Sermon Notes & References

“Be It Resolved That ...”

Colossians 3:12-17

December 29, 2019

1.  New Year’s Resolutions

     a.  Easy to Make

     b.  Harder to Keep

     c.  But How About These?

2.  As God’s Children

     a.  Yes, We Are! (12a)

     b.  Show It in Our Attitudes (12b) Footnote

     c.  Show It in Our Actions (13) Footnote

3.  As God’s People

     a.  The Church

     b.  Be United in Love (14-15a)

          i.   Love Is Christian Glue Footnote

          ii.  Fulfilment of Body Life

     c.  Be Servants (16a, 17a)

          i.   Directed by the Word

          ii.  Acting for His Sake Footnote

     d.  Be Worshipful (15b, 16b, 17b)

          i.   Grateful

          ii.  Praiseful

4.  Conclusion

Endnote  Colossians 3:12-17. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . “Be It Resolved That…”


1.  New Year’s Resolutions

     a.  Easy to Make

          i.   the end of the year a time for looking back

                (1) over the past year to see the things achieved

                (2) but also of things intended but not carried out

          ii.  so that there naturally falls out from this

                (1) a list of things that we should like to accomplish this coming year

                (2) and of habits from which we want to free ourselves


     b.  Harder to Keep

          i.   because some things are part of our physical or mental makeup

                (1) “I am going to get up earlier”

                (2) “I am going to lose 5 kg.”

                (3) “I am going to exercise half an hour each day”

          ii.  or because some things are just not under our own control

                (1) “I am going to make more money this year”

                (2) “I am going to do something special with my spouse each week”


     c.  But How About These?

          i.   “I will invite people to church as opportunity arises”

          ii.  “I will have a quiet time with God each day”

          iii.  “I shall get myself a new wardrobe”

                (1) what’s that?

                (2) well that is what today’s passage is advising

                (3) a new, spiritual wardrobe that is!


2.  As God’s Children

     a.  Yes, We Are! – Verse 12a: “And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, …”

          i.   when a person recognizes his or her need of the Saviour

                (1) due to the sin that destroyed our intended relationship with God

                (2) then claims by faith the forgiveness from sin that Jesus Christ made available by His work on the cross

                (3) there comes a change in that person’s status before God

                (4) he or she has become – among other things – a child of God by His sovereign choice

                     (a) some Scriptures use the term adoption to describe this

                     (b) while other Scriptures use the term regeneration or new birth

                (5) but in any event it deals with the problem that some things were formerly beyond our control because of sin

          ii.  that change is described in this verse by the “holy and beloved”

                (1) holy, because God has separated us from out of this world to be His

                (2) beloved, because God takes an interest in our personal well-being

                (3) as a result that the things we could not change in ourselves by our own will-power, God can change in us by His Holy Spirit

                     (a) our attitudes

                     (b) our actions


     b.  Show It in Our Attitudes – Verse 12b: “… put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;”

          i.   nothing in these words would limit them to only being toward other Christians – in fact, in in light of Christ’s sermon on the mount, quite the opposite – as God’s children, reflecting our Father’s qualities

                (1) there are five attitudes that we should resolve to practise to others

                (2) it will be good for us to examine these a little more closely

          ii.  “Heart of compassion” – as in the AV, the Greek is a more expressive

                (1) when we see someone in need we are move to show pity, mercy

                (2) it hits us where it hurts … in the pit of our stomach

                (3) 1 John 3:17-18 says this emotion translates to motion: action

          iii.  “kindness” – moral goodness that flows out in benignity

                (1) it is but a reflection of God’s kindness

                (2) sending our Saviour out of heavenly palaces into a world of woe

          iv. “humility” – lowliness in our self-consideration

                (1) having a humble opinion of one’s own self

                (2) “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself;” (Philippians 2:3)

          v.  “gentleness” – that is, meekness and mildness, as in Jesus

                (1) it is the opposite of being harsh or abrasive

                (2) needing us first to rid ourselves of annoyance and anger

          vi. “patience” – long-suffering, forbearing

                (1) another of God’s own qualities

                (2) that very quality of Jesus Christ that brought our salvation

          vii. these are qualities that we should resolve to foster in our lives


     c.  Show It in Our Actions – Verse 13: “bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”

          i.   how do we deal with other Christians when they are provoking

                (1) what? Christians being provoking? Yes!

                (2) because growing up to maturity according to the measure of Jesus Christ is a long – and often painful – journey

                (3) and reasons for complaint will arise

                (4) for whom our example is Jesus Himself

                (5) the response is to be found in two “for’s” – forbearing, forgiving

          ii.  “forbearing” – one literal translation is holding oneself back for another

                (1) instead of the natural response to strike back in word or fact

                (2) but being like Jesus: “and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;” (1 Peter 2:23)

          iii.  “forgiving” – a kind of forgiveness independent of the other's attitude

                (1) not the cancellation of another's debt

                (2) but the showing favour to them, making yourselves agreeable

                (3) in practical terms, acting as though there was no complaint

          iv. let us resolve to act in such a manner that we can grow up in Christ


3.  As God’s People

     a.  The Church

          i.   the term, church, in Scripture does not mean a building or organization

                (1) the Greek is ekklesia – they are thos whom God has called out

                (2) it is the designation for God’s people

                (3) particularly when assembled together

                (4) but more generally those comprising the body of Christ

          ii.  and is illustrated in the Scripture in a number of ways, two being

                (1) a body, made up of many, jointly dependent members,

                (2) and, a building, built up of many, individual stones

          iii.  both of which show the binding relationship between believers

          iv. and this dependent relationship is to be shown in

                (1) loving

                (2) serving

                (3) worship


     b.  Be United in Love – Verses 14-15a: 14 And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15a And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; …”

          i.   Love Is Christian Glue

                (1) the common command to the church, expressed in various ways

                     (a) is found in Christ’s closing remarks to His disciples

                     (b) “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35 NAS)

                (2) love is God’s epoxy, super glue to bind His people together

                (3) but unlike those glues we use to repair, it is flexible, allowing the body of Christ to move together purposefully and in comfort

          ii.  Fulfilment in Body Life

                (1) the Biblical picture of church unity

                     (a) is not square pegs forced into round holes & vice-versa

                     (b) but individuals, manifestly different – in all shapes and sizes

                     (c) come together each contribution his or her own unique flavour to the mixture – every flavour needed, and by God’s gracious design, none missing

                (2) so that the whole – whether large or small – is able to contribute its part in carrying out God’s commission

          iii.  let it be resolved that each of us carry out our part with such love


     c.  Be Servants – Verses 16a 17a: 16a Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another… 17a And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, ”

          i.   Directed by the Word

                (1) this may be the word taught by Christ or the word about Christ

                     (a) ultimately these are the same, for His life & teaching agreed

                     (b) we need to implant such word within us

                     (c) for which reason we encourage everyone to make a good habit – that of setting aside a time & place daily to read and to pray

                (2) that word, richly, suggests that we should never consider that we have arrived … there is ever room for further enrichment

                     (a) that is that we should be ongoing disciples … learners

                     (b) and as such we also disciple others

                     (c) in fact, it seems here that we do both at the same time

                     (d) so there is a lot of truth in that song from “The King and I” – “It's a very ancient saying / But a true and honest thought / That if you become a teacher /By your pupils you'll be taught” Endnote

          ii.  Acting for His Sake

                (1) if on the one hand it is the word of Christ that is our lesson book

                     (a) then on the other hand the Name of Christ is our motivation

                     (b) that is, that we are governed in consideration of the sake of His reputation – since we bear His Name as Christian – how we act

                (2) think for a moment or two, then, on what He Himself stated as being important for His reputation: “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28 NAS)

                     (a) in a world where the prevailing philosophy seems to be that everybody owes me a living, and I should insist on my rights

                     (b) what a change can be made by those who have the mind of Christ in respect to servanthood

          iii.  in what areas might we resolve to practice such thinking?


     d.  Be Worshipful – Verses 15b, 16b, 17b: 15b … and be thankful. 16b … with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17b … giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

          i.   Grateful

                (1) when you examine it, the essence of worship to God seems to be encompassed in the idea of gratitude

                     (a) thanksgiving for our own being

                     (b) recognition of His blessings and provisions

                     (c) but over it all, benediction for the joy of being His child

                (2) so thankfulness surrounds in these verses the ways in which we can express our worship to God

                (3) but note in passing that worship is one way of admonishing and teaching others – which is one reason we sing so many older hymns that are so full of Scriptural truth and teaching

          ii.  Praiseful

                (1) and, if you find yourself limited musically

                     (a) that in no way limits us in worship

                     (b) because this can be (and should be) done in our hearts

                     (c) regardless of what comes from our mouths or doesn’t flow from our fingers

                     (d) we can be encouraged by “make a joyful noise” as found in some of the Psalms (AV) – or, “shout joyfully”

                (2) and, for that matter, praise can be private as well as public

          iii.  worship is less a matter of emotion than of meditation


4.  Conclusion

     a.  you probably noticed that I sneaked in a few possible items

          i.   that you could add to your list of resolutions for 2020

          ii.  as the Lord may lead you

          iii.  if you are given to making such a list

     b.  but in any account some of which it doesn’t hurt us to be reminded

          i.   that we have more joy as individuals

          ii.  and more fulfilment as a local body of Jesus Christ

          iii.  to His praise & glory