Growing in Christ

Colossians: The Disciple  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  29:47
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This is the second week of review. Review of what we do here at our church in the area of discipleship.
This morning I am going to take you once again to the passage found in Colossians 3:12-17
As many of you know, and for those of you who don’t know, I was raised a prairie boy. Right in the heart of the wheat city, Regina. Some of you have called me a flat lander. It’s true, in southern Saskatchewan if your dog runs away, he has three days of running before you can’t see him. But truly, growing up in Regina, one of the sports we were quickly introduced to was skiing. Now this was not downhill, but cross country. The tallest “hill” in Regina was 21 meters tall. Seriously, I know for sure as I measured its height in Highschool surveying class.
Cross Country skiing is one sport, that I enjoyed in my younger years. But with Cross Country skiing, like other outdoor sports, what you wear is as important as the equipment of skiing. I know some of you have taken up this sport and you have real hills you ski on.
When I think of skiing, I think of one thing
One word, Layering.
And with layering comes a preparation. You need to be prepared for changing conditions as you begin the sport for each day.
Layering is the process of putting on various clothing that will keep you warm and allowing your body to “breathe” and change to the environment. Outer Layers, base layers, extremities protection, and finally back up in the back pack.
Today’s text made me think of prepping for that sport. If your wondering why, turn with me to the passage and let’s read through this passage.
This morning as we think of growing in Christ we are going to discover different aspects of Growing.
Growing to be like Christ is a daily activity, it’s transformational.
If you are a disciple of Christ or want to be it comes with Cost.
A cost to follow Him. and we will read in these verses this morning, what it takes.
Colossians 3:12–17 ESV
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 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. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 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. 17 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.

Put On

Paul begins this section of scripture with the Greek verb enduo
Which quite literally means to clothe oneself.
This morning when you got up. Did you enduo. Did you have to put on something. What you wear is important. In fact you need to wear something.
Some churches have expectations of what one needs to wear when even coming to church. In those churches there is an expectation in order to fit in you have to dress a certain way. Not so with this church. We just want you to come.
Come to fellowship, be encouraged, and in some cases challenged, but come.
Paul says to put on and he adds the why.

The Why

We are chosen
Chosen by God is a powerful doctrinal statement.
As I have said before, God choose us before the creation of the world.
In sports, certain people are chosen to play while others watch. Not so in the Christian Life. We are all chosen to play. To be a part of the greater story of God.
Christ is the captain and he looked at all those who have stood up to play and he choose us all.
You see in some way, God chose Jesus
Luke 9:35 ESV
35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!”
Jesus turns around and looks at his followers and states,
I choose you.

We are holy

The second reason that we need to put on is that we are called Holy. This is a setting apart from others, the world. We have been chosen to be Christ Followers and therefore we are identified with Him.
It is like an ambassador for God’s Kingdom.
1 Peter 1:16 ESV
16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
When we are called followers of Christ. We are growing to be like Christ.
When we have identified ourselves with being a disciple of Christ. One who is seeking God, while being transformed into the image of Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, in the context of community
We are holy.
Marked for a purpose. Dedicated to bring God Glory.
When this building was completed, there was a service to dedicate this building to be a shining light to God, To Christ and the work among us.
We are the church, this is the building
For many of us who have been given the great responsibility to be parents of children, we brought our child to the “Context of Community” as followers and dedicated our child to God.
To be aware that we need each other to help raise our child in the support of one another.
All these aspects are summed up in the word
It is nothing we have done, it’s nothing we can do, rather it is a statement of who we have become because of What Christ has done in our lives. What he continues to do in our lives.
You are chosen,
You are holy
We are beloved
Paul states beloved.
This word brings up thoughts like the following:
You know you are my beloved as I demonstrated my love for you as while you were sinners, alienated from me, I came and died for you.
You know you are my beloved as I take pleasure in you.
I listen to you. I ask you to come to me.
You know you are my beloved as I regard you as valuable.
I’ve collected a few things over the years. Some I keep because I think one day they may be valuable, some were in the basement last year and are now worthless, some were stored in the garage and I hope will one day be worth something.
Some of my other collections are a collection of an aspect of me. Eiffel towers and VW cars.
They are more valuable because of their significance than worth.
But those who walk in Christ and are growing to be more like Christ, they are far more valuable than any collection of things you can acquire.
Like the parable of he lost sheep, one lost is one too many.
Christ has that same love for each one of us.
One lost is one too many.
You are treasured. It’s that special part of you. For one of our son’s growing up it was puff. A basic stuffed animal that was treasured. It brought him comfort, security. Life would be difficult without him by our young son’s side. As we watched him being wheeled away for a surgery as a young child, puff was at his side. Our son had a beloved thing by his side.
God views us as his beloved. His creation has been called, is holy, and most importantly beloved. This is why Paul begins to say Put On

What do we put on

If you were planning on going cross country skiing you would need to dress for the task. As I said earlier, the first part is the base layers.
Base layers are close to our skin. They are not bulky or lose fitting, but tight and fitting for who we are.

The Base layers

Paul states there are five base layers as believers. Base layers that we need as we walk as believers that we must put on daily.
One author states that, “They point to those qualities of life which, if present in the community of believers, will eliminate, or at least reduce, frictions.
The base layers in the sport will help with the success, or enjoyment of the sport, yet at the same time when we put on these attitudes in our walk with Christ, they will reduce many problems in our lives.

Compassionate Heart

The first is a Compassionate heart. An attitude close to our skin. It should fit so well that it automatically comes out as a believer. It requires thinking of others. Looking out for others.


The second is kindness. Again this is what we do for others. It is close to our skin, but only works when we have the layer of compassion for others. Using the compassion God had for us, we in turn show kindness for one another.
You may say, but Pastor, I have been doing nothing by showing kindness to my neighbour and it has been disregarded. It has been abused, gone unnoticed. When do I stop being kind. When do I cease this kindness?
Like the layers on your cross country path, the ones closest to our skin can become wet. Wet and coldness are not a good things. A good plan would be to carry in your backpack an extra set to change into.
So to with kindness. When given and not received or discarded. Think of a new way. In some cases you might have to stop, but wait for that opportunity to show kindness once again. Kindness should always be ready to be delivered, to be present in our lives.


The next layer is humility. A willingness to put your self second. A wiliness to see that your way is not the only way.
Humility needs the ability to listen. When someone is talking, are we preparing in our minds, what we need to say next? Are we waiting for them to be heard or for us to speak.
Listening to others is a sign of humility, really listening, but if it is waiting our turn to speak, we lack humility.
If you put on humility as a layer, but leave out kindness, our humility can be fake.
All of these layers are tied together.


The next layer Paul brings up is Meekness. I use to think that meekness was best exhibited when the other person always go their way. I would allow others to walk all over my ideas because I thought I should be meek. This is not the true meaning of being meek.
The Greek word for meekness is prautēs, and the neb translates it “gentleness.”
“meekness” has lost its meaning in our modern day.
We use the word condescendingly most of the time. We do not admire “meek” people, yet Jesus announced that the meek are among the blessed and that it is the meek who will inherit the earth.
Interestingly, and far from the modern image of meek,
Aristotle defined prautēs as the happy mean between too much and too little anger.
We may say that the person who has prautēs is the person who is self-controlled, because he is God-controlled.
One author writes,
With that as a clue, from the Christian perspective, we may say the person who has prautēs is a person who knows herself and operates out of the inner realization of God’s control of her life. Thus meekness is very close to humility. When Christ is in control of our lives we do not have to control others.
We can be gentle with strength.


The last of the five base layers is Patience
Patience” (makrothymia; lit., “longsuffering”) denotes the self-restraint that enables one to bear injury and insult without resorting to hasty retaliation.
The final layers that holds all the other layers together. When you have all the other layers in check, patience is easy. If you struggle with the first four, patience will be that much harder to handle.

The Outer layers

If you continue in put on for Cross country the next clothing is the outer layers.
The outer layer most often is described as a hard shell that is breathable. It doesn’t allow the elements in, but allows the moisture out
what does Paul say,
Colossians 3:13 (ESV)
Colossians 3:13 ESV
13 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.

Bearing with one another.

Notice Paul doesn’t say, you know, if for some reason, you have conflict, I don’t think you will, but if you do, bear with one another.
No Paul knows that there will be conflict, there will be offenses. We are sinners by nature and although our goal is to be united, there will come times when we offend one another.
My goal is to be at peace with one another, but, I may fail. I may offend my fellow believer.
When You build your life with a hard shell of forgiving one another. Not allowing the offenses that happen to you to penetrate your life, while allowing them to leave your being.
To be honest, this is hard. Some offenses are great, I mean after all, do you realize the pain I experienced because of this great offence.
I told them this in confidence and now they have let my news out.
Lord give me the strength to forgive
My best friend turned around to others and stabbed me in the back,
Lord give me the strength to forgive.
Folks it’s not easy, but that is why it is the hard shell of our Putting on God’s nature.
Why, Paul states it in his word,
because God has forgiven us.
No matter what grievance we have with one another, pales in comparison to the sin that We have been forgiven.
Paul is emphatic You must forgive.
Is it easy, no…but you must forgive
Is it necessary, Yes, you must forgive.
Paul finishes off this section with one final statement.
Colossians 3:14 ESV
14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
If you are looking for quality clothing for Cross Country Skiing, shopping at a discounted or low dollar shop will not give you the best for skiing. It may do some of the work of allowing the breathing, and it may look good, but it isn’t made of the fine quality material needed.
Paul reminds the believers that the fine garment that we must put on is Love. Christ is love. Without love all theses layers will be just layers. God’s Love is the key to hold all of this together.
God’s love, set in motion the plan of salvation
God’s love sent his Son to the cross to die for our sins
God’s love was the restraint from keeping him from protecting his Son in bearing all the sin placed upon him
God’s Love is the greatest and it’s the Love of God that binds all the garments that we put on ourselves.

Show off

After Paul spent time telling us to put on, He now tells us to Show off
Colossians 3:15 ESV
15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Show off three things, the peace of Christ, God’s Body, and finally Thanksgiving

Peace of Christ

The word of God tells us that our lives should be examples of the peace of Christ.
What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ?
The main part is that our lives should have Christ at the center of our lives. You see when we do place Christ in the center of our lives, God’s peace will settle into our lives.
When we face the difficulties of life, it is the peace of God that will carry us through.
IT is the peace of God that people see the difference from those who do not have God’s peace.
You show off God’s peace only if we truly have that peace in the center of our lives. Paul reminds us in his word that God’s peace should rule our lives. If you allow the peace of God to rule in your life, you will show off to people that very same peace

God’s Calling

The second part of show off is that of God’s calling on our lives. You see, to show to other’s God’s Love we need to show unity in our lives.
Unity with one another. Unity with other believers.
Here at the Evangelical Free Church’s Motto,
One that you have read or have heard.
In Essentials, Unity, in Non-essentials, Charity, In all things Jesus Christ.
We work together in unity of core doctrines and beliefs
Charity in agreeing to disagree and let hold onto unity with one another
Showing off to those who are not of faith
is showing off our unity as all followers of Jesus Christ our saviour and Lord


The last showing off to others is thanksgiving. That is what we do every Sunday. We come to celebrate and offer thanksgiving for what God has done in our lives.
All of this leads to the last challenge for us from Paul.
First, He told us to Put on
Then to Show off

Live On

Finally we are to live on
Colossians 3:16–17 ESV
16 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. 17 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.

Dwelling in God’s Word

If you are feeling down, open God’s word. Take the time to dwell in His word. Read a verse. Read it again. Pick out words that stand out.
When you spend time dwelling in God’s word, outcomes will appear.

Teaching others about God’s word

You see the more you dwell in God’s word its understanding will become clear and you will be able to teach one another. Are you in a small group that takes time to dwell in the Word. To open it up in a discussion and learn from one another

Admonishing based upon God’s word

Have you ever seen a close friend make decisions that you know are not only unhealthy but not God’s design for our lives.
Do you use God’s Word to admonish one another not to put down rather to build up and restore. Dwelling in God’s word will bring clarity to situations and you have those one on one relationships.

Singing from God’s word

Singing from God’s word is what we do every Sunday. We look at songs and see if they are theological correct. That the worship songs we sing together speak truth to our lives.

Thanksgiving for God’s word

The final part of dwelling on God’s word is to be thankful for actually having the word of God in our lives. We have The very spoken word of God as he spoke to his people. Christ’s words are recorded in the Gospels, and finally God speaks to us through the inspired word of God, the very text we read this morning. Is God speaking to you and me

Doing in Christ’s name

The second Live on Paul tells us to Live on in Christ’s name. Remember we are called, holy and are treasured. We are Christ’s ambassadors and all our word and deeds should be in Christ’s name

Praising and Thanking God

Paul finishes the Live on by challenging the believers to live a life of praise and thanksgiving.
Praise God for the forgiveness of our sin
Praise God that we are called by him
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

In Summary

As the worship team comes forward, and we have studied God’s word to us through the words of Paul to believers let us remind each other to Put on God’s Garments, Show off God, and Live on the life that God has called us to live.
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