Summary: Clothing ourselves with God’s virtues


Colossians 3:12-17

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Pastor Brian Matherlee

Col 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Col 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Col 3:14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Col 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

Col 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

How do we clothe ourselves with these virtues?

1. Compassion

a. I’ve never seen a compassionate person who hasn’t known hurt.

b. We must be exposed to the hurts of others.

c. My life has been greatly enriched and changed because of the mission trips I have been on.

i. Africa—the overwhelming sense of poverty and vulnerability to disease that we are rid of or able to cast off through general health or availability of medicine.

ii. Europe—total abandonment of morality in favor of plurality. “Can’t we just all get along?”

iii. Toronto—power of addictions over people.

d. The Prodigal’s father was filled with compassion at the sight of his son who had been beaten up with life.

e. When people come back it’s not the time to say, “I told you so”. They know it. They’ve figured it out. The Prodigal Son came back because he had confidence in some measure of compassion on the part of his father.

2. Kindness

a. The Greek word here combines the ideas of kindness, goodness and graciousness.

b. Consider these Scriptures to gain an understanding of what Paul means:

i. Ephesians 2:7, “in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”

ii. Romans 11:22 (read leading up to it)

iii. Romans 3:12, “There is no one who does good, not even one.”

iv. Romans 2:4, “Do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, not knowing that God’s kindness leads you towards repentance?”

c. We clothe ourselves with kindness by realizing what we ourselves have been forgiven.

3. Humility and Gentleness

a. Commentators suggest these two character traits are closely related and were not thought virtuous in the ancient pagan world.

b. These are not valued today. An individual doesn’t have to be a Hollywood star or wealthy person to display the disregard and disdain for others that these qualities are meant to combat.

c. What would our world look like if these virtues were honored and practiced on a grand scale?

d. Friday, we went to Carowinds. Two women really got into it over where they were sitting under one of the big umbrellas and how the other one’s kids were acting.

e. We clothe ourselves with humility and gentleness this way:

i. Don’t expect that the world revolves around you.

ii. Don’t think you have all the answers

iii. Consider other’s situations

iv. Don’t insist on your “rights” all the time

f. Jesus said of himself, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am humble and gentle in heart.” (Matt. 11:29)

g. Thomas Merton once said, “It is in deep solitude that I find the gentleness with which I can truly love my brothers. The more solitary I am the more affection I have for them… solitude and silence teach me to love my brothers for what they are, not for what they say.”

h. Take time to reflect upon the plight of others and Jesus will teach you to be humble and gentle.

4. Patience

a. A man was walking through a supermarket with a screaming baby in the shopping cart. A woman nearby noticed that time and again the man would calmly say: “Keep calm, Albert. Keep calm, Albert.” Finally, in admiration for the man’s patience as the child continued to wail, the woman walked up to him and said: “Sir, I must commend you for your patience with baby Albert.” To which the man replied, drawing himself up: “Madam, I am Albert!”

b. This one is easy…not easy to develop, but easy to answer.

c. Patience only comes when you deny your hurried pace of life.

d. When you value people over things.

e. When you value relationships over personality quirks.

f. When you value the need over your schedule.

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