Summary: Message 17 in our study of Colossians. This message explores the phrase "beyond all these things up on love.
Chico Alliance Church
“A Worthy Overcoat”
Today we look at one more piece from the wardrobe and then finish off this wardrobe with a glorious overcoat.
Wear Forgiveness (More complete notes available previously)
A heart of forgiveness denies the inclination to extract payment from the debtor and decides to bless instead. This definition comes from a study of the two words translated forgiveness.
One “to send away” (the debt)
Two “to bless, to give grace” (our present passage).
This unnatural (for the flesh) response to offenses is based on a deep, heart felt realization of Christ’s response to my offenses against Him and the vast supernatural resources He provides to respond in the same way to others. Failure to perceive or realize forgiveness results in destructive guilt and inability to forgive others. Failure to practice or reciprocate forgiveness toward others results in bitterness and an inability to properly relate to God and others.
The parable shared in Matthew 18 clearly outlines all of the necessary elements involved in the process both demonstrated by Jesus and required of us. The point of this parable is that when we fail to perceive forgiveness we will struggle to practice forgiveness. When we fail to practice forgiveness, we will fail to perceive forgiveness and struggle against the tormentors of guilt and bitterness. So get out of the imprisoning business and set all the debtors free.
1. Forgiveness Is communicative
2. Forgiveness is Character Based
3. Forgiveness is costly
4. Forgiveness is complete
We must completely release people from repayment.
History cannot be re-lived
A broken vase cannot be replaced
We must give up the demand for repayment.
We must give up the demand for changing history.
We must give up the desire to punish.
We must fully release everyone from our prison.
5. Forgiveness is continual
Open the doors release the prisoners.
Do you fully realize and appreciate your own forgiveness before God?
No debt Nothing to repay Nothing to re-live Nothing to fix. Nothing to block us from restored community with God.
Have you offered that kind of forgiveness to those who have given cause to blame?
Listen to the Holy Spirit’s prompting regarding this piece from the divine wardrobe.
Next Paul says “above all” or “over all”.
Put on or wear LOVE
The action connected to this instruction is the same verb we observed earlier in the passage. Put on, wear, sink into, slip on, manifest. Paul calls for a settled action on the part of the church. Put on, or wear love just as I have commanded you to wear each of the other heart attitudes.
“And beyond all these things love, which is the perfect bond of completeness.”
This is the ultimate. Beyond all the other things this is it. It is the pinacle. It is the supreme outerwear for a kingdom child. It is the very central attribute of God.God is love!
This love is the glue that unites and holds the body together.
The word "put on" is the “middle thing” that serves as a “link,” “joint,” “loop,” or “bond,” and in grammar “conjunction.” Special meanings are “chain,” “cable,” or “halter.” In Plato the term takes on special significance as the mediation or union that overcomes cosmic dualism. Figuratively for Aristotle it refers to “children” as the bond between father and mother. In rhetoric it may be a “connecting word,” and physiologically it is the “joint” or “muscle.”
Love links the body together. It is the ultimate link. There are many other things that bond us, but love is the completing link; the link of completion. The bond of completeness.
It is a complete bond in that when you love you fulfill all the laws governing relationships.
Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 9For this, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET," and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." Romans 13:8-9
For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." Galatians 5:14
If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law, according to the Scripture, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF," you are doing well. James 2:8
Books have been written on this subject. Paul longs that we understand how vast is this love of Christ. This love is the very core of God’s nature. This love is the very core of God’s church. They will know we are children of the kingdom by our LOVE for one another.
We must not only properly perceive this love, but also powerfully practice it.
We know that this love is others focused. “God so loved the world that He gave.”