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Summary: Does the sinlessly perfect church exist? If not, are there some ingredients which make even a very imperfect church the perfect church to be in? Let’s look at Paul’s God-inspired recommendations in Colossians 3:12-17.

Does the perfect church exist? If not, are there some ingredients which make even a very imperfect church a joy to attend? Let’s look at Paul’s God-inspired recommendations in Colossians 3:12-17.

Colossians 3:12 “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” The elect or favorites (eklectoi) are chosen because of their faith. Faith saves but we must also grow in goodness as evidence of faith.

Colossians 3:13 “bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.” Verses 13-14 are the key verses in the whole passage. No church will ever be perfect and so forbearing and forgiving must exist.

Colossians 3:14 “Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” This is the source of forbearing and forgiving, love. We are not unified in our preferences, but love unifies and overcomes all differences. The “perfect” church is not ornate or talent-filled but loving.

Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.” The peace from Christ rules in our hearts, as the kingdom of God rules our lives. Let’s have gratitude for each other, rather than bellyaching ingratitude.

Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” - three types of church music. The word richly dwells in those who know their Bibles.

Colossians 3:17 “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” What are the consequences of our words and deeds? Is our intent in all we say and do, to honor and thank God?

Are Jesus’ commands to go three times when someone sins against us normal everyday practice? Imagine being confronted over every picky infraction, constantly walking nervously on eggshells. It would not be a pleasant church. Going to a brother alone is for major offenses. For everyday offenses, Paul tells us to forbear and forgive.

A sinlessly perfect church does not exist and is not the perfect church for spiritual growth. An im-perfect church helps us learn two aspects of the love of God, forbearing and forgiving. It is God’s Plan and therefore the most Perfect Church for spiritual growth, the place to be.

Colossians 3:12-17

New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

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