“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
Explanation of the Text: Just as the basis of unity is found in Christ, so also is the foundation of Christian living. It is because of our relationship with Jesus Christ that we are redeemed. It is because our relationship with Jesus Christ then, that we live. Therefore, it would also stand to reason that because of our relationship with Jesus Christ, our entire lifestyle should be dictated by that. As Paul indicates, whatever we do should be done in the name of Christ. This is similar to what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:31 prompting believers to do everything for the glory of God. It would stand to reason that if everything is done in the name of Christ, it should be done for God’s glory.
Paul is calling believers to a lifestyle. The Christian life is more than a series of do’s or don’ts. It is a full transformation in the way which someone lives. “To do anything in the name of Jesus is to act consistently with who He is and what He wants.”
Paul says, “in word or deed” referring to the entirety of one’s life. By adding this very succinct phrase, Paul is saying with one’s entire being they should live for Christ. In fact, it is rightly said that “the ‘name of the Lord Jesus’ provides the proper atmosphere for life…..to live…conscious of his authority and reputation.” That is to say, our life is most meaningful (lived rightly according to God) when we live with the right understanding of who Jesus Christ is. Thus, our lives must be lived under the lordship of Jesus Christ.
Examination & Application of the Text: In his writing on the book of Colossians, Guy King tells two stories, the first about himself, and the other about yet another man:
Years ago I was leading the Children’s Special Service Mission at one of our South Coast holiday resorts. As I was approaching the beach one morning, this little fellow was going along there too. As he caught sight of me, he said, ‘Mummie, here comes the JESUS man.’ He only meant that I was the man who spoke to the children about the Savior; but his remark meant far more to my heart that day. What right had I – have I – to be called a JESUS man? What degree of resemblance is there about us?
I wonder if you have read that moving story of Jerome K. Jerome’s called The Passing of the Third Floor Back? Roughly, the tale is of a poor class lodging house, where lived a heterogeneous company of needy and seedy folk, and where there was a poor, ignorant little servant girl, a good deal of a (prostitute), and ready to sell her virtue for a worthless trinket. Into the place there came one day a lodger who at once seemed to be different, and who occupied the third floor back. He quickly revealed himself to have a very kind heat and way. He always had a kindly word for the little slavery, usually so ignored and downtrodden. She almost worshiped him. The other lodgers too, owed him much for his many deeds of helpfulness. He was always doing something for somebody, in his kindly, sympathetic way. At last the day came for him to move elsewhere. The little maid watched him, open-eyed, as he walked with his bit of luggage to the front door; and as he turned to her with a smile and a gentle pat on the shoulder, she took her leave of him with the word, ‘Please, are you ‘I’m?”
This is exactly what Paul is writing about. He is compelling believers to live in such a way that it prompts people to see Jesus the Christ. The man who, being born of a virgin, was God in human flesh in order to pay the penalty for the sins of those that would ask, “Please, are you ‘I’m?”
Every action, every thought, every word is a testimony to the Lord Jesus Christ. In a matter of seconds one can be a positive witness for His work or a negative witness. We must live ever conscious of the impact that we can (and should) have for the sake of our Lord. “Our actions must say that Jesus is and does exactly what he claims! Just a few seconds of sin can disgrace the greatest of name.”
 John MacArthur Jr., Colossians, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1992), 159.
 Richard R. Melick, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1991), 307.
 Guy H. King, Crossing the Border: An Expositional Study of Colossians (Fort Washington: Christian Literature Crusade, 1974), 92-93.
 R. Kent Hughes, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon, Preaching the Word (Wheaton: Crossway, 2013), Location 5100.