International Sunday School Lesson
For Week Ending May 16, 2010
Purpose: To examine the qualities that characterizes those who are chosen by God.
Scripture Text: Colossians 3:12-17 (NRSV)
Background: Colossians 3
(12) As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. (13)Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
(14)Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (15)And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. (16)Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. (17)And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
My Thoughts by Burgess Walter
As we continue our study in Colossians, Paul has yet to reveal the exact reason for this letter. He has hinted at many things, but has declined to identify specifically his primary concern. As we enter into the meat of this letter, Paul is more definite in what a Christian in Colossae, or anywhere else, should look like. In verse 5 of this chapter he list some definite no no’s, all of which represent a type of idolatry, because they become the focus of our lives. In verse 8 Paul lists other hindrances, in the form of feelings and temperament, which can keep us from living a new life in Christ. In the verse preceding our text, Paul tells us and the Colossians that we are not judged as to our heritage, learning, or wealth, but rather we are judged “according to the image of Him who created us.” “Christ is all and in all.”
Our salvation begins with forgiveness, first when we ask God to forgive us, and when we are willing to forgive those that have offended or done evil to us; this is not a suggestion but rather a must, “Just as the Lord has forgiven you.”
When we add love to the forgiveness of others, our salvation grows in perfect harmony with Christ. Our salvation begins with forgiveness, but is completed in the resurrection of Christ. When we allow Christ to be the center of our thoughts, and rule our hearts and lives we are joined with the resurrected body of Christ, and Christ dwells in us, teaching and admonishing us all in wisdom. With Christ dwelling in us, our speech, our singing, and our praising will all change from what the world does and thinks to what glorifies God.
Those that are not in Christ, or do not have Christ dwelling within, will follow the trends and fashions of this world, those that are described in verse 5 of this chapter are living a life that holds no promise, they think they are finding happiness, but instead are headed for an eternity without Christ, and facing the “wrath of God, because they are the sons of disobedience.”
Our lives, according to verse 10 of this chapter, are to reflect “the image of Him who created him.” Our character should be defined by those attributes found in verse 12; compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. And (Vs 17) “whatever we do, do in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Are there things in your life you should change in order to make your walk more in tune with your talk? How does your life stack up when compared to verse12?