Give me a word, Lord: PUTTING OFF AND PUTTING ON

Colossians 3:16-17  Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

Read full scripture text: Colossians 3:1-17

This morning, I would like to review some important instructions found in Colossians 3. In this chapter, Paul instructs believers to put to death or put off the old self and put on the new self. If we are to walk in Christ we must put off the things that are not of Him, and put on the things of Christ. I love Paul’s writings. He gets right to the point, and his love for Christ shines through the words that he writes.

What are the things that we should put off or put to death? The first thing Paul mentions is that we shouldn’t think about the things of earth. Our focus should be heavenward and not on the things of this life. We have died to this life, so we are to put to death the sinful, earthly things within us. Paul doesn’t make any bones about it, and he lists some specific sins that believers should put off. These include sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. We are not to be greedy, as greed can lead to idolatry and worshiping the things of this world. Paul also reminds us to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. We are not to lie to one another. It is human nature to sin. We are imperfect creations, but we can be made perfect through a loving relationship with Christ who intercedes for us with the Father. If we love Christ, we find it easy to put off these things of the world because the things that we put on are so much better.

What are we to put on? We are to set out sights on the realities of heaven where Christ sits on the right hand of God! We are to dwell on thoughts of heaven and not on the things of this life. We are to put on our new nature and be renewed as we daily learn and get to know our Creator and become more like Him. Paul reminds us that it doesn’t matter who or what we are. Christ is all that matters, and He lives in all of us. We are God’s chosen people. He chose you, and He chose me! Because we are chosen by God, we must put on tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. We have to be willing to make allowances for each other’s faults, and we must forgive those who offend us. We all have a few faults of our own which have been forgiven and forgotten by our loving Father. Can we not do the same for those who have wronged us? We must also put on love, for it is love that will bind us together in perfect harmony. And with love, we find peace that comes only from Christ.

We are chosen by Christ. Ponder that thought for a moment, and then recline in it. John 15:16 reads, “You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.” He chose us! And because He chose us, we are new creations in Christ. Our love for Him should overflow into our daily lives so much so that those around us see that we are different. We behave differently. We live differently. As you consider Paul’s instructions this morning, think about your personal relationship with Christ. Is there anything that you need to “put off”? Are there a few things that you need to “put on”? It may seem like a daunting task, but nothing is impossible with Christ. Go to Him in prayer. Seek His guidance and will for your life. I promise you that He will help you put off those things that are not of Him, and He will help you put on the things of Christ!

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