“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also have must forgive. And above all, these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And 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 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. 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.”
(Colossians 3:12–17 ESV)
To be known by God. Just think about this: To be known by God is different from knowing about God. The idea of being chosen by God runs deep in the whole Scriptures. We can undoubtedly know God; we can study his Scriptures, and there are a wealth of doctrines and theological views from other traditions. It is easier to know about God than to be known by Him.
Today I can give you a lot of information about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit by looking at this passage. So, for example, we know from this Colossians 3:12-17 that:
• God has a community – a chosen people
• The Lord forgives
• Jesus Christ is our Peace
• Christ is the Word
• God is to be worshipped
• The name of Jesus carries power
• God is the Father of Jesus, and he is our Father too.
Here we have seven facts about God that you can read, explore, learn, and memorise. These are good things. It is good to know him in this way, yet I want to content that this is just an aspect of learning. We people can learn in different ways. That is why scientists, doctors, psychologists, philosophers and even theologians have all agreed that we are all born with “Emotional Intelligence and E Q Intelligence, and that is generally how mentally clever you are”. I don’t have anything against this! It has helped me discover something about my personality and how I think.
Our surroundings and culture condition everyone here, and there is something powerful, still, about church culture! However, sometimes instead of facilitating the spreading of the Gospel, it hinders it.
Why am I saying this?
I am saying this because I want you to know where my heart is. I like this Church to be known by God. Is this Biblical? Yes, it is, and it should create a healthy fear of the Lord in us. In the book of Revelations, John writes a letter from Church to the seven Churches and all of them, and John says this about Jesus:
• “I know deeds, your perseverance, your toil.”
• “I know your tribulation and your poverty.”
• “I know where you dwell.”
• “In know your deeds, love, faith, service, and perseverance.”
• “I know your deeds, you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.”
• “I know your deeds. I have set before you an open door, which no one can shut. I know that you have little power….”
• “I know your deeds: you are neither cold nor hot.”
So, Jesus knows we are known to him, and because of this, we should do all that is in us to know him personally and experientially. Not just knowing him but understanding what he is like. How do we do that? This is where this letter of Colossians can help us practically:
Here we have a list of virtuous, a list that is consistent with the fruit of the Spirit of Galatians 5. We also have some imperative verbs about how we should live, and we are encouraged to live for the Lord alone, that is, in everything we do and say.
So, we are God’s Chosen People! This is who we are! Period.
- Let’s clothe ourselves with
- • With holiness
- • With love
- • With compassion in my heart
- • With kindness
- • With humility
- • With patience.
- If one has a complaint against another, forgive each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, you also must forgive. Let’s forgive each other! Clothe yourself with Love.
- And above all, these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (Unity)
- Be ruled by the Peace of Christ.
- And let the peace of Christ rule in your heart, to which indeed you were called in one body.
- Be thankful
- Let the Word of Christ dwell in richly in you.
- • It is in your heart
- • Teaching you
- • Admonishing you
- • Admonish one another with wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs! Imagine this!!
- • Be thankful to God
- • Words
- • Deeds
- • In the name of the Lord
- • So they get the praise!
To be known by God means that we are in the way we talk and go about our business representing the Lord Jesus well. To be known by God means that we understand spiritual principles and apply them, such as the list here in Colossians.
Why is this so important?
It is so essential that Paul wrote about it and encouraged the people of God to have the same willingness, love and devotion that is expressed here in Church and outside the Church; this is why he finishes chapter three with these words:
- “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
- Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
- Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
- Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favour but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favouritism.”
(Colossians 3:18–25 NIV11-GKE)
When God knows us, we are known by people, and people would like to have what we carry, the Spirit of Jesus, in us!!