Do You Want To Experiencing Righteousness, Joy & Peace in the Holy Spirit?

Colossians 3:12-17 [amp]   “New Character In Christ”
12Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper]. 
    13Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive]. 
    14And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony]. 
    15And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always]. 
    16Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds] and dwell in you in [all its] richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom [in spiritual things, and as you sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with [His] grace in your hearts. 
    17And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.

This passage gives a list of Christian, or we may say, 
Christ-like, qualities that Paul exhorts us to cultivate in our lives. The beginning point of this passage is that we are God’s chosen ones. In the New Testament God’s “chosen” people are no longer the nation of the Jews but all who come to God through faith in Christ whether Jew or Gentile. As Christ followers, because we have received Christ as our Lord we have become “holy and beloved” to God and on that basis we must…

Clothe ourselves with c
ompassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience, and above everything, with love.  If we were to review books printed in the past 20 years in business, success literature, self-development and personal growth, even a good amount of success oriented Christian literature, these virtues would not hold a prominent place.  And of course we do not need a book to tell us how to excuse our unforgiveness, we are already professionals at that. But exhorts us to take another direction, cultivate kindness and humility, meekness and patience, the fruit of these characteristics in our life is harmony and peace; both internal and external.

Two of the things most lacking in the world today are 
harmony and peace. Not just international peace but personal peace. Not just harmony between nations or peoples but harmony in our homes. A good friend of mine is a missionary now living in Ethiopia and trains around 120 Ethiopian missionaries each year to plant churches and reaches out to the Muslims communities. He reports that each time he visits one of the church sites he asks the leaders there to share their testimony. Most often within a year or so there are 80 to 100 believers in an area where there were none before. When he asks how such a thing can happen in every case their testimony is that Muslims came to Christ primarily for one reason. They saw that the Christians had peace and harmony in their homes and that is what they wanted most.  Compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience and love in our lives and in our homes and our churches isthe testimony of the presence and greatness of Christ.

Twice in the final portion of this passage Paul tells us to be thankful and once to express ourselves to God with gratitude. Sing with a heart of gratitude, pray with a heart of gratitude, live with a heart of gratitude. 
Thankfulness, peace and harmony go together. When I am thankful I am not fighting, angry or proud and arrogant. These things flesh and spirit do not fit together. Thankfulness, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience and love, these belong together in our lives and it is thankfulness that is the key that unlocks the others.

“Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Are our lives marked by Integrity? My words and my actions must be the same and both must be centered on the character of Christ. I need to ask myself in many situations, “Am I doing this in my name or in Christ’s name?  Am I expressing HIS Lordship over my life in my actions and words or am I claiming my own right to do as I please?”

The apostle Paul in Romans 12: 2 exhorts us; “Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]”.

In his letter to the Galatians church [Galatians 5] he reminds us:

16But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God). 
    17For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do. 
    18But if you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the Law.
    19Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality, impurity, indecency, 
    20Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies), 
    21Envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
    22But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, 
    23Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law that can bring a charge]. 
    24And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires. 
    25If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.] 
    26Let us not become vainglorious and self-conceited, competitive and challenging and provoking and irritating to one another, envying and being jealous of one another.

Lord Jesus, help us to embrace YOUR character in spite of the values of the world around us that seem to contradict the values of your kingdom. Help us to remember YOU, YOUR love, sacrifice, compassion and kindness. 
Let us embrace humility when our culture teaches assertiveness driven by pride. Let us embrace kindness when our culture counsels indifference. Help us to remember to be thankful in all things and let our speaking and our doing show forth your greatness to our generation.

B Blessed!

B Free!