Summary: Continuing in my Colossians series, I contrast current "Christian fashion" items with the real clothes that Jesus wants us to wear.
“What clothes are you wearing?”– Colossians 3:12-17
By James Galbraith
First Baptist Church, Port Alberni
November 4, 2007
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 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. 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.
(Use PowerPoint of “Christian fashion items” to make following points)
There are two ways I can use fashion to show people that I love Jesus…
(work through pictures, with commentary)
OR, as a Christian,
chosen - God was looking for me long before I was looking for him
holy - set apart for God, made holy by the love and presence
of the Holy Lord Jesus Christ
dearly loved - the love of Christ that led him to give himself for us
continues to hold true for us today and will hold for all times
I can wear my faith in such a way that people see it and are attracted to it, as Paul teaches us in the rest of this passage…
1. Clothe yourselves with…
This idea of clothing ourselves with these good virtues and actions is a complement, a completion of the “taking off” symbolism that we see in the previous passage.
Paul had told us to “Take off” and “rid yourselves” of the sinful habits and nature that plague us, and as children of God we can do that when we place our faith in his son Jesus Christ.
But he also knows that once something is removed something else must take it’s place, or a vacuum is created that will be filled one way or another.
So we are given this list of good things to take the place of the rags we were wearing before we gave our lives to Jesus.
And just as we can be rid of the bad through Jesus, we can only really cloth ourselves with the good through his love and action as well.
compassion - a care for others that extends into action
- not pity, which is just “ah, that’s too bad” sentiment
- love in action
kindness - simply doing something beneficial for someone,
without analyzing whether help is needed or not
- opening a door, giving a hug, spending time instead of money
humility - not needing to show oneself off!
- living in such a way that the needs of others take precedent in my life
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,
but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
Gentleness- an approach to people that cares for the ultimate need of those involved, wants the best for others, that removes selfish intentions
- a quiet yet firm resolve to treat people the right way
patience - self restraint, a slow and steady approach in the face of provocation
- trust rather than need for immediate resolution
- long term gain over short term gratification
forgiveness- our faith is based on the forgiveness we receive from Christ, so we need, we must extend forgiveness to others!
I think that far too often we look for apologies from this person or that,
sometimes for some real trivial things,
and sometimes for very legitimate concerns
but we are the forgiven, we need to forgive as well!
Sometimes a situation arises when we want to extend forgiveness but the other does not want it,
and then we just have to know in our heart that we are ready,
just like Jesus is ready to forgive us, when we come to him and ask.
Love - the glue that holds our “Christian ware” together
Love was what brought Jesus to us, to the cross and back to the Father.
All these others things, kindness, humility, et al,
can be done without love, sort of,
but they come together in a beautiful way when they are rooted in love,
and when they are rooted in the greatest love of all, the love of Christ, they are simply incomparable and unstoppable.
So these are the garments that Christ really wants us to wear.
He doesn’t care one bit if we’re wearing, Levi’s or Alfred Sung,