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Clothed by God

Clothed by God
Five Great Christian Virtues

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. Colossians 3:12-13 (NKJV)

There's something special about getting dressed up - it can be a special occasion such as an interview for a job, going out for a nice dinner; or possibly going to a wedding.  It also can be putting on some new clothes that God has just given you?  No, I'm not talking about your physical clothes or some special underwear that allegedly protect you either - I'm talking about "Spiritual garments" that can only be supplied by God.

Q:    What kind of clothes does God give to us?

A:    God's clothing is made up of those Christ-like virtues that represent His true nature.

Isaiah spoke of God's clothing when he sang unto the Lord, "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." (See Isa. 61:10)

We see in Colossians Chapter 3 that we are to "Put on" these Christ-like virtues as well - we are to display them as garments of conduct so we can treat others properly as we utilize them, just as Christ did with us.  This new clothing is a gift from God and it is given in exchange for the old clothing that reflected our old sinful nature.  We are told to "Put off" these old garments, which consist of "Anger, Wrath, Malice, Blasphemy, Filthy language, and Lying" (Col 3:8,9), and we are told to "Put on" new garments that befit the "New self" that is now in Christ Jesus.

Let's take a closer look at these 5-great Christian virtues that make up our new garments as contained within these verses.

Compassion: or, "Tender mercies" indicates pity and tenderness toward those who are suffering and miserable.

Kindness: This represents a combination of being good, kind, and gracious to others.

Humility: This represents a "Humble" disposition.  We see this type of Humility being modeled by Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal to God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (See Phil. 2:4-8).

Gentleness: or "Meekness" is the opposite of "Pride," or having aggressive self-assurance. Gentleness is a virtue possessed by a person who cares greatly for the feelings and is considerate of the rights of others.  It is an attribute of Jesus and a distinctive trait to those who belong to Him.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29 (NKJV)

Patience: or "Longsuffering" represents the self-restraint of a person to endure insult or even injury without exacting their retaliation or retribution on the offender.   

All of these virtues are attributes of God and are manifestations of the fruit of His Spirit, which is "Love" (See Gal 5:22).  Paul exhorts us to "Put on" these new garments so we are equipped to be Christ-like.  Being merciful, kind, humble, meek and patient allows us to "Bear with" others whose faults or unpleasant traits might otherwise rub us the wrong way.  It allows us to "Forgive" those who have offended us - those whom we would otherwise hold grievances against.  And after all, isn't that how God treated us when we were an offense to Him?

And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, Colossians 2:13 (NKJV)

Hey Christian, I want to encourage you today to "Put on" those new clothes that God has provided to you as a "New creation" in Christ Jesus.  Make it a point to graciously share the same mercy that God shared with you. Be willing to forgive those who have knowingly attacked you - with those who have unknowingly annoyed or hurt you.

STUDY QUESTION: What 2-things does Colossians 3:12-13 tell us to do once we have put on, "tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering?"

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you making it a daily habit to put on these garments of God?

APPLICATION: Take time each day to put on these virtues, and the armor of God as called out in Ephesians chapter 6.

Father, Thank You for these 5-virtures that represent Your character.  Lord, help me to put these things on today so I can bear with, and forgive others who may otherwise tempt me to respond improperly.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000