The Garments of the Christian

The Garments of the Christian



last week we looked at verses 11 and the beginning of verse 12 and in these we saw Paul's teaching of what the Christian life is to look like this life that the Christian is to live is to look the same no matter if we are a Greek or a Jew and so that means that ethnicity makes no difference it is to look the same whether we are circumcised or uncircumcised and so that's this is pointing to the truth that religious background makes no difference it is to look the same whether one is a slave or a free man so social status makes no difference in what salvation looks like whether one is a sky thean or a barbarian it makes no difference so culture has no part to play in what salvation looks like or wealth how salvation comes to a man because it always comes the same way by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and salvation always results in the same things in a man's life regardless of background and all who are saved are to put off the sins that Paul has laid out for us and again here in Colossians 3 this is not an exhaustive list of of sins by any means but we are in Christ to put off these sins we are to put to death we are to put away the members of our earthliness why well Paul tells us at the opening words of verse 12 because we are God's chosen ones holy beloved God has chosen to love us what a privilege have you thought about that of all the people in the world that God has chosen in Christ to put his love he didn't put his love on everyone but in Christ he has put his eternal love on you what a privilege he's at work in us not just has he chosen to love us but he's also at work in us to make us holy he selected us to holiness now he's making us what he selected us to be we are going to go into this again this morning in detail but we do just need to to realize this special privilege that's been bestowed upon us that we should be so loved and so chosen to be a part of God's own family in Christ he himself personally selected us out of all the people in the world as sinful as you and I are and as we were before Christ and as we continue to be I mean the truth of the fact of the matter is that we in Christ are still sinful and yet he has chosen he has chosen us all who are trusting in Christ all who have come to the son by come to the Father by the son we have been even from before the foundation of the world selected as a gift from the father to his son given to him eternally what an honor what a privilege what reason to rejoice and praise our God and our Savior and as we stated last week the passage at hand here as we begin to look at these more positive side of the teaching that Paul offers here for believers and and the garments that we are now to put on we've already looked at the garments were to take off and now we're looking at what we then are to put on and we see that in this text these phrases and before we read the text I just want to point these out to you so that we all see the focus here that we see these phrases bearing with one another if one has complained against another forgiving each other let the Peace of Christ rule in your hearts plural you were called in one body teaching and admonishing one another and so we're going to deal with each of these as we step through the passage but I want us to see right from the get-go here what Paul is presenting here is truth for the believing community truth applicable to the fellowship not so much individuals this passage is more corporate in nature than it is personal but like we said last week of course the community is made up of individuals so certainly it applies to us on that level as well but Paul's focus is corporate really what Paul is laying out for us here our principles which if we put into practice grow the Christian community to be this this beautiful masterpiece that God has has put on display for the world to see the transformation that he's bringing about that he's wrought in us but on the flip side if we don't put these into practice well if we don't put these into practice it doesn't really matter what the world sees because gonna destroy ourselves the community won't even be sustained if we don't practice these principles that got that that Paul and ultimately the Holy Spirit lays before us here today if we don't practice these will tear each other apart and sadly as we look at the history of the church we see that the church has not always done such a great job of putting these garments on and so we need to pay particular attention I also want you to notice in this text and and and we'll read it in just a moment but please see that in it we're introduced to problems that arise within the community of the Saints the new American commentary States what is overly obvious it says this every social group has its problems and the church is no exception now maybe this is a shocking revelation for you this morning though I highly doubt it if you've been around the church for more than five minutes you realize that sometimes there are problems in the church sometimes there is tension in the church sometimes there is bickering in the church though this should not be in fact when the elders sit down and speak to those desiring membership here at fellowship one of the things that we like to point out to people is and I'm sure it's not a shock one of the things we like to point out is you are not joining a perfect Church you are going to be joining a flawed Church oh we we aim to do better we we aim to grow to be more like Christ but we have not arrived and we have a distance to go why well because we are a church comprised of sinners saved by grace and yet as we have seen over the past few weeks even in our new creation well there is still sin in us and and when a sinner bumps into a sinner sometimes there's tension yet here Paul in our text as we're going to read he isn't addressing those who caused the problems in this text he's not addressing those who sin but rather he's addressing those who are sinned against he isn't addressing those who are difficult people but those who might be rubbed wrong by the difficult and and he's pressing these to be long-suffering I love that word to be patient to bear it with the community of believers around them so we should learn that in this community of believers we are going to we're going to face challenges right here Fellowship Baptist Church we are going to have challenges some of us are going to sin against others of us right here how do we deal with this maybe I've already sinned against you how do we deal with this how do we handle this from time to time we're going to bump and collide and here Paul deals with the man who is to have patience who is to demonstrate patience rather than with the one who caused the tension in the first place so from this we learn that when tension occurs when conflict occurs the place where we start is right here always right here we we don't we don't look at at the the person in in in in cause of in where we always start is right here how do I deal with what's going on rather than looking at how others are at fault and so let's read our text this morning if you have your Bibles open to Colossians chapter 3 and we are beginning at verse 12 Paul writes guided by the spirit 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 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 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 songs and hymns and spiritual songs with Thanksgiving in your hearts to God 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 let's pray father thank you for the truth of your word thank you that we can trust it absolutely that it never fails that it presents what is completely true father you have shown us in this text such a good teaching on what these garments are that we are as Christians to be putting on we've seen the sin that were to cast away now you teach us father of these garments of righteousness that you would have us to wear that your name would be honored Father we pray this in the name of Jesus that you teach us amen as we did with the list of sins that Paul laid out for us in in Colossians 3 verse 5 and again in verse 8 I want to step through these garments one by one that we are instructed to put on here I want us to notice that this new clothing to be put on begins with personal attributes though as I said this is generally corporate in nature verse 12 says put on then as God's chosen chosen ones holy and beloved compassionate hearts kindness humility meekness patience one of the things we notice is that each of these personal attributes that we see here is that each of them are associated with and attributed to our Savior our Savior is the one with the most compassionate heart he is the one who is always kind and always humble and always was meek and patient we also see that all of these are things that are listed in Galatians 5 as attributes of the fruit of the Spirit that God produces in the life of a believer and so we understand them that that it is true that God produces the fruits in his people we don't we don't muster that up I am the vine you are the branches abide in me right and you will bear good fruit so so it is these fruits the this fruit of the Spirit that God is producing in us this is his work in us and yet at the same time Paul says put these on and so there's a responsibility for us here as God is growing us in these things and for all who are in Christ God is growing these in us we have a responsibility to walk in these to be intentional in these things of course the fact that Jesus is the epitome of these things and the fact that these are in the fruit listed in in Galatians 5 as the fruit of the Spirit it makes complete sense really if we think about it here since our old man has been put to death and and the new man is Paul states in in Galatians 2 verse 20 the life that we now live is Christ living in us it is natural then and I use that word natural and I want us to think about this the old nature is dead the new nature that Paul tells us of in verse 10 is being renewed in the knowledge after the image of its creator and that of course is the Lord Jesus Christ and so as we grow up you know it I watch my grandchildren and I and I watch how as they grow up they take on the attributes of their parents they the older they get the more they look like their parents but not only how they look I hear the same things in how they accentuate words and and and the things that they say well so it is with us we have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in us and as we grow up in the new creation what we see is that we begin to look more and more like Christ that is natural for the new man compassionate hearts here is the first thing that Paul lists literally this would be translated bowels of mercy tender emotions biblically are always attributed to the very depth of a man's being in our text we could rightly translate this having love characterized by mercy we know a thing or two about mercy don't we you see the believer is the one who sees his own sin his own his own person rightly and we see in Christ we see the the mountainous debt that our sins have piled up that we owe God a debt that we could never ever repay and yet he's extended to us his love giving us mercy and we are then to be characterized by this love that that the same mercy that we extend to others around us now let me say obviously this is not limited to Christians we're not only to be compassionate towards Christians obviously of course were to be compassionate to those outside of the church those who don't know Christ but in the context here Paul is specifically referring to how we treat one another yes we are to have compassion and all of the rest of these attributes for those outside of the body but there is this very very special love this special compassion that exists within the church we saw this as we studied galatians chapter six verse 10 Paul wrote this so then as we have opportunity let us do good to everyone and especially to those who are of the household of faith and so yes we are to have compassion for others in the body here this is what Paul is getting at here as we see a brother in the body of Christ in sin we know the devastating consequences of sin and in a heart of compassion we come around and we pray for and we lift up and we exhort and we admonish and we call to repentance we see in some of these attributes like compassion kindness meekness and of course love our world has vastly different definitions of these terms to love in the eyes of the world would never ever include correcting or warning or discipline that is intolerant you can't do that that is so unloving while many of you here today are parents and you know from your experience that you discipline your child because you love them I don't correct my children because I just love to kill their joy although at times they might think so I don't do that because I don't want them to have fun I I discipline to save them from the horrible consequences that will come in their life if they continue some of which I know because I have experienced those consequences and I don't want those consequences passed on to my children and so out of love we correct out of love we discipline love we warned Paul lays this out for us and we need to understand these definitions biblically not in a world worldly sense here the next garment that Paul lists here is kindness kindness you will again recognize this is one of the nine fold attributes of the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians five we see this again in Ephesians chapter four verse 32 where Paul states this be kind to one another tender-hearted forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you and so we also see that this connection here in Ephesus with some of these other attributes that we're looking at in in our passage today and and the point of that is we don't get to pick and choose well I feel like being compassionate but I don't know that kindness thing oh man no these these come as a package deal it's an entire outfit of these garments that Paul is laying before us that we are to put on where you find compassion where you find forgiveness you will also find kindness they go together this is of course an attribute kindness that is characteristic of our God Romans chapter two verse four or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance isn't that beautiful again we see forbearance patience bearing with one another and kindness all go together even in God and I want you to notice here and this is so important for us it is not God's threatenings that lead us to repent do you see that it's not it's not you know the idea that God is you know like like Zeus that that God is on his Mountain with his lightning bolt in his hand just waiting for us to know it's it's actually the exact opposite is his kindness winning us to repentance he is his tenderheartedness towards us we should recognize that if one sins against us then our tenderness toward them will much more win them to ourselves then will our hostility against them hostility retaliation that drives people away that breaks community that's what Paul is saying here kindness draws us together the next two terms some use almost interchangeably here and and certainly there are overlap in them but they do carry slightly different meanings humility in the Greek it's a word that means humbleness of mind or lowliness having a humble opinion of oneself here's a definition I love a deep sense of one's moral littleness when the church goes looking for people to serve in leadership roles in various types this is one of those attributes that absolutely tops the list a man or a woman may be gifted in teaching or whatever the area is and yet if they are above serving in the lowest of roles they should be overlooked in any other capacity because they are not leadership material a leader which really is simply to put on display the characteristics that should be true of all Christians must be as was our Lord who humbled himself even to the point of death on a cross the lowest of low he took the low road I love that phrase in Philippians 2 that that Paul writes Christ Jesus who though he was in the form of God think about that what he's saying is though he was God he was in the exact same form as God he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped but emptied himself humbled himself took the low and became a servant if anyone was ever above being a servant it was the Lord Jesus Christ and what did he do while he set the model for you and me for all of us and the model was serve go low take the low place and serve when I look at leading I look at those who are willing frankly to come in and clean the church I look at those who are willing to remove snow you know the behind the scenes stuff that nobody ever sees and the the person that happily serves and then asks what else can I do humility is so important it's so important the church doesn't look for upfront ability that can be taught but humility is is an attitude of the mind that says I'm not above serving I always remember a mentor of mine early in my career when I was in my early 20s a mentor of mine said to me and and he really demonstrated this both in word and deed I I wasn't a Christian at that time I don't know if this man was a Christian or not but I know that he got this one right on humility he told me this as you move up on in in the ladder in your career which I'm sure you will do I want you to remember this one thing never ask anyone under your supervision to do a job that you yourself are not willing to do and if it's a cruddy job you should be the first one to roll up your sleeves and jump in and set the model for those you supervise humility humility to our world is anything but a desirable characteristic in fact it's a flaw it's a weakness its humility is cowardice to the world but we're instructed by the life of our Savior and and by the precept of his word to humble ourselves humility like this will build community it will draw people together pride on the other hand will tear a community apart and in a hurry and so Christian community what the scripture is telling us here is put on humility and not the false humility that Paul dealt with at the end of chapter two that that that idea of putting on pious deeds in order for other people to see you know that's not what Paul is talking about he criticized that he condemned that no here he sin put on real lowliness of mind which Jesus modeled for us Jesus didn't stop being God in order to be humble nor should we stop being all of these other things in order to be humble all of these other attributes the second word here I said is is close to humility but slightly different is the word meekness which is often rendered humility but but really it carries more the sense of the gentleness tenderness to possess a mildness of spirit or disposition to be unimposing when dealing with others that even when correction is needed or even when you need to call someone out on sin when when someone has hurt you by their sin that your response to them is done in the spirit of gentleness a believer responds to gentleness it wins people to ourselves again next patience long-suffering is to be willing to suffer long for the benefit of others oh my this should describe us right here willing to suffer for the benefit of our brothers and sisters in Christ is that you are you willing to suffer are you willing to be wronged are you willing to be stepped on and respond in patience rather than retaliation this is hard isn't it I don't want to I don't want to put on some show here that these are easy things to do these are hard but they are completely consistent with the new nature that has been placed within us in fact when we would go even further and we would say these are the natural longings of our new nature we desire to be compassionate we desire to be kind and gentle and patient and meek though we don't always get it right and we have much work to do in growth in these areas of course this ties in to the next phrase here that Paul offers he says bearing with one another that's an interesting phrase a bearing is from a Greek word that means to endure to to take the suffering literally to expose your own back to the blows that are to come is that your heart is that your willingness to be wronged for the benefit of your brothers and sisters look what it says here verse 13 bearing with one another and if one has complaint against another forgiving each other as the Lord has forgiven you so you also must forgive we are to be a people who are quick to forgive especially within the body of Christ we don't hold grudges we don't repay evil for evil we we don't wait for an opportunity to get even we don't Harbor bitterness we forgive and we should do it right now immediately that should be our heart not only for the benefit of the one who has sinned against us if we've been wronged but also for the benefit of our own hearts because unforgiveness is a most UNCHR Iced like heart unforgiveness gives the devil a foothold in our own life and he will ravage our souls if we withhold forgiveness to those who have sinned against us unforgiveness is like holding on to a cancer and not allowing it to be taken away from us forgiving each other is how we should act and it should be complete and it should be instantaneous now that doesn't mean that we have to be a doormat for others I mean if there is sin that doesn't mean you can't say anything about it if there is sin you need to go to your brother you need to make him aware of it it doesn't eliminate that it doesn't contradict those passages of Scripture that tell us to do that but it just teaches the spirit with which we are to go and relate to those who have sinned against us be willing to endure wrong be willing to suffer to reflect the image of our Creator to our brothers and sisters as a testimony to the world that watches brothers and sisters the world is watching us well they are watching so very carefully when they see this when they see this quick to forgive when they see this quick to extend compassion it says something because that is so foreign to our world as someone says something unbecoming of a Christian we don't hate them we don't we don't hold on to that and talk about it at every opportunity no we go to them we make it known to them and we extend forgiveness to them and I want you to notice in our text it does not say forgive them if they repent it simply says forgive we also see here if this is based on the Lord Jesus his words in the Sermon on the Mount which tells us that Paul is very aware of the Lord's teaching and of the Lord's Prayer where this is found forgiving each other as the Lord has forgiven you so you also must forgive and the word here translated forgive is the word Corinne's Imai it's the word that that is often translated to extend grace to show oneself as gracious it's the very same word that Paul uses in Romans 8 verse 32 he writes this it's speaking of God he says he who did not spare his own son but gave him up for us all how will he not also with him graciously give us all things this is to be our attitude toward the one who sins against us to graciously give forgiveness freely for wrong committed against ourselves even though the person is not deserving of that forgiveness please don't ever think that you can only forgive if the sinning party deserves it or or has somehow merited it because the truth of the matter is if God treated us like that you and I would be spending an eternity in hell Paul recognized that within the believing community there would be times when a person had a grievance against another person there would be times when there was a reason for complaint between two believers or between two groups of believers but the fact is this is going to happen and and maybe it already has maybe I've offended someone and given the reason for complaint it wouldn't be the first time and I'm pretty sure it won't be the last but the fellowship of believers is to be a place where people are slow to take offense and quick to forgive what a witness that would be to the world if we would do this it's also a witness because it's so radically different from anything the world knows in the fellowship Paul instructs that it is the offended party who is to take the initiative in enduring and forgiving rather than waiting for the offender to apologize holding on to resentment does little if any good and it frankly is beneath Christians anyone can hold a grudge anybody can do that but the mark of the Christian is that we do not that's what we're to look like and that will catch the attention of the world won't it it's completely foreign to them but it is totally christ-like verse 14 says this and above all these put on love which binds everything together in perfect harmony above all Paul says and so this points to the fact that this is a principle that really overrides all of the others the compassion is to be a compassion that that emanates from genuine love for one another this kindness that Paul talks about it rises out of real love the gentleness that is to be extended is because we truly love one another and it it binds hearts together Paul says you want your brother to stop sinning against you love him love her a believer isn't desiring to harm anyone especially one whom he loves our God has demonstrated his love towards us how in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us it is God's love for us that draws us to himself we love because He first loved us his love draws us to himself he winds us to himself by this great love that the father has for his elect love builds harmony between people this is Paul's principle focus here harmony within the body of Christ ask yourself this question and those of you who have been through a church split you know exactly what I'm talking about how important how important is harmony within the body of Christ Doug mu writes this compassion kindness humility gentleness patience these attain their full power only when they are unified by and empowered by love and I want you to notice Paul's qualifier here for this harmony for this unity in the Fellowship he tells us that love builds perfect harmony in Galatians 5 Paul is combating the idea of legalism and the need of circumcision in order to be saved but he he states something there that I think is very useful for us Galatians 5 verse 6 we find this for in Christ neither circumcision nor uncircumcision count for anything but only faith working through love further in Galatians 5 we see more verse 13 for you were called to freedom brothers only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh but through love serve one another for the whole law is fulfilled in one word you shall love your neighbor as yourself but if you bite and devour one another watch that you are not consumed by one another through love serve one another love is the fulfillment of the law people who love each other don't bite and devour each other right if we approach the the the list of attributes that Paul presents for us here in in Colossians 3:12 and and and and on without love they're nothing more than legalism I guess I have to be humble so I don't really want to well that's no different from the false humility that Paul talked about in Colossians 2 or or being compassionate apart from love well then it's then it's just a show that we're putting on so that others will see oh look how pious he is now that self seeking compassion self-interested compassion doing it to earn something by our deeds of mercy no I listen the world will eat that up absolutely they will pat you on the back for that and celebrate it but Christ rejects it as legalism deserving of Hell thinking that somehow we can somehow even out the scales by our good deeds and tip those scales in our favor that is an incredibly low view of God's holiness and justice but compassion rooted in love motivated by love Paul says fulfills the law and so how important this love Paul instructs us to hear it's not just another piece of the clothing that we are to put on is it's actually a piece that goes on on top of all of the other guard on top of the rest FF Bruce writes this above all else Paul adds put on the grace which binds all the other Grace's together the crowning grace of love in Galatians 5:6 love is the active expression of justifying faith in Galatians 5:22 it is the primary fruit of the Spirit in 1st Corinthians 13:13 is the supreme Christian grace in romans 13:9 all the commandments are summed up in one you shall love your neighbor as yourself love is the fulfillment of the law of God because love does an a bur nothing but good in all these places Paul's ethic is directly dependent on the teaching of our Lord Jesus according to whom the Old Testament the whole Old Testament ethic hung on the twin commandments of love to God and love to one's neighbor God's love in Christ to human beings and they're answering love to him our presupposed here as the basis of that mutual love which the readers of the letter are called on to practice it is by such love that the body of Christ is built up love as Moffet renders it is the link of the perfect life I like that how important is this love that Paul instructs us of verse 15 says and let the Peace of Christ rule in your hearts to which indeed you were called in one body and be thankful let the Peace of Christ rule in your hearts how often we hear this particular verse referencing a personal peace within a believer and certainly in Christ we have peace we have a peace in our heart yes certainly there's a truth in that application but I again want you to keep in mind this is corporate in nature this is referring to a peace among the community of believers notice it doesn't say peace with Christ or peace with God through Christ it simply says the peace of Christ may it rule in your hearts the peace that Christ provides is to rule the hearts of the believing community corporately Christ in in reconciling us to himself has also reconciled us to all who are also in himself the word here rule is from the Greek word that means umpire now we're familiar with this we we're we're familiar with softball and how there's an umpire standing there making the calls was it a was it a ball was it a strike did he tip it well that's the exact idea that Paul is presenting here the Peace of Christ is to be an umpire for the Christian community we see the same phrase in your hearts at the end of verse 16 referring to singing obviously Paul is not saying that all of our singing is to be silent internal singing no it refers to the same thing it's referring to this this heartfelt manner in which we sing singing from the depths of our hearts as Doug mu writes Paul is saying that the peace that characterizes the new self should be a ruling principle or virtue in our innermost being and that it should affect our relationships and in this context our relationships with one another the Peace of Christ then is the peace that he both embodies and brings the verse here begins with the word Chi and or even is how its translated and and we are to put on these traits all United in love that and the peace of Christ will then serve as an umpire to make the decisions within the community of the Saints the standard Greek lexicon renders this phrase paraphrases this in this way let the Peace of Christ be the decisive factor among you I like that peace is to be the arbiter when concerns and interests are being discussed within the fellowship again we see the same principle is laid out for us in Ephesians chapter 4 beginning at verse 1 Paul says walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called with all humility and gentleness with patience bearing with one another in love all of that is familiar to us here in Colossians 3 and then Paul says this eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace that's a great way of saying this eager to have peace among the believing community this is foundational for the believers walk and notice in our text this calls to place ourselves under the rule of Christ's peace and it's followed by a call to Thanksgiving these two things have to go together here new American commentary states this and generally a lack of peace results from self seeking or dissatisfaction with things as they are thankfulness points one to the realization that all things are provided in Christ there is no room for ill-will or bitterness if thankfulness prevails I love that one of the lessons sorry what are the reasons that we have here in in in to be thankful Paul has laid out just a ton of them in this letter to the Colossians here as he's been teaching by the hope laid up for us in heaven by which we have been saved we have experienced this response of faith because of that hope God is revealing his will to us and God is causing our lives to bear fruit just as the gospel bears fruit wherever it's preached we have been delivered we have been rescued and transferred and redeemed and forgiven Christ has reconciled us to God he has made peace with God for us and in us Christ dwells within us we've been so united to Christ that we have died we have been buried we've been raised to new life we were dead but we are now alive the the record of debt has been cancelled wiped away it stands no more against us and we could just go on and on we have so much reason to be thankful well thankful people don't demand their own way thankful people don't complain thankful people don't hold grudges thankful people don't seek more from others thankful people are content I think we overlook the importance of thankfulness frankly in Romans chapter 1 we see this for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him but they became futile in their thinking their foolish hearts were darkened claiming to be wise they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things therefore God gave them up notice we're thankless Ness leads futile thinking thinking oneself wise when really just a fool dark hearts led by sin exchanging God for created things idolatry of all sorts and thankfulness a thankless nests is a primary cause for God handing people over to sin and destruction thankfulness on the other hand draws us near to the Lord and it also results in drawing us near others who are also in Christ it's much like I tell people in in premarital counseling the nearer that a man comes to God the nearer he comes to his bride the nearer a man and a woman come to God the nearer they will draw to one another while the same is true within the Christian community in general now I would love to press on but I mean I'm gonna bring us to a close here this morning I but I want to end just kind of touching on this next verse because I don't want to leave us hanging here I need to connect this to where we're gonna go next week the opening words of the next verse I think there are I think there are there are many a church today that will press this idea of the Peace of Christ ruling even at the cost of principle or or even at the cost of doctrine and so much so in fact that you will hear many many Christians in fact even pastors say that love builds up but doctrine divides to which I would say amen amen love certainly does build up as we see in our text and doctrine most certainly does divide it divides true believers from leavers it divides the true church from false converts much of the so-called church today rejects the doctrine of sin that Paul offers in Romans 1 in 1st Corinthians 5 in 1st Corinthians 6 regarding many sins but in particular sexual sins that divides people they say and so we must reject that doctrine as outdated as ignorant of our modern sensibilities or the the idea of sexual relations outside of the covenant of marriage that's a doctrine that isn't universally accepted by Christians today thus we would never want to divide over that issue would we I mean and so the the the party that cohabitate s' without coming together in marriage bond is okay in much of the church today and nothing will ever be said or how about issues of the Trinity I mean come on we can we can agree to disagree that God is three persons with one God three persons right we the like we don't have to we don't have to split over a such a small detail as that right we can let the Peace of Christ rule irregardless of doctrine are our sinners under condemnation while let's not let's not get into details let's just agree that we all say Jesus and everything's good no it's got a holy and righteous judge now is Hal a reality does God only save some or is God some universally saving God He is God nothing but a benevolent grandfather in the sky no doctrine divides it divides it must verse 16 says this let the word of Christ dwell in you richly again this is corporately speaking of the church at large doctrine does divide Christ's actual church from the world and and Paul is certainly not telling us that the Peace of Christ somehow overrides the doctrine of God's Word no that piece that umpire as Paul presents it is getting his wisdom from the Word of God there can only be peace where Christ's words inform the unity and guides the community when we depart from the wisdom and principles laid out for us in the word of Christ we should find that we depart from the peace of Christ in the community we don't overlook sin in order to maintain some artificial sense of peace nor do we overlook differences in critical areas of doctrine now having said that I will I will be the first to admit there are places in theology where we can ask Christians agree to disagree then still shake hands and walk out in total unity with one another but when we're talking about essential Christian doctrine there has to be unity and where there is no unity there can be no peace let Christ word dwell richly in you Christian Fellowship and let it inform this peace let's pray father thank you for the teaching of your word a thank you for how clear your word is father Lord as we've looked at these attributes that we personally and corporately are to put on Lord there's challenge here for us and we fall so short in many of these areas father I thank you that you're working us is not complete but you have promised to bring it to completion continue to grow us here at fellowship in these areas Lord continue to bring us to submission to your word that this piece of Christ would would rule here that there would be this perfect harmony that your word talks about that comes from love the love that you grow in us the love for you and the love that we have for our brothers and sisters in Christ father thank you for the the the word that we've studied this morning we pray that you would sink this deep within us father and cause us to grow in the image of our Creator Jesus Christ we pray for his honor

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