Sunday School Material: A Chosen Community 5-16-10

(Colossians 3:12-17; 5/16/10)

Introduction: A key idea in today's Sunday School material is the elected of God should live loving lives. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live loving lives as the elected of God.

Body:
Read Colossians 3:12-14 I. Putting on Christian Virtues.
Paul urges his readers to put on some things, in light of them being the elect of God in this first section of the Sunday School material.

On the list of things to be put on are mercy, kindness, and humility. He talks about charity being above all of the other items on the list.

Applications –
- Being elected, holy, and loved.
Notice in vs. 12 of the Sunday School material that the readers are considered to be elected, holy, and beloved.

That is, they were chosen by God, set aside by God, and loved by God. Thank God the same is true of us, as believers today. On one side, we are more than thankful that God has chosen or elected us, set aside (i.e., made us holy), and loves us.

On the other side, we cannot take any credit. He chose us, set us aside, and loves us because of His own reasons not because we deserved it. Let's keep our heads us up.

No matter how rough things get, because we are chosen, set aside, and loved by the Master of the whole universe, we know it is going to get better. But let's make sure we don't hold our heads up too high. All that we have are undeserved gifts from God.

- Heartfelt loving actions. Notice in vss. 12-14 of the Sunday School material that with the status of being elected, holy, and beloved comes the duty to put on a number of virtues.

The Sunday School commentary (i.e., Bible Expositor and Illuminator) does a good job of explaining each word. For our purposes, our status should lead to heart felt loving actions.

Merciful, humble, meek, and long suffering/patient kindness is the expectation of those who are chosen by God. This expectation is easier to comply with, when we have humble minds.

That is, we should remind ourselves that we were saved to carrying out God's expectations, not to be at odds with others. Love/charity is a good way of summing up what God expects of His people. Let's work on living up to the expectations that God has for His people.

- Tolerating and forgiving one another. In today's Sunday School material notice in vs. 13 that our virtues should lead to our ability to forbear/tolerate and forgive one another.

There is a great deal of diversity in a growing church. There are saved and unsaved people. There are mature, carnal, and in between saved people. There are conservative, liberal, and moderates.

There are poor, working class, middleclass, and some wealthy people. And the list could go on and on. We are can count on getting on one another's nerves at some point.

However, as the elect, holy, and beloved, we are to find the strength that God has given us to tolerate and forgive. When we need a model of forgiveness, we should remember how much Jesus did for us. Let's work on tolerating and forgiving one another.

Read Colossians 3:15-17
II. Maintaining a Proper Relationship with God.
Paul urges his readers to let the peace of God rule in their hearts in this section of the Sunday School material.

He wants them to teach and admonish one another in their song service. Everything they do is to be done as unto the Lord.

Applications –
- The peace of God.
Notice in vs. 15 the urging for the peace of God to rule in the hearts of the believers in the Sunday School material. This means that there should be peace among believers and peace of mind within each believer.

Where there is division and confusion among believers, God is not pleased. And where there is lack of peace in a believer, God is not pleased. Let's work on doing those things which make for peace among other believers and within our own minds.

What makes for these kinds of peace is living according to God's word and will. Unsaved or carnal believers are rarely at peace for any sustained period of time.

- Unity and thankfulness. Notice in vs. 15 the emphasis on unity and thankfulness. There is one body with many members. No one part is the whole body. And the body needs to take care of its parts.

As for thankfulness, we can thank God that whatever tempts us to be unthankful could have been worst and it is going to get better. Let's work on unity and thankfulness.

- Edifying one another. Notice in vss. 16-17 of the Sunday School material the urging for the Christian song service to be edifying to believers. First, believers must ingest a healthy amount of God's word and an understanding of how to live by it.

Second, when we sing, we should be singing that which teaches and admonishes believers to live by God's word and will. Not only should our song service encourage godly living, but our interacting with one another should do the same.

Third, our interaction with one another should urge us to do everything as unto the Lord. Whether we usher, cook, count, clean, drive, teach, or preach, whatever we do should be unto the Lord who will bless our faithfulness.

Let's work on edifying one another through song and interacting with one another.

Conclusion: Let's work on living loving lives, as the elected of God. God has much for those who obey His will.

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