Summary: Because God has made us righteous in Christ, He expects us to live righteously or with right behavior. Such behavior is the outward manifestation of the inward transformation, & the only sure proof that such inner transformation has taken place.
Matters of the Heart Series
COLOSSIANS 3: 12-17
“A HEART FULL OF GRACE”
In our text the Bible describes what God expects of the believer in response to what He has done for us by His Amazing Grace. Because God has made us righteous in Christ, He expects us to live righteously or with right behavior. Such behavior is the outward manifestation of the inward transformation, and the only sure proof that such inner transformation has taken place.
The emphasis of this section is on inner motives of the heart. Why should we put off the old deeds and put on the qualities of the new life in Christ? There are motives explained that ought to encourage us to walk in newness of life. For if we receive the grace needed to walk in newness of life or heart, Christ will transform our heart. Three evidences of walking in the new life of Christ are: a Virtuous Heart, a Peaceful Heart, a Grateful Heart.
[Let me give you eight things to be thankful for: Be grateful...
* for automatic dishwashers. They make it possible to get out of the kitchen before the family comes in for their after-dinner snacks.
* for husbands who attack small repair jobs around the house. They usually make them big enough to call in professionals.
* for the bathtub -- the one place the family allows Mom some time to herself.
* for children who put away their things and clean up after themselves. They’re such a joy you hate to see them go home to their own parents.
* for gardening. It’s a relief to deal with dirt outside the house for a change.
* for teenagers. They give parents an opportunity to learn a second language.
*for smoke alarms. They let you know when the turkey’s done.-- Gene Perrett]
This morning, I want us to continue our look at Matters of the Heart. The verses that we are going to examine this morning talk about what it means to have a heart filled with grace [a thankful heart]. They tell us where a heart filled with grace [a thankful heart] comes from, what it can accomplish in us personally, and what it can accomplish for the kingdom of God. As we deal with these verses, ask yourself, “Self, am I controlled by a a heart filled with grace [a thankful heart]?” [If so, have I told anybody about my thankfullness lately?”] By the time that we get done today, I hope that your motivation for having a heart filled with grace [or a thankful heart] will have been increased to the point that you will [make it the predominant pattern in your life] have a virtuous, peaceful & grateful heart.
I. A VIRTUOUS HEART, 12-14.
II. A PEACEFUL HEART, 15.
III. A THANKFUL/GRATEFUL HEART, 16-17.
In verses 8-9 Paul listed six vices (anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language, and lying). Now in contrast to the fallen way of the old man, Christians are to display the virtues of the new man, the born again man. Verse 12 announces what God grace desires to do in your heart. “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;”
Those of us who have come to Christ are chosen by God (ἐκλετός). [Ephesians 1:4 states that “ ” Revelation 13:8 & 17:8 teach us that believers’ names have been written in the Book of Life from before the foundation of the world.] Christians as the chosen of God (2 Tim. 1:9) have the responsibility to live a godly life. God has a plan for each who response to the initiative of His grace. God’s choice did not depend on anything that we have done (Deut. 7:7-8). If God were to save man on the basis of merit, works or heritage, we would all be lost, no one would be saved. Salvation is by unmerited grace through placing your faith in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.
Those chosen of God (Rom. 8:33; Titus 1:1) are holy and beloved in God’s eyes. Hagios (holy) means “set apart,” or “separate,” (“separated to God” Col. 1:2). God chose believers out of the mainstream of mankind and drew them to Himself. We now are different from the world. Just as the marriage ceremony sets apart a man and woman for each other exclusively, so salvation sets the believer apart exclusively for Jesus Christ. It would be a horrible thing if at the end of a wedding the groom ran off with the maid of honor. It is just as horrible if the Christian runs from God to love the world and the flesh. When believers fail to act differently than the world, they violate the very purpose of their calling.