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In his letter to the Colossians, Paul begins by helping his readers understand who Jesus is and all that he has accomplished for them. He wants them to stay anchored in both the truth about Jesus and in their relationship with him. That is what we find in the first two chapters of this letter. In the third chapter, Paul begins explaining how the reality of life with Jesus can influence daily living. He pictures what transformed living looks like, based on what Jesus does in and through those who know him.

Before he turns to specifics, Paul gives attention to some broad “every part of life and every relationship” implications. This section has been the subject of a number of recent posts. Just before moving to specifics–how life with Jesus impacts married life, for example–Paul summarizes what he has been saying.

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;  bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 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 richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. (Colossians 3:12-17)

Much of this passage has already been the subject of previous posts.

Because we (those who are followers of Jesus and have come to know him through faith) have been chosen by God to be his children, because by his doing we have been set apart for him in love, we can live differently. We do not live differently in order to become his holy and beloved children–we are privileged and enabled to live differently because we are.

That different kind of life looks like Jesus. We get to “put on” the very character of Jesus. Not to become something we are not, but to better express, in daily life, what we are by grace. Like the newly drafted baseball player who now can wear the uniform because he belongs on the team or the college graduate who can wear the cap and grown because of what she now is, we get to “wear Christ” in  all our relationships because we have been found to be in Him.

Being “dressed” for this new life that is ours, our invitation is to let Christ’s peace oversee and mediate all our relationships, to allow Christ’s word to influence how we speak and encourage one another as we worship together, and to give ourselves to lives where Christ’s glory is our highest pursuit–“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

What is the end point that Paul has in mind?

Because we have been made new in Christ, because we find our lives in him, all we do should lead to making much of Jesus. To “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” does not mean tacking on “in Jesus’ name” to our prayers or to ask Jesus’ to bless what we do. To do all in the name of the Lord Jesus means to do what we do and say what we say and relate the way we relate for his sake, for the spread of his fame, for the increase of his reputation, to make him known, to reflect him in all we do.


One Comment

  1. “…all we do should lead to making much of Jesus.” Great explanation of these words. To reflect Him in all we do…

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