As we entered into chapter 3 of Paul’s letter to the Christians at Colossae, we found that the foundational doctrine of the first two chapters are prerequisites. They remind us of our spiritual heritage in heaven that must be put into service while we are here on earth. James, the half-brother of Jesus, said it this way, “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). Our works are not something we do to earn salvation or to earn God’s favor. Our works are something we do because we are saved, and we already have His favor. Continuing in verse 3:12
“And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; Vs. 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Vs. 14 And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”
Let’s not confuse God’s sovereign right to choose (election) with those who are called “chosen of God” in verse twelve. God is sovereign and election is real, but not when it is taught in such a way that it is detrimental to the Cross. Christ did not die on the Cross for some, “He died as a ransom for all” (1 Tim. 2:4-6). Too be sure, there are many who have refused to accept Christ as their Savior. However, they did so by choice not because they did not have a choice. The apostle Peter wrote, “It is not God’s will that any should perish, but for all to come to repentance” (11 Peter 3:9). Who are the chosen? “Whosoever” will receive His Son as Savior are God’s chosen.
Paul continues by instructing us to put on spiritual clothes, clothes that the world knows nothing about. Futher, here is a simple truth: without love, our spiritual clothes simply will not fit. So what do we do when our flesh rises up and refuses to forgive someone who has offended or hurt us? We should do what Jesus instructed us to do, pray a blessing over them. Should we pray a blessing simply to be obedient when we know in our heart that we don’t mean it? Yes, that is exactly what we should do. When we pray in obedience, we open doors for God to work miracles in their lives, but just as importantly, our lives as well. We cannot continue to pray a blessing over others without God changing our hearts towards them. That does not guarantee that a relationship will be restored, but it will allow the cancer of bitterness and un-forgiveness to be removed from us. WARNING!!! A heart laden with un-forgiveness and bitterness is an open door that can allow sickness and disease to attack a believer’s body, even though it is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Vs. 15 “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body and be thankful. Vs. 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.”
Would you like to sign up to allow the perfect peace of God rule in your heart? You can, and Isaiah 26:3 tells us how: “You will keep in perfect peace the mind that is stayed on Thee.” Does that mean that we can’t let anything else into our minds? If we could somehow do that, how do we deal with the everyday issues of life? We do it by allowing the Holy Spirit to have dominion over our minds and speak through our lips. We stop thinking with a carnal mind and begin making decisions with our spiritual mind (Holy Spirit). Paul used the term “dwell” for a reason, for these tents we call our bodies are temporary, but our spirit and soul are eternal. It is a concept of living in such a way that God’s word is greater and more powerful than the wisdom of the world. We need to fill our minds with Christian music and teaching that glorifies our Father and His Son Jesus.
Vs. 17 “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
My wife often uses our home to host bridal parties and baby showers. She always goes the extra mile to make the event as beautiful and meaningful as possible. She and I then bathe the occasion in prayer, giving thanks to the Lord for the opportunity to do something really special for not only the young couples, but their families also. God has never done anything halfway for us, so our thanks to Him is to go the extra mile when we are doing for others.