Colossians Bible Study

Clothed (Colossians 3:12-17)

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In the previous section, we saw Paul exhorting the Colossians to stop those actions that are signs of their old life, and be clothed with our new nature. Reminding them that, if they have been raised with Christ, they have died to these things and must remove them from their lives so that they do not continue to harm their growth and that of others. 

It reminds them that they are being conformed increasingly to the image of Christ, and therefore they must face their idols and their sins. We mentioned the importance of having safe and mature relationships with other sisters in dealing with these sins.

In verses 12 to 17 we will see how Paul urges them not only to strip and remove actions; but also to be clothed with new actions that reflect the new life that we have received in Christ.

It begins by reminding them that we must clothe ourselves with these new actions since they are “chosen of God, holy and beloved”; these expressions remind me of Peter’s summary of the consequences of Christ’s redeeming work (1 Peter 2:9-10) 

Knowing and understanding what Christ has done for us in terms of the forgiveness of our sins; but also as regards the new nature that we should pursue, it should move us to yearn to clothe ourselves with this nature that has been given to us.

New Clothing (v. 12-13)  

When reading the list of which we have to cover ourselves, I want to mention only a few details, but I invite you to study in more depth what each of these implies, and ask yourself questions such as: which one should I work with more? Why is one or the other more difficult for me? 

In the same way as when confronting your sin, it is beneficial to have godly women with whom you can evaluate your life and help you put on this new nature.

This list is something that will not come to us innately due to our sinful nature, but the moment we are redeemed by the work of Christ, we have the authority and commandment to clothe ourselves with them. 

This clothing is a process; in which first (as we saw before) we must put off the old nature to take on the new. 

Among these new clothes is the compassionate heart, which is more than compassion is what moves us to do what is attainable to our hands and even beyond to serve and exercise our faith.

Kindness, a mild character in our dealings with others and when we receive teaching and instruction from the Lord.

Humility, meekness, and patience; these go hand in hand and I understand that developing one will help us grow better in the others. We must be intentional in fostering these in our lives. 

We see the perfect example of these characteristics in Christ, the more we study his Word, the more we will know his character, and we will be amazed at his work for us, and we will long to achieve what he has paid for us; this new nature.

Let’s change our clothes

If I invite you to my house for dinner and I let you know that everything is ready, all you have to do is come chat with me and have dinner. Would you leave all the dishes intact? Would you pass up the opportunity to enjoy what I have already prepared for you? 

I hope your answer was a resounding no. Otherwise, we would miss the opportunity of a temporary earthly banquet prepared for us; how we will pass up a spiritual banquet that our Redeemer has prepared for us. 

Christ gave himself so that we can be clothed with the characteristics that he has displayed. How can we reject them?

Bearing with one another and forgiving each other (v. 13-14)

On the subject of forgiveness we can abound a lot, but on this occasion I only want to mention three things. First, Paul is writing to the church, telling them that they have to put up with one another. 

The fact that we are redeemed and brothers/sisters in faith does not mean that we will have perfect or rosy relationships. Each one of us is in the process of casting off and putting on, and in that process we can be hurt or hurt others; but as risen in Him, we must endure and forgive.

Second, this forgiveness does not come out of nowhere; but as a response to the forgiveness we have received in Christ, there is no greater argument to help us offer forgiveness than to remember and meditate on how much forgiveness we have received. 

In addition to the fact that if the Lord has forgiven my brothers, how should I not do it for them? Again, there are many factors and nuances that we can evaluate; but the principle of forgiveness is the same; We forgive as Christ forgave us.

Third, forgiveness and fellowship with one another come from the love that unites us and makes us one family. The love that we first receive from God, and that we must reflect and show to others. 

On many occasions, these ideas of forgiveness and communion are difficult for us to understand since they are not natural to human relationships; so it is important to remember that we have been called from darkness to light, now we are part of the kingdom of God, and in his kingdom the principles and expectations are different from what we are used to.

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New Priorities (v. 15-17)

In the following verses, Paul exhorts us to have two new priorities, peace, and the Word of Christ in the context of the church. 

The peace of Christ must reign in our hearts, being honest, we easily allow anything to take away our peace. Paul reminds us that this peace is not something optional, we were called to live and enjoy this peace, a key for peace to reign in our hearts is gratitude. 

While we are grateful for what we have received and what God has rescued us from; we will keep peace as the main part of our lives as children of God.

The Word of Christ must abound in our lives, through teaching, admonition, psalms, hymns and again with thanksgiving. These actions must be carried out not individually, but together with our faith family.

It is this fellowship in the Word that will help us stay focused on the Truth and not be distracted or deceived by the subtleties of men. In addition, it will provide us with the necessary encouragement and admonition so that we continue to be conformed to the image of our Redeemer.

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Conclusion

For it is in Him and for Him that we must do everything we do, is Paul’s last exhortation, “whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (v. 17) Let us live in gratitude for the love and freedom we have received in Christ Jesus.

It is my prayer that the Lord will guide us in the process of growing and being conformed to his image, as we grow together with our local church. If you want to study more in detail about the characteristics mentioned in this portion, I invite you to study the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-16).

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