Sermon Notes 06
A New Life
A New Identity
A New Affection A New Destiny
A New Wardrobe
Off with the old
On with the new
A New Direction
Under the Word
A New Life
The first section of Colossians 3 is one of the most stirring and magnificent sections in all of the Bible concerning the believer’s new position in Christ. “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ set your heart on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” (vv 1-2)
We find in these opening words the reason Paul has so strongly warned the Colossians and, over 2000 years later, us as well that there is something far better than the dry bones of philosophy and legalism, mysticism and asceticism for the Christ follower to pursue. People today sell their souls far too cheaply to the flashiest bidder. We commit to style over substance, and to appeals to the external and physical rather than the inner unseen world. That is human nature; it should no longer be the nature of the Christian.
We have spent a lot of time trying to unearth those things that Paul is warning against. Now it is time to move into a description of that which is better by far.
If we know we are raised in Christ, then we truly have a new identity in Him. Now while we may still look the same physically, live in the same house, and remain married to the same person in reality the moment faith in Christ becomes a reality everything about us changes.
We have an immediate change in mindset…from an earthly focus to a heavenly one. This is not to say that we simply are to sit around and daydream about what we think heaven will be like, usually with images that are more informed by culture than the Bible.
This is not a recommendation to start decorating your mansion, or to wonder how close to Jesus’ house you get to live on Golden Street Lane. As tempting as it is, this is not even an admonition to think about those who have already gone to live in heaven with Jesus.
To “think with a heavenly mindset” is none of that. Paul gives us a hint of the right understanding by his reference to “where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.”
This is also not to say we are to imagine a golden throne, with Jesus sitting nearby in a choir robe and a golden crown. The “right hand” was the place of all authority, all power. It is a reminder to keep our first affection, our first priority fixed on the One Who gave us new life from the dead.
It is important to remember that Jesus controls it all, is supreme over all, and is ruling from that seat of power in glory. Our minds are to be on Jesus, Who now is in Heaven.
My father in law used to have a dog who was totally obsessed with a tennis ball. He would rather fetch the tennis ball than eat, sleep or be petted. If we X-rayed his brain, it would be shaped like a tennis ball.
When Barney showed up, he would drop his iridescent green tennis ball at your feet, and wait anxiously for you to throw it as far as you possibly could. He would scamper to it, and bring it back and drop it at your feet. Wash-rinse-repeat. How long? Until your arm could throw no longer, and then he would search out another victim!
Barney and his ball were never separated, except for the few moments it was airborne as he ran for it. We could say that Barney’s mind was set on his tennis ball!
In the same way, our minds should be “set” on Jesus: knowing Him, serving Him, loving Him. When people see us, just like when we saw Barney coming they knew the tennis ball would be right there, we should be “carriers” of Jesus! Our identity should be of those who “in Christ” and those in whom Christ lives.
The implication of this is that our minds, our ambitions, our interests, our attitude should be of those who lived bound to the life of Christ. Our lives are bound up in His. We are not separate from Him.
This influences so many things. It is a reality we take to work, to school, and home with us. Our family sees it, as do co-workers and classmates and roommates. Christ is in us!
We are to tenaciously set our worldview on Christ. If we are dead to this world, and we have been raised with Christ, we have left behind the loves and domain of this world.
The passages in verse 1-2 are parallel commands. The word “heart” actually doesn’t appear in the Greek manuscripts. It is inferred by the translators, and agreement is that this is a correct understanding. Paul is not repeating the same command here, but giving two distinct commands.
First, our “hearts” are to be set on things above” and our “minds are to be set on things above.” One has to do with our affection and our love and desires. The second has to do with what we would call our “mindset.” We are to be “minded about things above” (from phroneo)
Paul said in Romans 6 that “the mind (phroneo) set on the flesh is death, but the mind (phroneo) set on the Spirit (things above) is life and peace.” So we can see the power of our minds set on Jesus to help us find life and peace. That is what Paul desires for the Colossians and, I’m sure, for us who would one day read these words.
“Phroneo” is a word that occurs often in Paul’s writings, notably Romans 12:1-2 where we are called to “be transformed by the renewing of our mind” (phroneo) and the familiar passage in Philippians 2:5 where we are called to “let this mind (phroneo) be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” “
This has to do, not with affection and love but with thoughts, values, ideas, and focus. We are to set all of these and sift them through the Christ Who is “seated at the right hand of God.”
The imagery here is taken directly from Psalm 110:1:
“The Lord says to my Lord
Sit at My right hand
Until I make Your enemies
A footstool for Your feet.”
For the early church, this passage demonstrated the Deity of Jesus. It was focused on two possible meanings. First is the implication of the power of Jesus. In Mark 14:62, Jesus told the High Priest “You will see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” Jesus is described by the apostles as the “One Whom God exalted to His right hand as Prince and Savior.” (Acts 5:31)
It may have also the idea of privilege or honor at work. The disciples sought to be seated “one of His right hand and one of His left,” with the thought being one of privilege. They wanted honor, not power. They wanted recognition, not the responsibility of ruling.
So to our passage, Paul’s desire was calling the Colossians to consider the implications of Christ’s rule in the world. This would be in keeping with much of what we’ve read over the earlier verses in Colossians.
As Christians, we live in two domains: one fallen and one redeemed. Our bodies, though in heaven, contain a mind and heart that can be more focused on the redeemed realm while living in the fallen one. But they were to guard themselves against allowing the fallen world order to pollute and preoccupy their thoughts and hearts.
Living risen means a heart that is set on heavenly things, and a mind that thinks the thoughts of a heavenly realm, not an earthly one. This does not imply we are to walk around with our eyes fixed heavenward and ignoring the realities of the world and its pain around us. But we are to think new thoughts and desire new things.
Live as a heavenly-minded person. We are to “seek” or literally, to “keep on seeking” the heavenly things and “keep on setting” our minds on them. This is not a one-time event. We continue to battle with being overtaken by earthly reactions and earthly thoughts. We must set and sometimes “re-set” our minds on these things. Lightfoot’s translation helps some here. He has this as “You must not only seek heaven, you must also think heaven.”
As a compass needle points north continually, so our minds and hearts should continually course-correct toward Christ and “where Christ is.” Only then will our behavior begin to be transformed as we act in accordance with where our heart is focused and our minds dwell.
These early verses of Colossians 3 tell us three things about the position of the Christian:
- You are raised
- You are hidden
- You are glorified
You are raised (vv 1-2). The comments above concern this aspect of the Christians new life in Christ. We are raised in Christ’s resurrection and live now in Him.
You are hidden (v 3). Salvation involves a double-imputation. At salvation, our guilt, our shame, and our sin debt was imputed to Jesus, Who “became sin for us, Who knew no sin.” And we were at the same time “imputed” His righteousness. We literally exchanged our lives on the cross and at salvation this becomes reality for us.
Now, when God views our lives, He doesn’t look through the laundry list of accumulated evil and bad things we’ve done. He sees the perfect righteousness of His Son wrapped around us and the blood of Christ covering us. We are hidden. Our lives have disappeared in Christ. “We have died, and our lives are hidden with Christ…”
You are glorified (v 4). Being glorified is an as-yet-unveiled reality. It is as good as done when we are saved, but the final “unveiling” of the glory will happen when Christ appears. This is an ongoing scenario in the New Testament, and is mentioned in several different places as we look forward to the consummate event of our salvation experience. In the meantime we walk the dirt road of sanctification; sometimes moving forward and occasionally taking two steps back. But we live now in the “not-yet fulfilled” part of our salvation when even our earthly bodies will be glorified in Christ. Nothing escapes God’s reach in salvation. Nothing will be left out as the redeemed are glorified and experience eternal life in a glorified creation.
At this point in Colossians, the theological section ends. The remainder of the letter will deal with the outworking of the theological teaching that Paul has been laboring in.
Lucas (BST) disagrees that the segment ends in verse 4 and pushes through to verse 8. His thinking is this section deals with the relationship between Christ and the believer. For the purpose of this study, we will end the theologian discussion at verse 4 and move in to more practical matters in the next segments.
Paul began this section with an earnest prayer for the real knowledge of God’s will to be revealed. He ends with a call for us to live in that reality, ultimately to be seen as Christ’s comes in His glory.
A New Wardrobe
We have in Chapter 3:5-11 a return to the image used in others epistles of putting off the old life like an old set of clothing and putting on Christ as your new clothing.
This image has an historic basis in baptismal practice in the early church. While we can’t say for certain this was how it was done, it is believed by several reliable historical New Testament scholars that part of the imagery of baptism was the discarding of an old robe or set of clothing that you wore coming into the baptismal font or body of water. Before entering you “discarded” or “put off” the old clothing and would then be given a white robe to wear after the baptism. This was a practice of churches in the second century; though we cannot be sure how far back the custom went.
Whether or not this is Paul’s thought it carries the idea well as he says to the believers in Colossae that they are to “put off” those things that characterized them before coming to Christ.
While our salvation is no doubt driven by the grace of God, that does not mean our efforts to walk in this reality are unnecessary or of no consequence. Obviously, we can continue living with elements of the old life clinging to us, but why would we want to do that? A part of the process of being sanctified is making what is true of us on the inside manifest on the outside! This is the definition of integrity; our inner world and our outer world “hold together.” There is no disconnect, and no confusion.
Putting Off the Old (3:5-9)
There is something wonderful about putting on new clothes; a new shirt or coat or dress or pair of shoes. It makes you FEEL new, at least for a little while. But what we are dealing with in this text is not a temporary feeling, but a new creation from the inside…out!
Paul said in 1 Thessalonians “this is the will of God, even your sanctification”. Sanctification, you remember, is the ongoing “dirt road” process of “working out” our salvation. It is the process and progress of our salvation between justification and glorification. While we have nothing we can do to add to our justification or glorification, we have much to do with our sanctification.
It is in sanctification that we begin to look like Jesus in practicality. Sadly this aspect of our salvation is the most neglected by many. We so lean into the reality that we are saved by grace (and we are) and that our salvation is secure (it is) that we can almost ask the question, “Why go to the effort?” (We do). However we are reminded also of a promise that “He Who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.” (Philippians 2:12-13)
So in this section, Paul defines for us what sanctification looks like. It is a process of “taking off” or putting to death actions, attitudes, and behaviors that are part of our life before Christ. And then, it has to do with “putting on” those things that are like Christ.
In our testimony to a dying, lost and confused world, we must send a clear message that “if anyone is in Christ they are a new creation; old things have passed away and all things become new.”
In addition to being new spiritually, let’s LOOK new as well!
The first section in our scope of concern targets sinful actions. As a new person in Christ, our actions should reflect the discretion, self-control, and moral behaviors consistent with the teachings of Christ.
We are, first of all, to “put to death” the earthly things that are within us. Lest we miss the point, he begins to list for us five things that must be killed by us: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and greed, which is idolatry.
For Paul and the secular moralist writers of his time, using lists of five virtues or five vices was commonplace. Paul uses three sets of five in this part of Colossians. There was often overlap in the historic lists offered by moralist writers, particularly those relating to sexual mores, though Paul’s list was probably inspired far more by Old Testament legal codes. But this does imply the Christian should, as a baseline, be expected to adhere to the cultural morality of the day and exceed that. (Melick NAC V 22).
There is also another idea that needs some exploration. The AV translates the verse to say “put to death the members of your body” using the word mele as a reference to the location of sin. The idea of “members” of our body being connected to sin occurs primarily in Paul’s epistles in the New Testament. Rabbis of the day taught that there were 248 members of the body, connected to the 248 laws of the Torah. (Horst, TDNT)
The picture that is painted for us in this passage poses a logical question for us: Why would we let something that is dead continue to cling to our body? For the Jewish person and for many of that time, the decay of death was a vile and disgusting thing. Many Old Testament laws of purity talk about avoiding dead animals and people. You could not come into physical contact with a dead body and maintain ritual purity.
So we are to “cut off” the members of our body that are now dead and not allow them to pollute or corrupt the rest of our body. The “members” that are listed include these areas of sensuality and immorality and other types of moral impurity. They are things to be considered and treated as dead, no longer finding life within us.
This also follows very closely to the teaching of Jesus which said “If your eye offends you, pluck it out. If your right hand offends you, cut if off.” The statements, while misunderstood, have led some to do just that and “cut off” or “pluck out” the offending members of their body only to understand later that the problem lay, not in the physical member but within the heart.
We are to “perfect holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1). To “perfect” holiness means to see it brought to completion and to the fulfillment for which it was intended. Let it do its perfect work, God working in us with all the energy of the Spirit, and see holiness become an outward as well as an inner reality.
Sexual immorality. There is probably no intent of prioritizing or categorizing the sins on this list, but the issue of sexual immorality was a prevalent one in the culture of the day. It continues to be a prevalent issue today. In Biblical thought, “porneia” involved simply sexual intercourse or fornication. This could be broadened out to any number of illicit sexual behaviors, including adultery. However, adultery usually carried with it the stigma of breaking covenant law and the legal violation this presented. Sexual immorality while morally wrong was not considered legally wrong or even socially disreputable in most cases.
It is likely that, awash in a secular culture as we are, one could view more acts of immorality and impurity in an evening on TV than our grandparents saw in their lifetime! Twenty years ago, Psychology Today (by no means a supporter of Biblical morality), posted an article decrying the level of violence against women being portrayed in movies, and suggested that they should have a warning label posted on them. Their prophecy that the violence in movies would turn into real violence against women was, sadly, spot on.
We have reached a level of “porneia” (Greek for sexual immorality) in our culture that has exceeded anyone’s possible expectation. While much of this is acted out and portrayed in pornographic movies and video, it is far too often depicting real people in real situations.
While this kind of teaching should have its point directed toward the secular world, it is now as it was in Paul’s day needed as well in the Christian community. Pornography has become a rampant addiction for many who profess Christ. Its availability through computer access is rampant, with over 60% of websites devoted to varying levels of pornographic materials.
Though it is doubtful that Paul saw this coming, it was certainly something the Holy Spirit could foresee and these inspired Biblical words are targeting the same problem though a different delivery system. Sexual immorality should not be a part of a professing Christian’s inner or outer world, through actions or voyeuristic viewing on computers or television screens.
Impurity. Impurity (okatharsia) usually was tagged next to sexual immorality in most of the Bible’s lists of sins. It was the outflow of pollution and may have in mind the diseases that came from the filthy condition of prostitutes and brothels of the day. To come into contact with such constituted internal pollution and external defilement. In the AV it is translated “uncleanness.” It has to do with inner violations of thought and wicked intentions. Though the “members” of our body DO the defiling, it is the motivation of inner impurity that motives the defiling.
Passion. This is a word that builds on and goes beyond “impurity.” The word has to do with sensuous desires; and in reality covers a variety of emotional states and responses (Bruce). But in context the word has to do more with “dishonorable desires” than good ones. Left alone the word can be either good or bad desires or passions. Here there is little question but that it means wrong ones.
Evil desires. Building on “passion,” this moves from action to motive behind the actions. Evil desires always preface sinful action and behavior. Paul is urging that even the evil thoughts that we can tolerate must be put to death. These provide the wellspring for actions that are sinful.
Covetousness. The verse quickly adds “which is idolatry” (as also in Ephesians 5:5). What is there about covetousness which makes it idolatrous? Doesn’t there need to be a false god or false image worshiped to make something an idol? Yet isn’t this exactly what covetousness does…elevates a person, a position, an object…to the status of “god” in a person’s life?
Covetousness is insidious and hard to detect because we have made it a “respectable” sin. We do not consider our wrong desires for our neighbor’s spouse or house, their car or their job, their status or their looks as something so heinous. After all, doesn’t everyone covet something?
And the answer, of course, is yes. But when covetousness is equated with idolatry, the narrative suddenly becomes darker. Covetousness no longer has a cloak of “acceptability” draped around it. Calling it what it truly is… idolatry… strips the coat away.
Paul then issues in verse 6 a stern reminder that it has been true in the past and will be true still that those who do these things are the targets of the wrath of God. If we freely choose a course that puts us at odds with our Creator’s law, defying them flagrantly, we are doing the very things that incurred His wrath in earlier times.
A needed reminder follows in verse 7. He reminds them (and us) than “you once walked in these (in this way) in your lifestyle.” We can’t get too far away from the reminder that our present holiness and righteousness has not always been our state or condition. Once we were like those who are children of disobedience. This is not to bring us back into a state of condemnation or self-recrimination, but to remind us that the grace that saved us can also save them.
And so we are to “put off” or “put away” or “strip away” these outer garments of the old man, like an old suit of clothes that no longer fits. These things no longer “fit” you as a child of God! (v 8a)
From there the list is lengthened but tightly focused on the issue of our tongue and our use of language: “anger, wrath, malice, slander and obscene talk from your mouth.” (v 8b) Our language is to be in sync with our new “wardrobe” of righteousness. These things that once flowed freely from our mouth should no longer be heard coming from us.
It should perhaps be noted as well that all of these terms flow out of the word “anger.” This may have less to do with our speech and more to do with our attitude toward those with whom we find ourselves in conflict.
Nothing sets a Christian testimony apart like the ability not to respond in anger when everyone else around you knows they would! The beauty of self-control, especially as it extends to our words and speech, may be what Paul was getting to here.
One admonition stands alone in this passage. That is verse 9, “Do not lie….” This certainly ties together with the passage later on Christian community, since it is “do not lie to one another.” Our attitude toward the truth is in view here, and our valuing of the truth is in direct proportion to our willingness to tell it. If we lie, we do more than simply speak an untrue thing. We devalue truth with every lie we tell. “You have put off the old self with its practices….” (v 9b)
Putting on the New
“…and put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” (v 10) This conveys the following ideas:
It means that new life does not come from a daily, successful battle with temptation. The new life marks the starting point. We are not just giving up a few vices and adopting a few virtues. Our whole nature must be exchanged, not just revamped. (Schweizer)
We are “being renewed,” which implies a continual and ongoing process. We are always in need of more renewal. We must continually “kill” (mortify) the flesh, and continually actualize the already existing new creation.
The passive “being renewed” indicates that the renewal is not something that results from our own efforts. We are the workmanship of God, and our new nature comes to us as a gift from God. We must work out the salvation that God has worked in our lives.
Knowledge of God, of Jesus, and of God’s ways are crucial for living a life pleasing to God. The fullness of the knowledge of God comes as a byproduct of our renewal.
This renewal comes from our being joined to Christ, Who is the image of the invisible God. We cannot recreate the image of God with systems or lists of “do’s” and “don’ts.” (Garland, NIV Colossians)
In Colossians 3:11, we encounter a bit more of the social implications of what it means to say “Christ is all, and in all.” While we have dealt extensively and will deal some more with the personal and individual implications of this statement, the radical social impact also comes into view in verse 11.
Paul shows how walls should come down nationalistically (Greek or Jew), religiously (circumcised or uncircumcised) and socially (slave or free). These walls divide people into hostile groups built around their own preferences and class standings.
The reference to “Scythian, barbarian” is a subject of some debate. For years, Biblical interpreters have taken this to be a reference to pagan people (barbarians) who came from north of the North Sea. These people groups would have drifted in and settled in the Lycus Valley, some brought as prisoners of war and others bought as slaves.
Recent archaeological and literary studies, however, have shown that the Scythians were a people group unto themselves, and would not necessarily have been forced to settle in the Lycus River valley. Though not necessarily a slave class, they were not a respected group due to their pagan background.
Due to that status, the Scythians obviously had endured some prejudice and the Colossians needed the reminder that they were also people for whom God cared.
The final dividing wall of hostility was the wall between slave and free. Both obviously had ended up in the same church (See Philemon for a case study). This wall was one of the most difficult to tear down.
“Christ is all, and in all” has implications that transcend the individual, and the statement impacts the body life of churches still today. With this verse, the stage is set for a deeper dive into what “the new community” must look like. (vv 15-17)
Colossians 3:12-14 contain a further description of what the Christian’s “new garments” should contain. It offers a seven item list of things that should begin to characterize us as we “live risen.” These items are catalogued in three broad groupings:
“Compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience fill in the first list of virtues mentioned in these verses. All of this is aimed toward harmony and unity within the church, and the need for long-suffering within the group. These are individual characteristics that have implications for the broader life together in the church.
The second listing has to do specifically with forgiveness and “enduring,” or “forbearing and forgiving” which is putting up with people when they fail or don’t live up to expectations. The word forgiveness is based on the root word for grace, indicating the fundamental virtue necessary for forgiveness to take place.
The essence of Christian community is realizing that the church is made up of imperfect, flawed people who will offend each other and hurt and each other and act in unChristlike ways toward each other.
Community can continue only in the context of believers willing to “charisomai”, to forgive the offense of a brother or sister in Christ. As we have been forgiven, so we are to forgive, beginning with each other. God initiated forgiveness through Jesus even before confession occurred. (Melick NAS)
The third category is captured simply with the word “love.” We are, above all things, to put on love. It is this love, Paul tells us, that “binds all things together in perfect unity.” (3:14). It is this mutual love that binds them together in perfection, or completeness. (Or, “it is love that brings all things to an appropriate and logical end.)
A New Community
New people; people with a new identity and a new joy and a new purpose and even a new character will naturally create a new community. As they bind together there will come a spiritual synergy that will bear witness to something greater than the composite parts of the body. Indeed, that is exactly what the church is!
But each part must perform its role. This is why Paul began with character, and then moves specifically to conduct within the body. What does Christian community look like? How is it different from any other social group of people, religious or secular?
Let the Peace of Christ Rule
The first characteristic of the new community listed is peace. The community of believers is to be “ruled” by (an athletic term that means to “umpire” or “preside over,” as a judge) the peace of God.
It is the peace of God within us that keeps us in alignment with the will of God. Now peace can be counterfeited, and the discomfort of the Holy Spirit within us when we are being disobedient can be covered over by a false sense of security and peace. Jonah experienced such a “false peace” that, even while fleeing God’s mandate to go to Nineveh, he slept through a storm in the belly of the ship.
But God’s peace is to be the final “umpire” or “referee” in the church. His peace should be our spiritual GPS, knowing which way to turn and when to stop and when to move. He is to rule, not only in our hearts, but in His church.
Let the Word of Christ Dwell
The second command is in Colossians 3:16 and says, “Let the Word of Christ dwell richly in us.” To dwell means “to feel at home.” The Word of Christ should be a welcome guest in the hearts of believers, not an unwelcome intruder.
But the implication of this command is not simply an individual encouragement and admonition, but it literally says “Let the Word of Christ dwell AMONG you….” It moves then to a community command, and not just an individual mandate.
The Word of Christ is also a guidepost for the truth. The Gnostic intruders were bringing a false gospel to the Colossians. It is the Word of Christ that brings clarity and truth and must be the beacon we follow.
The Word of God is not the sole property of the preacher, and even one as esteemed as the Apostle Paul did not claim proprietary ownership of it. He encouraged the Colossians to “teach and admonish” one another with wisdom.
When we are doing this with “one another” it takes great humility and wisdom to speak it, and to receive it from one who is not “an authority.” It is hard to hear from a brother or sister in Christ who feels the need to “teach” you or “admonish” you. Our pride bristles.
But the Word of God is to be transmitted to “one another,” and not just from pulpit to pew. And all of us, whether trained or untrained, in positions of authority and leadership or with no recognized authority, are to be both carriers and dispensers of the Word of Christ “in all wisdom.”
The Word of Christ is not simply to be spoken however. It is also to be sung with “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” with gratitude. Music in the church has three audiences. We are to sing, of course, to God. Then, we are to sing to other believers. Finally, we are to sing to ourselves.
Music fails in its mission if those three targets are not in sight. Sometimes the music that is sung, especially in our day, can have little to know Biblical or doctrinal truth in view. It is seen as enough if some level of emotion is felt as the song is sung, even though the singer or songwriter has little or no understanding or training in the Bible.
We must be careful in such a day not to imbed in people’s hearts an untrue statement attached to a memorable melody. Music in the church has always been and will always been important as a means of communicating the Word of God to ourselves and to others, and as a primary way of offering worship to God. Every great movement of God in history has been accompanied by a rebirth or a “new song,” but it is still the same truth being communicated. We should not fall in love with the singer of the song or the style in which it is presented. But the truth should always be present in what we are singing in church, whether familiar tunes accompany it or not.
This is all to be done “with gratitude” to the Lord. Over and over the Book of Colossians returns to this theme of thankfulness and gratitude which we pass by too quickly. Our singing should be with thankful hearts and spirits. It is this accompaniment that most pleases the Father.
R.E.O. White, the great British preacher, used to say, “The surest sign you are carrying a full bucket is wet feet.” When our hearts are full to the brim with the Word of Christ, our feet will be “wet” with songs of praise to the One Who dwells within us.
Let the Name of Christ Overflow
The church is to be a place where the name of Jesus overflows in everything that is done, whether within the church or not. “Whatever you do…” We are to be people who “take the Name of Jesus with us” as we live together in unity, and love, and harmony with the Word of Christ indwelling us and His Name receiving glory for it all.
And one last time, Paul reinforces that this is to be done “giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” This overflow comes out of the fullness of His peace, the indwelling of His Word, and a continually growing gratitude in our hearts.
When the church looks like this, God will be glorified in it. When it is less than this, His Name is diminished among us. When we are not grateful and growing in gratitude, His reputation is tarnished among us.
May we always be people with wet feet, filled to overflowing with His presence among us!