Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
303-665-6105
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CHRISTMAS 1 – Dec. 30, 2018 – Colossians 3:12-17 “GOD’S CHOSEN ONES

Introduction:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text for this morning is the Epistle Lesson just read, from Col. 3.  We begin with prayer.

 

Dear fellow disciples of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ:

  • Paul addresses the Christians in Colossae as “GOD’S CHOSEN ONES.” This is a most beautiful reality – and everything else that he writes in this Epistle, all of his encouragement is first based in this reality of God’s gracious mercy, forgiveness, and love.
  • We also are “GOD’S CHOSEN ONES,” all who have faith and trust in the salvation that God has provided for us in the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is as the apostle Paul wrote to the Romans:  “For those whom God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.  And those whom He predestined, He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified.”  [Rom. 8:29,30] 
  • So, if you are a believer, one whom God has called and brought to faith in Jesus, you were predestined to faith and salvation; you are one of “GOD’S CHOSEN ONES.” And therefore what Paul encourages the Colossians to do, we also are encouraged to do.  But of critical importance is that “GOD’S CHOSEN ONES”: 

 

I.  Know God’s Love, His Forgiveness, Kindness, Compassion, Humility, Patience, Meekness, And Forbearance

 

Text:  “As the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 

 

Statement:  In His Word, the Holy Scriptures, God would never urge us to do something that He Himself is not doing, or to be some way that God is not.   So if God is love, then He urges us to love.  If God forgives, and is merciful, kind, compassionate, and forbearing, then we are to do the same.  Jesus said pretty much the same thing:  “This is My commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you.” [Jn. 15:12]

 

Application:  So the critical thing for “GOD’S CHOSEN ONES” is that they know God’s love as clearly and as completely as possible.  If we are to emulate God’s love in our relationships with others, then we must first understand His love for us.  So Jesus instructs His disciples:  “Abide in My love.”  So the apostle wrote to the Thessalonian church:  “May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.”  [2 Thess. 3:5]

 

Transition:  And if we are doing this – focusing on the wondrous love that God has for us, then it will be compelling for us, as “GOD’S CHOSEN ONES” TO:

 

II.  Put On The Characteristics Of God

 

Text:  “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other as the Lord has forgiven you. . . . And above all these put on love.”

 

A.  Wearing These Characteristics, Having Them As Our Own, Will Bind All Of The Chosen Ones Of God As One

 

Text:  “Above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”

 

B.  And In This Way We Will Have The Peace Of Christ Ruling Our Hearts

 

Text:  “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.”

 

C.  And Having These Great Blessings, We Will Show Gratitude To God

 

Text:  “And be thankful. . .  do all with thankfulness in your hearts to  God . . . in everything giving thanks to God the Father.”

 

Statement:  To the degree that we truly know, understand, and believe the love that God has for us, to this degree we will be eager to love those around us.  And truly, these characteristics are beautiful and beautify those wearing them.  This is completely reasonable and compelling, as we continue living in God’s love and abiding in Christ’s love for us.

 

Application:  And the way to put these characteristics on is not just to try a little harder.  Rather, these characteristics are put on as we “behold the glory of God’s love” and are transformed into His image.  We behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ through His Word and His Sacraments, as we continue in a life of significant repentance and humble rejoicing in God’s gracious love.

 

Transition:  And so:

 

III. GOD’S CHOSEN ONES Are Controlled By Christ’s Word – Doing Everything In His Name, In His Will

 

Text:  “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

 

Statement:  This is the pathway to true blessedness and inner beauty, beauty of the heart, mind, and soul.  This is the fellowship of the Christian Church, of “GOD’S CHOSEN ONES”!  This is what the Lord Jesus came to do for us.  First, to redeem us from all sin, guilt, and punishment, and second, to restore our true humanity to us, by restoring the image of God in us.

 

Application: This is precisely what Paul is urging us to participate in – willingly and joyfully!  He is asking us to behold the glory of God’s love – in all of its gracious aspects, and then to put on this same glory, by putting on God’s attributes.  As we do so, our lives will grow in God’s peace, in love, in harmony, and in thankfulness to God.

 

Conclusion:  These are the blessings and the destiny of “GOD’S CHOSEN ONES.”  If you have faith in Christ, then remember:  “Those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.”  Not only forgiveness, life, and salvation – and nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ, but also restoration “to the image of His Son.

 

Yes, thanks and praise be to God without measure or cessation, Amen.

 

Votum:  And the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in the true faith, which is in Christ Jesus, even unto life everlasting, Amen.