Week 8: Colossians 3:12-17
Faith in Jesus Christ transforms us. We are given new life when we receive Christ Jesus as Lord. Now God calls us to live it out as we continue to walk in him. We don’t try harder to be like Christ so that God will accept us. We try harder to be like Christ because we have already been accepted by God. Paul says we are chosen, holy (set apart for God’s purposes), and loved. In light of that new identity, we take off the old self and put on the new self. It’s like changing into new clothes. We “put on” new behaviors and practices. And we turn ourselves over to be ruled by the peace of Christ. Like a new umpire in our mind, we allow the peace of Christ to make the calls about what is in and out for our lives and the way we relate to others. This ongoing transformation brings everything in our life under the lordship of Jesus. Everything we say, everything we do, all of it takes on new meaning and importance as we let Christ work outward through us. His goal is to put himself on display in our lives. Are you ready for this whole-life makeover?
When you look for new clothes to wear, what features are most important to you?
Getting into the Text:
1. (Colossians 3:12 and 1 Peter 2:9-10) Our behavior flows from our identity. What words are used to describe our identity in these verses? These words had traditionally been applied to the Jewish people. How would these words have made the non-Jewish believers in Colossae feel when they first heard them? Do you think of yourself in these terms?
2. (Colossians 3:12-14) Paul describes the living out of our new life in Christ using the metaphor of putting on new clothes. Here are the items of clothing he lists:
compassionate hearts kindness humility
meekness (gentleness) patience bearing with others
forgiving others love
Which of these do you wear on a regular basis? Which of them have you not gotten out of your spiritual closet recently? Do these “clothes” cause you to blend in or stand out in your home, your workplace, your church, or in the other places where you spend your time? Do they feel appropriate to put on in all of those places?
3. (Colossians 3:15-17) What does it look like for you personally to let the peace of Christ rule in your heart right now? How do we let the word of Christ dwell in us? What does it mean to do everything we do in the name of the Lord Jesus?
1. A repeated theme throughout the New Testament is that forgiving others goes hand in hand with understanding and receiving God’s forgiveness of us. (See also Matthew 6:14-15.) What are you holding on to that you need to forgive and forget?
2. How well are you modeling the peace of Christ and the message of the gospel in the way that you live? Are there ways that God is calling you to change your words and actions to better reflect the truth of who you are in Christ?