Christ, God Visible
Say Hello to Kingdom 'Swag'
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 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.
“What specifically characterizes life in Christ? How do we make the indicative of being dead to this age and alive to Christ into the imperative of day to day life and action? Part of the answer for Paul is a list of vices to be avoided (vs. 5-9) and virtues to be pursued (vs. 12-17)” (Peter Davids).
Who we are – vs.12a, chosen (Eph. 1:1-8), holy (Eph. 2:10) and loved (Rom. 5:8)
- Chosen – by God’s initiative, embraced with the gift of unmerited favor (Eph. 4-8a; 2:8-9)
- Holy and dearly loved – ‘set apart’ by God’s undeserved loving-kindness to be his ambassadors (Eph. 2:10; 1 Pt. 2:9-10) and dearly loved – (John 3:16; 15:13-16 Rom. 5:8.)
Embracing whole heartedly our status as citizens of the kingdom of Christ (1:13) is the driving force behind living for His will and His way.
Three implications of who we are;
1. Who we are - determines what we put on (vs. 12b-14)
- “Clothe” is an active word – just as we are to actively and not passively ‘say goodbye to sin,’ the expectation is the same that we actively/intentionally put on the virtues (‘swag’) of the kingdom of Christ.
Five articles of kingdom ‘swag’ that we are to ‘put on’;
- Compassion – a heartfelt mercy toward others that reflects Jesus’ concern for people
- Kindness – thoughtful and considerate disposition, demonstrated through acts of benevolence, often to people who do not deserve it (Titus 3:4-7)
- Humility – possessing an honest assessment of ourselves (Rom. 12:3). A perspective that values others as more important (Phil. 2:3-4). See 1 Pt. 5:5.
- Gentleness – a peaceful and unassuming attitude that does not seek retribution. A willingness to make allowances for others.
- Patience – exhibiting a measured response to others, especially in the face of opposition. Epitomizes Jesus Christ
(2 Pt. 3:9,15)
- In contrast to the vices listed in vs. 8-9 which destroy community, putting on these kingdom virtues builds up community.
Two evidences that we are clothing ourselves with kingdom ‘swag’ are: we will bear with each other and forgive one another (vs. 13).
- The ultimate article of kingdom ‘swag’ we are to clothe ourselves with - LOVE (vs. 14)
2. Who we are - directs what we prioritize (vs. 15-16)
- Let the peace of Christ rule (umpire) in your hearts…
This peace in an inherent aspect of our salvation, “to which we were also called”.
It is cultivated individually through personal devotion and corporately through the comfort and assurance of God’s people as part of one body.
…and BE THANKFUL
- Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly...
Teach and admonish one another using every means possible.
…with GRATITUDE in your hearts
Stay Christ centred!
3. Who we are - dictates how we live (vs. 17)
- Whatever you do…do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus…
- Worship does not end when the service is over, it must flow into every area of our lives (1 Cor. 10:31)
…giving THANKS to God the Father through him.
Be a lifestyle worshipper!
As citizens of the kingdom of Christ let’s actively ‘say goodbye to sin’ and ‘say hello to kingdom ‘swag’!