July 18, 2016
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Our featured Scripture today is the last part of the passage we began to examine several blogs ago in the five Can’t Or Won’t blogs. Then we followed by Changing Spiritual Clothes, and Renewed In Knowledge. Let’s continue with Colossians 3:12 through 16:
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies,
kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another,
and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another;
even as Christ forgave you, so you must also do. But above all these
things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of
God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and
be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom….
As Paul wrote of eleven negative characteristics we examined in the Can’t Or Won’t blogs, so in this Scripture there are eleven positive things about which the apostle tells us to Put These On Also. And we are to make sure we are wearing these positive characteristics – just as we are to make sure we are not wearing the negative ones listed in Colossians 3:5, 6, 8, and 9. You don’t want to live your life for all to see when you are not properly dressed – when you haven’t put off the rags and put on the proper clothing!
• Colossians 3:12 – “…put on tender mercies….” Greek – σπλα’γχνa οἰκτιρμοu, meaning, “…compassion, pity, mercy…bowels in which compassion resides, a heart of compassion…emotions, longings, manifestations of pity…” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament). Such compassion comes from deep within, as when it says in Matthew 14:14, “…Jesus…saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.” It was more than just seeing and meeting the people’s needs. He was fulfilling Isaiah 53:4 (Literal Translation of the Holy Bible): “Surely He has borne our sicknesses, and He carried our pain….” Compassion drove Him to do it!
• Colossians 3:12 – “…put on…kindness….” Greek – χρηστο’τηta – meaning, “…moral goodness, integrity…benignity, kindness…” (Thayer). As Paul taught in Ephesians 4:32: “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ has forgiven you.” Jesus set the example! We are to follow!
• Colossians 3:12 – “…put on…humility….” Greek – ταπεινοφροσυ’νηn, meaning, “…having a humble opinion of one’s self…a deep sense of one’s (moral) littleness… modesty, humility, lowliness of mind…” (Thayer). One of the words that make up this Greek compound word is ταπεινο’ς, which means (according to Thayer) “…lowly in spirit, humble….” Both James and Peter say the same thing in James 4:6 and I Peter 5:5 (loosely quoting Proverbs 3:34): “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” If the Lord tells us something in His Word three times, we had better sit up, take notice – and put on humility!
• Colossians 3:12 – “…put on…meekness….” Greek – πραu’τηta, meaning “…gentleness, mildness, meekness…” (Thayer). Webster’s first definition of meek is “…patient and mild; not inclined to anger or resentment.” I heard a better definition from a pastor friend: “Meekness is power under control! ” In Matthew 11:29 (KJV), Jesus said of Himself, “…I am meek and lowly in heart….” There has been never anyone walking upon this earth more powerful than Jesus Christ! And there has never been anyone more in control!
• Colossians 3:12 – “…put on…longsuffering….” Greek – μακροθυμι’αn, meaning “…patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance…forbearance, longsuffering, slowness in avenging wrongs…” (Thayer). It is human nature’s (the old sinful nature’s) characteristic to lash out at wrongs or to be angry over trial that touch our lives! (See Galatians 5:19-21). But we are told in James 1:2 through 4:
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that
the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect
work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
The only One perfect and complete is Jesus! And it is God’s ultimate goal to make us more and more like Him! (See Romans 8:29; II Corinthians 3:18). So what would normally lead to anger and retaliation, let your reaction be patience! (See also Romans 5:3-5).
We have covered five positive characteristics, all from verse 12 of our featured Scripture. In our next blog, we will begin to examine six more in verses 13 through 16.