Summary: Let's clothe ourselves with things that never go out of style.


Text: Col. 3:12-17


1. Illustration: Fashion is made to become unfashionable.

2. Fashion is kind of like the weather in Ohio; if you don't like stick around a few minuets it will change!

3. Recently Tina and I were having a conversation with our Network Pastor John Wooten. I made the comment that I have lost so much weight that even the things I wore in college are too big for me now. Pastor Wooten responded, "Mark, that's probably not a bad thing!"

4. Perhaps with all of the constant changes in fashion we should clothe ourselves in things that don't change. Like...

A. Put On Mercy

B. Put On Love

C. Put On Christ

5. Let's stand together this morning, our of respect for the Word of God, as we read Col. 3:12-17.

Proposition: Let's clothe ourselves with things that never go out of style.

Transition: One thing that never goes out of style is mercy.

I. Put On Mercy (12-13).

A. Tenderhearted Mercy

1. There's a funny thing about clothing; people judge you by your clothing.

A. If a man is wearing a suit and tie, especially in Mount Gilead, he's either a lawyer, judge or a doctor.

B. If we see someone dressed in worn out sweat pants and a dirty, holey t-shirt they're a slob or don't care a lot about their appearance (or they're a Wal-Mart shopper)!

C. So people judge us, right or wrong, by the clothes we wear.

2. So it shouldn't come to us as a surprise that Paul talks about aspects of our faith and character like a suit of clothes.

3. In v. 12, Paul continues his treatment of Christian character as a wardrobe, but he also reminds us of who we are. He says, "Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience."

A. First, Paul reminds us that we are God's special people, and he has chosen us to be His "holy people."

B. Chosen: Is a combination word from "out of," and "to pick, or gather." This word designates someone picked out of a crowd for special service or privileges (NSFLSB, 1647).

C. Jesus chose us to be his holy, set apart, people. As the men and women of his new creation his desire for us is to reflect his character.

D. Paul, here gives us five characteristics of God's character that he want us to display in our lives.

E. The first of these character traits is "tenderhearted mercy." This is the reaction that Jesus had towards those in need.

F. Mark 6:34 (NLT2)

34 Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

G. Jesus cared about people, and if we are going to be His people and reflect his character then we need to care about people too.

H. The next attribute of God Paul talks about is kindness, which is listed as one of the aspects of the Fruit of The Spirit in Gal. 5:22.

I. Kindness: This word describes the ability to act for the welfare of those taxing your patience (NSFLSB, 1528).

J. Did you hear that? That means those people who are driving you crazy and you just want to choke the living daylights out of, we have to be nice to them!

K. Jesus taught his disciples to be kind, because God is "kind to the ungrateful and ungenerous," and those who act like him in this way "will be sons of the Most High."

L. The next Godlike quality Paul describes is humility.

M. Humility: Unselfish concern for the welfare of others (NSFLSB, 1421).

N. This actually was not looked upon as a virtue in the ancient world; the word literally meant back then as "mean-spiritedness."

O. However, the Christian faith gave this word a whole new meaning, and in fact, Jesus himself was "gentle and humble in heart."

P. The next Christ-like attribute is that of gentleness, also listed as part of the Fruit of the Spirit in Gal. 5:23, this quality is also known as meekness.

Q. In the OT Moses was seen as gentle because when faced with criticism he did not give into rage but instead prayed for God to be merciful to his offenders.

R. Yet another aspect of the Fruit of the Spirit listed here is patience.

S. Patience: This word describes someone with the power to exercise revenge but instead exercises restraint (NSFLSB, 1618).

T. Like compassion and kindness, patience is something that should be displayed in the lives of disciples of Jesus.

U. In the NT God shows patience not only towards his followers but also towards the unrepentant.

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