15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Yesterday we looked at the importance of not only putting off the chains of this world, but putting on the clothes of Christ. What should our new “spiritual outfits” look like? Paul gives us three examples in the passage above.
Outfit #1 – Peace
The word for ‘rule’ in this passage comes from the same root word which gives us words like “umpire” and “umbrella.” As an umpire, the peace of Christ should call the balls and strikes in your life, giving you guidance as you make decisions. As an umbrella, the peace of Christ protects our minds from bitterness, anger, and resentment, as we rest in the salvation and grace that comes through Jesus Christ. Peace allows us to keep a humble attitude, as well as it allows us to extend grace to those we encounter.
Outfit #2 – Word of Christ
The idea of “dwelling richly” means that the Word of Christ has an impact in our daily living. We don’t simply read the Word of God, but think upon it, memorize it, embrace it, apply it, enjoy it. Notice that understanding the Word of God comes through teaching, which is why we meet regularly at churches across the country to study the Bible weekly. But to dwell richly does not mean to read the Bible once a week, but rather to feed, chew, and enjoy the Word each day. Also notice that the reading the Word of God leads to singing songs of praise. The more we study the Word, the more we recognize the amazing grace of God, and the more we want to return our praises to Him. Worship is a response to God’s work around, in, and through our lives!
Outfit #3 – Actions Speak Louder Than Words
While knowing the Word of God should lead us to praise and worship of Him, it should also overflow into our daily actions. Notice that Paul writes, “whatever you do, whether in word or deed.” Paul is stating that the Gospel of Christ should impact every area of your life. This statement wraps up the passage nicely, as the beginning of the chapter mentions that “Christ, who is your life…” If you’d like to study how one’s actions should look in light of the Gospel, just continuing reading chapter 3 of Colossians, as Paul gives several relationship examples for how we should respond to Him.
While the outfits of peace, the Word, and our actions should all be marked with Christ, notice the common thread that ends each section. Verse 15 ends with “be thankful.” Verse 16 ends with “singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” Verse 17 ends with “giving thanks to God the Father through him.” A thankful heart marks the life of a Christian. Does your life resemble thankfulness to God? If we have the right mindset on heavenly things, then we can more easily have the attitude of thankfulness, because we see every situation and opportunity as a blessing and gift from God.