Clothe Yourself The Chosen People


Colossians 3:12 (New Living Translation)

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Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

Some we are the chosen people

The holy ones with the love of God we must clothe ourselves and be like him in his image with tenderness mercy and grace kindness, humility, gentleness and patience abiding in God’s image of his law in love

What is the message of Colossians 3 12?

12 Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must forgive.


Putting on the Gospel: A Devotion From Colossians 3:12-17

Believing the Gospel means applying it in every area of our life and ministry. In today’s devotion, we will be looking at Colossians 3:12-17 to help us do just that.


Read Colossians 3:12-17

12 Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must forgive. 14 Above all, put on love-the perfect bond of unity. 15 And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful. 16 Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

I attended a denominational meeting a few years back at which the person facilitating a discussion time asked the following question to a group of pastors: “What would you tell someone who approached you asking how to become saved?” The responses in the room were many, but the one that was most prevalent was “The Gospel!” When we as Christians talk about “the Gospel,” we are usually referring to the message of the coming, living, dying, and rising of Jesus Christ, which is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16). However, this message-the good news-has definite implications for all of life.

To be sure, Colossians 3:12-17 is a positive parallel to the negative exhortations of the first half of the chapter. However, it stands alone as a very practical and helpful encouragement for the application of the Gospel to all of life, and therefore to technology ministry as well. Paul has just finished establishing the fact that the community formed by and in Christ is not divided along ethnic, societal, or any other boundary-our identity is in Christ as part of His church. After reminding us that this passage is paralleling the 11 verses which precede it, Paul begins by describing those whom he is addressing as “God’s chosen ones” and “holy and loved.” The significance of this is great. He is not speaking to the unsaved or to those whose desire should be anything less that complete surrender to Christ. They, the church at Colossae, and us, the believing reader today have been the object of God’s great love as evidenced by Christ’s work of salvation.

At this point in verse 12, Paul simply begins describing attributes that are to be fruit of the gospel in our lives as believers. Heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience are to characterize our lives. Notice, however, that building on the idea of putting off the old man and putting on the new man from verses nine and 10, Paul says to “put on” these things. Certainly this requires intention, such as putting on clothing requires a person’s intention. Even further, amidst a context where preparations for church services must happen every week, for the church technical servant, this requires devotion-a true sense that time with God and in His Word must both come before and be the motivation and clothing for all of the technical, pastoral, and creative elements to our jobs.

Verse 13 describes what this will actually look like in real life. The idea of accepting one another is not that we should not keep one another accountable and bear one another’s burdens, but rather that we should love each other in such a way that reflects the love of Christ to the world outside. Specifically, this is tested when conflict arises. In Christian community and in technology ministry, conflict is a reality. Feelings are hurt, pride is offended, and what remains is truly whether we believe we are sinners desperately in need of forgiveness and saving. As Paul writes in the second half of the verse, we are to forgive because we have been forgiven.

In Verse 14 Paul says that we must, as the primary evidence that we are united in Christ, put on love. The number of passages in the New Testament exhorting, encouraging-even commanding us to love one another as part of the Church-is such that it is surely a familiar theme to any believer. However, it is especially helpful here within the “clothing that we put on” context of this passage, as love is expressed as something to cover all that we are and do.

Verses 15 and 16 contain the language of letting. In 15, we are to let the peace of the Messiah, which Paul again relates to our having been called to unity in the church, rule over the condition of our hearts. This is an interesting idea in that the peace of Christ is to be the decisive factor in our relationships with others and in our circumstances in general. In 15 we are to let the Gospel, “the message about the Messiah,” inhabit our lives both individually and corporately as the church. We get the individual sense from what has come before and the corporate sense in what is spelled out after. As the Church, the Gospel is to richly characterize what we do and how we do it, and certainly this applies to our corporate worship services.

Given the personal nature of much of Paul’s language throughout the passage, it seems helpful to remind ourselves that the Gospel has implications for the way we interact with our technology teams, music teams, facilities teams, leadership, and really everyone who is a part of the church. The temptation in the heat of the moment for us tech folks is to be so focused on preventing a distraction or quality lapse in our areas of responsibility, that we forsake Paul’s command to love and to let “the peace of the Messiah” govern our interactions with one another. Surely these previous ideas find a general application in the concept of the Gospel dwelling richly among us.

Additionally, it would seem that there are implications for the structure, content, and feel of our corporate worship times. If the Gospel is to dwell richly among us, how do we facilitate this during these times? Certainly this is not a simple issue, and the issues of contextualization, culture, and overall Church vision are key elements to the discussion. However, one cannot escape the importance of doctrine, the Word of God, and corporate expressions of worship (music explicitly), which are mentioned in this rare and small window into the worship of the very early church.

Verse 17 represents a culmination of the entire chapter and is one of those verses of Scripture that has such broad application that it is well worth taking the time to meditate upon and memorize. Essentially, in all things, we are to give glory to God in the name of Jesus Christ with a spirit of thankfulness for who He is and what He has done.

Application Point 1: The Gospel is more than that which saves; it is also that which changes!

Application Point 2: The Gospel has implications in all of life-in our relationships, our decisions, and the way we lead and serve the church.

Application Point 3: We are to put on the Gospel as we do clothing, through regular and rich times with God and in His Word.

Application Point 4: We are to facilitate the rich dwelling of the Gospel among us as the church both relationally and structurally.

Group Discussion Question 1: What are some ways in which the Gospel dwells richly among us in our Church life?

Group Discussion Question 2: What are some ways in which the Gospel might be made to dwell more richly among us?


What is 3/12 in the Bible?

Matthew 3:12 is the twelfth verse of the third chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. The verse occurs in the section relating the preachings of John the Baptist. In this he uses the imagery of harvesting wheat to describe God’s judgement. › wiki

Matthew 3:12 – Wikipedia

What does it mean to clothe yourself with kindness?

Colossians 3:12-13 speaks about clothing ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. It calls us to bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances we have against one another. To be clothed in something implies you can see it on someone immediately.Aug 12, 2018 › …

Are You Clothed In Kindness

What Does Colossians 3:12 Mean? ►

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;

Colossians 3:12(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

What wonderful truths are shared about the believers position in Christ and our special relationship to our heavenly Father. We discover that at rebirth we not only died with Christ.. but we are raised up into newness of life in Him – and our new-life-in-Christ – our born-again nature, is positioned in Him.

Our old sin nature was severed at the cross and our new life in Him is hidden with Christ in God, to His praise and glory – and one day we will be glorified in Christ – for when Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, then we shall also appear with Him in glory.

What beautiful truths are shared about our new life in Christ, where we discover that we are all members of His body, united together in Him and have been born free from bondage to sin and the curse of the law – each one, with his own distinctive gifts and ministries.. but each looking to Jesus.. the Author and Finisher of our faith.

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What a privilege to know that we are the elect of God and that our new nature is renewed day by day, according to the image of Him who created us – where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free but that Christ is all and in all – and so we are exhorted as those who have been chosen of God and position in Christ to be holy and beloved – set apart for His glory.

As the elect of God we are to be holy for He is holy.. we are to put on a heart of compassion and bring forth the spiritual fruit of kindness, and humility, gentleness and patience – and we are to bear with one another in love, forgiving each other with grace.. just as God in Christ has forgiven us.



Bible Studies in the Book of Colossians

Col 3:12-15 How to clothe yourself -Great clothing choices Part 1

by I Gordon


Last time we looked at verses Colossians 3:5-11 dealing with what to put off. This message is about what to put on. It focuses on the positive practical aspect of our faith in everyday living. Here is the passage that we will be looking at:

Col 3:12-15 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.

Now I was thinking that I’ve been moving pretty slowly through Colossians and maybe I should pick up the pace. Maybe I should put a little spurt on as we approach the finish line. So I approached the preparation of this study with that in mind. No luck. There is simply too much in these verses to quickly gloss over them.

Put on the new man

In the last study we read what is said in verse 10 that we should’put on the new man’. But what is that exactly? Well, what we havehere, in the first couple of verses, a great description of what the new man is and looks like.

Col 3:12-13 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.

The Bible speaks of ‘clothing’ yourself. Thankfully, you have managed to do that well physically this morning. But there is more than cotton and polyester that we are instructed to cloth ourselves with. We are to cloth ourselves spiritually [1] . So when we arise in the morning, as well as putting on socks, shorts, shirts and skirts, we are to cloth ourselves with that which is listed here. Socks and shorts are pretty easy to put on each morning. What about compassion, kindness, gentleness, humility, patience, forgiveness and love? Sometimes you don’t even have to leave bed to have all those positive attributes tested!You’ve got a loud party nearby keeping you awake at night. This sets the neighbors’ dog off who spends a good part of night yapping. As you finally start to drift off in the early morning the kids start fighting while it still dark and the neighbor on the over side of you then decides to getthe motor mower out at first light… As Albert Einstein apparently said, “The problem with the speed of light is that it comes too early in the morning!”And the day hasn’t even begun!Sometimes we enter the new day not feeling overly compassionate, gentle, kind or patient. And that can be before we actually meet… people!What about that person at work that grates and irritates you?

So how does it work? How can these positive virtues be seen in our lives? The ability to do what the Bible commands here is not possible with the fleshly nature we were born with. When we are reading the Bible as a list of commands that we have to obey and we don’t take God into account then we are setting ourselves up for failure.In fact there are 6 words that cannot ever be ignored and govern every other command in the Bible. They are the words of Jesus: ‘Without me you can do nothing.’

Yet the character and attributes mentioned in this verse are essential in our age. Why? Because humanity in general is going in the opposite direction with so much conflict, selfishness, pride and ungratefulness. So if we are ever to display what is true, instead of just talking about what is true, then it is found in the positive Christian characteristics expressed here – kindness, patience, humility, gentleness.D.L Moody rightly said ‘Out of one hundred men, one will read the Bible, the other ninety-nine will read the Christian.” That statement is very true and very sobering!

Isn’t Jesus all of these things?

So how?We are back to that question again! How are these things seen in our life? The good thing about the gospel message is that the one who has given His life not only for you, but also to you, is all of these things. He is compassionate, He is kind. He is humble. He is meek and gentle. He is patient.So let’s start by looking at Him:


Mat 9:35-36 Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. (36) Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.

Luke 7:12-14 now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her. (13) When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep.” (14) And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, “Young man,I say to you, arise!”

Mar 1:40-41 and a leper *came to Jesus, beseeching Him and falling on his knees before Him, and saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” (41) Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.”

And remember that Jesus is no different today. He wants to be this in us.

Kindness :I like kindness. I’m not saying it is any great strength of mine but I like it when I see it. We tend to be kind to those who are kind to us. Jesus often chose those that society had shunned to be the recipient of His kindness. Such was the case with the tax collector Zaccheus, whom society shunned. But Jesus didn’t!

Luke19:5 When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”

Again we see this kindness is Jesus’ attitude towards the Samaritan women (whom Jews didn’t associate with. [2] )

John 4:7-10 therecame a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” (8) For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. (9) Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that you, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) (10) Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

Gentleness/Meekness: Now we are talking Meekness, not weakness! Someone once said, “If all God’s attributes were offered at auction, the last one to be sold would be meekness.” Meekness can be defined as ‘Controlled strength’Remember the cross? The creator of the universe lay upon that cross. And mankind dished out every type of hatred, violence, insult, sarcastic mocking and venom it could think off. How much strength does it take to be insulted and not insult? The world teaches us to ‘give as good as we get.’ It doesn’t take any great character or strength to lash out verbally or physically buttrue meekness was shown that day at Calvary. [3] It stood out so much that a man who was there had to write about it later in his life. That man was Peter. Maybe because he was a bit of a motor mouth – speak first, think later! Or act first (like when he grabbed the sword and chopped off the guards ear!) and think later. That was Peter. But this attribute of Jesus, this meekness and gentleness of Jesus, this controlled strength, was something that amazed Peter. So Peter wrote about it:

1Pe 2:23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

Humility: We could talk about His humility. As someone once said: ‘Many would be scantily clad if clothed in humility.’ But Jesus, the King of Kings, He simply came as a poor carpenter and as the prophet Isaiah said about him over 700 years earlier: ‘ He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.’

Bearing with one another and forgiveness: What about the forgiveness that Jesus showed?
Luke 23:33-34 When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. (34) But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” When one of the thieves, who himself had been earlier mocking Jesus, turned at the last moment and said ‘Lord remember me when you come into your kingdom’ – What did Jesus say? We read that Jesus turned to him and said ‘Too little, too late sinner… You’ll get what’s coming to you!’ Ok, sounds more like us than Jesus. Jesus gave him the greatest promise that a man could ever receive – ‘Today you will be with me in Paradise!’

So, argh, how does this help us?

Now the thing to remember in all of this is that if that was just who Jesus was then, and the Christian life was just you now trying to imitate what He was then, what a sorry lot we all would be! But the gospel is so much better for Christians have the Spirit of God who is all these things. He doesn’t have to try. This is what He is by nature. So our mission is to allow Him to be what He is, in us. That’s why all of these positive attributes are listed as fruit of the Spirit:

Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23) gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Concerning this, Hudson Taylor said “I used to ask God to help me. Then I asked if I might help Him. I ended up by asking Him to do his work through me.”

Bound by love

(14) And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Now if the previous virtues aren’t important enough, what about the next verse?Love is the Bible’s super-duper virtue. It is the super-glue that holds all these other virtues together. It is the belt that holds the garments of the new man in place. Each of the virtues derives from love. So what does the Bible say about love? How important is it? Just listen to these well used, but never worn out, scriptures:

1Co 13:2 ‘if Iknow all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.’
Rom 13:8 owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbour has fulfilled the law.
Mark 12:30-31 ‘and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.’

So… again… how? How do we put this on?

So we come back to our question… How? When life throws up so many curved balls, difficulties, frustrations and irritations – and sometimes before we’ve even left bed, how are we able to put on these things? When we find that in ourselves we are weak or struggle with patience, or humility or forgiveness… How are we to clothe ourselves in these critically important virtues?

Firstly look at how this verse starts: ‘Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves…’ There are few points that Paul gives from this verse onwards concerning the ‘how’:

1. It is derived from God’s love and presence in our life

The first thing to see if that we can never divorce what we are called to be from what God has done for us. We are chosen, holy, and dearly loved. Those are great words. We shall remember these things. God sought you out, reached down, and poured His love upon you. [4] Dr.Harry Ironsides gives an interesting story that I can relate to concerning this:

Dr. Harry Ironsides spoke of a man who gave his testimony, telling how God had sought him and found him, how God had loved him and called him and saved him, delivered him, cleansed him, and healed him — a tremendous testimony to the glory of God. After the meeting, one rather legalistic brother took him aside and said, “You know, I appreciate all that you said about what God did for you, but you didn’t mention anything about your part in it. Salvation is really part us and part God, and you should have mentioned something about your part.” “Oh,” the man said, “I apologize. I’m sorry; I really should have mentioned that. My part was running away, and his part was running after me until he found me.”

If you are a true child of God then God has chosen you and not only that, you are holy and dearly loved. Have you experienced the love of God? Has the love of God been poured out into your life? These attributes, including the ‘all important love’ that we are to clothe ourselves with are really meant to be an outworking of that which He has already poured into our life. We love, the Bible says, because He loved us first. We are simply meant to be passing on to others that which we already have. That’s why the final part of verse 12 says

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Did God bear with you? Was He patient with you? Oh yes… He was VERY patient with you! Did God forgive you? How much? Was it a half-forgiveness He gave you? Does He remind you of your old sins? Does He talk and gossip to others about what you did? Does He say it’s forgiven but not forgotten?No, no, no and argh, no. That’s just our forgiveness to others. So that is Paul’s first point: We are meant to be passing on to others that which we have already received. We are meant to be treating them with the same forgiveness as the Lord forgave us -which, you have to admit, is a radical forgiveness. That’s why it is important to know your own heart and understand how much you have been forgiven.For he who has been forgiven much loves much. [5]

2. Let the peace of Christ rule

So the first point that Paul makes to help us in practically displaying these Godly characteristics is that it is based on what God inputs into our life. The second concerns the peace of Christ:

Col 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.

Let the peace of Christ rule… Now we all know and can relate to what it is like to NOT let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. You know those times when something unexpected comes up and you’re worried and concerned and as you dwell on it more and more you can literally feel the peace being sucked out of you while your pulse quickens and your anxiety levels hit new all-time record highs. Or maybe we should talk about conflicts or disagreements with others and its impact on our peace? They can have you lying in bed reliving the conversations, thinking of clever retorts or put downs well after the fact. And all the while you do so; peace has had to pack his bags and leave, patiently waiting to return when you come to your senses. In these situations we fail to show Christ and His character and fail to put on that which is listed above: love, patience, gentleness, humility, forgiveness… So LET the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. We can block it. We can smother it. We can get in the way or force it out. But we can also LET His peace rule. It is something directed at us to DO!

So what is this ‘peace of Christ’ and was it evident in Jesus? Did Jesus have inner peace?You betcha… in bucket loads! He was completely unflappable! He could sleep in a storm, remain calm when insulted, and be unconcerned when resources grew thin. He could stand before the rulers of the land who gathered to convict and execute Him and His peace would literally leave them worried! You bet He had peace. But listen to this for it important for us. Before He left Jesus said: ‘Peace I leave with you; MY PEACE I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. ( John 14:27 )

So He has given us His peace. It is the peace that we have of knowing we are right with God. It is the peace that we have knowing that God is for us, on our side, and with us in all that we go through in this life. It is the peace that we have knowing where we are going when this life is over. So let that peace rule… Let it reign!

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanks-giving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus!”

And remind others of it to help them maintain their peace. [6] There is another point to consider in this verse. The word “rule” here is interesting. It means to “act as an umpire [7] .” The Amplified Bible states: ‘And let the peace (soul harmony) which comes from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state]

The Bible says that the peace of Christ is to be that umpire in your life. It is to rule when you are unsure or troubled. And we are to be mindful of that which removes this peace. When anger or malice or bitterness seeks to setup its governance in our hearts we should say no – this is not of the Lord and Jesus’ peace is to rule.

3. And be thankful.

The third point to focus on is Paul’s command to be thankful. I won’t say too much about this now as it comes up again in the next verse, but it is still worth mentioning how critical this is. It seems to me that that thankfulness, which comes up so often especially in Paul’s letters, is hugely important in allowing the Holy Spirit to be all that He is in us. But we are a funny people, us humans. We seem to have a natural bent towards moaning and being dissatisfied. And this can quench the Holy Spirit.It seems that whatever level or quality of life we have obtained to quickly becomes the norm so that anything that falls below that gives us something to groan about. Occasionally we’ll be shocked back into reality. We’ll see people really struggling with some major long term health problem or disability and we’ll remember how fortunate we are. We’ll see other countries in chaos with bombs and terror and for a short while we’ll be thankful that we can sleep peacefully in our bed without fear. But that natural bent towards grumbling is persistent and strong in us as it was in the Israelites of old as they made their journey through the wilderness.

So count your blessings. This is not a new message… but an important one. Remind yourself of who Jesus is and what He has done.


So in conclusion, the Bible tells us to put on this clothing, the clothing of the new man: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with and forgiving each other. And bind them together with love. This is practical Christianity. This is what the world needs to see. And, to quote DL Moody again, ‘Out of one hundred men, one will read the Bible, the other ninety-nine will read the Christian.” If people were to read you what would they see? What would your work mates see? Thankfully, as we have seen, this is not just ‘try harder – be good! Be compassionate, be patient. Forgive. Bear with everyone. Come on!’ No… it is extending to others what hopefully you have already experienced and has been poured into your life. It isthe work, character and fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life. But we must play our part in allowing this great salvation to be worked out in our life.

We’ll carry on from here next time because Paul isn’t finished with the practical steps we can take to help enable these things as we shall soon see!

[1] ↩ The Bible uses the metaphor of clothing in both a positive and negative way. On the negative side we read in Isaiah 64:6 that ‘All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags…’

That is our natural fleshly righteousness. It doesn’t say that our wicked deeds are like ‘filthy rags’. It says our righteousness is. So when Paul tells us in Colossians to clothe ourselves with these good things it must be something more than just our own natural attributes and efforts. In the same book of Isaiah however we also read: Isa 61:10 ‘I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.’

[2] ↩ The Bible Knowledge Commentary says ‘The normal prejudices of the day prohibited public conversation between men and women, between Jews and Samaritans, and especially between strangers.’ So Jesus broke all three rules in his kindness to this woman!

[3] ↩ For Christmas I was given a voucher to go horse riding. I loved it. The horses were so responsive. I just had to make a single ‘clicking’ sound with my mouth and the horse would trot. Two ‘clicking’ sounds and he would canter. As an illustration, a horse that is broken in and under the control of its master can be said to be ‘meek’. In no way is it weak. Not even close. They were powerful animals. They maintain all of their strength. But it is now a controlled strength under the reigns of its rider/master. Jesus likewise was meek for He was totally obedient to the control and will of His Father.

[4] ↩ Do I understand the ins and outs of His choosing? No I don’t. But have I experienced it in my own life? Yes I have. In CS Lewis’ Silver Chair, Aslan says to Jill – ‘You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you.’ Though a great mystery, it is the truth. I wasn’t interested in Christianity as a youngster. I didn’t want to know anything about it through the bulk of my teenage years. When I was 16 my grandmother got radically saved in the last few weeks of her life. Mum, very excited, came and told me that Grandma had been saved. She said it was like the shutters being closed and coming down. Nobody home… a closed shop! I didn’t want to know anything about it. Internally I was saying ‘Don’t tell me anything about that. I don’t know anything about that nor do I want to know. I’m closed for business if that’s what you’ve got.’ But when God starting calling me, that was a whole different story. I couldn’t get away. He chose me, He called me, He came after me and He drew me. And I’m thankful that He did! Maybe you can see this in your own life. Often we don’t see it at the time but looking back we see that relentless drawing of God.

[5] ↩ And when you know yourself, it leads to the right attitude towards others. A.W Tozer put it well when he said: A Pharisee is hard on others and easy on himself, but a spiritual man is easy on others and hard on himself.

[6] ↩ A few years back I was really sick for many months and it started to worry me. An older Christian at my Church used to encourage me with simple words like ‘You’ll be ok. God is good. He’ll bring you through.’ They were simple words but ones duly appreciated! You see he had gone through a lot himself and had seen the faithfulness of God so was able to pass what he had learnt onto other in this simple way. We can help others maintain ‘the peace of Christ’ by reminding them of the character of Christ in difficult times.

[7] ↩ I come from a pretty full on sporting background so umpires aren’t anything new. They are actually very important. I remember playing in the final of the tennis club champs one year and normally the club appoints an umpire but this year they said we were to umpire ourselves. My opponent won the first set which was pretty uneventful. Not many contentious calls. I won the next set… but as we went into the third and final set it was getting close and more tense, and there was suddenly quite a few ‘umpires’. I’d call a ball out and he’d say ‘no it hit the line’. We had people around the court starting to say that was out! Or that was in! At one time I had some of the relatives of my opponent yelling out to me ‘you’re’ foot faulting’… It was all getting a bit crazy when the pressure came on! There were lots of voices and lots of voices can make for lots of confusion! In the end the club appointed an umpire to come down and make the rulings so there was just one voice. That helped a lot! So in the same way the peace of Christ is to be our umpire. It is to rule in our hearts telling us whether things are ‘in’ or ‘out’ – ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.

The Believers Bible Commentary also has the following useful advice:
‘ If in anything we are in doubt, we should ask ourselves the questions: ‘Does it make for peace?’ or ‘Would I have peace in my heart if I went ahead and did it?’

This verse is especially helpful when seeking guidance from the Lord. If the Lord really wants you to embark upon a certain course of action, He will most assuredly give you peace about it. If you do not have that peace, then you should not proceed. As has been said: ‘Darkness about going is light about staying.’

Colossians 3:12-14

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir

The Call to Develop Character!

General Idea: God loves you! He chose you to be one of His holy people, so you must clothe yourself in His love and principles. We all must realize that others have faults and show them the grace and forgiveness that Christ has given us. We are to be in unity and filled with gratitude, which will set the tone for our lives, spiritual growth, and our relationship with God and others. This is about what we are to put on and put off in our lives. What are we to put on? Fruit, which is the Holy Spirit working in and through us, so we are oozing with His love. We are to become His masterpiece and showcase of God’s goodness and grace. What is produced? Tender mercies, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness; these are virtues that are sealed and empowered by His love for us, which comes from Christ ruling our hearts and His Word indwelling us. This is not a set of ideas we are being asked to consider. Rather, we are called and “must do” them! What do we get in return? Peace, as Christ dwells in us and uses us in the lives of others through our words, attitudes, and lifestyle.

Contexts and Background:

This passage is paralleled in Ephesians as Paul was sending out similar instructions to other churches too. He sends a call for us to let Christ rule our hearts and actions, our motives and behaviors, and to put our new lives into effectual action. In this way, we will not waste what God has done in/for us or how He wants us to be toward others. These include the obligations and opportunities of living out our ethics and responsibilities that we have regarding God and one another. The image is the taking off of “grave clothes” as Lazarus did, shedding whatever holds us from growing in Him, and whatever prevents maturity and increasing spirituality that is sincere, real, and vibrant. Our vitality and good character should be the influencers in our spheres of impact, infusing those within our reach for Christ as His ambassadors. We are to be wearing His “grace clothes” as a showcase, not the “grave clothes” of sin, apathy, personal agendas, stifle, gossip, anger, or bitterness. Rather, we are to focus on Christ, so He is clear in our hearts and minds, directing our will and our behaviors.

Commentary-Word and Phrase Meanings:

· God’s chosen/the elect of God/chosen/holy. In context, this refers to God’s people in community, who have a special guarantee and favor and who have a special personal and communal relationship with Him, as He had with the Israelites in the Old Testament. The writer puts this as a question of how will we then live in response to our new life together? It is also in the form of a duty, not to receive salvation, but rather for us to respond to what Christ has freely and lovingly given us. Our Divine election means He chose us not by merit or worth, but just because of His pure and perfect purpose and knowledge, which we do not deserve. This is to motivate our “human responsibility.” Election is never an excuse to ignore our faith or responsibility to produce fruit and unity but because we have been chosen and are secure in Christ and we can respond back to Him and others with gratitude. Thus, when the reality of what Christ has done for us hits and motivates us, we can put forth every conceivable effort and passion to live out the Christian life. As Augustine, Calvin, and Spurgeon all said, divine sovereignty and human responsibility go hand in hand. So, why would we not put off what holds us back? Why would we not want to be grateful, grace oriented, forgiving, loving, and virtuous (Deut. 4:37; John 3:16; 6:37, 44, 65; 15:1-16; Rom. 3:21-26; 8:29-33; 9:10-24; 11:4-5; 1 Cor. 1:1:2, 30; Eph. 1:4-5; Phil. 1:6; 2 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 1:8-9; Tit. 3:4; 1 Pet. 1:1-2; 2:9)?

· Holy. God has declared you holy, set apart for Him-the pleasures and wondrous opportunities to be used by Him. We cannot earn nor do we deserve our grace or gifts from Him. Therefore, let us treat others as He has treated us (John 3:16; Rom. 3:21-26; 8:32; 1 Cor. 1:2, 30; Gal. 2:20-21; Col. 1:2; Titus 3:4; 1 John 4:9-19).

· Dearly loved/beloved. God loves you and accepts you more powerfully, passionately, purposefully, and deeply than you could ever fathom! You are secure. God “guarantees” you with a clear, powerful, loving, impacting, and lasting relationship with Him. When you are in Christ, God is pleased with you! You have no need to fear; you are a person of deep value and worth before our Lord! You are forgiven because of Christ and His righteousness that covers you-not because of your deeds or performance. You are unique and complete in Him; and because of this, you are a special person whom God loves and will use to further impact His kingdom (John 6:37, 44, 65;13:1; 15:16; Rom. 5:1-8; Eph. 1:4-5; Phil. 1:6; Col. 1:21-22; 2:10; 1 John 4:9-11)!

· Clothe yourselves/put on. This means to emulate the character of our Lord Jesus Christ on how He acted and reacted as He walked this earth. This is a call to take on the character of Jesus and put it on us. Don’t worry; we do not construct this on our own. He imparts to us the power and ability to do so through His and the Holy Spirit’s work! It is something we do not force to come about; rather, it happens naturally as we learn and grow in Christ. Then, His character envelopes us, wraps around us as we take on the new identity of a person not only saved by grace but empowered and shaped by Him (Gen. 35:2; Rom. 13:14; Gal. 3:27; 5:19-23; Col. 1:15; 2:3; 3:10; 1 Pet. 5:5)!

· Tender mercies/compassion. This is the caring empathy of another person outside of basic selfish nature. It is to recognize, emotionally identify with, and interact with those who are hurting, and helping them by gathering others with the abilities and resources to help them (Job 29:13; Isa. 40:11; Matt. 9:36; 14:14; Mark 1:41; Luke 6:36; 10:25-37; 19:4; Rom. 12:1-2; James 5:11; 1 Peter 3:8).

· Kindness. This Fruit produces a readiness to respond with righteousness and thoughtful consideration beyond how people treat us or how they may or may not deserve it (Matt. 11:29-30; Rom. 2:1-4; 12:9-21; 2 Cor. 6:6; Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:12-14; 1 Tim. 3:4; 1 John 3:16-23).

· Humility. This Fruit brings about the realization that Christ is our all in all and supreme, and we are servants with loving servitude hearts. Our liberty and freedom come from His will directing our path because it is best and most loving for us (1 Kings 8:58; Psalm 25; Mark 10:45; 11:29; Luke 22:27; 2 Cor. 10:1; Gal. 6:1-2; Phil. 2:1-11; Col. 1:18; 2 Tim. 2:25; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:3-5).

· Meekness/gentleness. This indicates strength under control so we are Christians who encourage others and place others first with action and encouragement, not manipulating or deceiving or over-powering them (Psalm 37:11; Matt. 5: 3-5; 11:29; 2 Cor. 10:1; Gal. 5:23; 6:1; 2 Tim. 2:25).

· Patience/longsuffering. This is the willingness to allow for the failings of others while showing tolerance and fortitude to them. It is also waiting without usurping our will or control because we have peace and direction from God. It is allowing God the room and time to work through us to others around us (Hos. 2:19-23; Psalm 33:20; Matthew 27:14; Rom. 2:4; 5:3; 12:12; Gal. 5:1; Eph. 4:2; Col. 1:11; 1 Tim. 1:16; James 1:3-4,12; 5:10-11).

· Bear with/forbearing. Means to “hold up,” as to put up with those who rub you the wrong way; liking the unlikable and loving the unlovable with a good attitude and response.

· Forgive. Because we have been forgiven, we are to forgive others. This is the example of Christ’s work of redemption being practiced by us. If not, we fuel discord and not reconciliation. We must be willing to bear the cost, just as our LORD did. Forgiveness demands a substitution. So, how could we ever back away from forgiving one another? To back away is a bigger insult to our LORD than for the non-Christian to turn his or her back on His Grace-because we know better. Remember, knowledge brings responsibility. Forgiveness is absolutely crucial for any relationship to continue, and essential to resolving any conflict! Remember how much you have been forgiven; do not fail to show that same attitude to others! Remember, God does not treat us the way we tend to treat others (Psalm 103:12; Isaiah 43:25; Matt. 18:23-35; 1 Cor. 13:5; Eph. 4:32-5:2; Col. 1:14; 2:13-14).

· Grievances/quarrel. Do not blame or complain to or about others; take responsibility and exercise your faith. A Christian saved by grace should never hold grudges, as it leads to sin, hurt, fear, and brokenness to others and our selves. If God held grudges against us, we could never be saved! Because of Christ’s redemptive work in us, not obligation, not coercion-but with gratitude, we are to follow His precepts, put them on, and model them to the best of our abilities. It is His love and example empowering us to produce love for others! Fruit and forgiveness are what exemplifies a Christian community and church and what displays God’s love and reconciliation to the world (Col. 1:20-22; 2:14-15; 3:8-9).

· Above all. This is an emphatic expression meaning, “this is priority;” God calls us to godliness, especially with our behaviors and words!

· Love/charity. The word for “love” here is Agape. It was used in Classic Greek literature to refer to someone who was generously favored by a god. It conveys the idea of a person giving all his or her love, or favor, to someone else other than one’s self. It is a love that is not earned; rather, it is relational and given freely. It also refers to parents giving all of their love to their child. In the New Testament, agape love is used to make a similar point, as God gives to each of us all of His love. It is a love that gives without expectations or a response from the other. It takes the initiative, as Christ did with us, and fosters the Fruit of the Spirit and brotherly love. Agape love is also the most common word used both as a noun and a verb in the New Testament. The greatest example of agape love is what our Lord Jesus Christ did when He died for our sins. God showed His love by taking our place and the wrath and punishment for our sins. He paid that price through His sinless life and His sacrifice on our behalf. Consequently, God’s agape love rescued us from the punishment that we deserved. Rather than receiving what we ought to have, we received His favor without earning it (Mark 12:28-31; John 3:16, Matt. 22:34-40; John 13:34-35; Rom. 1:31; 12:10; 1 Cor. 13; 1 Thess. 1:3; 2:8; 3:6; 12; 4:9-10; 5:8; 13; 2 Tim. 3:3).

· Binds them. This is Agape love, the unselfish love that bonds us to God and to one another. This was the main, supreme virtue in Judaism and the foundation for our relationship with God and others. It is the real, impacting, gluing, and synergizing fruit and character that fuels, impacts, and motivates our character and fruit. Without it we can do nothing (John 13:1; 15:13; 1 Cor. 13; 1 John)!

· Perfect unity/bond of perfection. One of the aspects of real, true love is that it is an adhesive to relationships and the effective building up of one another and a church. This is our oneness in Christ as a communal community of believers who come together for something and Someone (Christ) who is bigger than us or our collective unity (Rom. 5:5; Eph. 4:3; Phil. 1:27; 2:2; 1 Thess. 4:9).

Devotional Thoughts and Applications:

We need to see this passage not just as a slap beside our head to get right with God so our behaviors are right, but also as an encouragement that we can do it. Since Christ gave us new life, we have the empowerment, gifts, and abilities, and alongside that, the Spirit’s indwelling to rise up and live for Him. Because Christ is supreme, because He is there molding and guiding us, we can set our purpose and vision of our life in Him and for Him. He is our real life; He is our all in all. We share in His glory, so we can put to death all that holds us back from embracing and living for Christ, and become persons of spiritual maturity who are effective for the Kingdom! We can recognize sin and remove its influence from us.

How is this done? Simply put by Paul in the next verse, by allowing the Word-Christ’s presence-to dwell in us, and learn His instruction, so the peace of Christ will rule in our hearts and minds and translate into our actions. It is all about our spiritual growth impacting us so it impacts others positively and in love. The key is to know that Christ is sufficient, so we can trust in Him-and in Him alone! Our faith is by facts that are tangible, impacting what is intangible. Without His intervention-our spiritual circumcision-we remain in our sins and are dead to God in a hopeless and worthless state. Because of Christ, we have forgiveness and hope. We are alive and God favors us! Jesus nailed our sins to the cross and in so doing, disarmed the evil of the world. Sin is still roaming around, but neutered as to what it can do to a Christian. He is victorious and we have victory in Him.

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?

2. What does this passage mean?

3. What is God telling me?

4. How am I encouraged and strengthened?

5. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?

6. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?

7. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my listening to God?

8. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?

9. What can I model and teach?

10. What does God want me to share with someone?

Additional Questions:

1. Have you held grudges? Have others done so with you? If so, how did you feel? How do grudges lead to sin, hurt, fear, and brokenness for others and our selves?

2. What does it mean to you that God loves you and He chose you to be His? How can this help motivate you?

3. Do you think or feel that you are holy? How and why must we clothe ourselves in His love and principles? What happens when we do not-both as individuals and collectively as a church?

4. What is the focus of attention in your life? Is Christ your all in all? If not, why not? What needs to take place in your life for Him to be first in all things?

5. How much hold does Christ’s rule have on your heart and actions? How can your motives and behaviors be clues as to what needs to be put off and put on?

6. Have you ever considered that when we waste our new life, we disrespect and dishonor God?

7. How do the attributes in this passage help you produce character and spiritual maturity?

8. How does character show that a Christian is a representative of Christ?

9. Do you understand what Christ did for you? If so, how will you have more hope and confidence to trust and obey Him?

10. What do you need to put on in your life? What do you need to put off?

11. What would happen in your church if most people were sincerely exhibiting tender mercies, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness? What happens when we are stingy with these fruits or prevent them from functioning properly? What can be done to make them work better?

12. What can you do to put your new life into more effectual action and not waste what God has done in you or the opportunities He has for you or how He wants you to be to others?

© 1987, 2004, 2008, R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries

Tags: Colossians, bible study, Character, holy, grace, forgiveness, unity, gratitude, spiritual growth, relationship with God, Holy Spirit, goodness, mercies, compassion, kindness, humility

What does Colossians 3:12 mean?

In both Colossians 3:5 and 3:8, Paul listed five ways of life Christians are to avoid. In this verse, he offers five ways of life Christians ought to follow. In addition, he prefaces this list by referring to believers using three names. First, they are “God’s chosen ones.” God selected or elected them to be part of His family. Second, these believers are holy, which means “set apart.” This is due to God’s work in them, not their own good deeds. Third, believers are “beloved” by God (John 3:16).

The first positive practice Paul gives is a compassionate heart. This is a response to God, and to others, which is filled with love and concern rather than selfishness.

Second, Paul mentions kindness. This Greek word is chrēstotēta, which can also be translated as “moral goodness or integrity.” The term refers to how a person treats others.

Third, believers are to live in humility, a trait valued by God throughout Scripture (James 4:6). The gospel requires people to admit they are sinners in need of a Savior. As believers, we should recognize God’s supremacy in our lives and how limited we are in comparison. Humility is also important so that we don’t act arrogantly or unfairly towards other people.

Fourth, Paul mentions meekness, from the Greek prautēta. This is not an attitude of fear, or the suggestion that Christians ought to be timid. Rather, it refers to gentleness, instead of a hard hearted response to others. A “meek” person is one who controls their strength and power, rather than abusing it.

Fifth, Paul expects patience from believers. This and the other traits in this verse closely reflect the list describing the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22–23.

Context Summary

Colossians 3:12–17 follows Paul’s advice on sins to avoid by listing positive traits Christians should strive to emulate. Among these are compassion, humility, patience, and forgiveness. More important than any other is love, which not only inspires the other traits, but which binds Christians together as a single family, under Christ. Paul then opens the idea of following Christ to include every aspect of our lives: whatever we think or do, as believers, ought to be compatible with the example of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Chapter Summary

In this chapter, Paul gives clear instructions to Christians about living out faith in Christ. Since believers have been saved by Christ, they should not participate in the sins which trap unbelievers. Sexual immorality, jealousy, slander, and revenge are not to be part of the Christian’s life. Instead, believers ought to demonstrate compassion, humility, patience, and forgiveness. Above all, followers of Christ should show love. Paul also gives specific instructions for those living in Christian homes, including husbands, wives, children, and servants

Author: J. Palmer

Living under the wings of God and the angels around me keeping me going and safe. Sharing the love of Christ.

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