Summary: An exegetical approach to Colossians 3
Week 1: Colossians 3:1-4 Focused on What’s Above
Week 2: Colossians 3:5-11 Out With the Old Self
Week 3: Colossians 3:12-17 In With the New Self (Part 1)
Week 4: Colossians 3:12-17 In With the New Self (Part 2)
Passage: Colossians 3:12-17
Title: In With the New Self (Part 1)
Focus: Eternal Embracing (Virtues)
Opening Week: To Set and Seek What is Above
1. Seek: The External Action
2. Set: The Internal Action
3. Secure: Safety in Christ
Last Week: Cautions (Material Abandonment)
1. Avoid Immorality (Fornication)
2. Avoid Impurity (Uncleanness)
3. Avoid Worldly Passions (Lust/Excessive Affection)
4. Avoid Evil Desires (Illicit Cravings)
5. Avoid Greed (Covetousness)
Introduction: If the cautions have been laid out, the virtues come after the discipline. We go from old self to new self. Paul says to clothe yourself in virtue, letting Christ’s peace rule their hearts. His Word should dwell in the believer richly, and they should do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.
This is a strong-minded action You have “put on the new self” (v. 10) and should live accordingly to the call with appropriate attributes and attitudes.
Virtue #1: Have Compassionate Hearts (Compassion/Bowels of Mercy)
• Explanation: A “compassionate heart” or the “Bowels literally means a “tender sympathy of heartfelt compassion”. The bowels were regarded as the seat of the more violent passions (think anger and love). The Hebrews however saw the bowels as the seat of the tenderer affections (kindness, benevolence, compassion). This was a matter of our hearts. To have a compassionate heat meant an unusually touching expression. Paul used the word to address the Church in Philippi
o Phil. 2:1 “If there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”
• A Compassionate Heart…
• Encourages (Comforts): Comforting (soft love) or rebuking (tough love). Christian brothers and sisters through the direction of the Holy Spirit.
o This is the call to be united!
• Fellowships: With the Spirit and with others (Tenderness/Compassion).
o If encouragement comes from Christ, then the fellowship is a result of the indwelling of the Spirit.
• Application: Overall outcome of a compassionate heart seeks out the unity no matter how easy or difficult.
Virtue #2: Have Actions of Kindness (Giving/Moral Goodness/Integrity)
o NOTE: The “fruit of the spirit” is singular. Fruit is NOT produced by a believer but by the Holy Spirit WORKING THROUGH (reaction) the believer, who is in vital association (relationship) with Christ (John 15:1-8). Watch what kindness does…
• Kindness Points to the Work of the Spirit: The word “fruit” is singular, indicating that these (nine) qualities constitute a unity, ALL of which should be found in a believer who lives under the control of the Spirit.
• Kindness Points to the Work of Christ: Therefore “fruit” is simply the life of Christ LIVED OUT in a Christian. This is the method whereby Christ is formed in a believer (cf. 2 Cor. 3:18; Phil. 1:21).
• Kindness Points to the Work of God: Kindness in action is just as God demonstrated toward men by sending His Son Jesus.
• Kindness Points to the Work of Redemption of Sin: Since God is kind toward sinners (cf. Rom. 2:4; Eph. 2:7) a Christian should display the same virtue (cf. 2 Cor. 6:6; Col. 3:12).
• Illustration: Story of the lady at Steak and Shake. “How much should I give you?” She told me therefore I gave. Be good tippers in and outside of restaurant.
• Application: We know what it means to be kind. It is not far from our hearts but close to our fingertips. Be aware of those around you. Look for and seek out ways in which you can show the same love of Christ to those both near and far.
Virtue #3: Have Humility (Humbleness of Mind/Modesty/Sense of Littleness)
• Explanation: Humility is “a lowly attitude toward God” or “a deep sense of how little you are”. Humility is a personal quality that’s shows dependence on God and respect for other people. Humbleness…
o Recognizes Personal Sin before the Lord
• Isaiah 6:5 ““Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
o Obeys the Lord
• Deuteronomy 8:2 “Remember the whole way that the LORD your God.”
o Submits to the Lord