And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

                                                                                                                                                    Colossians 3:17

 

When we made Jesus the Lord of our life, we became a new creature by the power of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor 5:17). Our spirit was reborn in the image of our Heavenly Father. We were made a partaker of His divine nature-His attributes.  (2 Peter 1:4) God through the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us provides all that is necessary to walk in the newness of life, to put off the old sinful nature (the old man) and put on God’s divine nature ( the new man). This does not happen automatically, it requires a decision of our will. (Matt. 16:24) If we desire to follow Jesus, we need to take up our cross and follow him. The cross is where our will and God’s will cross. As we choose, “not our will but God’s will be done’ in our lives and order our conduct according to the Word of God obeying the leading of the Holy Spirit, God’s divine nature or attributes can be seen in our lives. We will never fall or miss our destiny (Psalm 27:4) We will run our God-appointed course and finish it in victory,(2 Pet.1:5-8)

To live this new victorious life God has provided various graces. Some of them are Love, The Peace of God, The Word of God and The name of the Lord Jesus. The name of Jesus refers to God’s authority. The authority of Jesus Christ’s name relates to prayer (John. 14:13, 14, John 15:16, John 16:23 24) to resisting the enemy (1Peter 5:8,9, James.4:7) and to checking our behaviour(1Cor10:31, Eph.5:20, Phil.4:6,7) Our submission should be to all the authority of God, which is in the name of Lord Jesus. In Psalm 29:1-11, David describes the awesome power, majesty and authority of God’s voice. We can hear the voice of God through the Word of God. It is authoritative, powerful and majestic. As we listen to his voice, he shares his authority, power and strength with us. We need God’s strength and his peace as we face the battles of life (both internal and external) Jesus spoke and acted with God-given authority. He listened to the voice of God and spoke the very words of God (Mark 11:17). The leadership of God’s people Jesus explains (in Mark 12:7, 8) will be transferred to a new leadership (the early leaders of the church), with Jesus as their cornerstone. The stone that the builders rejected has become the head of the corner. (Mark 12:10, Psalm.118:22) Jesus has unique authority as the cornerstone of God’s people. Our close relationship with Jesus Christ gives us this authority. The name of the Lord Jesus serves as a check on our behaviour. We are to do everything in His name. If we cannot, it is wrong to do that specific thing. (1Cor10:31)”Whether therefore we eat or drink or whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”(Eph 5:20) also leaves out nothing, Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.(Phil 4:6,7) Because we are elect(chosen), holy(set apart, separated to God) beloved (having been loved by God) and forgiven, there are 8 characteristics we as believers are urged to put on.

 

1.  Bowels of Mercy - Feelings of compassion toward others.

As we are the temple of God and the Holy Spirit dwells in us, this quality, a characteristic of God should be seen through our life.  (Lam 3: 22, 23). We, who know Jesus Christ as Saviour should have this attitude of the heart. It requires a decision of our will to order our conduct according to the word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

 2. Kindness – We need to determine in our heart to show love and kindness toward all and to the brethren in particular. David in ( 2 Sam 9:1) is an example of true kindness in action. In addition to providing for Mephibosheth continually, David also restored to him the land that had been taken from Saul.

 3. Humility - Humbleness of mind

(Rom.12:3 Amp). “For by the grace given to me, I warn every one among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought, not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance; but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him .”

(Rom 12:16) Mind not high things. Be not wise in your own conceits. We need to set our affection (mind) on things above and not on things on the earth, realizing that people are more important than things. Paul told the believers in Philippi (Phil 2:2,3) to be like minded, being of one mind not doing anything through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind, each esteeming the other better than themselves.

 4. Meekness – Strength under control.

A meek person is a person who has the power of self control and is slow to resent wrongs done to him and does not contemplate revenge. A meek person accepts God’s dealings with him as good; therefore he does not resist. First having meekness toward God, but also a meekness towards people who may do us evil. When we are persecuted we need to commit ourselves to the Lord, who is the righteous judge and let Him take care of the problems and people who trouble us (Psalm 37:5,6)

Moses had strength under control (Num 12:3). He was very meek, God spoke on Moses behalf. Moses let God deal with the people who spoke against him and then he prayed for them. The Lord Jesus Christ is a supreme example of meekness (Matt 11:28, 29)      (I Peter 2:23) “who when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to Him that judgeth righteously”

 5. Long suffering – Long suffering or patience - When it relates to people. When ill- treated, we as believers ought not to lose our temper. When we are angry, we need to go to God rather and pour out our hearts to Him, this keeps us from pouring out our bad feelings toward others (Psalm 37:5, 6)

 6 & 7. Forbearance and Forgiveness 

Forbearance – ‘To put up with’ or endure one another. It is not enough to be meek and take no offence and to hold our temper and endure; we must also forgive when we are ill-treated, if we harbour ill feelings and grudges in our hearts, this will result in malice and even greater sins. We are hurting ourselves when we hold grudges and unforgiveness. Christ forgave us even after all we have done against his divine majesty.  Even as Christ forgave us we also should forgive. Christ now dwells in us to live out His life through us. When we let Him have His way in our lives, these characteristics will be evident in us. 

8. Love - “And above all these things put on charity (love) which is the bond of perfectness (completeness)” (I Cor 13:4-8 Amp). Love is the quality that holds all the other graces together. Love endures long and is patient and kind. Love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy; is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited  (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own, for it is not self seeking, it is not touchy or fretful or resentful, it takes no account of the evil done to its, pays no attention to a suffered wrong. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances and it endures everything (without weakening). Love never fails - never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end.

 

The qualities which Paul said the believers should put on, closely parallel to the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22, 23). Christian character is not mere moral or legal correctness, but the possession and manifestation of nine graces. Love, joy and peace - as an inward state; longsuffering, gentleness, goodness –in expression toward man; faith, meekness, temperance – in expression toward God.

 Taken together they present a moral portrait of Christ (Gal 2:20) “Not I, but Christ”, and of fruit (John 15:1-8) “Jesus is the true vine”, as we abide in Him, we bring forth much fruit (John 15:5) (I Cor 12:12,13)

 Although bearing the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is a great privilege, it is also a great responsibility. The world has a standard by which it judges us. So we must live and talk in a way that causes them to want to know our Lord Jesus. By the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we have in Christ all our resources for holy living (2 Peter 1:3).

 The peace of God should be the ruling factor or umpire in our lives. The Word of Christ is to dwell in us richly, in wisdom as a basis of spiritual growth and inward transformation and authority (Col 3:16, 17) (Eph. 4:23, 24). And  we should be renewed in the spirit of our mind and put on the new man which  after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (Col 3:10) (Titus 3:4-8). “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared not by the works of righteousness we have done but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour that being justified by His grace we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.” His word is to guide us in our lives by giving us wisdom. God always works through His Word.( Psalm 119: 11) "Thy Word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:9, 93; 105, 119:130) “Order my steps in thy Word and let not any iniquity have dominion over me" (Psalm 119:133)

 In proportion to how much we meditate on God’s Word and fill our minds with its truths we will have the power needed for victory and the means of blessing. Everything in our life is in one way or another associated with the Word of God, that is why satan battles so hard to keep us from the Word of God, as he realizes the Word is the basis for spiritual victory for us so he can easily defeat us by keeping us out of the Word.

 Jesus said (John 15:7) If we abide in Him and His words abide in us, we shall ask what we will, and it shall be done unto us. Reading the Word of God allows God to talk to us, praying is our talking to God. The Holy Spirit always uses the Word of God to search our hearts and to guide our lives, thereby causing us to be joyful, thankful and submissive to God.