You have need of a painter. What if you hired someone who advertised to be an expert painter because he told you he knew all there is to know about painting? So, he comes to do exactly that—paint your house. First of all, he doesn’t arrive at the time he says he will. He pulls out what looks to be the right tools to do the work but he casts the tools aside and just grabs the first brush he sees and begins the work of painting your house. You notice he is not painting with the color you ask for but he says not to worry because this will dry to the color you want. Huh?
As he continues, you quickly realize that he seriously knows nothing about painting. He didn’t clean the surface before painting, lay out drop cloths to protect other surfaces, or clean up spills. Walking in the spilled paint, he tracks his footprints on your flooring. You ask questions but he only responds with more lies about how he is the best you can find and how you won’t find anyone better than him. He even begins to blame you for his mistakes saying your house was not meant to be painted in this way with this color. What?
You soon realize that he is not who he says he is. He is not serious about doing the work and doesn’t care about who hired him. He just wants to live and let live, eat his sandwiches and chips, cursing and grumbling about the work before him, while he slops paint all over your house, making your house look like a tornado of paint swept through and left a collage of gross colors in its path.
He was not a serious painter. Question is, would you seriously hire him to come into your home and do a makeover? Would you take any advice from him? Probably not. His “cred” was destroyed because of his behavior.
Ooh, friends, Paul talks about our own “cred” and compels believers to seriously live this new resurrected life in Christ with Christ-like, approved behaviors. He even tells us how to dress the part! “… dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.”
SO, if we are serious—our behaviors (what we do) match our belief (who we are)! As Jesus believers, our “cred”, who we say we are and belong to, is in Jesus alone. “Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life.”
Ah, I think I seriously get it!
Colossians 3: The Message
He Is Your Life
3 1-2 So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.
3-4 Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.
5-8 And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It’s because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.
9-11 Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.
12-14 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
15-17 Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.
Seriously friends, let’s pause and give thanks to the One and Only who saved our souls, redeeming us from the punishment we deserve for our own sins.
Now, let’s live it!
Thank you. Help us not to return to the old life but to stay free from its grip on us. Help us to live this Christ-in-us life, this new, slate clean, redeemed life with joy and peace! God, grow us from the inside out and outside in so our behaviors, although not perfect, but perfectly forgiven, will be more and more in every way like Jesus who saved us. We all still have a long way to go but you promised to be with us, helping us and for that we are grateful. We live to please you. We live to know you more. May the depth of your love for us be our motivation to love others like you love us. Love leads us. You are Life. You are Love.
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen!