It may sound strange to say that the message of Colossians 3 is: GET BUSY GETTING GODLY. But it is! We’ve been looking at pairs of commands in this chapter and this morning we continue by looking at verses 14-15:
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.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 one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. 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 message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 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.
Today the two challenges are:
(1) put on love (v. 14) and,
(2) let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts (v. 15).
Let’s think about each of these. First, put on love! Paul is making a superlative statement about LOVE. He has just challenged us in verse 12 to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Then he says, “And over all these virtues put on love.” I guess it’s possible to show compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience without love. But how much more positive and effective are these virtues when they are conditioned by LOVE? Love binds these virtues all together in perfect unity!
Second, we are told to let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts! We are to “let” something happen. We don’t make it happen. It doesn’t originate from us. We let His peace rule in our hearts. The opposite of letting something happen is preventing something from happening. It is a worthwhile question to ask: What are the peace-preventing attitudes or choices that we make which keep Christ’s peace from having full authority in our hearts?
Here’s a challenge for you today: What issue or factor in your life prevents Christ’s peace from ruling in your heart? What are you going to do about it?