On Sunday the Sunset pastor continued our “Raised with Christ” series with a message, “New Clothes!”  The text was from Colossians 3:12-14, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people,… clothe yourselves with compassion , kindness, humility, gentleness and patience….”

We all love new clothes!

In the Christian life, God gives us new spiritual clothes, and it is our blessing to wear them.

The pastor made two points:  (1) God’s People on the Inside; (2) New Clothes on the Outside.

(1) God’s People on the Inside.   Before we came to Christ, we used to wear the raggedy old clothes of our fallen earthly nature.

In v5, he lists some practices of our old destructive earthly nature:  “sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed,…. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these:  anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.  Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self….”

Now, we are God’s people.  V12:  “Therefore, as God’s chosen people….”  God has chosen us for himself.  We no longer identify with the underworld, but with God’s upper world.

 We are “holy,” v12.  We are set apart for God.  God sees us as sinless and forgiven, God’s own people.  We are “dearly loved,” v12.  God loved us so much that He sent Jesus to die for us.

 (2) New Clothes on the Outside.  Since God has chosen us to be his own people, since he has forgiven us and sees us as holy, and since he dearly loves us, he desires for us to become like him in all his loving ways, and he lists a few qualities of that new life.

V12:  “Clothe yourselves with compassion.”  King James Version (KJV):  compassion is translated “bowels of mercies.”  The Greek word is the word for your physical gut, and it means to be full of mercy for others, welling up from deep within you.  Compassion means to feel with the other person.  It means to be with them when they’re sad and when they’re glad:  we are not alone.

“Kindness” means a good heart, expressing itself in kind words and deeds. Many marriages would do much better if both spouses expressed kindness to each other.

 “Humility” means lowliness of mind, not promoting or exalting oneself.  Did you ever see a person who was always right and never wrong, in his own mind?   We resist such a person.  We think:  How arrogant!  But the lowly — God lifts up.  1 Peter 5:6:  “Humble yourselves under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”  We are drawn to the humble, and repelled by the self-promoter.

“Gentleness” [KJV meekness]:  denotes not weakness but strength under cover.  Jesus was gentle, not because he was fragile but because he had the infinite power of God within him, and he knew it.  He didn’t have to be pompous.  He had power, and he didn’t have to be a showboat.

The other reason Jesus was gentle is that he knew everybody was going through trials.  Be gentle with them.

“Patience” [KJV longsuffering]: a quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation which does not hastily retaliate or promptly punish. The opposite of anger, it’s associated with mercy, and is used of God. You don’t have to blow up whenever someone burns the bacon. Be patient, show some restraint.

“Bear with each other”:  KJV forbearance, means to endure each other’s mistakes and faults. Forbearance, like perseverance, goes a long way in keeping people together.

“Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”   God forgave you, so we should forgive each other.

 V14:  “Over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”  Love—active good will—is the best binder for any relationship.

  Our Sunset Music Minister Jerry Hinson sang a beautiful special, “Blessings,” on Sunday.  Thank you Jerry.

 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”

 Praising and thanking God is the best one can do — and is our prayer for you from your friends at Sunset Christian Church.