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Stop Lying

Colossians 3:9-10

Truth is an essential part of God's character.  Jesus Christ described Himself as 'the Truth' (John 14:6).  But falsehood is an essential part of the devil's character; and lying is his native language (John 8:44-45).  Therefore, everybody who belongs to Jesus has an obligation to stop lying and speak the truth.  Continuing to lie, after we are saved, is a terrible insult to our Creator: it shows that we care more about how we can elevate ourselves and manipulate our own circumstances than desire His glory and trust in His sovereign power.

All One In Christ Jesus

Colossians 3:11

Unbelievers are often surprised that everybody who comes to Jesus is equally valued by Him.

Family Clothes

Colossians 3:12

Families are often glad to pass clothing from one child to another.  It is economical but also allows the older children to say, ‘I used to wear that’: a sort of bonding with younger siblings.  On the other hand, rebellious children can refuse to wear what is conventional for the family, and dress differently as a way of expressing that they do not respect the family values.  What we wear identifies us: an external sign of our loyalties and values.  Using that picture, Paul tells the believers in Colossae that they need 'new clothes' because they belong to Christ.

More Family Clothes

Colossians 3:13-14

Human relationships tend to return like-for-like.  When people love you, you love them; and those who hate you are hated in return.  Using the analogy of family clothes or uniform, Paul says that our outward appearance should be like that of God. He is patient, very patient. He does not get angry quickly.  That does not mean that God is never angry, but that He withholds His judgement, waiting for sinners to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).  When they do, He is forgiving, completely forgiving.

Allow God To Work

Colossians 3:15-16

There is no doubt that God is always at work (John 5:17).  He continues to sustain the universe He has created (Hebrews 1:3) and is active in promoting good things for His people (Romans 8:28).  He is continually at work in every believer, motivating us to do what is good and empowering us to achieve it (Philippians 2:13).  The question is, do we let Him work in our lives, and in the lives of other believers in the fellowship, or do we get in the way, blocking His power and grace?

Motivation And Purpose

Colossians 3:17

Every day there is so much to do.  Many demands are made of us at home and at work.  Our friends and relatives may feel they have the right to invade or even control our day.  Our employers may have no other objective than getting the job done well and demand total commitment.  But those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ have another and more significant purpose.

Love And Submission

Colossians 3:18-19

‘Submission’ tends to be seen as a negative concept.  But, in fact, it is as positive as love.

Obedience And Encouragement

Colossians 3:20-21

Children should honour their parents; the fifth commandment says so.  Obedience is the simplest proof of honour: such action demonstrates heartfelt respect.  Paul is writing to families who claim to follow Jesus Christ: if children cannot obey their parents who they can see, they will have no desire to honour God who they cannot see.  Obedient children (providing that their obedience is willing and in response to loving encouragement) are a joy to their parents, a blessing to the church and a glory to God.  Honouring parents in that way brings the promise of blessing (Ephesians 6:2-3).

Honest Work

Colossians 3:22

Relationships in the workplace are not always easy, especially when there is also a family or other close connection.  In Paul's day, slaves did whatever their masters commanded, as well as free people being employed to provide goods and services.  But when they believed the gospel and received Christ, they became brothers and sisters with other believers.  They enjoyed an equal relationship with Jesus irrespective of their unequal social status.  So how were they going to relate in their workplace?  Did they still have to obey their masters?

Honest Reward

Colossians 3:23-25

Wholehearted commitment is essential for entrepreneurs.  If they do not put everything into it, they cannot expect to get anything out of it.  But they are working for themselves; their reward is proportional to their effort and skill.  Employees may think differently if their pay is guaranteed.  They might work when they are watched and do the minimum to avoid punishment.  Those working for relatives might have an even more casual approach.  Paul tells the working people in the church that those attitudes are wrong.  Our ultimate Master is not the employer, but Jesus Christ; and therefore