THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
LIVING GOD’S WAY - 2
Today’s reading: Colossians 3:14-24
From the Old Testament we move to the New Testament, and again
we are given God’s design for the authentic Christian
life in our most important relationships. Paul tells the Colossians
about the centrality of Christ, about our relationships within
our family, and about our relationships with others, whom
we are supposed to serve.
do we live Christ and be Christ to others?
relate in love. “And over all these put on love, that
is, the bond of perfection.” (v.14). The greatest
virtue is love, and God Himself is love.
are to be at peace in all situations. “And let the
peace of Christ control your hearts” (v.15a). There
will be troubles, but we are not to be troubled, because
we trust in the One who is in control. We are to be at peace
with everyone, as this is “the peace into which you
were also called in one body.” (v.15b).
should not be contentious or divisive.
are to “be thankful.” (v.15c). We thank God
for all the blessings He continually pours out on our lives.
This includes the trials and pains, which He allows in order
to draw us closer to Himself and enter more deeply into
our life of faith.
must be grounded on the Bible, the very word of God. The
Bible contains the words and teachings of Jesus. “Let
the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (v.16a). Those
who teach and pastor do so based on such words of Christ,
“as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another”
(v.16b). Today there are those who teach based on human
secular wisdom, or the wisdom of other religious figures,
or on misinterpretations and even deliberate distortion
of the words of Jesus.
must worship, “singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual
songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” (v.16c).
Our joy should be overflowing into praise for the good God
that we have.
must act and live only for Christ. “And whatever you
do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the
Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
(v.17). Jesus is our all. And our all should always be to
give glory to the name of Jesus.
How do we relate to our spouse and children? Paul teaches
the right relationship between husband and wife, and this
is headship and subordination (see Eph 5:22-27).
Wife to husband. “Wives, be subordinate to your husbands,
as is proper in the Lord.” (v.18). I can already hear
the uproar from some (many?) of the wives. That just means
they do not understand the right meaning of subordination
(please read “Families in the Holy Spirit”).
The world of course has already rejected this, led by radical
feminists. Throw off the oppressive yoke of male chauvinism,
to wife. If there is oppression, it is because husbands
do not understand their role. Headship is not a tool for
dominance or oppression but for service. “Husbands,
love your wives” (v.19a). Love means a total giving
of self. But if either husband or wife does not live out
his/her role, then there will be conflict. Do you wonder
why many marriages have failed? One main reason is not living
out God’s prescription for roles of husband and wife.
Wives, in not being in submission to their husbands, do
not enable them to care for them as Christ would. When this
happens, instead of loving they become embittered. But husbands
are to persist in loving and “avoid any bitterness
toward (their wives).” (v.19b). Wives, help us out.
to parents. “Children, obey your parents in everything,
for this is pleasing to the Lord.” (v.20). Children
today are in rebellion to their parents, that is, if parents
are actually present (physically, emotionally, spiritually)
to their children.
to children. “Fathers, do not provoke your children,
so they may not become discouraged.” (v.21). The father
is the head of the household. He is the priest, provider
and protector. He is to show good example to his children,
and truly love them. Parents are to care for their children,
who are God’s children who have been entrusted to
them by God.
How do we relate to others in our service?
to superiors (members to leaders). “Slaves, obey your
human masters in everything, not only when being watched,
as currying favor, but in simplicity of heart, fearing the
Lord.” (v.22). We are slaves of Christ, and in the
way that we would obey Jesus, we are to obey those whom
he places over us in his place (if authentically appointed
and anointed by God). Such obedience is not subservience
or token or only if it conforms with our own desires or
for actually getting what we want. Especially in a Christian
community, such obedience (or active submission) is the
way to unity, peace and good order.
others because we want to serve the Lord. “Whatever
you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others.”
(v.23). Thus we serve even those whom we do not like. In
fact, we are to love our enemies.
slaves of our Master. Thus, “be slaves of the Lord
Christ.” (v.24). We do not own our lives, our talents,
our resources and our service. All is for God.
If only all Christians understood what it truly means to live