“Be Ye Thankful”
- Paul here is writing from his prison cell in Rome to the church at Colosse.
- Colosse was a city in the Roman province of Asia (modern day Turkey) about 100 miles east of Ephesus in the region of the 7 churches mentioned in Revelation 1-3.
- The church of Colosse was membered by Jews and Gentiles, but more importantly was plagued by Jewish legalism (For example, the necessity of circumcision for salvation, abiding by the rituals of the feasts, and dietary laws, ect.) and Gentile pagan mysticism(The worship of angels, and mystic/magic powers).
- Paul was writing this letter to the church at Colosse to warn them of the dangers of their false worship.
- But in our text verse we see Paul telling the church members at Colosse to take on a new attitude and heart when you repent of your sins thus bringing Salvation to the life of the Christian.
- Colossians 3:12…Put on therefore, as the elect of God,(we are to take on this new attitude, behavior, thought pattern because we are His chosen children/the elect, the “…holy and beloved,” Christ chose us, we did not choose Him, we are “predestined.”
I. Be Ye Thankful For… Our New Nature
A) The nature of Christ
- When you look at this list of things that Christ demands of His children to “put on” we must automatically think of “The Beatitudes” mentioned in Matthew 5, when Jesus said… “Blessed are the poor in spirit, Blessed are they that mourn, Blessed are the meek, Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, Blessed are the merciful, Blessed are the pure in heart, Blessed are the peacemakers, and Blessed are they which are persecuted.
- And you remember in our study of the beatitudes we asked “How can anyone be happy with all this negativity like being meek and mourning, and persecuted… and really?” And you want me to be “thankful” for all this?
- Now let us look at it in a different light…
- Here is what we are to put on or adopt as a new nature…
- “… bowels of mercies,” (the word “bowels” in the bible most of the time refers to a deep feeling, a deep indwelling.) Here in this verse Paul is telling the church that they need to have “a deep compassion for others.” Compassion is another meaning for mercy.
- “ kindness,” Kindness towards others and not showing the resentment, anger, harshness, and bitterness towards them for whatever they may do to you.
- “… humbleness of mind, This humbleness is like Christ in that we are to look at others being better than we are.
- “… meekness,” I don’t know why, but every time I see this word “meek” I think it means humble. It doesn’t mean that. Meek when translated from the Greek language to English means “self-control” that is empowered by the Holy Spirit. It is the willingness of yourself to suffer injury or insult to protect others from the same.
- “… longsuffering;” another word for longsuffering is “patience.” Be patient with new converts (new Christians/ babes in Christ) as they grow in the Lord. Remember you are not perfect also, you made mistakes, you sinned.
- 13) “Forbearing one another,” meaning…bear with one another, work with others, not work against
- “… and forgiving one another,” Why is it so important for us to forgive? Because it is part of a person’s healing process.
- James 5:15…And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 16) Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.
- You see, when we sin or do wrong against one another, we are to 1. Confess the sin, 2. Forgive the sin, 3. Pray for the sinner to remain clean. Why “That they may be healed/good as new.”
- “…if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” The word “quarrel” here means “complaint” or bad feelings towards another member. We are supposed to treat them as if they had never done anything to us to begin with. This also means we are to put up with their foolishness or bad behavior but continue in love to show them the way of Christ. Let the Holy Spirit do the work in their heart, not you.
- 14) “And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. This “bond of perfectness” has the connotation or meaning of a bonding in unity. The bonding agent in the church is love towards one another.
- 15) “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body;” What is this “peace of God?” It is a peace with God that gives us security knowing that we are His and His promises apply to us because he loves us.
- “…and be ye ” Now we come to the message here… “And be ye thankful.”
- Now, I am an inquiring mind and I want to know… “Be thankful for what?”
- What is it that we are to be thankful for? In the context of this verse, what are we supposed to be thankful for?
- I believe there may be several ways to look at this “be ye thankful.”
- Be thankful that Christ has “bowels of mercy/compassion” towards us even though we don’t deserve it. Thankful for his kindness and the kindness of others towards us. Thankful for his patience with us as we struggle to be humble, and struggle with self-control. Thankful for others who are willing to work with us. Thankful for His forgiveness and the forgiveness of others, again even though we are undeserving. Thankful for his love and peace that resides in our hearts.
- Be thankful for everything. As Paul, our dear brother in Christ said in I Thessalonians 5:18…In everything give thanks: (WHY?)…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. This is what God asks of us in our daily walk in Christ Jesus…GIVE THANKS to GOD!
II. We Are Bound(obligated) To Be Thankful
A) Because God chose us
- II Thessalonians 2:13…But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord,
- Now note the reason why we are obligated to “give thanks to God…”
- “13b…because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
- Did you get that folks? God chose us! We didn’t chose Him. We are so full of our self-centeredness and evil thoughts that we would much rather live in sin, do as we please… But God said no I choose you as Christ chose His disciples.
- Hey, you know what? Do you remember that when Jesus rose into the clouds and was gone for a few days after His death on the cross…what did his disciples do? They went back to doing what they wanted to do…Matthew went back to tax collecting, Peter went back to fishing. WHY? Because that’s what They wanted to do not what God wanted them to do. You see folks, We don’t really have it in us to desire God’s will for our lives. God chose us, we did not choose God.
- 14) Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. When you are “called” means you are “hand chosen/special picked” by God to do the work for Him.
- 15) Therefore, brethren, stand fast(stand firm/ not jumping from one doctrine to another), and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Traditions being practices of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.