When we chose to follow Jesus and became Christians, many incredible things happened. Through God’s amazing grace, we were (and are) forgiven, we have eternal life, we became God’s children, and the Holy Spirit began to guide our lives. Yet we were (and are) still very human, and a new struggle appeared. Several New Testament writers wrote about it. It’s the struggle for control between our flesh and the Spirit. Sometimes our sins are blatant and obvious, but more often, they’re in our crawl space under the surface… Like a little “nobody mentioned my name” mostly-hidden pride; some just-barely-there “she got more than I did” greed; a dab of “it’s really not that big a deal” desire (lust) for constant approval by others, and more.
The Apostle Paul knew that sin, in all its many forms, would rear its ugly head all his life. He wrote letter after letter to churches to help people deal effectively with it. He described how Christians should be ruthless and brutal to it. To the Colossians, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature.” To the Romans, “For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”
Paul’s message to the Colossians was clear. The way to fight sin is about making right choices. He described the way to have victory over sin as putting on the right clothes...
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved,
compassionate hearts, 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, so you also must forgive.
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
Colossians 3:12-13 ESV
These new clothes are available for us to put on. They are the garments for every Christian to wear. Paul continued, explaining how these Christian clothes change our lives…
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
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.
Colossians 3:15-16 ESV
And don’t forget this last part…
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.”
Colossians 3:17 ESV
How is your particular battle going? Are you making the choice to wear the clothes of Christ? Are you taking the time and effort to stay close to Jesus, or are you drifting away from Him?
Our mission at Mountainview is to Affect Life Change through Belonging, Growing, and Serving. We include BELONG, GROW and SERVE because we believe these three simple words, when lived out, will facilitate Life Change. Every one of us can make the most of our life when we practice belonging, growing, and serving.
Serving is a major part of every disciple's life. At Mountainview, we define a disciple as someone who is with Jesus (belong), becoming like Jesus (grow), and doing the things Jesus did (serve).
Grace & Peace,