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  • Writer's pictureBro. Caleb Taft

Knowing our King | Colossians 3:12-14 | Put on

Colossians 3:12-14

12Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.14And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

Chapter 3 presents us with some wonderful realities of the Christian life. The first and foremost thought seems to be our Union with Christ in verses 1-4. That is that we died with Him and Resurrected with Him. In verses 5-11, we see the effect of our death with Christ; The old man died and there should be a continual death of his nature and desires, As Helen Lemmel said, “The things of this world grow strangely dim.” Then in verses 3:12-4:1, we see the effect of our resurrection with Christ, that as we are alive unto God, there will be a continual “Renewing” and life lived unto Christ, this is what we are predestined to as the elect of God, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” [Eph 2:10] These are the main truths, but his aim in teaching this seems to be their unity. That their union in Christ will lead to unity with God and their union with Christ will lead to unity with one another, in short, union with Christ equals unity in Christ.

He tells us in our verses today to “Put on.” When he was referring to our old man, he told us to “Put off.” This puts us in mind of a garment that must be “put off” and one that must be “put on.” Imagine you were working for a garbage collection company as the collector, there would be a set of clothes that you wore for that position. Your garment would be tattered, stained, and marked by the nature of your position in the company, you would look and smell like a garbage bin because of your position as the collector. Then one day the CEO takes notice of you and promotes you to a desk job in the office, you have a new position, and with this new position comes a new expectation, a new set of duties, and certainly a new outfit more fitting for your new position. You wouldn’t dare wear your old tattered, stained up, stinking garment into the office, you would put it off and put on the new because of your new position. So is the instruction in this chapter, We have a new position in Christ, He pulled me from the garbage heaps of sin, gave me a position in Him, Gave me new life, new duties, a new title, new expectations, and a new garment. I shouldn’t dare wear those old tattered, dirty, stinking garments marked by my previous nature and position but because of my new position, I should come to work in the garments he has afforded me, that match my new position. The prodigal came home smelling like the hog pin he had been living in but the father gave him his position back in the family as a son. This position came with all the benefits of sonship, a ring, a robe, shoes, food, and a celebration. Dear reader, If you have been given a position in Christ, the right to become the sons of God, then put off the old tattered garment of your old nature and put on the white robes of His righteousness and “Dress the Part.”

The old garment was marked by things like “anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, and filthy communication.” The new one is marked by things like: “Bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering, forbearance, and forgiveness.” This should cause us to pause and do an inspection of our daily life, what are the markers of our life? Which garment would best describe your current state of life? Are you in Christ? If so you have no business sporting about the tattered garments of the old life. If your life is marked by the new life then remember that the position and the garment you now wear are provided by his grace and given without price, “We are his workmanship.”

This new position requires a different type of work. Our old position required us to “work inequity.” This new position requires us to forbear and forgive just as we have been forgiven. That is the business Christ is in, forgiving men and one of the duties of our new position in Him is forgiving men. We should be willing to do for others what he has done for us. I know it is cliché’ but W.W.J.D could be the motto of our new position. Would he forgive this person? Would he forbear with this person? What would Jesus do? Then let us act accordingly to him in whose image we are created.

Lastly, we see the belt that binds this new garment and all its graces to us. He says “Above all these things put on charity.” We don’t have to wonder which one of the graces of the new nature is the greatest, it is agape’ love. Like the shield of faith is the greatest piece of the soldier’s garment, love is the crown jewel of the Christian’s wardrobe. It is the bond of perfectness, in other words, if love is perfected then all the other graces will be as well, and if love be neglected all other graces will fail; “2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.” [1 Cor 13:2] Christ told us that Love for God was the greatest command and next to it was love for others. On these two commands hang all the law and prophets. It was love that motivated Jesus’s sacrifice for sins, it is love that makes the offer to sinful men, and of all the attributes of God love is the one that seems to mark his essence; “God is love.” Above all things, we must “Put on Charity.” Unconditional love for God and unconditional love for man, this is the bond of perfectness. What a blessing that he has made it clear which one of these graces would perfect all the others, by this we have our attention directed to the proper place and can focus on the area that will greatest benefit our Christian life and make us most like Christ.

Could We With Ink The Ocean Fill,

And Were The Skies Of Parchment Made;

Were Every Stalk On Earth A Quill,

And Every Man A Scribe By Trade;

To Write The Love Of God Above

Would Drain The Ocean Dry;

Nor Could The Scroll Contain The Whole,

Though Stretched From Sky To Sky.

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