Clothed In Christ

“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.” (Colossians 3:12–13, NASB95)

As a Christ-follower, you are no longer to live like the world. The one who is in the world and worldly is clothed with self-centeredness, harshness, pride, arrogance, impatience, and lack of forgiveness. Worldliness is a life that seeks strife and drama in a heart that wants to divide rather than unify. This is not the model that Jesus left us to follow but the pattern of the ungodly and should not be part of the church or the one chosen by God.

Paul is writing to some of the believers in the church who were being offended by the actions of others, and as a result, there was strife in the church body. People, by nature, are very unforgiving and merciless towards others. They hold people to their own pious standards and are easily offended because they have a critical and unforgiving heart. But when it comes to their own behavior, these same people want to be given grace and mercy for all the times they are misunderstood or create offense.

Paul lays out five attributes for the Christ-follower to “put on” with a command to obey. These are the characteristics that a Christ-follower should seek after and daily implement in their life. Why? Because this is the same kind of grace that Jesus has shown towards the one who has been saved.

To “put on” is a cognitive decision, meaning you have to choose to act this way, like choosing what clothes you will wear for the day. The five attributes are compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. The command is bearing with one another and forgiving each other. Whatever grievance you may have with one another, that issue must be released because God has done the same for you. The offended is commanded to take the initiative of forgiveness and reconciliation in order to restore unity through forgiveness. In other words, Act like Jesus!

Worldly people hold grudges, lack compassion, and lack forgiveness, but the mark of a Christ-follower is they are clothed with the attributes of Jesus and forgive regardless. Therefore put on Christ and forgive as He has already forgiven you.

Pastor Cary

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