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The apostle Paul exhorted the church of Colossae to live their lives with a focus on Christ in heaven. They were not to live as people of Colossae, but as sons and daughters of their Father in heaven. As believers in Christ their lives were to demonstrate freedom from the ways of the world. The ways of mankind apart from God are ways of deception, self-seeking, and death. Our ways in Christ are those of sons and daughters of God.
Colossians 3:1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. 5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. 8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
As sons and daughters of God we are to put on Christ. Being born again gives us the ability to see the kingdom of God in our hearts, but putting on Christ empowers us to become all that we are meant to be for the purpose of bringing life to our world. In putting on Christ, we also put off our old man. By embracing the life of God, we put off the death of self. In putting on light, we forsake all darkness. We are being transformed in our hearts and minds by the power of Christ within us. This happens because we daily present our entire lives as holy and acceptable to God in our service to Him as His sons and daughters in our world. We must know that God accepts us and He considers it holy for us to present our lives to live for His glory. As we commit our lives to God in all that we are and do, our thinking is being transformed to become life-givers to our world. There is a metamorphous in our thinking that takes place when we commit our lives to the reality of being children of God who live for His purpose and glory in life. We choose not to conform to the thinking of the world, but to be transformed by the renewing our minds by the power of Christ within us. This is the testimony of being sons and daughters of God as expressions of His family in the earth. As leaders, we must lead the family of God to be the family of God. It is in mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, acceptance, forgiveness and the expressions of love that we demonstrate being children of God.
Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 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. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
The attributes of Christ are things that we must put on. They don’t just happen. They happen when we respond to the presence of God in our lives. It is the power of Christ’s Spirit to our spirit that enables our souls to be motivated in life-giving ways. God doesn’t want us to be religious people. He wants us to be life-giving people. What is the song of our lives? I am not just talking about music that we sing. I am talking about the rhythm of our life. Are we life-giving in our ways? Is our attitude one of life? The word of Christ dwelling in us is more important than any words of personal opinion for personal gain. The way of the world is to live for one’s own opinions and desires, but the way of Christ is to live to bring life to others in the way of God’s love. This is the kind of teaching that should flow from our lives. This is the admonition that we should bring to the world. The psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs of our lives are really about the gracious testimonies of our lives as we are empowered by God’s grace in all things. The sound that comes off of us in our journey in this world is the poetry of God, the confession of who He is, the testimonies of His word, and expressions of His presence. Our song is one of praise to God and the joy of His presence. The sound of God’s Spirit is in everything we do. Our bond of perfection is God’s love working in and through our lives to one another. The word of Christ in us is a greater word than a word of self-righteousness. This is meant to be the motivation of our words and deeds in life. All that we are and do is meant to be done in the name of the Lord Jesus. We do this with thankfulness to God through the life of Christ within us. We don’t lead to train people in Christian ways. We lead to activate the life of Christ in and through us all.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
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