Read Colossians 3:5-11
I. What to Put Off. In our Sunday School material Paul talks about taking off those things related to his reader’s earthly nature. Sexual immorality, evil desires, and greed are on the list.
He also calls them to rid themselves of things like anger, malice, and filthy language. There is said to be no division in Christ between Gentiles and Jews and other types of division are mentioned.
- Getting rid of sin. Notice in vss. 5, 8, 9 of our Sunday School material the idea of putting to death and getting rid of sin. Those listed are by no means all of those that we need to get rid of.
We need to get rid of all sins in our lives. A special note is made about lying. In our church, we have a “Church Covenant” that we recite on the first Sunday of the month that essentially says we will be maturing Christians and supportive of one another.
The more we say it but don’t do it, the more we are lying. The more we lie, the more difficult it is to trust one another and be the church that God is calling us to be. Let’s work on getting rid of the sin in our lives.
Essential items in carrying out this application include acknowledging sin, committing to getting rid of it, and calling on divine assistance to strengthen us where we are weak. This strength may well come through prayerful study with a mind to obey and supportive fellowship in the church.
- Unity in Christ. Notice in vs. 11 that through Christ there is an overcoming of those things that often divide us. Being a Gentile or a Jew, being free or slave, and so on are all secondary to being in Christ.
We should work for an oneness of Christ that supersedes the things that so easily divide us. Today, we seem to easily divide over politics, socio-economic status, and the actions the church should or should not take towards the issues of our day.
Christ should be able to pull us together. Let’s work on unity in Christ.
Read Colossians 3:12-16
II. What to Put On. In our Sunday School material Paul continues and talk about the things the readers should put on. Compassion, humility, and patience are on the list. Forgiveness is urged. Believers are urged to encourage one another in worship.
- Putting on love. Notice in vss. 3-14 that believers are called upon to not only take off sin, but we are to put on love. Several facets of love are mentioned like kindness, humility, and patience.
However, love has a way of covering all of the above. And then surely, love must forgive. To forgive means to cancel a debt. It doesn’t deny that a debt was incurred.
God’s forgiving us should help us forgive one another. And the reality that forgiveness helps us to move on should help us as well. Let’s work on putting on love. “Putting on” makes clear that it doesn’t just happen. We have to work on it.
- Peacefulness and thankfulness. Notice in vs. 15 of our Sunday School material the importance of peacefulness and thankfulness. As believers, we should be known for having a peaceful spirit.
Anxiety and depression should be abnormal for us. And perhaps a great way to help us experience peace is to learn to be thankful in all situations. No matter how bad things are, they could have been worse and will get better.
We have to learn to release unanswered questions and trust God with those things that seem irrational. Let’s work on being believers known for peacefulness and thankfulness.
- Encouraging worship. Notice in vs. 16 that believers are to encourage one another in worship. It cannot be denied that worship should aim to communicate to God how much we, the worshippers, love Him and pledge to trust and obey Him.
But it is also true of corporate worship that we, the worshippers, are called to edify and encourage the growth of one another. We sing in the microphones so people, not God, can hear.
We rehearse so people will be blessed. God heard us in the rehearsal and it is still not perfect. Let’s work on encouraging one another in our worship. A smiling face, a warm greeting, and communicating messages of Christian encouragement are so important.
Read Colossians 3:17
III. Whom to Focus On. Paul closes our Sunday School material for today talking about doing everything in the name of the Lord Jesus. Words and deeds can and should be render in the name of the Lord. The readers are urged to also give thanks to God through Christ.
- In the name of the Lord. Notice in vs. 17 of our Sunday School material that all that we, as believers, do should be done in the name of the Lord. That is to say, all that we do and say should be done as if we are trustees, brokers, or agents of the Lord, which we actually are.
That means there are some things we do, because the Lord, our principal, wants us to. And there are things we don’t do, because our principal doesn’t want us to.
So we sing about His goodness and serve those in need because the Lord wants us to. But we refrain from boasting and keep bitterness from resting in our spirits because the Lord does not approve. Let’s work on doing all that we do, in the name of the Lord and in accord with His will.
Conclusion: Let’s work on our sin problems and putting on love, in the name of the Lord. God has much for those who obey His will.
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