- Lesson 10 from the BaptistWay Press Connect360 unit “The Fullness of Christ” focuses on Colossians 3:10-17.
As the weather changes, your wardrobe choices shift. You unpack sweaters and pull out coats in winter. During the summer, you replace boots with flipflops. You might even change your wardrobe to match fashion trends.
In the passage for this lesson, Paul used the metaphor of “clothe yourselves” to speak about the importance of putting on the virtues of Christ. In the previous lesson, we learned that we need to get rid of (put to death) whatever belongs to our human nature (immorality, lust, greed, rage and lying). However, in our human frailty, if we merely discard these vices, we tend to take them back into our lives. It is not enough to throw them out; we must replace them. Paul showed believers how to clothe themselves in the newness of life in Christ.
We label others as conservative or liberal due to a comparative view of their political persuasion. We label other Christians by where they attend worship, or by their denominational preference (such as Baptist, Methodist or Catholic). We label people based on their educational background. We even tend to label others by their profession (plumber or school teacher). However, as believers, we are made new. In God, labels no longer identify us.
Christ is all that matters
If we are in Christ, he is all that matters. Christ should be in all that we do and say, and if he is, then that is enough. We no longer see others through the lens of human-made descriptors; all who have been made alive in Christ stand united as children of the King. All humanity needs the redemptive power of God made available through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. When we embrace the gift of life offered to us in Jesus, Christ comes to dwell in us. He is in all of us as believers, and therefore, erases our labels. Being in Jesus is all that matters
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told the story of a man who wanted to take someone’s shirt (tunic). Jesus taught that the appropriate response was to go the extra mile to give one’s coat (cloak) to another (Matthew 5:40). While Jesus was talking about providing clothes to those in need, Paul used the metaphor of “clothing” to model putting on the virtues of God. As we “clothe” ourselves in Christ’s nature, we live the way he did. This emulation enables us to see God, others and ourselves differently. As we put on the characteristics of Jesus, it will change how we see the world around us, including everyone in it.
Compiled by Stan Granberry, marketing coordinator for BaptistWay Press.
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