PUT ON THE NEW SELF
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father
Changing clothes is one of the images Paul uses to describe how Believers can live a lifestyle that honors Jesus. When he wrote to the church in Colossea, he told them to strip off the sin-stained garments of the old self and put on the clean garments of the new self (Col. 3:5-17). His words are still true for every Christian today. If you want to honor Jesus in the way you live, then you must pick up the clothes that Christ has laid out for you and put them on.
Paul begins his description of the Believers new wardrobe by first describing his new position. Believer, you are "chosen of God, holy, and beloved" (Col. 3:12). God, out of love, has chosen you and set you apart for His glory. Hallelujah, what a Savior!
This new position has consequences. It leads to a new pattern of living with a particular set of virtues that the Believer must clothe herself with: "Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience" (Col. 3:13). When a Believer dresses herself with these virtues, she is able to bear with little differences amongst church members, and even forgive offenses as Christ has forgiven her (Col. 3:13).
These new garments are in danger of falling off unless they are held together by love, for love is the preeminent virtue. When the cloak of love is put on over the other garments, it acts as bonding agent to hold the church together in unity (Col. 3:14). Without love, the church and her ministries are nothing more than the incessant non-rhythmic clanging of symbols!
Peace is the next quality that Paul describes: "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts" (Col. 3:15). Believer, is the peace of Christ reigning on the throne of your heart? When His peace is in control of your heart it will have a great effect on others in your church. The peace of Christ ruling in our hearts allows the differences that typically separate individuals and groups in the word to fall by the wayside in the church.
Peace is not the only quality that Paul says must be controlling Believers: "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you" (Col. 3:16). The word of Christ must be prominent in the Believer's life so that he can proclaim it to others in the body: "with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God" (Col. 3:16). Your singing matters to the person sitting next to you in church.
At last Paul says there is one singular purpose the compels Believers to put on new heavenly garments: "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father" (Col. 3:17). Put on the new clothes because you want Christ to be known and glorified by everyone you interact with.
So, what does your spiritual wardrobe look like? Do you have some old clothes that need to be thrown away? Are their new clothes just sitting in the closet that you haven't put on yet? Humbly go to the Father through Jesus His Son and the let Him help you change.
HOW CAN I USE THIS IS MY LIFE THIS WEEK?
1. Meditate on the new position you have in Christ.
2. Tell someone else how God can make them new through Jesus.
3. Look in the mirror of God's word and see what vices you need to remove and what virtues you need to put on.
4. Meditate on God's word so that it will richly dwell in you.