So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone, just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. (Colossians 3:12-13 NASB)
Everybody loves Superman. Superman is great! He can fly, he can bounce bullets off of him, he can leap tall buildings in a single bound, he can apparently fly so fast around the earth that he actually moves time backward, he can even take a direct hit from a nuclear bomb and keep going. Everybody loves Superman.
We tend to think Super-Christians are those with “super-powers” that we don’t have. They pray the best, or they teach better than everyone else. We look towards those with the largest ministries or those who are on TV as being a Super-Christian while we are just normal and common in comparison. In our minds, these Super-Christians can fly through the heavens, bounce Satan’s arrows off of them with ease, and leap tall theological hurdles with a single bound while even taking a direct hit from a sin-filled nuclear bomb and keep right on down the path of sanctification. Everybody loves a Super-Christian!
However, the Bible paints quite a different picture when describing what the Christian Life looks like. According to Paul what it takes to be a Super-Christian has nothing to do with who we are and whether we stand out from the crowd It has nothing to do with whether we have particular gifts or abilities, it has nothing to do with how large or successful our particular ministries may be. It has everything to do with how Christ-like we are. It has everything to do with how much like our Super-Savior, Jesus Christ we are.
So, let’s look at Colossians 3:12-13 and consider the characteristics of a Super-Christian and how to be one.
1. A Super-Christian has a heart of compassion.
A Super-Christian who has put on a heart of compassion will have pity, mercy, sympathy, and a deep feeling about someone’s difficulty or misfortune. They will long to see people’s needs met and will want to see them met fully as much as possible even if it means sacrifice on their part to meet it.
Many people are “need-spotters,” but Christians are “need-meeters.” We desire to see needs met and not just spotted. If someone’s genuine need does not move you in your heart, then something is wrong.
2. A Super-Christian is kind.
A Super-Christian will demonstrate goodness, uprightness; kindness that is serviceable; it is useful kindness. It is meeting real needs and avoiding harshness. This is a kindness that is equally concerned about your neighbors as you are about yourself. It is one thing to say you are concerned or to say that you love or care for someone but this God-centered kindness is one that actually does something about it. It is not a sideline kindness.
3. A Super-Christian is humble.
A Super-Christian that is humble will have lowliness of mind and will be modest. This is an inside-out virtue meaning that what is in the heart will show on the outside in the actions of a person and it will be a genuine characteristic. Someone that is truly humble is so because they have compared themselves to the Lord and have stacked themselves up against God's standard and God's holiness, and realize just how utterly short they fall (Rom. 3:23).
Someone that is prideful will compare themselves to others because in doing so it is far easier to find someone that you are “better than.” Self-exaltation is not a mark of the Super-Christian. To be Super you must be humble. To be humble is to have an absence of “self-love.”
4. A Super-Christian is gentle.
A Super-Christian will be meek and mild. This is a person that would rather suffer an injury or setback than to inflict one and they certainly will not act out of a motive for retaliation or in seeking some form of retribution. This Christian does not look for an opportunity to put others down. They would rather see themselves harmed than to harm.
5. A Super-Christian is patient.
The Super-Christian that is patient will be long-suffering, showing restraint and tolerance. This is the exact opposite of resentment and revenge and a desire to seek retribution through unchecked and improper anger. Patience is a learned behavior. It does not come naturally and it will take the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit to produce. You will no doubt notice that many if not all of these are fruits of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians chapter 5. This is no mistake.
6. A Super-Christian will bear with others.
A Super-Christian, because of their patience will bear with one another meaning to “hold up” and as a present tense verb, it means to “keep bearing up” with others. In spite of any persecutions, injuries, complaints, a Super-Christian will not sinfully retaliate.
7. A Super-Christian will forgive others.
A Super-Chrisitan will be gracious and show favor to others. They will pardon and extend gracious favor freely without consideration of merit. Super-Christians will freely forgive as the Lord forgave us. Super-Christians will not hold back grace and forgiveness out of spiteful and angry emotions. A Super-Christian will extend forgiveness, even if the offending party does not repent as this is essential to the Christian life. It is an act of faith on our part knowing that God will ultimately have the last word and be the only righteous judge on all things.
Why would Christians behave in these ways? Why do Super Christians forgive and bear with others and are humble and gracious and compassionate?
BECAUSE IT’S DIFFERENT THAN THE WORLD!!!
We are God’s saints, his holy ones. We are called out and separated from the world. It is in being Christ-like that we are most effective in our testimony for Christ.
To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; and we toil, working with out own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now. (1 Corinthians 4:11-13 NASB)
Why do we do what we do?
BECAUSE OF THE GOSPEL!
The world is watching and they need to see Christ in us!
Clark Kent when he goes to change into Superman will put back his shirt and underneath is his Superman suit. For the Christian, what lies beneath, what is on the inside is not a Super suit but a Super Savior and this world needs to see Christ in us!