October 17, 2021
Putting It On
Introduction: 2 weeks ago, I spoke about taking off or putting off (fornication, uncleanness, passion (evil) and desire – covetousness.
- General Attributes of Believers – v.12 Heartfelt / Genuine attributes
At this point in verse 12, Paul simply begins describing attributes that are to be fruit of the gospel in our lives as believers. Heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience are to characterize our lives. Notice, however, that building on the idea of putting off the old man and putting on the new man from verses nine and 10, Paul says to “put on” these things.
Application: Certainly, this requires intention, such as putting on clothing requires a person’s intention. Even further, amidst a context where preparations for church services must happen every week, for the church technical servant, this requires devotion-a true sense that time with God and in His Word must both come before and be the motivation and clothing for all of the technical, pastoral, and creative elements to our jobs.
II. Actual Declarations – v. 13
Verse 13 describes what this will actually look like in real life. The idea of accepting one another is not that we should not keep one another accountable and bear one another’s burdens, but rather that we should love each other in such a way that reflects the love of Christ to the world outside. Specifically, this is tested when conflict arises. In Christian community and in technology ministry, conflict is a reality. Feelings are hurt, pride is offended, and what remains is truly whether we believe we are sinners desperately in need of forgiveness and saving. As Paul writes in the second half of the verse, we are to forgive because we have been forgiven.
III. Defining/Primary Evidence – v.14
In Verse 14 Paul says that we must, as the primary evidence that we are united in Christ, put on love. The number of passages in the New Testament exhorting, encouraging-even commanding us to love one another as part of the Church-is such that it is surely a familiar theme to any believer. However, it is especially helpful here within the “clothing that we put on” context of this passage, as love is expressed as something to cover all that we are and do.
IV. Giving in to Putting On – vv. 15-16
Verses 15 and 16 contain the language of letting. In 15, we are to let the peace of the Messiah, which Paul again relates to our having been called to unity in the church, rule over the condition of our hearts. This is an interesting idea in that the peace of Christ is to be the decisive factor in our relationships with others and in our circumstances in general. In 15 we are to let the Gospel, “the message about the Messiah,” inhabit our lives both individually and corporately as the church. We get the individual sense from what has come before and the corporate sense in what is spelled out after. As the Church, the Gospel is to richly characterize what we do and how we do it, and certainly this applies to our corporate worship services.
Given the personal nature of much of Paul’s language throughout the passage, it seems helpful to remind ourselves that the Gospel has implications for the way we interact with our technology teams, music teams, facilities teams, leadership, and really everyone who is a part of the church. The temptation in the heat of the moment for us tech folks is to be so focused on preventing a distraction or quality lapse in our areas of responsibility, that we forsake Paul’s command to love and to let “the peace of the Messiah” govern our interactions with one another. Surely these previous ideas find a general application in the concept of the Gospel dwelling richly among us.
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