There are some verses in the Bible that zing more than others. They stay with us and seem to capture the essence of Christianity. John 3:16 is one. Romans 6:23 is another. Maybe you have a couple in mind as well. The verse we will study today – Colossians 3:17 – as we contine along in our study of Colossians 3 is another of those verses:
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:17 (ESV)
In a very real sense, this captures the complete message that the Apostle Paul is delivering in Colossians 3. He begins in verse one by saying,
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” – Colossians 3:1 (ESV)
Remember, he then continues by reminding us of the perspective of being in Christ, how we should treat sin (put to death, put away, put off) and then reminds us of what we need to “put on” as we walk daily with Jesus.
All of that messages seems to be summed up with verse 17 so let’s take a look at it piece by piece:
“And whatever you do, in word or deed…” – This is pretty simple and straightforward, right? “Whatever you do.” That means everything you do and to clarify, Paul adds “in word or deed.” That means whatever you say (or write) and whatever you actions you take. That’s pretty much all-inclusive.
“…do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus…” – All of what we do, whether it’s “word or deed” as described above, all of this should be done in a certain way. All of what we do should be done “in the name of the Lord Jesus.” To me, this brings to mind two thoughts:
* Sinless – Whatever Jesus did, He didn’t sin. First John 2:6 says, “whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” Well, how did Jesus walk? That’s not referring to Jesus’ gait or how he moved down a road, it’s referring to how Jesus lived. And Jesus lived a sinless life. Surely, we can’t meet this expectation, but our aim in life is to follow Jesus and live as He did. (This is really convicting, by the way.)
* Glorify – Doing everything “in the name of the Lord Jesus” also calls us to glorify Him with whatever we do. Sure, this ties in to not sinning, but live is about more than just not sinning. It’s about living for Christ and honoring Him in all that we do. First Corinthians 10:31 reminds us, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Whatever we do should be to glorify God.
“…giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Here again – for the third time in Colossians 3 – is the reminder to give thanks to God. Why again should we give thanks to the Lord? Think back to the perspective we are given in the first few verses of this chapter. If we are in Christ, our focus should be where Jesus is. This reminds us of our future – either in heaven or when He returns. We should be reminded that we are hidden in Christ. And we should be reminded that Christ is our life. If we know these things, then our perspective changes. We know that as a child of God, our Heavenly Father has a plan for us and loves us. We know that we are eternally secure in Him. Therefore, whatever happens, we can give thanks to Him and know that whatever happens, we are in Him.
So as we go through our lives, we are called to do everything we do to the glory of God. And for all that we are able to do we should return thanks to our Heavenly Father.