Friday, December 18, 2009

The New Self

Passage for Sunday December 27th.
Colossians 3:12-17 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on (clothe yourselves with) a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; (13) bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. (14) Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. (15) 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 richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (17) Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

The above italics are mine.

Earlier in this chapter Paul told his hearers things they are to "put off."
For example: Colossians 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Colossians 3:8-9 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. (9) Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices

Now he tells us to "put on" or "clothe ourselves." this is important for several reasons.
1. The christian life is not about our best efforts. It is really about God's redeeming work in and through us. Notice the metaphors of Christ working in us: "Put on"; "Let the peace of Christ rule"; "Let the word of Christ richly dwell."
Are there areas of your life that reveal your need to clothe yourself with Christ?

2. The life God has called us to is not about just avoiding certain behaviors. But God is calling us to live our lives in a way that is visibly different from the world. The New Self is stamped with the very image of Christ. All of the things listed here are attributes of Christ Himself. What clothing are you wearing? Have you put on Christ? What do these passages tell us about the local body of Christ?

May God bless us as we dive deeply into His Word. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

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