By: Waylon Bailey ~
To be a Christian means something. We all know this is true, but sometimes we miss the significance of our Christian faith.
What does it mean to be a Christian? Among the many accurate and truthful ways you could answer this question, I want to emphasize what Paul wrote to the Colossians. Paul wrote to these new believers because they were struggling with false teachers who were undermining their faith. Paul gave them right doctrine as well as a picture of right living.
Most of the people to whom Paul wrote came directly out of paganism. They had not had any Jewish background and understanding. Paul helped them know the meaning of Christianity and the power of the Gospel to change their lives.
This is what he told them.
First, he told them to get rid of their old way of living that served only the desires of the sinful nature. He encouraged them – – even demanded – – that they get rid of those areas which displease God and destroy lives. “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature” (Colossians 3:5).
Recently I have defined holiness as doing everything God wants and nothing that he doesn’t. Lives of greed, selfishness, pride, and adultery displease God and keep us from serving Him.
They are many things we must rid ourselves of, things such as rage, anger, and filthy language (Colossians 3:5-11).
Second, there are virtues which must be lived and practiced. Paul listed those virtues. They are compassion, kindness, gentleness, humility, and patience. Paul told the Colossians to forgive one another and to bind all of this together in love (Colossians 3:12-14).
Third, Paul told the Colossians to let something rule over them – – not their passions – – but the peace of Christ that passes all understanding. When we live in peace with God, at peace with others, and at peace with ourselves, our lives will be very different.
Fourth, Paul repeatedly told the people in the Church at Colossae to practice thankfulness. This is one of the themes of Paul in all his letters. This is particularly so in Colossians. He urged them six different times to live in thankfulness of hearts.
There is something particularly Christian about being thankful.
Finally, let your whole life show Christ living and working in you. “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians3:17).
Doing these things shows who you are in Christ.
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