Summary: Christian Living
Passage: Colossians 3:12
Title: Five More Things to “Be”
Focus: Christian Living
Introduction: The definition of “be” points to three basic factors: (1) identity, (2) quality and (3) condition of a person or thing.
• First Week: Talked about “being” motivated to be (1) strong (“Steadfast” - 1 Corinthians 15:58a) (2) Steady (“Immovable” – 1 Corinthians 15:58b) and (3) Successful (“Abounding” – 1 Corinthians 15:58c).
• Last Week: Talked about being joyful by (1) participating and (2) proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.
If the goal of the Christian is to be like Christ, then we have some work to do not only in being motivated or joyful but also in being reliable. (Read Colossians 3:12-17)
Introduction to Book: Colosse was an agricultural town located in what we would know as modern day Turkey about 110 miles away from Ephesus. Some Christians in Colosse were passing judgment on others for not participating in Jewish food/drink restrictions (2:16) or observing OT festival (2:16, 2:23) leading to mutual offense for both Jewish and Gentile Christians. Paul therefore writes to the people for three reasons…
• Confirm the faith (belief that Jesus has come) of the Colossians (2:4-5)
• Watch out (guard and protect) the “new” Christians (2:8)
• Warn against doing what was not right (2:16,18)
Paul knew oppression was always at the forefront but in order fro the NT church to grow the people must not only be reliable to Christ but also each other keeping Christ as the head, standing on guard, teaching with joy, and living “above reproach”. He gives five more tings to “be”…
#1: Be Compassionate
• Explanation: Compassion means to “tender sympathy of heartfelt compassion”. A compassionate heart is a touching expression. Paul used the word to address the Church in Philippi…
o “His love comforts you. You have fellowship with the Spirit,[a and you have kindness and compassion for one another.” Philippians 2:1
• Compassion is comforting the uncomforted. It’s a fellowship of Christians with tenderness.
• Illustration: Starfish on the shoreline
• Application: A compassionate heart seeks out the unity no matter how easy or difficult the person, place or situation!
#2: Be Kind
• Explanation: Kindness is (1) love in action (2 Corinthians 6:6 “showing ourselves to be God’s servants.”) and (2) action from God’s chosen people to others (Colossians 3:12 “You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must…”).
• Illustration: Mother asked her six-year-old what loving-kindness meant. "Well," he said, "when I ask you for a piece of bread and butter and you give it to me, that's kindness, but when you put jam on it, that's loving-kindness."
• Application: Kindness is acting on the needs of those around us. We must look for and seek out ways in which we can show the love of Christ.
#3: Be Humble
• Explanation: Humility means a “lowly attitude toward God”. Humility shows dependence on God and respect for other people. Humility is (1) obedience to the Lord (Deuteronomy 8:2 “Remember the whole way that the LORD your God.”) and (2) submission to the Lord (2 Kings 22:19 “Your heart was penitent, and you humbled yourself before the Lord.”)
• Illustration: D.L. Moody said, “Be humble or you stumble.”
o Be obedient and submissive to the ways of the Lord!
#4: Be Gentle
• Explanation: Gentleness here means meek - “a lowly attitude toward others”. The meek have a calm temper of mind. James said, “By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.” (James 3:13)
• Illustration: At their school carnival, our kids won four free goldfish (lucky us!), so out I went Saturday morning to find an aquarium. The first few I priced ranged from $40 to $70. Then I spotted it—right in the aisle: a discarded 10-gallon display tank, complete with gravel and filter—for a mere five bucks. Sold! Of course, it was nasty dirty, but the savings made the two hours of clean-up a breeze. Those four new fish looked great in their new home, at least for the first day. But by Sunday one had died. Too bad, but three remained. Monday morning revealed a second casualty, and by Monday night a third goldfish had gone belly up. We called in an expert, a member of our church who has a 30-gallon tank. It didn’t take him long to discover the problem: I had washed the tank with soap, an absolute no-no. My uninformed efforts had destroyed the very lives I was trying to protect.
o Sometimes in our enthusiasm to clean up our own lives or the lives of others, we unfortunately use “killer soaps”—condemnation, criticism, nagging, fits of temper. We think we’re doing right, but our harsh, self-righteous treatment is more than they can bear.