Summary: According to Colossians, the result of being in Christ, and having Christ in you, is not only a tremendous difference in your mind and heart, but also home and work.
If somebody runs up to you on the street this next week and asks, “What’s the main thought in the book of Colossians,” I hope you will quickly tell them, “That in all things, He might have the preeminence!”
In chapter one, we see that the way to be fully pleasing to the Lord is to make sure He has the preeminence in all the things of our life. In chapter two, we find that God has hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in Christ, and that in Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead, bodily. In the first seventeen verses of chapter three, we see some specific changes that are to be evidenced in our life, because we have been raised with Him.
Chapter 3 begins what we would call the “practical section” of the book of Colossians. Not that we cannot make practical application of the first two chapters, but these last two chapters are obviously designed to be the practical application of the first two.
What we see in this text, today, is that who God is and what He has done, not only makes a tremendous difference in your mind and heart, but it makes a tremendous difference in your home and work. But remember, everything that is said here is based on the first line of chapter 3, verse 1, “If then you were raised with Christ...”
Husbands and wives, v18-19
In my first pastorate, I was teaching through the book of Ephesians on Wednesday nights, and in Ephesians 5:22, there is a verse that is almost identical to verse 18 in this text. I was talking about wives obeying God’s word at this point, and there was a lady sitting near the front, and I could just see her temperature rising. Finally, she couldn’t take it any more, and she just blurted out, “I just don’t believe this is written for today!” I assured her that the Bible is just as update as tomorrow’s newspaper, and then I tried to explain God was not giving instructions to lost people, but to those who had been born again.
The fact is, everything about our life is an act of worship before the Lord, and in order to worship Him, we must be surrendered to Him, realizing that He is the ultimate authority in our life. If you are attempting to worship God, while saying in your heart, “I agree with you about some things, but some things I don’t agree with you about,” you are putting yourself in a position where you cannot possibly worship. Jesus said to the woman at the well, “They that worship God must worship in spirit and truth.” The truth part of that means that we must worship according to His guidelines and not our own. He demands our absolute surrender to His lordship over our lives.
God has placed us in a world that is structured with authorities. He is the ultimate authority, but there are a number of lesser, and more immediate authorities. There are parents, husbands, bosses, and civil laws, just to name a few. The real test for the big stuff is usually in the little stuff. In other words, the manner in which we respond to our immediate authorities, tells the story of our heart, concerning how we really respond to our ultimate authority, who is God. You are never where you need to be with God, when you are not where He tells you to be with the lesser authorities in your life.
Now, all this doesn’t mean that the husband runs rough-shod over his wife, and that she has no say in the matter. Any of us who have been married more than about five minutes know better than that! There are a number of areas where I will quickly yield to my wife’s expertise. She knows more in some areas than I do. The other day, I was about to leave the house for work, and I thought what I had on looked good. She took one look at me and shook her head and said, “That doesn’t match.” I suppose I could’ve said, “I’m the husband in this house, and you need to read your Bible,” but that’s not at all what I did. I asked what color I needed, she told me, and I immediately went and put it on. When it comes to areas of mathematics and grammar, and a whole lot of other academic stuff, her knowledge supercedes mine by a great deal, and I quickly acquiesce to her expertise in these areas.
These verses tell us that when there is a deadlock in the thinking of the husband and wife, in the decision making process, God has placed the final burden upon the husband, but he is to love his wife with a sacrificial love.