THE CHRISTIAN LIFE(Colossians 3: 18-25) Oct. 10, 2021
Do you remember last Sunday's message? The message title was 'Adding to our faith'. We are saved by faith, not by any good deed. By the way, we should make every effort to add Christian virtues to our faith such as goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love (2Pet.1:5-7). It shows us the importance of Christian life or of spiritual growth, doesn't it?
As I told you before, 2Peter tells us about the lesson of Jesus' 2nd coming. And it teaches us that we should live godly lives, practising those Christian virtues in this last days. Then our faith will get stronger and we will receive a rich welcome into the kingdom of heaven. Amen!
The problem is whether we practise the Christian virtues actually in our lives or not. If we just love to come to church and dislike weekly working, there is something wrong with our spiritual lives. Today's passage teaches us the relationship with others in Christian life.
1. In the home
V.18-21 mention how we should do in the home as a Christian. The verses explain the relationship among the family members. V.18 says, "Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord." First, wife should submit to her husband by accepting his authority. It shows us the husband's authority of home, so wives should be submissive. That is also a good influence on their husbands. 1Pet.3:1 says that even those who do not believe, they will believe by wives' respectful and pure behavior.
Next, v.19 says, "Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them." Husband's duty for wife is love. According to Eph.5:21, the love is like Christ loves the church. That love is, therefore, the love that has abandoned his life by loving us sinners, so sacrificial and everlasting love. The verse says also, "Don't be harsh with wife!" The reason is because to despise and abuse wife is to despise husband himself as couple is one body (Eph.6:28). How important is loving wife then? V.20-21 show us the relationship between parents and children. V.20 says, "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord." Therefore, to submit parents is absolute. It is Christian's right action which pleases the Lord. To obey parents was taught in the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament (Exo.20:12). Jesus strongly urged it also in Mt.15:4-6.
And v.21 says that parents shouldn't embitter (irritate) their children so that they may not become discouraged. Eph.6:4 shows us the meaning of the verse. Shall we read the verse together? "Parents, do not irritate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." The reason parents embitter their children is because when they disobey, parents is drawn to anger and use vicious talk and violence.
However, the Bible says that children are God's gift and inheritance, so they are not ours, but God's. Let's say, 'Amen!' This is why parents should bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. For the sake of this, Christian parents should be mature in spirit and eager to raise their children. Amen!
Dear brothers are you a husband and/or a father? Remember! Your spouse and children are not a property, but human beings who need your love and encouragement. Help them to grow strong emotionally and spiritually. Amen! Are you a wife and/or a mother? Submit to your husband for it is to please God. And influence your husband and children as Christian! Let's examine ourselves and think over how we can improve our family relationships! Amen! 2. At work In v.22, there is the relationship with masters in the working places. It is to obey them in everything and work with sincerity of heart. Let's read the verse together, "Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord." There was slave system in the time of apostle Paul. The slaves used to deceive their masters and didn't work hard and the owners used to abuse the slaves. Here, Paul says that slaves should obey their earthly masters.
The word 'earthly master' suggests that slaves are not free in their bodies, but free in their souls as Christian. So Paul asks them in v.23, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." It is said that we work for the Lord, not for men. The reason is because we will be rewarded by God later (v.24). Amen! V.25 says that anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong.
Bro. and sis, even if we are an employee at our working place, let's not forget that we are serving the Lord as God's children. The Lord will repay for our deeds. How wonderful promise is it? We spend most of our times in working in our daily lives. Then what does the daily work mean for us Christians? I remember some member saying before, "I am working in my factory, just waiting for Sunday for working is difficult and boring." Some other member said with a smile, "There is no stress only in this church area."
But Jesus our Lord says to us believers, "You are the salt of the earth." "You are the light of the world" It means that all the Christians should be like the salt and the light in the working places, doesn't it? So we are to influence others in the workplace as Christians. See Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David in the Bible! They are all those who had jobs and had a great influence on their surroundings while working.
After creation, God commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it (Gen.1:28). So working is good thing and very important. Simply, since sin entered into the world, it became difficult. But for us Christian, all the works are good in Christ and have it's meaning as we are serving the Lord Jesus Christ through working. Amen! This is why the life between Sundays is very important and meaningful. We are gathered together in the church on Sunday, the Lord's day for worship. Then we are scattered to work during the week in order to serve the Lord as well. Amen! Then let's ask ourself, “Am I a good Christian worker who lives in the light at work? “Am I living at my workplace as the witness of Jesus?"
The important thing is that we can serve the Lord through the relationship with others in the working places. If we are good worker and show them kindness as Christian, they will also open their mind toward the gospel we have. This is why we should have a good relationship whenever we can. Amen! Long time ago, a member brought his boss to our church. Isn't that a surprise? What if the member was not good at work or had bad behavior? The boss would not have come to church. True worship is to accompany the Christian life like this. If not, our worship cannot be true even if we bring offerings.
In Gen.4:, there are Cain and Abel's worship. Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but he didn't receive Cain's. It means that God accepted Abel's life, but couldn't accept Cain's life for he was a slave of sin in his life. We can get it because he killed his brother Abel in the field later. God is the one who receives our worship, seeing our lives like this. Have you ever heard about the drama 'Squid Game'? Korea is famous for dramas you know. The squid game is becoming a hot topic these days. Squid Game ranked #1 in all 83 countries where Netflix was available. So the squid game has become a world-class hit. But unfortunately, three Christians in the drama were all selfish. Then what would the people of the world think of Christians? Probably, the three Christians in the drama only attended Sunday service, regardless of their weekly life.
Here is a serious question. What kind of Christian should we be at home or at work? We should make every efforts to add Christian virtues to our faith and become mature Christian. Let's say, 'Amen!' After all, we should recognize the importance of spiritual growth and influence we have on other people around us. It is the way to live our lives as worshipper, bearing much fruit and there is reward from the Lord (v.24). Amen!
Let me conclude with this message. In the time of Roman Empire, Christians were totally different from other people. They were so humble and sacrificial to serve others. As a result, lots of people were influenced by them and became Christians. Even the Roman Empire couldn't disturb the expansion of the gospel. Likewise, God works among us believers, so Christian life is a ministry. Amen!
As Christian, Sunday observance is basic in our spiritual lives, but family life and working are as important as church life. It's because we are to serve God through our lives. Amen! Then bro. and sis., let's improve our relationship with others after this, showing them our new life in Christ! Let there be the work of the gospel by doing so! The Lord will be with us and reward us. Amen!