Summary: The Christian life is to be lived out by believers daily. We are to shine as lights in the present darkness of a sin ridden lost world. Each of us must strive to don the new characteristics and virtues of the practical Christian life daily.
Practical Christian Living
The Christian life is to be lived out by believers daily. We are to shine as lights in the present darkness of a sin ridden lost world. The evidences of the genuineness of a person’s conversion and the reality of that person’s faith should be evidenced in their character and virtue. We need to understand that when a person comes to Christ that person is a new person with a new character that is being developed within them and will be complete when they stand before Christ. But each of us must strive to don the new characteristics and virtues of the practical Christian life daily.
I. The Reality of the New Man
A. Colossians 3:10-11 “…put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.”
B. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
C. When you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are a new creation! You have a new spirit, a new walk, a new life! There may be “old” things in your life that you need to get rid of. You have old habits or addictions that you need to change. But as a new born child of God you have begun to walk a new path. You no longer find satisfaction in the old path.
D. The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. Colossians 3:3 says that the believer’s pre-conversion life is dead and that as verse nine says we are to dismount the old man and his practices..
II. The New Man’s Character – Verse 12
A. Compassion – KJV - bowels of mercy
1. We are to have compassionate hearts
2. It is feeling another's pain
3. A woman rolled an elderly man in a wheelchair into the waiting room at the doctor’s office. As she went to the receptionist's desk, the man sat there, alone and silent. A little boy who was sitting with his mother saw the man who appeared to be sad and slipped off his mother's lap and walked over to the wheelchair. Placing his hand on the man's, he said, "I know how you feel. My mom makes me ride in the stroller, too."
4. 1 John 3:17 “But whoso hath this world's good, and sees his brother have need, and shuts up his bowels of compassion from him, how does the love of God dwell in him?”
5. It is extending mercy to one who has fallen
6. It is a deep feeling that hurts over the concern for others and their needs.
7. Romans 12:10 “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.”
B. Kindness - treating another without harshness.
1. Kindness is action that reveals compassion, action that arises out of a sense of sympathy.
2. Ephesians 4:32 “be kind to one another, tenderhearted”
3. "Kindness is a language that deaf people can hear and that blind people can see." --Chuck Swindoll
4. Kindness is treating another person with respect and honor.
5. A number of years ago a black man was walking along Forty-second Street in New York, from the terminal to the hotel, carrying a heavy suitcase and a heavier valise. Suddenly a hand took hold of the valise and a pleasant voice said, "That's a heavy load, brother. Why don't you let me help? I'm going your way." The black man resisted, but finally allowed the young white man to assist him carrying his burden. For several blocks they chatted like old friends until they reached the hotel. "And that," said Booker T. Washington years afterward, "was the first time I ever saw Theodore Roosevelt." (Edmund Fuller, ed. 2500 Anecdotes for All Occasions. NY: Wings Books, 1970, p. 44)
6. "Kindness is the virtue of a man whose neighbor's good is as dear to him as his own."
7. Job 6:14a “To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend.”
C. Humility – KJV – Humbleness of mind
1. A church realized the importance of humility, so it formed a committee to find the most humble person in the church. Many names were submitted and numerous candidates evaluated. Finally, the committee came to a unanimous decision. They selected a quiet little man who always lived in the background and had never taken credit for anything he had done. They awarded him the "Most Humble" button for his faithful service. However, the next day they had to take it away from him because he pinned it on. (Kent Crockett, Making Today Count for Eternity, Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2001, p. 122)