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I could preach an entire sermon series on the teachings from Colossians 3. This is absolutely a chapter to bookmark in your Bible for frequent reading as the text deals with our state-of-mind and our state-of-heart.
The chapter starts with a reminder from Paul:
1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:1&2).
As we focus heavenward, we are told to:
12 … clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity (Colossians 3:12-14).
Today my daughter is traveling to a college function. Before she leaves, I am preparing the car for safe travel. But, I also sat her down with a BIG list of instructions. “Don’t pull over unless it is safe!” “Don’t walk alone at dark on the campus!” “If you break down along the way…” Why did I feel the need to lecture her? BECAUSE I WANT HER SAFE.
In the same way, Paul gives instruction in this chapter. He lectures: Have compassion! Show kindness. Act with humility. Relate to others with gentleness! When it is tough don’t forget to be patient! Forgive! And, above everything else…LOVE!
Why does Paul feel the need to lecture? The power of these elements in our daily lives is massive. Why? Because he knew the end result of PEACE.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace And be thankful. (Colossians 3:15).
So, hear to the words of Colossians 3 and put them into practice today.
John Mark Caton, Ph.d
What did I learn from the passage that I didn’t know before?
What did the passage mean to those first century readers?
What does the passage mean to me?
What verse really stuck out to me?
What changes do I need to make in my life?
What verse gives me comfort or wisdom in my trials and difficulties?
What is God’s will for my life?
Living as Those Made Alive in Christ
3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also 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 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 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.
Instructions for Christian Households
18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21 Fathers,[c] do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.
a. Colossians 3:4 Some manuscripts our
b. Colossians 3:6 Some early manuscripts coming on those who are disobedient
c. Colossians 3:21 Or Parents