When we wake up in the morning, we get ready for the day.
We put on our clothes for the day.
Wherever we go, our clothes go too! Just as we put on our clothes for the day, we are to clothe ourselves in love and put on love.
When we clothe ourselves in love, we are dressing ourselves in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness.
Colossians 3:12-14 tells us:
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, CLOTHE YOURSELVES with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
We walk in many places…
...our places of employment,
and many other places.
Wherever walk, we are encouraged to walk in love.
Ephesians 5:1-2 says,
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as beloved children, and WALK IN LOVE, just as Christ loved us and gaveHimself up for us as a fragrant sacrificial offering to God.”
To walk in love means to relate to people, wherever they are and whoever they are, in patience, kindness, gentleness, peace, forgiveness, compassion, sacrifice, serving, etc.
"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving[Greek word for forgiving, Charis, meaning to have grace upon each other]each other, just as in Christ God forgave[Greek word for forgave, Charis, meaning God has graced us with love, compassion, forgiveness, and kindness]you."
Don't grieve the Holy Spirit.
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit [give grace to] those who listen."
Grace not only changes how we live, but grace also changes how we talk.
Paul encourages the believers in Ephesus to avoid tearing each other down by speaking unkind words in unkind ways to each other but to build each other up by speaking words of grace to each other.
To speak words of grace to each other is to speak words of unconditional love, unearned blessings, unmerited kindness, and unlimited forgiveness.
Romans 14 and 15 teach grace believers to limit our liberty with love.
In Romans 14-15, liberty is the freedom to make lifestyle choices, since we are not under law but under grace, in areas the Bible remains silent.There were believers in Rome who were publically using their liberty in grace to live in a way that was harmful to others. This wasn’t an immoral lifestyle they were living, but it concerned grey areas as well as matters of the Mosaic Law, specifically days and diets mandated by the Law of Moses that were abolished through the death of Jesus.
There are three relationship roads we can take:
The Low Road:This is treating people WORSE than how they treat us.
"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice." Ephesians 4:31...
The Law Road:This is treating people EQUAL to how they treat us.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ "
"In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
When someone fails or makes a mistake, there are two ways to respond. One will make a relationship. One will break a relationship.
Why did you do that?...
What were you thinking?
Didn't you know that would happen?
What's wrong with you?
You will never change.
You're just like __________.
You are so __________.
You are going to have to live with it.
I told you so...you should have listened to me.
You make me so mad!
I am sorry that happened to you.
I know that hurts.
We will live controlled by the labels we wear. The labels we wear will control our thoughts, emotions, desires, attitudes, and decisions.
We label ourselves according to our problems, addictions, sickness, race, hurts, past, social status, gender, political party, denomination, and the list goes on and on and on. How we label ourselves completely controls our lives.
How did Jesus label himself?
Jesus labled himself as loved one of the Father. The Father's Beloved.
Therefore, he lived a life of love.
"Therefore if you have any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, then make my joy complete by being of one mind, having the same love, being united in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."
Paul, The Apostle of Grace
"...then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love,
being one in spirit and of one mind."
Paul, The Apostle of Grace
The Philippian church was established during Paul's second missionary journey (AD 51) when he shared the good news of God's grace with Lydia and her household by the riverside (Acts 16:13-15).
Now, about 10 years later, Paul writes to the church to encourage them to be united as one family as they shine the good news of God's grace into the darkness of Philippi.