Summary: On the same team, following the same leader, seeking to accomplish the same purpose of making Christ known to the world, we must know where to line up so that we remained focused on the right thing... our focus is to shine forth His virtue in our lives!
Date Written: Oct 10, 2014
Date Preached: Oct 12, 2014
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: We Serve the SAME God
Sermon Title: We Serve the SAME Virtue!
Sermon Text: Colossians 3:18-21 [ESV]
The beginning of our message today actually starts at the ending of our message from last week. Do you remember what we spoke about last week… I spoke about how we all had the same focus!
How we were all called on the same team and had the same coach leading us and he was calling us to the same purpose and for us to accomplish that purpose we had to know what our focus was… we had to know our position… we had to know where to line up…
Knowing our focus in Christ… KNOWING where we ‘line up’ as Christians reveals Christ to the world. Paul gives us three very good examples of this in v18-21 to end this chapter.
The examples Paul give here are examples of a believer’s FOCUS on obedience and virtue! Virtue is defined as conformity to a standard of what is right. Paul described that standard in us in v17 when he says, “…whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
This means all of our actions and what we say must shine forth the ‘virtue’ of Christ! In other words, our actions should relate to the world around us OUR conformity to HIS calling… Our conformity to HIS righteousness!
This calling extends to ALL of who we are in this life… Paul gives us 3 examples of how we must reveal the VIRTUE of Christ, beginning at the most basic level… the family…first Paul says
We must show Virtue in our family – Husband/Wife (v18-19)
18Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
The word ‘submit’ here is a word that engenders fear and confusion about what God is saying here… this phrase by Paul has often been misconstrued and twisted by BOTH the world and the church…
The WORLD points to this phrase and says that Christianity promotes a hatred of women by saying that they are 2nd class and must be under the ‘rule’ of a husband…
The CHURCH furthers that distortion by some preachers preaching that because Eve was the one in the Garden who was deceived that she was cursed to be UNDER the husband…
Now, while the curse for humanity does stem from the Garden, I want us ALL to be clear here that the curse covered both Adam & Eve… for they were BOTH deceived and BOTH disobeyed and BOTH sinned and fell from innocence! So when we attempt to make women the ‘bad’ guy in this situation we are distorting the truth…
Paul is not writing here that women are somehow supposed to lower themselves or surrender themselves to their husbands… not in that sense. What Paul is saying here is that the women or the wife is to surrender and subject herself to Christ… and His order!
What Paul is saying here to wives is to remember FIRST who you are in Christ… remember WHO you serve in Christ. When you know WHO you are in Christ you can emulate Him in your life. Paul is reminding the wives in this verse to shine forth their relationship in Christ by submitting to Christ in their position in the maritial relationship.
“submit yourselves… as it is fitting to the Lord” is what Paul is saying. Paul is NOT elevating the husband to a position of ruler within the family. God has placed the husband as the head of house, but it is evident THROUGHOUT God’s plan that the husband and the wife were to become ONE… not 2 with one to rule over the other!
So let’s understand just what Paul is saying here… he is calling the wife to emulate the righteousness and virtue of Christ in her relationship with her husband.
Understanding that Christ was obedient to the Father’s calling as He was willing to step OUT of His glory to complete the Father’s plan for redemption. This did not ‘lessen’ who Christ was or is… in fact His actions only elevated His status!
Ladies when you are willing to be obedient to God’ calling for you in your relationship with your husband, it is NOT going to lessen who you are, but rather it will exalt you in the eyes of God thru your obedience to His plan!
Ladies are you willing to live out the virtue of Christ by submitting to Him and His calling on your life? Are you willing to lay aside your will for the will of God?
Paul does not stop with the ladies or the wives, we also see that in v19 Paul directs his attention to the men or the husbands as well…