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The New Life in Christ Jesus
Seven pairs of things:
1. Things above, and things on the earth (Colossians 3:2 ).
2. Things seen, and things not seen (2 Corinthians 4:18 ).
3. Things temporal, and things eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18 ).
4. Things of weakness, and things mighty (1 Corinthians 1:27-28 ).
5. Things of a man, and the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:11 ).
6. Things behind, and things before (Philippians 3:13 ).
7. Things of self, and things of others.
1. Things above, and things on the earth (Colossians 3:2 ). Our verse reads: "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." The reason for this injunction is that our life is hid with Christ in God.
There is another passage much like this one, which reads: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, * * but * * in Heaven." Everything that is of the earth, is earthy, and will pass away with the earth. Moths and rust, along with thieves, tend to the undoing of earthly loves and earthly stores.
2. Things seen, and things not seen (2 Corinthians 4:18 ). Everything which we can see with the natural eye, is classed as temporal; that is, they are only for time. The things which are not seen, are the things which are eternal. While we look at the things seen, we look at our afflictions. These, however, are but for a moment. While we look at the things not seen, we behold a far more exceeding, and eternal weight of glory.
When we obey the injunction of this text we faint not. What, and if, the things of this earth do tend to disappointments and trials, we faint not; for even if our outward man perishes, our inward man is being renewed day by day.
3. Things temporal and things eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18 ). This we have before us as a vital factor, something real in Christian living.
The things seen, so frequently take precedence, with Christians, over the things which are not seen. We need to remember that our blessings are in the Heavenly places. They are not the things which can be reckoned in our temporal or earthly assets. One may be rich in things seen, and poor in the things not seen. One may be poor in the things seen, and unspeakably rich in the things which are not seen.
4. Things of weakness, and things which are mighty (1 Corinthians 1:27 ). God hath chosen the things which are weak to confound the things which are mighty; the foolish things He hath chosen to confound the wise; the base things, the despised things, and the things which are not, God hath chosen to bring to nought the things that are.
The minister of Jesus Christ has learned that power belongeth unto God. In His service, there is no place for glorying in the flesh.
5. The things of a man and the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:11 ). The things of a man are the things which may be known and solved from a human psychological viewpoint. The things of God are the things which are revealed by the Holy Spirit. These latter things no man knoweth, save as the Spirit of God reveals them.
6. The things behind, and the things before (Philippians 3:13 ). When the Apostle Paul became a Christian he put behind him the things which had formerly been his chief joy. He counted them all but loss. Reputation, position, the praise of men, were reckoned as but dross. The things of God became his all in all.
He began to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
7. The things of self, and the things of others. It is so easy for us to live for self self-advancement, self-accomplishment for everything that has to do with placing Ourselves on high among men. When we live for the things of others, we seek their good, their wealth, their spiritual benefactions. We die, that they might live.
I. THE SAFETY OF THE SAVED (Colossians 3:3 )
1. Hid with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3 ).
2. Christ places His life in lieu of ours (John 14:19 ).
3. In My hand, My Father's hand (John 10:28-29 ).
1. Hid with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3 ). It is a wonderful thing to have our life hid away, and safeguarded with Christ in God. When Jesus Christ was upon the earth He was absolutely safe from the madness and tyranny of the crowd. For this cause we know that He did not die upon the Cross because He was overwhelmed by a maddened mob.
We, too, are safe because we too are hid in God. The security of a believer is not a matter dependent upon himself. Christ is his security, and God is his surety.
2. Christ places His life in lieu of ours (John 14:19 ). With what assurance did our Lord speak when He said: "I will come to you," and when He added: "Because I live, ye shall live also." As long, therefore, as our Lord lives, we have the promise that we too shall live. This union of Christ with the believer is set forth in many Scriptures. Our life is not a life distinct from His. An earthly father may die, and his son may live; or, the son may die, and the father live, because their lives are distinct the one from the other. Our life, however, is His life in us. The Book says: "Christ, who is our life." Christ in us, therefore, becomes our hope of Glory.
3. In My hand, My Father's hand (John 10:28-29 ). Here is a third comforting' statement. The Lord said: "I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand." Then He added: "No man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand." Here is a double security. Before Satan can overthrow our life, he must first conquer our Saviour. Then he must conquer God the Father. We surely have a place where we may rest, gratefully thankful, and unafraid.
II. COMING WITH CHRIST IN GLORY (Colossians 3:4 )
1. Christ is the believer's life.
2. Christ will appear in glory.
3. We will appear with Him.
1. Christ is the believer's life. It is for this reason that we are inseparable from Him. It is for this reason that we have nothing whereof to boast. He is the new life which throbs within our hearts. We remember how A. B. Simpson used to sing:
"Live out Thy life in me,
By Thy wonderful power,
By Thy grace every hour,
Live out Thy life in me."
It is not the believer merely trying to walk as an imitator of Christ. It is Christ walking out His life in the believer.
2. Christ will appear in glory. Our verse speaks of the Appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ. This Appearing centers in His Second Advent into the world. He told us, "If I go * *, I will come again." He will come first for His saints. When He comes, those who sleep in Christ, God will bring with Him. He will bring them with Him, because when saints die, they depart to be with Christ. He will bring them with Him, that they may enter into their bodies, raised, and made unto His glorious body. Thus we have emphasized the fact that Christ will appear for His saints; afterward, He will come with His saints to Mount Olivet.
3. We will appear with Him in glory. He who came once to be despised and rejected of men is coming back again. He who came for His saints, as above, will come with them in glory. We speak not now of His bringing His saints with Him to get their bodies, in order that they may be caught up to meet Him in the air. We speak now of His coming from the air, down to the earth.
When He comes to the earth, in the glory of His Father and His holy angels with Him, then shall we also appear with Him. He will come riding on His white horse, as in Revelation 19:1-21 ; we shall come attending Him, riding also on white horses. It is written, "The armies, * * in Heaven followed Him upon white horses," and, in that day His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives, which is to the east of Jerusalem.
III. THE CALL TO MORTIFICATION OF THE FLESH (Colossians 3:5 )
1. The great "therefore."
2. Others may, we may not.
3. Let me die, if I am dead.
1. The great "therefore." Colossians 3:5 says: "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth." The "therefore" reaches back into the statement of the preceding verses, that we are risen with Christ; that our affection should be set on things above; that our life is hid with Christ in God. The "therefore" also includes the vision of Christ's Second Appearing, and of our appearing with Him in glory.
It is because of these things that we are called upon to mortify our members which are upon the earth. There is no place for fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness in the life of one who has been quickened, and raised, and made to sit in the Heavenlies with Christ.
2. Others may, we may not. There are many things that Others may do, and get away with; but we may not do such things. We are a people who have been made anew in Christ Jesus. We are living on a different plane than the world. Our ideals, our ambitions, our destiny, are all distinct and opposite to those of the unsaved. Therefore, we may not live as others live.
A fountain which is sweet, cannot bring forth bitter water; neither can a bitter fountain bring forth sweet water. A good tree does not bring forth evil fruit; nor an evil tree good fruit.
3. Let me die, if I am dead. In Colossians 3:3 we read: "Ye are dead." Shall we not then prove ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord? Once we were dead in sins, and dead to the new life; now we are dead to sin, but alive unto Christ.
IV. THE PAST COMPARED WITH THE PRESENT (Colossians 3:6-8 )
1. Ye were the children of disobedience.
2. Ye were the subjects of wrath.
3. Ye walked, lived in them.
4. Ye now "put off" these things.
1. Ye were the children of disobedience. Sometimes it does us good to look back at the pit from which we were digged. It is of this that God now reminds us. The wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience, in which we also walked sometimes when we lived in them. Thus God reminds us of our past. We are now, however, no longer the children of disobedience.
The wicked have broken away from the commands of God. They are walking in their own way, following after their own lusts. They have no heart to hear, and no will to obey the voice of God.
2. Ye were the subjects of wrath. Colossians 3:6 speaks of the wrath of God, which rests upon the disobedient. In the 1st chapter of Romans, this is enforced by these words: "For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men." Once we were children of wrath.
3. Ye walked, lived in them. Both of these expressions occur in Colossians 3:7 . Think of a person who walks in the lustings of his flesh, and who lives environed in such things. Such was our sad lot before Christ found us. The fleshpots of Egypt, with their melons and garlic, were sweet to our taste. We, of yore, delighted in those grosser, viler things of impurity, which now we despise.
4. Ye now "put off" these things. All things are now new; old things are passed away. Shall we, therefore, still walk in the old ways? Shall anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication still dominate our lives? Shall we who have put off the old man, still lie one to another? God forbid! God hath not called us unto uncleanness but unto holiness.
V. THE NEW MAN (Colossians 3:10-11 )
1. The new man is created of God.
2. The new man bears the image of Him who created him.
3. The new man recognizes no human classification.
1. The new man is created of God. We should recognize what God announces. He says we have put on the new man. Then He tells us that this "new man" is created. This is set forth in Colossians 3:10 . It is quite as plainly stated in other Scriptures. Here is one in Ephesians 2:10 : "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus." The same Epistle speaks of our old man, and our new man. It is written, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature."
The creation of a new man in Christ stands in contradistinction to the first creation in the Garden of Eden. The man that fell is now the "old man." The "new man" is a brand new creation of God; born, not of flesh, not of blood, not of the will of man, but of God.
2. The new man bears the image of Him who created him. In our first creation, we were created in the image of God. In our second creation, we bear the image of our Christ. The image we once bore was marred when sin came into the world, and when death passed upon all men, in that all have sinned. We now are created in His image; let us bear that image in our faces, and in our manner of living.
3. The new man recognizes no human classification. In the new man, there is neither Greek nor Jew, Barbarian, Scythian, bond, nor free. We are neither of the uncircumcision, nor of the circumcision. We are not of Paul, not of Cephas, not of Apollos; we are of Christ. Our name is Christian, "Christ in." Would that the Church of Jesus Christ would arise in her new life, and refuse any name which tends to class distinction.
VI. WHERE CHRIST IS ALL IN ALL (Colossians 3:11 , l.c.)
1. Christ is all in all in salvation.
2. Christ is all in all in the daily walk.
3. Christ is all in all in service.
4. Christ is all in all in the climax of our lives.
5. Christ is all in all in the great Forevermore.
1. Christ is all in all in salvation. The expression in Colossians 3:11 is most significant and most inclusive. We wish to observe several things where Christ is, indeed, our all in all. He is all in all in our salvation, because it is written: "By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." If we would boast our faith, God answers, it is His gift. We could not save ourselves neither could we help to save ourselves.
2. Christ is all in all in the daily walk. To the extent that we trust in ourselves, we will fail. If we take our eyes off Christ and go to Egypt for help, we will be overcome. To walk worthy of Christ Jesus, it is necessary for Christ Jesus to walk in us.
3. Christ is all in all in service. He who thinks he can preach alone, trusting in His own wisdom or oratorical powers, will utterly fail. He who thinks he can serve in the home, in the Sunday School, in the Young People's work, in his own strength, will soon learn the truth of the statement, "Without Me ye can do nothing." When that statement is learned, then another may be realized, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
4. Christ is all in all in the climax of our lives. Everything that we do, should head up in Christ. He should be the goal toward which we run. Whether we eat, or drink, or whatsoever we do, all should be done to His glory. If we seek great things for ourselves, we seek in vain. If our life centers in selfish ambition, it will be a life wasted, and undone.
5. Christ is all in all in the great Forevermore. When we reach the Glory, the Lord Jesus will be the theme of our praise. The City of gold is the City where the Father and the Son are enthroned, and where their light is the City's illumination. In fact, the new earth will be lighted by the glory of that light, and God will be all in all.
VII. THE MARKS OF THE NEW LIFE (Colossians 3:12-15 )
1. Things which we are to put on (Colossians 3:12 ).
2. Things we are to observe (Colossians 3:13 ).
3. The greatest of all these (Colossians 3:14 ).
1. Things which we are to put on (Colossians 3:12 ). Our key verse opens with the expression: "Put on therefore, as the elect of God." Then come the list of virtues in which we are to be arrayed. The beloved disciple addressed one as the "elect lady." Any elect lady, or any elect sir, must remember the royalty of his person. He is the son of God, as well as the elect of God.
He, therefore, should put on the raiment of mercy, and kindness, and humbleness of mind. He should put on meekness and long-suffering. He should forbear with others, forgive others. Above all, and over all of these, he should put on love which is the bond of perfectness.
If you will study the characteristics of the elect's wardrobe, you will find that none of them suggests anything that even approaches pride, or arrogancy, or self-sufficiency, because of one's standing in grace, as the elect of God.
2. Things which we are to observe (Colossians 3:13 ). Elect people should forbear one with another. They should forgive one another if any man have a quarrel against another. We remember the parable of the servant who was forgiven so great a debt; but who, in turn, refused to forgive a fellow servant of so meager a debt. The Lord of that servant thrust the unforgiving one into the prison, till he should pay all his due. Then we read the startling words: "So likewise shall My Heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."
3. The greatest of all these (Colossians 3:14 ). This verse reminds us of 1 Corinthians 13:13 . In Corinthians it says, "The greatest of these is charity (love)." In Colossians 3:14 we read: "Above all these things put on charity (love)." The elect of God should love God. They should love their brethren. They should love a world lost in sin.
Christ must ever remain the all in all of the life and message of the believer.
A native preacher in south China was confronted by a man in his audience. "Why don't you preach something else?" he said. "You have been preaching this Jesus for three days."
"What do you eat for breakfast?" the Chinese preacher answered. "Rice," was the reply. "For dinner?" "Rice." "For supper?" "Rice." "What did you eat yesterday?" "Rice." "What have you been eating for years?" "Rice." "Why do you eat rice every day? Why don't you eat something else?" "Because it keeps me alive," said the man. The evangelist replied, "That is the reason we preach Christ, nothing but Christ. He brings us life and He is our life, and we could not live without Him."
Practical Christian Living
1. Let the peace of God rule in your hearts.
2. The call of God to the Church, His Body.
3. Be ye thankful.
4. Let the Word of God dwell in you richly:
(1) Teaching (2) Admonishing; in hymns and spiritual songs.
1. Let the peace of God rule in your hearts. Our verse opens with this: "Let the peace of God rule in your hearts." We have often heard of a "troubled breast." The Christian should know no such thing, if he is letting peace rule.
The unsaved may be like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, but the Christian has heard Christ say, "My peace I give unto you." We then should let that peace rule in our hearts. We should set "peace" as a sentinel outside the door, and let it "garrison" our hearts; we should also let peace take the reins of control within.
Being justified by faith, "let us have peace." This is a sense of peace with God. He is our peace. He made our peace on Calvary, let us have it. The conflict is over, our sins are gone; under the flag of full pardon we have come to Christ: let us live in the center of His peace.
In our text, however, we have something deeper than the "peace with God," we have "the peace of God." There are no wild storms with dashing waves and blasting winds with God. There are no periods of restlessness, and maddening despair. Let us let the peace of God rule in our hearts.
2. The call of God to His Church. There is something in this peace of God that speaks to the Church. Here is the full command: "Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one Body." God seems to be saying that He wants His peace in the one Body, the Church. Saints have been knit together, and built up together into one Body, and God wants that one Body to function in peace. He wants peace to rule and to reign in the Church.
How shameful are the conditions that often baffle us in the midst of the churches. There are strife and contention; there are schism and divisions, and all because we walk as men. Where peace rules there is oneness in the. one body; there is peace in unity, where there is obedience to one headship.
3. "Be ye thankful." A thankless life is not necessarily a life without blessing; it may be a blessed life, which is forgetful of its benefactions. He who has most, may be the least appreciative. A mother who had bestowed all kinds of love and care upon her child for years, said to me, "Oh, if he were only thankful!" A great physician who was indeed a father of marked kindliness to his son, said, "How I wish my son would only tell me he loves me."
Thinkest thou that our God, from whom all of our blessings flow, would not delight in a bit of thanks? Praise is comely. Praise glorifieth God.
4. "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly." The Psalmist said, "Thy Word have I hid in mine heart." That is fine. Here is something better. The Word must dwell in us, richly ; that is, in large supply; that is, in the full sweep of its richness.
(1) It should dwell in us, teaching us. We, Mary-like, should sit at His feet as students, and hear His Word.
(2) It shall dwell in us, admonishing us. That is, it should reprove us, and it should encourage us.
(3) It should lead us to singing hymns and spiritual songs. His Word puts gladness into our hearts, and singing into our lips.
I. INSTRUCTIONS TO WIVES (Colossians 3:18 )
1. Christianity the liberator of womanhood.
2. The ministrations of women in the Church.
3. The Christian woman should be in subjection.
1. Christianity the liberator of womanhood. There is a little expression in our verse concerning wives. It is in the concluding statement of the verse: "In the Lord." Wives "in the Lord," and wives "in the world" (before the Lord came to give them their emancipation from the thralldom of an unbearable yoke), present two distinct conceptions of wifehood.
Before Christianity came to break their shackles, women were the slaves, the chattels, and the shrinking burdenbearers of their husbands. When Christ came, womanhood and wifehood were placed back in their God-destined and God-purposed glory.
2. The ministrations of women in the Church. The women that publish the glad tidings are a great host. In the Old Testament, under the rule of God, womanhood held a high and holy relationship among the people of God.
In the days of Christ woman showed her true spiritual value. In the Early Church woman took her place as a prominent factor in religious life. Here are a few expressions worthy of study:
"Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the Church which is at Cenchrea: * * assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many."
"Greet Priscilla and Aquilla my helpers in Christ Jesus: who have for my life laid down their own necks."
"Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us."
"Salute * * Junia," my kinsman, and my fellowprisoner, " * * of note among the Apostles."
3. The Christian woman should be in subjection. Womanhood is no less beautiful, and no less helpful in service because she is called to be in subjection to her husband, any more than the Church is less glorious because it is in subjection to Christ. The yoke we bear as Christians is easy, and the burden is light. So also is the Divinely placed yoke upon wifehood easy and light.
II. INSTRUCTIONS TO HUSBANDS (Colossians 3:19 )
1. The Bible oneness of husband and wife.
2. The establishment of a new home.
3. The husband should love his wife, as Christ loved the Church.
1. The Bible oneness of husband and wife. "Each for the other, and both for God." God's plan in the home. It is not the husband going his way, and the wife going hers; but the two going together.
Here is an ode we have written to husbands and wives
We've journeyed together, we two;
We've journeyed together
In all kinds of weather,
O'er moor, fen, and heather,
'Neath dark skies and blue.
And now we are facing, we two;
And now we are facing
The future, and tracing
O God, keep us true!
We'll build up our altar, we two;
We'll build up our altar,
Stand firm as Gibraltar,
And nevermore falter,
The coming years through.
2. The establishment of a new home. Home life is indispensably linked to the thought of marriage and of husband and wife. "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife." The breaking up of the parental home means the establishment of a new home. The son of the first home, now grown, becomes the head of the new home.
3. The husband should love his wife, as Christ loved the Church. The authority of Christ over His Church is absolute; yet Christ loves the Church yea, He gave Himself for it once, and now He ever liveth to prove Himself a blessing to His people. So should, and so do, true husbands love their wives. They live to spend and to be spent for their wives. They who are "lords" become the servants; girding themselves to serve their wives.
III. INSTRUCTIONS TO CHILDREN (Colossians 3:20 )
1. Children should obey their parents in all things.
2. Children should be dedicated to the Lord.
3. Children should be full of trust and faith in Christ Jesus.
1. Children should obey their parents in all things. God does not make arbitrary rules, foreign to wisdom and reason. God's laws are all for our profit. Children are to obey their parents because this is right. The shoulders of the child are not broad enough, nor his reasoning power strong enough, to "carry on" in the world.
Thus, the needs of children, and their call to obey their parents, adds responsibility to the parents. If we must decide the walk and ways of our children, we must choose wisely. We must bring up our children in the way that they should go.
2. Children should be dedicated to the Lord. Hannah brought her child, Samuel, and said, "For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of Him: therefore, also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth."
Joshua said, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." God said of Abram, "I know him, that he will command his children * * after him."
Let fathers, therefore, and mothers, bring their children to God, and give them to Him in fullest consecration.
3. Children should be full of trust and faith in Christ Jesus. Children should obey their parents in the Lord. Even above the authority of the parent, is the authority of the Lord. That means simply this: The child should be taught to recognize the supreme authority of God, and he should, moreover, be taught to early seek the Lord. The little children delighted in climbing up into the arms of their Lord and Lover. Christ said, "Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not." It is to such an One that children should still come, and come believing.
IV. INSTRUCTIONS TO FATHERS (Colossians 3:21 )
1. The father should be the teacher of his children.
2. The father should be an example to his children.
3. The father should not provoke his children to wrath.
1. The father should teach his children. To the father God says, "And thou shalt teach them (My Words) diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."
The father was even commanded to write the Words of God upon the posts of his house, and upon the gates thereof.
The difficulty in child life today, lies in the fact that children are too often wholly neglected as to any spiritual instruction at home. They are left to bring up themselves to walk in the sight of their eyes, and in the ways of their hearts. Some parents give more attention to raising their pigs than to rearing their children.
2. The father should be an example to his children. It is not enough to say, "Do thou this," or "Do thou that." It should be said, "Come thou with me." "Do as I do; say what I say."
We should not send our children to Sunday School and church, we should take them. Yea, we should have the family altar, as a small church in our own home.
No man, as a father, can expect to lift his children to higher planes than those upon which he himself walks.
No mother can hope to guide her children into holiness if she, herself, is unholy.
3. The father should not provoke his children unto wrath. This is the command of our text, and the command is not without reason. A father should not be harsh or unkind in his instructions. He may demand obedience of his children, but he may not "yell it out" and frighten his wee ones into subjection. He may chasten his children for their disobedience, but he may not chasten them in anger. God give us "lovers" among fathers.
V. INSTRUCTIONS FOR SERVANTS (Colossians 3:22 )
1. Servants should not serve with eyeservice.
2. Servants should not be men pleasers, but serve in singleness of heart, fearing God.
3. Servants should adorn the Gospel of Christ.
1. Servants should not serve with eyeservice. How striking is the admonition of our Lord to servants. Some may not wish to count them in at all, or, at least, they may want to place them in a separate compartment. Let us remember the admonition of the Lord through Paul: "There is no respect of persons with God." Let us remember just one other phrase: "Those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour."
Now here is the Lord's command to servants, "Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice."
2. Servants should not be men pleasers. Servants seeking to please God, in singleness of heart, will find themselves abundantly enabled to please their masters. A servant who knows not God will be unprofitable, because of his or her godlessness; while that same servant, serving God faithfully, will be made profitable to his master.
"In singleness of heart," serving the Lord. Here are words that carry great weight. Service should not be "eye-service," pleasing men, but heart service, with one underlying principle (singleness), to serve the Lord. How sublime that, in serving one another, we may serve God; and in serving God, we will the better serve one another.
3. Servants should adorn the Gospel of God. This is taught in Titus. How glorious it is to think that true service to masters, as outlined in Colossians, means "adorning the Gospel," as in the Book of Titus.
Here God places a dignity upon servanthood that is not placed on any other phase of life. This is, perhaps, because we are all servants to Him.
VI. INSTRUCTIONS IN GENERAL (Colossians 3:23 )
1. Whatsoever ye do, do unto the Lord, and not unto men.
2. Whatsoever ye do, do heartily.
3. Second-mile serving.
1. "Whatsoever ye do, do * * as to the Lord, and not unto men." It is written, "Let no man glory in men." If I be yet the pleaser of men, how can I be the pleaser of God? Christ made Himself of no reputation. He said, "I do always those things that please Him."
If we delight in being called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi, and desire the uppermost seats in the synagogues; and if we seek the greetings of men in the market places, we will find ourselves more and more willing to crucify the Lord of Glory. How many serve men more than God? How many love the praise of men more than the praise of God?
2. "Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily." After all, there is only one kind of service that is truly acceptable to God that is a willing, happy, hearty service. Walking and living in the "second-mile" life is the only way to receive God's "Well done."
Any service that is done from duty, or under the law of command, be it ever so faithfully or fully done, loses its sublimity. A gift of necessity is not a pleasing gift. God loveth a cheerful giver; He also loves a cheerful worker.
3. Second-mile serving. What say you? Let us all pass out of the mile of duty, the commanded mile; and if anyone, even the Lord, ask us to go a mile, let us go twain.
VII. THE TIME OF REWARDS (Colossians 3:24-25 )
1. God is not unfaithful to forget.
2. The reward of the inheritance.
3. Wrongdoing also has its rewards.
1. God is not unfaithful to forget. We now come to the great finale on Colossians 3:1-25 : "Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ."
The expression "Ye serve the Lord Christ" seems to suggest that God is not One to forget the love-life of His servants. In Hebrews it is written: "For God is not unrighteous to forget your work, and labour of love."
God is watching from above. He sees and knows it all. Soon He will come, and His reward He will bring with Him. We shall all receive according to the things we have done in the body.
2. The reward of the inheritance. The inheritance of saints in light, is of grace; the reward of that inheritance is another matter it is of works. Think you that our God will not repay us for the life we have lived, in that we have ministered in His Name, and do minister? To the true shepherd who feeds the flock of God, not for the love of money, not as lording it over God's heritage, but as being an ensample to the flock, the Lord says, "When the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away,"
3. Wrongdoing also has its rewards. Our verse concludes with the words, "But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done." Otherwise, God is not a just Judge; otherwise, God is a respecter of persons. Thinkest thou that a carnal, world-centered Christian shall enter into the joy of his Lord along with the faithful, Christ-centered Christian? Nay. We must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ that we may receive the things done in the body, whether we have done good or bad.
George Truett with whom I spent many hours in prayer during the old college days at Baylor University tells how a life wholly on God's altar creates power in prayer and in all Christian graces:
A cattleman invited him to go out into the wide fields of his mighty ranch at the conclusion of a meeting. Said that rancher: "I have always considered these lands mine, these cattle mine, those buildings mine, but now I know that none of them are mine but His. Preacher, you make a prayer for me and turn them over to God for me." The preacher did it, and then the cattleman said: "I want you to make another prayer and tell God there is that bad boy of mine. I can't do anything with him. He is the bane of my life and everybody else's. I've tried my best and failed. You tell God, that I turn that boy over to Him too." And the preacher prayed again and dedicated that boy to God. That night in the meeting, to the surprise of all, that wicked young man was saved.
Parents, believe me, your surrender is going to mean the salvation of those loved ones. It is also going to mean a change in those Sunday School classes. It is going to mean victory where there has been nothing but defeat. It is going to mean a change in business, a change in everything. It is going to mean Heaven all the way to Heaven and glory all the way to Glory. God grant it may be so for us all henceforth.
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on Colossians 3". "Living Water". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent