Summary: The Apostle Paul painted a picture for me with his words and I hope to paint the same picture for you today. I got the picture of sewing together the clothing of Christ. He says to ’clothe ourselves’ with different elements that follow the pattern of Ch
What are You Wearing?
The Bible is filled with Word pictures that explain to us spiritual truths. There are obvious word pictures that the author intends us to see and then perhaps there are others that we may see as we read. A great example of a word picture that the author uses is Paul’s picture of jars of clay in 2 Corinthians chapter 4. Paul talks about the great light of the Gospel as a treasure that is carried by us... jars of clay that are easily broken. He is trying to explain that the greatness of the Gospel does not come from us, but from God.
One of the most effective things a speaker [or writer] can do is to paint a picture in the mind of the listener. It’s been said that “ a picture is worth a thousand words.” A good word picture can make more of an impact and have more of a lasting effect on the audience than thousands of words...
A word picture can be created in a single sentence: “My Uncle Bob looks and walks like Frankenstein, ” “It was hailing the size of golf balls,” “When he accidentally touched the hot stove, it left a mark on his hand that looked like a cattle brand.” You can see how these readily cause pictures in your mind.
When I read the passage that we will look at today, I got a specific picture in my mind. The Apostle Paul painted a picture for me with his words and I hope to paint the same picture for you today. I got the picture of sewing together the clothing of Christ. He says to ’clothe ourselves’ with different elements that follow the pattern of Christ that are all bound together by love.
READ COLOSSIANS 3:12-14
The Apostle Paul tells us that because we ar the chosen people of God, that we ought to dress a certain way. He is not talking about outward clothing, but is speaking about the dressings of our hearts and our spirits. What does your heart look like? What does your spirit look like? He says to ’clothe ourselves’ with different elements that follow the pattern of Christ that are all bound together by love.
I. THE ELEMENTS OF THE CLOTHING (VERSE 12)
A. The first element that Paul commands us to clothe ourselves with is compassion. We’ll call it the “collar of compassion” since we are speaking about sewing and clothing. What is compassion? The 9th Chapter of Matthew gives us a great picture of compassion:
Compassion is Jesus healing the paralytic lying on a mat (Matthew 9:1-2).
Compassion is Jesus eating with tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 9:9-13).
Compassion is Jesus healing the woman who touched His cloak (Matthew 9:20-22).
Compassion is Jesus rasing a dead girl back to life (Matthew 9:23-26).
Compassion is Jesus healing the blind (Matthew 9:27-31).
Compassion is the attitude of Jesus all through His ministry on this earth (Matthew 9:36).
Compassion is all of these things. Did any of these people deserve the healing that they received? No. Their ailments may have been their fault or out of their control, but that does not matter to compassion. Compassion sees and need and seeks to alleviate the pain and suffering that surrounds the need. Compassion is the attitude of the heart that seeks the best for those around them. Compassion is that part of Christ that hangs around our necks that reminds us what our attitude should be.
ILLUSTRATION... -James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited p. 378
A fifteen-year-old boy came bounding into the house and found his mom in bed. He asked if she were sick or something. He was truly concerned. Mom replied that, as a matter of fact, she didn’t feel too well. The son replied, ’Well, don’t worry a bit about dinner. I’ll be happy to carry you down to the stove.’
B. The second element that Paul commands us to clothe ourselves with is kindness. We’ll call it the “cuff of kindness.” Kindness and compassion many times go hand in hand, but not necessarily. I call it the “cuff of kindness” because kindness is love in action. Hands doing good things will most often be described as kind. I ask you a serious question: What good is having a heart for people, being concerned for them, having a loving heart... if you never do anything about it? It comes to nothing... does it not? We have sang the song, “They Will Know We are Christians” several times in the past few weeks. The song echoes the words of Jesus that people will know that people are Christians by love. I would add to that... by the love that we show... which is kindness. Kindness is love in action. Kindness is that part of Christ that directs our hands that reminds us what our love should do.