Sermon by Dr. E. Dale Locke
Series: Beautiful, Week 3 – “Fashion Sense”
- Read Romans 10:15:
And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
In this sermon series, we’ve been talking about how Christians can carry the message of Christ to the world in such a way that the world will perceive it to be as beautiful as it actually is. Pastor Dale said: “Before we can make the message beautiful to others, it has to become beautiful to us personally.” What did he mean by that?
- Which truths of the Christian message are especially beautiful for you personally?
- Paul wrote to the Colossian church, because he was concerned that the Christians there might begin to communicate the message of Christ in a way that was not attractive. Read Colossians 3:1-17:
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
- What thoughts come to your mind as you read this passage? What do you notice?
- Our communication of the message of Jesus to others will be more beautiful, if we remember who we are. Paul writes in verse 12 that we are “God’s chosen people”. Based on what we know about God from Scripture, the word “chosen” couldn’t mean that God would choose some to be saved and others not to be saved. So what does Paul mean when he says that we are “chosen” by God? What truths are communicated when God calls us His “chosen people”?
- Verse 12 also describes us as “holy”. The word “holy” is used for things that were set apart for a special purpose for God – things that weren’t just used for common purposes. How do you feel about the idea that God sees you as “holy”? How might it change your perspective to know that God sees you as “holy”?
- Verse 12 says that we are “dearly loved” by God. How does it impact your day-to-day life to know that you are “dearly loved”? What difference does it make in your life that God loves you so much?
- The more we become aware of what it means to be “chosen,” “holy” and “dearly loved;” the more the following qualities will flow out of us: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and love. Think about your most challenging life situation. How would that situation be different if you lived out these qualities more strongly in the midst of it?
- The recent terrorist attacks in Paris are an example of our world’s tendency toward hatred, destruction, and revenge. Christ asked His followers to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. How can we live that out in this terrible situation?
- How would it affect the world, if Christians were consistently compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, patient, forgiving and loving – even to those who hurt us?
- What helps us experience God’s peace in our hearts, even when someone has hurt us?