In Colossians 3:1-17 we find a vision for an incredibly amazing church. A church where the people are living out holy lives in response to the wonder of the Gospel of Jesus. They have and are putting to death old sinful life-patterns which affect their attitudes, actions, speech & behaviour (vs5&7-9). They are living in a right reverent fear of their awesome God who is holy and yet their Father (vs6). These people in this church have put on the new nature that is theirs as the children of the living God – they are beginning to look more and more like their Saviour – Jesus.
This church is a multi-cultural church, a community of faith that has formed because of the Gospel. They have come from all walks of life but have all been united in their common need and their common faith in Jesus who answers all their sin-problems (vs11)!
These people know that God literally chose them to be His beloved children, His holy ones on the earth (vs12). They live with this truth shaping their thinking and their lives. They were chosen to be holy ones, chosen as sons and daughters of the most High God. And because of this knowledge, these people live differently!
They are confident because of God’s love and yet humble and compassionate & kind because they know God loved them when they were unlovely. They love others, are gentle, patient and forbearing with one another because that is how God has treated them (vs12). They don’t hold on to wrongs done to them but forgive one another because they know that they have been forgiven (vs13)!
This church is characterised by love, pulsing through everything that’s done and said and this results in a deep community and a deep unity and peace in their community in spite of their diversity (vs14-15). The people of this church are characterised not by anxiety and worry but by peace that comes from knowing that your Saviour holds the whole world in His hands (Colossians 1:15-20)!
These people are a gospel-centred people in that they are supremely grateful to God. Thankfulness saturates everything because they keep looking back at who Jesus is and what Jesus has done for them and that discipline fills them continually with thanks and praise and faith for the future, that thanks glorifies God and fuels their worship and the lives (see thanks 3x in vs15,16,17).
They are a Scripture-saturated people! They love God’s word, read and honour God’s word by obeying it. The Scriptures form the basis of their conversations, their relationships, their counsel and their worship. They aren’t just taught by preachers but in fact they all teach each other continually from the Scriptures in TRIO’s and Community Groups(vs15-16).
Worship, songs of thanks, songs that tell of the greatness of God and express praise that makes Him the centre and their preoccupation are forever in their hearts and on their lips (vs16). In fact they’ve turned anything and everything in their life into worship as they do everything from a place of wanting to represent Jesus, to bring Him honour – whether they are employing people, studying, working for someone, being a husband or a wife or a neighbour… They do everything for Christ and in the power of Christ knowing that they are His ambassadors in the world (vs17).
What a church! Where do I find such a church?
You don’t find one, you and I all make one! You and I and others all saved and rescued by Jesus together form a community, work out our salvation, keep Jesus the centre, saturate ourselves with Scripture, and keep being transformed by the incredible power of the Gospel and then this is the type of incredible church that will form! Don’t look for a church like this – play your part in making one!