CHOSEN, HOLY, AND DEARLY LOVED
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity (Col. 3:12-14).
Imagine wearing an identity like that – chosen, holy and dearly loved! Who, me? Yes, you. You were once . . . but now you are . . . That’s how Paul described the erstwhile idolatrous, promiscuous and sin-loving Colossians. That’s how he describes everyone who has been rescued from the dominion of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of God.
You have been delivered from the clutches of the one who insisted that you belong to him and that you could only live under his control. You are now free to become who you are, God’s chosen, holy and dearly loved son or daughter. Oh! how we need to get hold of this truth; think it, believe it and live it until it infiltrates every fibre of our beings so that we become who we are!
Close your eyes for a moment and think about Jesus. He perfectly matched Paul’s description of a child of God. Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiving, loving – don’t these qualities all fit Him perfectly? How amazing that you are now free to become just like Him! He was the perfect model of a true son and He made it possible for us to become just like Him, true children of God.
Why is it so important that we clothe ourselves with these virtues? What difference does it make whether or not we live holy and pure lives in this world now? Are we not destined to be changed into the likeness of Jesus when He comes or calls us home?
Yes, we are, but there are several good reasons for us to change our ways from self-centred living to becoming like Jesus now.
- Jesus rescued us from a life of selfishness. We are no longer citizens of this world system which is based on getting everything we can for ourselves. What drives the world? Money!
- Living for ourselves alone leads to death and hell right now and not only in the hereafter. We cannot have fellowship with God and live greedy, self-centred lives now. The two are incompatible. When we live only to take care of ourselves, we are dead. We create hell through the selfishness that drives people apart.
3. God’s children have been given His nature – God is love and God is light. God’s children resemble Him, not the devil who is responsible for the chaos in the world.
Through these (His own glory and goodness – verse 3) He has given us His very great and precious promises so that, through them, you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world cause by evil desires. 2 Peter 1:4
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control perseverance; and to perseverance godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ . . .(2 Peter 1:5-6)
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:10)
How do we ‘clothe’ ourselves with these virtues? We are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. By replacing our ways of thinking with the thoughts of God, we change our beliefs and our behaviour. Do you believe that you are chosen by God and holy and beloved? Then remind yourself of this truth until you become who you are.
By becoming who we are, we will fulfil God’s highest purpose for His human family, to become one as God is one so that we perfectly resemble Jesus, His perfect Son who, through His life and death, revealed His oneness with the Father.
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.