(Previous posts on Colossians 3 here and here and here.)
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
As you …
- Set your heart and mind on things above not on earthly things
- Put the death the things of the earthly nature
- Put on the things of Christ
You must surround yourself with people that will walk with you in the same direction. You need the church. You don’t want people who will keep you in the gutter. No. You want people who will push you towards Christlikeness.
This passage provides an opportunity to discuss church.
Colossians talks about the church in terms of …
Unity not division
Notice verse 15: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.” After a chapter long discussion on living like Christ, the Apostle Paul concludes by stating that individual followers of Christ are called to one body. It’s a beautiful message of unity. In the church we see individuals united by a common Savior. Also notice the double reference to peace in this verse. The church far too often has a reputation for division and the church far too often lives up to the reputation. Let that not be the case for us.
Encouragement not conflict or passivity
Notice verse 16: “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another …” The church should be a place of encouragement. I love the imagery of the church being saturated in the message of Christ. This saturation leads to members teaching and admonishing one another. Saturation in the message of Christ should not lead to conflict but encouragement. Sometime you need to take an active role. Far too often people are passive when it comes to church. They want things. They expect things. This passage provides a different model. You should seek to be a blessing not a consumer.
Worship not performance or preference
Notice the back half of verse 16: “With all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” This is a picture of worship. The Apostle Paul gives a laundry list of different ways to speak of singing songs in church. God deserves worship from his people with hearts full of gratitude. Not performance but active participation. If singing is all about your preferences who is actually being worshipped? God or you? Worship should bring glory to God.
Christlikeness not worldliness
Notice verse 17: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Your words and deed should look like Christ … not the world. The church should be filled to the brim with people seeking Christ. Thus, the church should look like Christ.
To Wrap It Up:
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can do this on your own. I’ve witnessed too many people fail. Let’s do this together.