Colossians 3:12-17, Because you are chosen of God

"And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.   14And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.  15And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16Let 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.  17And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father." (Colossians 3:12-17)

Introduction

Verse 12 begins with "And so," (NASB) and "Therefore," (NIV).  It is a reminder to us to remember of what came before; and, therefore, it serves as an introduction.  In the previous verses Paul said that you have died with Christ and your life is hidden with Christ in God, that you are to consider yourselves dead to sin, that you are to put aside abusive things, and that you are to "put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him . . . " 3:10.

This means that the old 'self' has been put off or put away--the old self with its passions and desires, its wants and its needs, its pride and self-centeredness.

It has been put off because you have died with Christ and because you are born again and because the Holy Lord has made you His.

And, as a Christian, your proper response to God is to live as He wants you to live.

Because you have taken Christ into your hearts, you need to behave as though that were true.

Additionally, you have been chosen of God.

There is sometimes a great deal of debate in churches, Christian radio, and books on the doctrine of predestination.  This doctrine states that from all eternity God predestined who would be saved.  This sermon is not for clarifying that issue.

But, the text says that we have been chosen.  This is stated elsewhere in the Bible:

  • 2 Thess. 2:13, "But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth."
  • 1 Tim. 5:21,"I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality."
  • 2 Tim. 2:10, "For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory."

Your life is to be a thankful response to God choosing you for sanctification and salvation.  That response takes many forms.

  1. V. 12, Because you are chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving each other as Jesus has forgiven you.
    1. God has chosen you.
      1. To be chosen of God means that from the foundations of the world God has elected you to salvation.  You are eternally secure in His choice; God does not change His mind, nor does He make mistakes.
      2. And because of His choosing you, there are certain benefits which are yours.
        1. You are made holy by the blood of His Son, Jesus.
        2. You are set apart for the Lord and His holy work.
        3. You are loved by God and cared for.
    2. Vv. 12 and 13, As a loving response to God's choosing, you are to
      1. Put on a heart of . . .
        1. Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
        2. This list is not exhaustive, but it is representative of those virtues that speak of your relationship to others.
          1. God has not called you out of the world to be alone; he has chosen you to exits within the context of a Christian church.
          2. You are not a pebble removed from the beach; you are gathered together with others of the same mind and heart.
          3. "Put on" first occurs in Colossians in chapter 3 verse 10 and then again in verse 14.  In the Greek it is the verb "enduo" which means "to sink into (clothing), to put on, to clothe one's self."  This is important because you are commanded to do this--to put on, to clothe yourself with the new
            self . . .
      2. To bear with one another means to endure, to stand up under, to be tolerant
        of . . .
      3. To forgive means to forgive as Jesus forgave you.  Jesus is the standard of forgiveness.
        1. Jesus taught us to pray, "Father, forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors . . . "
        2. He said to forgive seventy times seven.
        3. Forgiveness is a Christian trait because it is a godly trait.
        4. Forgiveness comes easier from a heart of compassion and kindness.
        5. Forgiveness is truer when humility and gentleness adorn it.
        6. Forgiveness is holy when you forgive in the name of Jesus, the one who has forgiven you.
      4. Forgiveness comes easier when your heart is filled with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
  2. V. 14. Because you are chosen of God, holy and beloved, respond to God's graciousness by putting on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
    1. Love is supreme above all the qualities before mentioned.
      1. Love is the fulfillment of those qualities.
      2. You love because God first loved you.  Love comes from God and filters through you to others.
      3. And you are to put it on.
    2. As forgiveness comes easier from a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, so also, unity comes easier when there is love.
    3. Unity means that within the body of Christ there is harmony.
      1. And this is very important for several reasons.
        1. It glorifies God.
        2. The unbelievers will look upon the Church of Jesus and see how it operates.   They know that if it is of God and its people are of God, then it will be godly.
          1. Strife, separation, disagreement is ungodly.
          2. Sacrifice, humility, enduring, forgiving, and loving: these things are godly.
        3. It helps you to further the work of God for which the church of Christ has been called.
    4. Earlier in chapter 2, verse 8, Paul urges you to not be taken captive by philosophy, the traditions of men, or the elementary principles of the world.
      1. It is not knowledge or philosophy (2:8) that truly unites God's people--it's His love.
      2. Your love for Him and toward others, your forgiveness, and your goodness should be your response to His love for you.
  3. V. 15 Because you are chosen of God, holy and beloved, again your response should be to let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.
    1. Where before there was a storm in your soul, now there is peace.  As Christ commanded the sea, "Peace, be still!" and it was; so also, the peace of Christ will calm your soul.
      1. Peace is a blessing.  It is contentment.  It is a rest in assurance and trust of God--belief that He loves you and is working for your good in your life.
    2. The word "Let" here is not in the original text.  Literally, the translation here is "And the peace of Christ rule in your hearts . . . " But the word "let" is definitely implied, and it was in every translation I checked.
      1. To let something occur is significant.  On one hand, God is active in electing you.  On the other, you are active in letting the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.  You have to want this and to choose this.  It is there because Jesus is there.  The peace of Christ is always with you.  You simply need to allow it to work in your heart.
      2. How do you do this?
        1. By trusting God:
          1. Romans 15:13 says, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (NIV)
        2. By obeying God:
          1. The Bible says in Phil. 4:6-7, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
    3. This peace that God gives will rule in your heart.
      1. The word "Rule" is the word brabeuo; it means "to be an umpire, to decide, determine, to direct, control, rule."
      2. Therefore, the peace of Christ will direct and control your hearts.
      3. This is significant because out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
        1. It is better to answer a person out of a peaceful heart than out of angry one.
        2. It is better to make a decision out of a peaceful heart than out of a worried one.
  4. V. 16 Because you are chosen of God, holy and beloved, let the word of Christ richly dwell within you.
    1. If the word of Christ richly dwells within you, then every thought, word, and deed, will conform to God's will.
    2. If the word of Christ is within you, then it can move upon your heart.  It can correct your thoughts.  It can shape your attitudes, your behaviors, your dealings with others.  It can even shape how you react to difficult situations.
      1. Psalm 119:11, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."
      2. You are to meditate on the word--to make it part of you.
    3. If the word of Christ richly dwells in you, then you are going to bear fruit.  The fruit of the Spirit is "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."
      1. Some of the fruit are already mentioned in verse 12 but also here in verse 16.
        1. The fruit of singing or worship or thankfulness to God.  See what the second half of verse 16 says: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God."
    4. Because you are chosen of God, you are to be thankful.
    5. Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God in a thankful spirit.
      1. Singing with thankfulness is done with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.
      2. This is a natural result and response to the indwelling word of Christ.
      3. It should be a natural response to every Christian who has been chosen and loved of God.
  5. V. 17 Conclusion
    1. "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
    2. "Whatever you do" is very general:
      1. Paul is allowing you to apply this for yourselves.  "Whatever you do" can mean many things from suffering to praising, from giving to taking.
      2. Whatever you do, whether it be to love God or love your neighbor.
      3. Whether it be putting on a heart of compassion and kindness and love or forgiving your brother and sister in Christ.
      4. Let the word of Jesus richly dwell within you, do so in the name of Jesus.  The name that means everything.
    3. Determine in your hearts to respond to God's election by responding to others with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
    4. Determine in your hearts to respond to God's choosing by responding to others with love.
    5. Determine in your hearts to respond to God's love, by letting the peace of Christ rule in your hearts and, therefore, your lives.
    6. Determine in your minds to let the word of Christ richly dwell within you by meditating on it, memorizing it, learning from it.
    7. And all of this, do in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.  Amen.

 

 

 

 
 
CARM ison