GOS-20 - The Power of Sanctified Living

As we open to Colossians 3 we begin with four verses that declare the wonder of our salvation.

Baptism is a look back at what Christ did to us.

Communion is a look back at what Christ did for us on the Cross.

Follow along as we read the first four verses:

Colossians 3:1-4 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Salvation has Two Vital Parts

May I again remind you of the two sides of the coin of salvation? To best understand what God has done, let me contrast and explain justification and sanctification. Because we are saved (justified) this is how we should live (sanctified).

  • Justification is what Christ did for me on the cross--sanctification is what Christ is doing in me because of the cross.
  • Justification is immediate and was completely finished in me the instant I was saved-sanctification is an ongoing process never completed on earth until I meet Jesus face to face at death or His coming.
  • Justification is activated the moment I trust in the Person of Christ Jesus and His finished sacrifice of the cross-sanctification grows with each obedient choice I make empowered by the Holy Spirit.
  • Justification is my position declared right in God's sight-sanctification is my practice made right by becoming more conformed to His image.

Colossians 3:5-15 is an explanation of sanctification that is built around a series of imperative commands.

5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. 8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.   12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Sanctification Involves My Action Prompted by Christ's Work

Let's walk back through this chapter, see what Paul relates to us from the Lord, and then pause and ASK the Lord to unleash these powerful spiritual qualities in our lives today. 

Colossians 3:5-9 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication,uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. 8 But now you yourselves are to put off all theseanger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth:  

Paul first explains sanctification as each believer stripping off the old ways that are so familiar to us we wear them like clothes. This command was actually mirrored in the early church as they practiced baptism.

The converts stripped off their outer garments, and went down into the waters of baptism. When they came up out of the water they were given a white robe to wear. This pictured the putting off of the old ways and the putting on of a whole new way of life in Christ.

Action One: Stripping Off the Old Me

Application: Bow with me in prayer, look up at the Lord and say,

"Lord Jesus right now I ask you to strip away the old familiar ways I so often act. Strip away my impure desires. 
Strip away my greed. 
Strip away my anger, my slander, my filthy language. 
I want these old ways to perish and the new person you made me to grow each day." 

Sanctification is secondly seen as each believer living or putting on the truth of the new me daily. This involves God bringing about a complete change in our personality. Just as the baptized one stripped off the old and was clothed in the new-so we each day by God's grace strip off any old ways and renew our walk with Christ.

So look at what Paul is saying: Because of Christ's death on the cross-He can nowmake me live the truth.

Colossians 3:9-11 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all:  

Action Two: Wearing the New Me Daily

Application:Bow with me in prayer, look up at the Lord and say,

"Lord Jesus right now live through me so that I do not live a lie, by talking the talk, but not living the truth.
Because of Your death on the cross-You can nowempower me to wear more of the truth each day.

Christ wants to clothe us with His personality-and for each of our lives to reflect Him on a day to day basis.

Look at what Christ has planned for us:

Colossians 3:12 (NKJV) Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;

Sanctified Living is Commanded not Optional

v. 12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on... This is an Aorist Middle Imperative, Paul commands us in the Name of Christ to choose to do this for ourselves.

  • Tender mercies Greek splanchna # 4698

This term describes not merely a mental understanding of a person's pain, but a visceral depth to feeling their pain.

Because of Christ's grace opened to us through His death on the cross-He can now make me feel His compassion for the needs and struggles of others. This is vital for growing closer to others in His Body. We can ask Jesus to clothe us with His compassion. 

  • Kindness Greek crestotes #5544  

The ancient writers defined this word as the virtue of the man whose neighbor's good is as dear to him as his own. 

Because of Christ's grace opened to us through His death on the cross-He can now make me express His Kindness and love my neighbor as myself which fulfills the whole Law towards man. We can ask Jesus to clothe us with His Kindness.

  • Humility Greek tapeinophrosunen # 5012 

Paul here calls us to "humbleness of mind." It has often been said that humility was a virtue created by Christianity. In classical Greek there is no word for humility. 

Because of Christ's grace opened to us through His death on the cross-He can now make me wear His humility in all my thought and actions through life. We can ask Jesus to clothe us with His Humility.

  • Meekness Greek prautes # 4240  

Here the emphasis is meekness of spirit, which is a person who is self-controlled, because he is God-controlled, that he is angry at the right time and not angry at the wrong time. 

Because of Christ's grace opened to us through His death on the cross-He can now make me live out His meekness in all my responses. We can ask Jesus to clothe us with His Meekness.

  • Longsuffering Greek makrothumian # 3115 

Longsuffering is the Greek word which means "long-burning"-a fuse which burns a long time, and is not a short fuse that leads to explosions with our friends and Christian brethren. 

Because of Christ's grace opened to us through His death on the cross-He can now make me grow in His longsuffering patience. We can ask Jesus to clothe us with His Patience.

  • v. 13 bearing with one another: and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.  

Because of Christ's grace opened to us through His death on the cross-He can now make me live out His enduring and forgiving spirit in my dealing with others.. We can ask Jesus to clothe us with His Meekness.

  • v. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Rule means "to umpire." The peace of God should govern our hearts.

Because of Christ's grace opened to us through His death on the cross-He can now make me live out His peace. We can ask Jesus to clothe us with His peace.

  • v. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

 "Let" means "allow, invite, welcome, give yourself over to."

"The Word of Christ" can be a word, a verse, a chapter, or a Book.

 "Dwell in you richly" so beautifully means "to overflow like a bathtub; to spill forth like a fountain; to drench and soak like a heavy rain; to permeate like water into a soft absorbent cloth."

 "In you" means in your mind, in your thoughts, in your life, in your plans, in your world-your marriage, your family, your home, and your job. 

When we "allow, invite, welcome, and give ourselves over to" a verse, a chapter, or a Book, a portion of the very Word of Christ spills forth into our lives, drenching us-absorbing into our souls and changing every aspect of our lives-our marriage, home, life, and all! That is the Word-filled life! (It is also the Spirit-filled life, as Ephesians 5:18 affirms.)  

When we have a Word-filled life it means that we are: inviting God to speak; seeking His guidance; seeking divine help, godly wisdom, supernatural involvement; and cooperating with the Holy Spirit. This amounts to plugging in the power for life, using the map God has provided, following the directions in His Book, and listening to the instructions He has left us for daily living.  

A Word-filled life is inviting God to speak; welcoming His help; seeking His input; wanting His advice; getting His help; showing we honor Him; partnering with God in parenting; andunleashing Him into every corner of our lives. We must start each day seeking to be emptied of self, with His Word read, our God sought, and His Spirit invited-to work in us so that Christ is honored. 

When we walk in the Spirit every dimension of life is transformed. When we allow the Great Physician to amputate any sinful manifestation in our hearts, minds, and actions at home and work everything is touched by the power of the Spirit and the blessing of God!