Summary: Message 16 in our Colossians study continuing an exploration of the kind of "clothes" Christians should wear.
Chico Alliance Church
“More Kingdom Clothes”
On the basis a restored relationship with Christ, Paul calls for us to put away the habits and drives associated with the Old Kingdom and demonstrate attitudes and behavior that identifies us as citizens of the New Kingdom. We will be labeled children of God or children of the world by our attitudes and actions.
Paul continually motivates new behavior based on a new core and new resources in Christ.
From here on through most of the rest of his letter, Paul describes New Kingdom life. What Jesus did, flowed out of who He was! The Father affirmed His deep pleasure in Jesus even before He launched into three years of marvelous ministry. We tend to center our thoughts on the wonderful works of healing, giving, feeding, and teaching. The Father emphatically declared, “This is my dearly loved Son in whom I am well pleased. This declaration too place even before one leper was cleansed or a single drop of water was turned to wine or one demon was sent to the waterless places. The external actions of Jesus flowed from the internal character of Jesus. What we do, must be an overflow of who we are. Being always must precede doing. It is this same well-pleasing Christ who lives in us and whose clothes we are privileged to wear.
Brief Grammar lesson
Verbs are action words.They describe action done by us, for us, to us, or through us.
An action done by me or someone else is “active”
An action done to me is “passive”
An action done on my behalf or to myself is “middle”
An action commanded “imperative”
The action or commanded action also has a time element called tense.
Point in time – describes an action that happened at some point in time.
Perfect describes an action done at a point in time but whose effect continues on.
An echo or footprints or ripples in the water.
Present tense describes a continuous action or panorama.
Imperfect tense describes a repeated action.
Sling off the old. Sink into the new. This is a wardrobe provided by reason of “employment” or citizenship in the New Kingdom. Look again at Paul’s continual motivation for living according
Wear God’s clothes because you have God’s heart.
Sometimes we get the impression from passages such as these that we must somehow come up with the special fabric, learn to sew, come up with the design, tailor the clothes to us and make the clothes. Paul calls us to put on the clothes of God. Clothe yourself in me. Put on Christ.
Sink into deep feelings of compassion
The word used here refers to inward parts, bowels, or loins. The reference is to inward deep feelings and affection. We see this deep inward stirring in Jesus himself. This sweater looks great; put it on! These clothes are tailor made. These clothes are free. These clothes are continually available. These clothes are provided for EVERY Christian.
Many saints have been seen in this fashionable Jesus “coat” of compassion. Because the love of God resides at the core of all kingdom kids, we do not have to make this coat but we must not restrain it or cover it up with a dirty windbreaker. We must be careful not to thwart its manifestation.
But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 1 John 3:17
The word for “close” here has to do with closing off or blocking.
• Used for a closed door or gate.
• Used to describe the heavens shut so that it would not rain.
• Used for the Pharisees shutting people out of the kingdom.
John continues his admonition regarding a person who closes off their feelings for others.
Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We shall know by this that we are of the truth, and shall assure our heart before Him, in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. 1 John 3:18-22
God allows these deep feelings to spur us to respond to the needs of others as He responds to ours. We must not be afraid to feel for others. We are God’s instruments of love and action in this fallen world. Those with the specific gift of mercy will experience greater sensitivity to the hurts of others but here, EVERY specially chosen child of God possesses the capacity and responsibility to feel deeply for people made in the image of our common Creator. To not be moved when faced with the deep needs of people ought to cause us to honestly look at whether God’s love resides at the core or at least look for possible blockage.