The Way - Day 135 (Colossians 3)

Daily Reading:
Colossians 3
Don't forget to journal in your Foundations Book!
Daily Reading Audio Commentary:
Today's Question or Action Step:
What attitudes and behaviors from verses 12-14 do you need to cultivate to more fully display Christlike character? What could be the result in the lives of those around you as you do?
Weekly Memory Verse(s):
OPTION 1: Psalm 51:10-11
OPTION 2: Proverbs 18:21
OPTION 3: Matthew 6:7-8
Further Study Resources:
Study Guide for Colossians 3 (Enduring Word - David Guzik)
Pastor Tom's Journal on Today's Reading:
Colossians 3:1-11
Since nothing such as legalism or a higher knowledge can bring salvation, Paul upholds Jesus Christ alone as the way to salvation and sanctification. He begins Colossians 3 by saying "if then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God." When Paul says "you were raised" he means that "because of their union with Christ, believers spiritually entered His death and resurrection at the moment of their conversion and have been and are now alive in Him so as to understand spiritual truths, realities, blessings, and the will of God." (MacArthur Study Bible notes on Colossians 3:1) Instead of being consumed with earthly wisdom and a man-made system of legalism, we should be consumed with God's truths, which are revealed in Scripture (3:2). It is very easy for a believer to slip into the old life when their focus is not right. Paul mentions that believers should "put to death" the old nature and he even goes on to list many sins which can sneek into our lives (3:5, 8). Keep in mind that sin is the reason why God had to send His only Son to die and continuing in sin is a failure to receive God's forgiveness and grow in Him (3:6-7). We should "put off the old man with his deeds and...put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him." Yes, believers will still sin but we should make every effort through the power of Christ to abandon the old life. Spending time in God's word, submission in prayer, and fellowship with other believers will challenge us to live in the new man.

Colossians 3:12-4:1
So, what does the character of the new man look like? Paul has already commanded the Colossians to put off the works of the old man (anger, wrath, filthy language, etc.) and put on the new man (Colossian 3:8-10). In these verses he describes the attitudes and actions of the new man, who has been created in Christ Jesus. Here is the list:

Tender Mercies (compassion for the hurts of others)
Kindness (simply being nice to others)
Humility (putting others before self)
Meekness (a gentle response to wrongdoing)
Longsuffering (being patient even when you are treated unfairly)
Bearing with one another (willingly accepting those who are different from you)
Forgiving one another (not seeking revenge on someone who has done wrong to you)

Above all the things Paul has already mentioned, he commands believers to "put on love, which is the bond of perfection." Followers of Christ should genuinely care about others and therefore love them no matter what. When things seem to be falling apart, love is what can hold everything together (3:14). When our hearts are submitted to God, He provides peace even in the midst of trial (3:15). Another key factor in developing the character of the new man is letting "the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom." The results of allowing God's word to dwell in you are interesting since it yields the same results as being filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:15-21). I believe that God's word works together with God's Spirit and results in singing to the Lord from our heart (3:16), seeking to please God in every action (3:17), and proper relationships with others (3:18-4:1). Wives will submit to husbands (3:18). A husband will love his wife (3:19). Children will obey their parents (3:20). Fathers will not establish harsh rules on their children which cause rebellion (3:21). Employees will work hard even when the boss is not around because they are representing God (3:22-25). Employers will treat their employees with respect (4:1). Paul has provided a big list of characteristics for the new man. Take some time and examine each one. Are you living in the new man or are you resorting to the works of your past?

Dear God, provide the power for me to represent You well through my attitudes and actions. Convict me of areas where I need to change.