Peace, Riches, & Music
As we saw from last weeks post, the application of “putting on” is built within the framework and context of the local church. Paul is speaking to the local church of Colossi and he is admonishing them to “put on” for the edification of the body of Christ.
We are to “bear one another” primarily in an attitude of forgiveness through every aspect of life. However, if we are to do this, there are elements that must grip and hold sway in our lives if we are to know what God would have us to put on and how we are to live it with others. We have brushed over them in passing, but let’s take a deeper look.
The Peace of God’s Rule
The Greek word for peace in Colossians 3 has to do with a referee. A referee’s job is to keep the peace within a game. Let God’s peace be the referee of your heart and soul through every upheaval that threatens to ruin your day. Let the peace of God – the knowledge of His work of grace direct and govern your heart every day. Let it rule every emotion, thought, and action.
The Word of God Richly
The word of Christ must dwell in us “extravagantly rich”. It is where we live and where the scriptures find a home. The word of God does not dwell in our hearts as a servant but rather as the master of the house.
In the Old Testament, God would bless the Israelites extravagantly when they walked in obedience. There would be abundance in all they had. When the word of God is planted deep into our hearts and minds and is allowed to dwell with extravagance, there is rich blessing. The truth firmly, but with all grace, demands that we live in such a way as to reflect the person of Christ. And when your mind is consumed with the truth it will be compelled by the truth to obey.
The Songs, Hymns, & Spiritual Songs
Music touches and speaks to our hearts and souls in ways the sermon cannot and in turn the preached word of God does the same. We need both. There is strength and power when the people of God come together to sing His praises. There is great need for the coupling of God’s word preached and the corporate singing of the magnificence of who He is. It is clear from our text that “teaching and admonishing” can come from both the preached word primarily and the singing of that truth corporately.
All of the virtues Paul mentions [in the previous verses] are extolled through the truth of God’s word and the encouragement of His people. There is something special when God’s people come together and sing them to one another and most assuredly to their God. There is a power and a strength that encourages your heart and glorifies our God. This is why corporate worship is important. Why do you think the scriptures command us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together [Heb. 10:25]? So let us come together in thanksgiving to our magnificent God and glory in His great name.
John MacArthur tells us, “Paul reminds that it is always to be done [putting on] not with reluctance or despair or legalistic duty, but with giving thanks through Him to God the Father. To put on the new lifestyle is to put on Christ. That is the obligation of every believer.”
Matthew Henry put it this way: “The work of thanksgiving to God is such a sweet and pleasant work that it will help to make us sweet & pleasant towards all men”.
And lest you think these are mere works, understand where the grace comes from to put on that which is pleasing to God. We are clothing ourselves in Christ unto His glory. Never reduce the “putting on” to looking good. You must always live in the light of the magnificent work of Christ that enables the “putting on”. Remember, “We are God’s chosen ones” not the other way around. He pursued us and requires that we put on so that others might see the glorious person of Christ in every aspect of our lives. It’s all about Christ – nothing more, nothing less.
Be thankful for this my friend. Walk in humble gratitude for grace that you will never deserve but will always have in order that you might clothe yourself in the virtues of Christ for the edification of the saints & the glory of His great name.
Photo credit: Photography by Britton