Lesson 24


Paul's Letter to the Colossians

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

3:14 Above all these things, walk in love, which is the bond of perfection. 3:15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your heart to God. 3:17 Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God, the Father, through him.


Today's Lesson 

Today's Scripture is in the order of a general summary. This epistle concludes with the household codes, which we will begin tomorrow, and then some final personal words from Paul. So this section concludes the general teaching of the letter. As with all the other parts of this letter, this section concentrates on a believer's relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Paul begins this section by encouraging his readers to follow the highest virtue of Christianity, love. "Above all these things, walk in love, which is the bond of perfection." Walking in love draws us closer to the image of God because God is love. When Paul wrote in the last lesson that we are being conformed into the image of the Creator, love was what Paul had in mind. The love of Christ that God puts in our hearts begins with our brothers and sisters in Christ but it extends to all the people in the world. God's love is without measure or limit.

 

God not only puts love in our hearts, but peace as well. "And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…" Through Christ, we have peace with God and peace with each other. Christ has reconciled men unto God, bringing peace between God and His creation. There is a sense in which we are still at war, against sin and against the enemies of God. But, this is a war that has already by won by Christ. Our mission is to be at peace whenever possible. When peace is not possible, our mission is simply to stand. To stand by faith in God's power and with whatever armor and weapons He would place at our disposal.

 

We are to live thankful lives. When we realize what God has accomplished for us, our response can only be one of profound thankfulness. We cannot repay God for what He has done. Our redemption is beyond any price that we could pay. But, we can be thankful and overflowing in gratitude. This attitude will lead to the heart that overflows with praise to God: praise through psalms, hymns and spiritual songs and the praise of a life of service and obedience. And we can encourage and admonish one another to live lives that are worthy of our Savior.

 

Finally, Paul instructs the Colossians that, "Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God, the Father, through him." Those who have put on Christ must learn to do all in His name. Since Christ has paid the debt that we were unable to pay, we owe Him everything. There is no part of our lives that we have a right to withhold from Him. And, make no mistake; Christ claims every part of your life. There is no part that He does not desire to redeem. God can take everything that is a part of you and turn it into something beautiful for God. Christ can take our greatest weaknesses and faults and turn them into strengths. God specializes in using the weak things in the world to overcome the great. There is no part of your life that is so bad that God has not forgiven and redeemed far worse. God has been in the salvation business for a long time. We can trust Him to know what He is doing.

 

Does the word of Christ dwell in your richly? Are there times when you have felt your heart overflowing with thankfulness to God for all that He has done for you? And, do you walk each day in the love of Christ, which is the bond of perfection?

 

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