in John 13:34-35
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.
How we treat one another matters to Him.
How we relate to one another matters to Him.
The support we give one another matters to Him.
And given the fact that He gave it all for us; how then will we not live this way in order to give to Him every single part of our lives. He deserves all glory, all honor, and all praise. What we put on each day will either give Him that…or not. Choose wisely what you wear; you are in the presence of your King. This is how the world will know He came.
I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
Our mandate to take the Gospel into the farthest corners of the Earth really does rest on whether or not we as brothers and sisters in Christ are unified under the banner of Jesus Christ. Do we really love God enough to love our brothers and sister and to put off the old and put on the new, being bonded together in perfect harmony by love?
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.
- Let the Peace of Jesus reign and call the shots in your heart (Col 3:15a)
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].
Peace: of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is; security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous)
Rule: to be an umpire; to decide or determine, to direct or control
Heart: the center of all physical and spiritual life; the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors;
Of the understanding, the faculty and seat of intelligence
Of the will and character;
Of the soul so far as it is affected and stirred in a bad way or good, or of the soul as the seat of sensibilities, affections, emotions, desires, appetites, passions.
Hasting’s Bible Dictionary:
“the heart”, the chief organ of physical life (“for the life of the flesh is in the blood,” Lev 17:11), occupies the most important place in the human system. By an easy transition the word came to stand for man’s entire mental and moral activity, both the rational and the emotional elements. In other words, the heart is used figuratively for the hidden springs of the personal life. The Bible describes human depravity as in the ‘heart’, because sin is a principle which has its seat in the center of man’s inward life, and then ‘defiles’ the whole circuit of his action, Mat 15:19, 20. On the other hand, Scripture regards the heart as the sphere of Divine influence, Rom 2:15; Act 15:9…. The heart, as lying deep within, contains ‘the hidden man,’ 1Pe 3:4, the real man. It represents the true character but conceals it.
So, what this means in a very practical sense for you and I today is this. You and I must let the peace of Christ RULE (direct, determine, umpire, decide, control) in:
your reasoning powers,
and your faith.
That’s big. Are you getting that? If you know Jesus, His peace resides. He is the embodiment of peace and He indwells us. We get to choose if we allow (let) His peace rule in our hearts.
Colossians 3:15b to which indeed you were called in one body.
5. Be Unified as one (Col. 15b)
Paul makes sure that we know his expectation is that the body of Christ be unified. We discussed this in length in week 9 as well as week 6. It’s what we just read from John 17 a moment ago! We were called as individuals by God to work in unison and harmony, easily orchestrated as a team of believers by Christ, our Head.
Colossians 3:15c And be thankful.
6. Be thankful (Col 3:15b)
What is the opposite of being thankful? Unthankfulness, thanklessness, and ingratitude come to mind. And as I thought through this question, it occurred to me that two symptoms of being ungrateful and thankless are: complaining & grumbling. These two things are what stirred the Almighty’s anger in the Old Testament. Paul wants us to be sure that we are choosing gratitude. This is the third time that the concept of gratitude is mentioned in this letter to the church at Colossae, with the fourth and fifth mentions coming up in v.16-17!
Gratitude moves the heart of God! Gratitude changes things!
There is a reason that Paul points out specifically apart from the list of things we are to put on…now Love, now let Peace reign, and Be Thankful! It’s our choice, it’s our decision to operate in these ways. It’s there, the Holy Spirit gives them in Galatians 5:22-26.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
7. Know His Word, share it with wisdom, and make a joyful noise unto the Lord (Col 3:16)
How does the Word of Christ dwell in us richly?
For starters it has to be in us if it is going to dwell richly!
#1 it’s Jesus, The Living Word of God who dwells in us
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; 14 and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace & truth.
#2 the actual words He spoke while He was here
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
1 Timothy 6:3-4
3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing…
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
#3 the Word of God as a whole
Psalm 119:105 (actually, see all of Psalm 119. It’s magnificent!)
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
If those 3 things dwell in us richly, it gives us the solid foundation and platform on which to teach and admonish one another with all wisdom! Without ‘The Word’ in us – we have no wisdom with which to influence anyone.
Teaching & Admonishing:
Admonish: has mainly in view the things that are wrong and call for warning; warn, exhort
Teach: has to do chiefly with the impartation of positive truth; to impart instruction, to instill doctrine into one, to explain
They were to let the Word of Christ dwell richly in them, so that they might be able
(1) to teach and ‘admonish’ one another in all wisdom
(2) to abound in the praises of God.
Singing Psalms: Psalms, striking chords on a musical instrument, a sacred psalm put to music (Shane&Shane music)
Hymns: a song of praise addressed to God, a sacred song
Spiritual Songs: Songs inspired by the Holy Spirit, in praise of God or Christ; ‘spiritual songs’ are songs of which the burden is the things revealed by the Spirit,
be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
The ESV Global Commentary:
Being filled with the Spirit results in joyful praise through singing and making melody, psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. Paul probably has in mind the OT Psalms along with other songs of praise. “Spiritual” points to the influence of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s acts of praise.
What I find totally fascinating is that the Holy Spirit, Who is called our Helper…helps us in our admiration and praise of God. He helps us in everything, and brothers & sisters we NEED His help in everything!
The next time you are struggling to “feel” like praising God, ask the Holy Spirit to help. It’s what He does.
But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.
And something we need to consider is that Paul lists all 3 types of songs as what we are to do together, admonishing and teaching one another, praising our God in one accord! I really strongly believe this is a biblical reason to incorporate psalms, traditional hymns, and brand new Holy Spirit spoken and inspired songs that God is speaking to the church in 2015! We should use all 3 types of songs to glorify God!
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
8. Represent Jesus well in everything. (Col 3:17)
Word: a word uttered by a living voice
Deed: business, employment, that which any one is occupied that which one undertakes to do, enterprise, undertaking any product whatever, any thing accomplished by hand, art, industry, or mind; an act, deed, thing done
Read these three versions of Colossians 3:17, and let the depth of this verse sink into your heart.
And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.
Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.
And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
If you were here with us live for our 7am Tuesday morning bible study, you could have joined with us in singing the first verse and chorus of “It is Well with My Soul,” the old hymn; and it was beautiful. As is so fitting for what we learned a moment ago in v.16, we are now going into our worship time with a song that is a spiritual song blended with an old hymn. Let these words wash over you today as you sing to your God…