Biblical passages make the most sense when understood in their full context. In Colossians, Paul teaches that we have died with Christ and are raised with him to new life. We have a new identity in Christ and, from now on, our life is found not in earthly pursuits, but in him. So, to find life, we must find Christ. And where is Christ? He’s seated next to God the Father. We should be seeking him and focusing on the things above, where he is. How do we do this? How do we live as a new creation? That’s what Colossians chapter three is all about.
- What kind of actions and attitudes give evidence to new life in Christ?
READ THE WORD: COLOSSIANS 3:12-17 (ESV)
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 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. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 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. 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.
- What three things did Paul say are true of the Christian (vs. 12)?
- To find our life in Christ, we first have to put some things to death (vss. 3:5-11). But, we don’t stop there. How did Paul give instruction on what to do next? What are we to put on?
- Forgiveness. Love. Peace. Thankfulness. In what way are these characteristics of true, real life? How do they differ from the world’s perspective of meaningful life?
- Take a moment and clothe yourself, by faith, with each of these Christ-like garments. They will fit you best if you have put off (confessed, repented of) your sin.
RESPOND TO GOD
Life is found by putting off sin and putting on Christ. As we do these things—keep putting off and keep putting on—we are being renewed in his image. This is what is fitting for those who are God’s chosen, holy, and beloved ones. These are the clothes that are appropriate for someone who has been raised with Christ. We put on these attitudes and actions; we live out this new life by faith. We choose daily, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to put off sin and to put on Christ. We spend time in his Word, so that we might be instructed and encouraged and corrected. We choose to be thankful, always. This is our life as a new creation in Christ and for Christ.
- Pray that, above all, you would put on love.