Read: Colossians 3:12-17
In Colossians 3:1–11 Paul writes about the destructiveness of sin. In this passage, he is instructing us how to fight against sin by encouraging us what we should do instead. Rather than living our lives trying to avoid bad decisions, we should live proactively choosing to do what is good. As a people chosen by God, we are told to take on the same attitude as Christ.
And what did Christ do for us? He forgave. As we all know, forgiveness is hard. But if Christ has forgiven us, who are we to withhold forgiveness from others? In response to this passage, biblical scholar NT Wright writes, “First, it is utterly inappropriate for one who knows the joy and release of being forgiven to refuse to share that blessing with another. Second, it is highly presumptuous to refuse to forgive one whom Christ himself has already forgiven.
Following Jesus is a response, not an obligation. We do for others what Christ has done for us. If He gave us undeserved kindness and grace, how can we not display that to those around us?
Ultimately, it is love that drives us to live how Paul is encouraging us to in this passage. And this love will lead us to live in peace with one another.
This doesn’t mean we won’t disagree, however. Peace is not the absence of differing opinions, it is loving one another in spite of them. If we pursue love, we can disagree peaceably because love, not being “right,” is our goal. Peace is possible where Christ is present.
All of this to say that we have an active role to play in our faith journey. It takes discipline to become the type of person God wants us to be. Which means that the strength of your faith is your decision.
Do we want to do the hard work of becoming more like Christ? Do we want to pursue love and forgiveness even when it is hard? Our salvation is totally dependent on Christ, but the strength of our faith is dependent on our pursuit of becoming more like Christ through the power of His Spirit.
If your relationship with Christ is not as strong as you’d like it to be, what is one small thing you can commit to doing over the course of the next month that will help you grow closer to Him?
We would like to thank New City Church for providing this plan.