This weekend we will wrap up the “New Spirit” sermon series. As I mentioned in last week’s message, we are trying to envision not “virtual reality”—but “virtue reality.” So far we have thought about God’s spiritual gifts of gratitude, peace, hope, compassion, and growth. As we ponder the last part of the passage from Colossians, we will hear about a “mystery that had been hidden through the ages.”
The first part of this week’s passage, verses 15-20, is often described as a “Christ hymn.” Paul uses lofty language to describe the attributes of Jesus. But all of these grand and glorious words have a purpose. He wants to establish a connection between Jesus and Jesus’ followers and urge them to accept the moral actions and responsibilities that are consistent with those who have faith in him.
In other words, as someone has said, Christian piety requires a public face. Unlike some philosophies, which may be adopted intellectually yet require no behavioral modifications, accepting Jesus’ gift of redemption requires a faithfulness that permeates all of life. A life of faith is much more than words. Our Christian virtues will be seen in our actions and interactions with others.