Colossians 3:15-17 “Do Everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus” Sermon Tim Black
In verses 12-14 of this chapter, Paul taught us to put on the Christian virtues of “compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” as the new clothes which fit the new man God has made us to be. Rather than being selfish on the inside and expressing hatred on the outside, as new creatures we should put on selfless love on the inside, and on the outside seek to live lives of thankful blessing. It is to this outward expression of Christian virtue that Paul directs our attention in today’s passage. What are the right ways to express the Christian virtues of “compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience?” Paul tells us three ways we should do this:
Let the Peace of Christ Rule in Your Hearts v. 15
Let the Word of Christ Dwell in You Richly v. 16
Do Everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus v. 17
As this last exhortation is the more general, I’ve taken it for the title of the sermon.
You may wonder whether these verses deserve to be treated as a separate unit in a separate sermon. They certainly continue the general thought of vv. 12-14, but Paul indicates in several ways that vv. 15-17 contain a unique focus.
Boundary markers. That vv. 15-17 are distinct from the verses that precede them can be recognized in several ways. V. 14 placed a capstone on the list of Christian virtues that preceded when it says “Over all these put on love.” And v. 15 speaks in a new way. Alexander Maclaren distinguishes the “peace of Christ” in v. 15 from the preceding virtues, saying “In substance it is closely connected with them, though in form it is different, and in sweep is more comprehensive.”1
Internal unity. But the unity of vv. 15-17 can be seen more clearly by considering its contents.
Thankfulness. Each verse of this passage mentions Christian thankfulness. “Be thankful” (15), “gratitude in your hearts” (16), “giving thanks” (17).
Christ. More strikingly, each verse of this passage places Christ prominently at its center. “Peace of Christ” (15), “word of Christ” (16), “name of the Lord Jesus” (17).
Paul’s broader threefold theme. Additionally, Paul’s broader threefold theme of the Christian heart, mind, and life is apparent in these three verses’ respective foci on the Christian’s character (15), conversation (16), and conduct (17), and v. 15 even speaks explicitly of the Christian’s “heart.”
Recently I reviewed R.C. Sproul's new book titled Truths We Confess: A Layman's Guide to the Westminster Confession of Faith, Volume 1: The Triune God for Modern Reformation. You can read the review here. Any further reviews of mine they may publish should be listed here.
Colossians 1:9-14 “Pray To Be Filled” Sermon ESV Text Tim Black
Imagine with me for a moment that you are a teenager in Indonesia whose parents were swept away by the tsunami this past year. You’re on a waiting list for someone to adopt you, and you’re worried that no one will find you worthy to be part of their family. After months of waiting, one day a case worker gives you the news that a family in America wants to adopt you, and is going to pay for you to fly to America and live there the rest of your life. Wouldn’t you be overjoyed in your heart for all the blessings you will receive, but also afraid of all the unknowns in store for you in your new life in America? Your new family is going to see that you have much to learn about how to live in America. You have to learn the language, the culture, customs, new standards of cleanliness, new ways to have fun, new goals for what you should do after high school, a whole new lifestyle. And your new parents hope with all their heart that you will soak all these things in quickly enough and well enough that you will thrive here, that you’ll grow up happy, responsible, wise, and thankful that they brought you into their family.
It’s that kind of concern that Paul has for you. God has delivered you out of the domain of darkness and transferred you into the kingdom of His beloved Son. He has accomplished this definitive change in your life, but He has much more growth in store for you in the future. It’s that growth for which Paul prays in this passage, and for which we ought to pray as well. Now that we have been definitively redeemed, we should pray for God to fill us with all the blessings He has in store for us in Christ. As Paul prayed, we should Pray to be filled. We should pray for two main things: first, to be filled with a knowledge of God’s will. This is Paul’s point in v. 9. Second, we should pray for a walk worthy of the Lord. This is Paul’s point in vv. 10-14.
Colossians 1:3-8 “Life-Giving Hope” Sermon ESV Text Tim Black
Have you ever put your hope in something only to discover in the end that the thing which was your heart’s desire really does not satisfy?
Maybe you so coveted that present you knew you were getting for your birthday—Star Wars action figures, that adorable puppy, an iPod—but within a week of getting it, the glow of excitement was gone. Perhaps you baked a cake filled with sugar & spices & fruit & nuts & covered in beautiful mouth watering icing, only to taste it and think “I need to throw this away.” Or you invest in stockoptions in your company, only to see that nest egg smashed in the dot-com bust.
And you come away saying, that thing that was the apple of my eye, has no life in it. And you recognize this pursuit of your hope was empty, “a chasing after the wind.”
Today Paul tells you that the hope God gives to you is not empty, but is full to overflowing with all the life of God Himself. Make no mistake—whoever finds this hope, finds life. It will not disappoint, for it is a life-giving hope.
This hope is Christ Himself! Christ is the one who gives us life.