My dear friend and colleague Pastor Ben has taken us through the “put off” or “mortify” section found in Colossians 3.5, 8 & 9 in this post. Those things that we are told to put off are fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil desires, covetousness, anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication and lying. In Eph 4.22, these sins (like any sin) are called deceitful lusts.
Take heed of accounting any sin small, lest at last you account not any sin great. Samuel Annesley
The word deceitful describes something that is misleading; something that cheats you. That is what sin is and that is what sin does, beloved. Sin misleads you, it lies to you, blinds you, and at the end of the day, it robs you. It has been said that sin will take you further than you thought it would and cost you more than you thought. These things that The Holy Spirit tells us to put off is because they are the very things that destroy integrity, reputation, marriages and ministries. They are the very things that are destroying the very moral fiber of our nation.
Beloved, sin is not bad because it is forbidden, sin is forbidden because it is bad. Every single “thou shalt not” in Scripture is God’s way of saying to you and me, do not harm yourself. So much for the “put off” part of our walk, let’s look at what we are called to “put on”….
- Col 3.12-14 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things, put on love which is the bond of perfectness.
Verses 12-14 are one of the divine imperative “put on” sections that we find in the New Testament. It is our responsibility to put these garments of the new man that we are in Christ.
- Ro 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
- Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
This ‘put on” section of Colossians should be read in conjunction with Eph 4.22-32. Please note in verse 12 that before we are exhorted to put on the new garments of the new man that we are in Christ, The Holy Spirit first describes those who are saved as being the elect of God, holy and beloved. What does the word elect mean? Strong’s Concordance tells us that the Greek word eklektos; means to select; by implication, favorite: — chosen, elect. This Greek word is found in the AV 23 times and is translated “elect” 16 times, and “chosen” 7 times; picked out, chosen by God, to obtain salvation through Christ.
No one is converted solely by his own choice, but only in response to Gods effectual, free, uninfluenced, and sovereign grace. In Romans 11.5 & 6 it is made crystal clear that election is always according to the grace of God. The words elect and election are Biblical terms that are rooted in the unconditional love and grace of God towards sinners. These are words that inflame and infuriate many people, but they are Spirit inspired words that are just as much a description of followers of Jesus as are the words bride, sheep, household of faith, body of Christ etc. They are not words that are the exclusive possession of 5-point Calvinists, or hard core Sovereign Baptists or fundamental Presbyterians. They are Spirit inspired Biblical Words beloved that describe each and every person who has repented of their sin and trusted in Jesus Christ.
Though a mystery to the natural man and our finite minds, divine election and human responsibility are both taught in the Bible and are not rivals in God’s economy. Neither are they mysterious truths that are to be debated, for both are true. Do not stand still disputing about election, set to repenting and believing. Cry to God for converting grace. Revealed things belong to you; in these busy yourself. Whatever God’s purposes may be, I am sure His promises are true. Whatever the decrees of heaven may be, I am sure if I repent and believe I shall be saved. Joseph Alleine
The arms of Christ are always open to receive a perishing sinner fleeing to Him for refuge. If there be no way to heaven but one, then fly unto it without delay, never perplexing yourself with the decrees and secrets of God. Anthony Burgess
God does not elect anybody who does not choose to follow Christ. What does it mean to be holy and beloved? In this context, the word holy means that God has divinely separated those who are saved in order that we might be consecrated and devoted unto The Lord Jesus Christ, set apart for The Master’s use. Jesus told the 12, “You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruit.” Practically speaking, being holy is the fruit of living in fellowship with Jesus Christ; and, that holiness is demonstrated within the context of our everyday lives in this world.
What does it mean to be His beloved? Because we are the bride of Christ, it means that we are the objects of His special love and grace. We are beloved because we are married to The One of Whom The Father declared this is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased. This is beautifully typified in the Song of Solomon, I am My beloved’s and My beloved is mine.
Who can truly view the cross of Jesus and not purpose to be conformed into His image? Who would want to deliberately choose to continue in his or her old sinful patterns of living when it is clear that on His cross, Jesus died as well to deliver us from those sinful patterns that we are told here to “put off.” When people truly comprehend the holiness of Jesus, they desire to be holy also as He is holy by putting off the old man and putting on the new man which has been created by Him in righteousness and true holiness. There can never be a true revival within the church or a true extension of the gospel to the lost as long as we send the confusing and unscriptural message of the grace of that makes wages no war against the flesh and makes absolutely no practical difference in the way a “Christian” and non Christian live.
It is most significant to note that every one of the graces listed has to do with personal relationships between man and man. There is no mention of virtues like efficiency or cleverness, not even of diligence or industry–not that these things are unimportant. But the great basic Christian virtues are those that govern human relationships. Christianity is community. It has on its divine side the amazing gift of peace with God and on its human side the triumphant solution of the problem of living together. William Barclay
Once again, what are the things that we are told to put on?
- Col 3.12-14 Bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things, put on love which is the bond of perfectness.
Bowels of mercies. “A heart of compassion” (Revised Version). Jesus, as Son of Man was moved with compassion as He looked out at the multitudes that did not have a relationship with God. They were like sheep without a shepherd. This being moved with compassion, He taught them, and He touched them. It is the opposite of being hard or mean spirited.
Kindness. Gr. Chrestotes; goodness of heart. Translated “gentleness” in Gal 5.22 and “goodness” in Rom 2.4; 11.22. It is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. It describes a person that delights in contributing to the well being of others, by seeking to help supply their needs or alleviate their distresses. Agape is kind…1 Cor 13. It is the opposite of rude, nasty.
Humbleness of mind. (Phil. 2:1ff). Lowly or modest. This is called, the mind of Christ. Humility is a low estimation of self in light of the revelation of the holiness of God. Humility is cultivated by living in the presence of God at all times [Isa 6; Acts 17.28]. It is the opposite of being proud or haughty, high minded, arrogant or assuming.
Meekness. Power under control. Jesus said, Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart. Meekness is not weakness; it is power that is under the control of the Spirit of God. It is the opposite of self willed, stubborn.
Long suffering. This word is literally “long-temper.” This is a godly response in the face of unholy provocation. It is the fruit of the Spirit that enables us to endure wrongs or difficulties for the glory of God. God has been longsuffering towards our rebellious planet now for 2000 years!
As I go down this list, I find that each one of these is a description of Jesus. And Jesus manifested each of these characteristics in the 4 gospels. Because I know that Raymond Viola does not have the capacity to naturally bring forth these kinds of things in my life, I find my heart crying out, Father God, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, help me to be this kind of a man! I want to be like Jesus!
As I go down this list, I see that The Holy Spirit plants me in relationships and places me in circumstances in order that I would lean upon His grace and strength to be a merciful, kind, forgiving, humble, meek, longsuffering, forbearing and loving person. Each one of the qualities mentioned in this passage express themselves in relationships. A significant measure of our Christian life is found simply in how we treat people.
- Col 3.13- Forbearing one another and forgiving one another.
The Greek word here for forgiveness occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It means, fault found, blame, censure; and here denotes occasion of complaint. The idea is, that if another person has given us just occasion of complaint, we are to forgive him. As long as we are in these unredeemed bodies, and as long as there is corruption in our hearts, quarrels will sometimes arise in our homes, in our marriages and in the local church. But it is our duty to forgive one another, imitating the forgiveness that we have received through Jesus Christ. What is the standard of forgiveness? Even as God for Christ’s sake forgave us.
- Ephesians 4.32. How did Jesus forgive you, me, us? (1) freely—he did not hesitate or delay when we asked him; (2) entirely–he pardoned all our offences.
If God were not willing to forgive sin, heaven would be empty. No Christians are so perfect that they will never offend another person, saved or unsaved. It has been said that he must have no friends, that will have a friend with no faults, and consequently they stand in need of forgiveness from each other. What if someone offends me and does not admit that they are wrong or are sorry? If we intend to walk close to Christ and grow in grace, we must forgive them, dear ones. It does no good for the offended person to hold on to the hurt and bitterness that others have done to them. In fact, when we refuse to forgive, that bitterness and hatred will hold us in bondage and torment. Holding on to bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.
How can I know that I have really forgiven someone who has hurt me? It will be evident by a lack of bitterness and resentment towards the offending party, and a willingness to restore the relationship at the slightest evidence of repentance.
Life lived without forgiveness becomes a prison. William Arthur Ward
Remember the parable of Jesus in Matthew 18 about the unforgiving servant and what happened to him. The heaviest load any man carries on his back is a pack of grudges.
- Colossians 3.14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness
Above all these things, love is the bond of perfectness. We see this sentiment expressed in 1Cor 13. The greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13). Bond of perfectness—an upper garment which completes and keeps together the rest, which, without it, would be loose and disconnected. All the Christian graces are bound together in love. Love is meek, longsuffering and kind.
It is worth noting that in 1 John, the truest evidence of being born again is the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by The Holy Ghost, not the gifts of The Spirit. The great commandment, the fruit of The Spirit, the bond that knits our souls together, the only motive for which a person will be rewarded is love! To love God with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength, and one’s neighbor as one’s self, is the perfection that the new covenant requires. Jesus said in John 13.34 that our love for one another is to be ‘even as I have loved you.’
For all who are serving in any area of ministry either inside or outside the walls of this church, If love be the sum and fulfilling of the law, love must be the sum and fulfilling of our ministry. Richard Baxter
- Col 3.15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful
Some transcripts read “the peace of Christ”. This is a peace rooted in the gospel (Romans 5.1). The original word for “rule” signifies to umpire, or to act the part of an umpire, as in the Olympic games. This peace of God is a peace that comes from above (James 3) and is meant to be the “deciding factor” of every temper, affection, thought and decision. The peace of God is to rule in our hearts and rule in our church family. This peace is that divine ingredient that will thus calm down every agitated element of the soul; subdue the tumult of passion, and preserve the mind in healthful action and order.
Note that we are called to this rule of peace. No heart is right with God or in the will of God where the peace of Christ does not rule. However, we know from Jeremiah 17.9 that our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. We must beware of a false peace in the heart. Jonah deliberately disobeyed God, yet he was able to go to sleep in the hold of a ship in a storm! When someone says they have peace about something that contradicts the Word, they are self-deceived. I have a peace about leaving my wife or leaving my husband or working under the table or doing drugs in the privacy of my own house. The peace of God will never contradict the wisdom of the revealed will of God.
Be ye thankful. Thankfulness is the opposite of grumbling. How precious and healthy it is when a spirit of thankfulness exists in either a family or a church. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
- Col 3.16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord
Dwell. Where is God’s Word to dwell? Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee. Ps 119:11 Dwell means to live in or to be at home. Scripture should permeate every aspect of the believers’ life and control every thought, word, and deed.
Richly. In the largest measure, and with the greatest value; so as to fill and govern the whole soul. That is why we place a high priority here at Koinonia Fellowship on prayer and the preaching, teaching and study the Word. Another description given to the Holy Scriptures is that they are the word of Christ, because they have (1) Christ for their author, (2) Christ for their object, and (3) Christ for their end. In the volume of the book it is written of Me to do Thy will, O God.
The Great Commission is not only proclaiming the gospel to the lost, it is making disciples by teaching the Word of God. We study the Scriptures together in order that we might become rich in our understanding and in our knowledge of God. As I have said before, we come here to hear God speak about God, not man speak about man.
In addition to teaching, another way that Scripture dwells in our hearts is in when we are signing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. There is a definite relationship between our knowledge of the Bible and our expression of worship in song. Psalms were, of course, the songs taken from the Old Testament. For centuries, the churches in the English-speaking world sang only metrical versions of the Psalms. Hymns were songs of praise to God written by believers but not taken from the Psalms. Spiritual songs were expressions of Bible truth other than in psalms and hymns. Teaching and admonishing are to be present in the songs that we sing.
The purpose of Worship and Christian music is much more than pleasing the ear. It was not given primarily for enjoyment, but for edification. The ultimate purpose of the gift of music and melodies is that our hearts and minds be fully engaged on the glory, majesty, love and beauty of The Lord. Thus, we are exhorted to sing with grace in our hearts to the Lord. Without grace in the heart, there is no real worship “to God” at all.
Christians are forever engaged in worship wars. Some say that only vocal worship is true worship. Others forbid the use of electric pianos or guitars. I am going to give you the RJV version. Whether with instrument or with voice or with both it is all for naught if the adoration and awe for Jesus Christ is not in the heart.
Compare 3:15–18 with Eph. 5:18–22, and you will see that being filled with the Word produces the same blessings as being filled with the Spirit. To be filled with the Spirit means to be controlled by the Word. Those two realities, The Spirit of God and The Word of God are really one. The Holy Spirit fills the life controlled by His word. This indicates that the filling of the Spirit is not some ecstatic or emotional experience, but a steady controlling of our lives as we walk in obedience to the truth of Gods word. Proverbs 1.23
- Col 3.17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him
What this verse is telling us is that all our thoughts, words and actions, must and ought to be done in keeping with the character of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight O Lord. To speak or do anything in His Name means that
- We do all that we do in the power and strength of Christ
- We do all that we do for the honor and glory of Christ
- We do all that we do after the pattern and example of Christ.
- 1Cor 10.31Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God
When you set yourself to your day’s work or approach any activity in the world, let HOLINESS TO THE LORD and the glory of God be written upon your hearts in all that you do.
How do you intend to apply this section of Scripture to your life beloved? What part of the new garments in Christ do you see The Lord seeking to develop in your life? What people or circumstance is He using to bring this to pass? Is there someone in your life that God is telling you to forbear with or forgive? Remember, these are both verbs….do not delay in acting on it.
How is your peace level these days saints? Is the peace of Christ ruling in your hearts? If there is a lack of peace in your life, why?
How about being thankful? Do you have the attitude of gratitude or are you always grumbling and murmuring about this or that, him or her? Are you doing what you do in The Name of Jesus and for His glory?
Last but not least, let me ask you this. Are you saved? Have you been born again by The Spirit of God? Perhaps you are thinking that if I am the elect of God, then no matter what I do, I will end up in heaven. You do not understand the biblical meaning of election. The doctrine of Election was never meant to destroy man’s responsibility for the state of his own soul. The Bible everywhere addresses men as free-agents, as beings accountable to God, and not as mere logs, and bricks, and stones. It is false to say that it is useless to tell men to cease to do evil, to learn to do well, to repent, to believe, to turn to God, to pray. Everywhere in Scripture it is a leading principle that man can lose his own soul, that if he is lost at last it will be his own fault, and his blood will be on his own head.
The same inspired Bible which reveals this doctrine of Election is the Bible which contains the words, “Why will ye die, O house of Israel?” — “Ye will not come unto Me that ye might have life.” — “This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (Ezek. xviii. 31; John v. 40; iii. 19.) The Bible never says that sinners miss heaven because they are not Elect, but because they “neglect the great salvation,” and because they will not repent and believe. The last judgment will abundantly prove that it is not the want of God’s Election, so much as laziness, the love of sin, unbelief, and unwillingness to come to Christ, which ruins the souls that are lost.
Today is the day of salvation. If you are uncertain or unsure about the state of your soul, contact me. I would love to talk with you…pray with you…