Friday, June 27, 2008

Daily - 6/27/08

Colossians 3:1-16

1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

2 Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.

3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

4 When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.

5 Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry.

6 Because of these the wrath of God is coming (upon the disobedient).

7 By these you too once conducted yourselves, when you lived in that way.

8 But now you must put them all away: anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language out of your mouths.

9 Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices

10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator.

11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all and in all.

12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,

13 bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.

14 And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.

15 And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful.

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

Colossians 3 gives instruction on Christian living. Note that this teaching comes in 4 parts:

· Verses 1-4: Paul reiterates that conversion to Christ involves a new creation. The worldly self passes away and the new life is filled by Christ. This is repeated in many places in the New Testament (2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 2:19-20, Glatians 5:24-25, Ephesians 2:4-5, etc.).

· Verses 5-9: A list of "don’ts" – things that we do "in the flesh" that we are called to "put to death." Paul gives us a nice long list of things to work on.

· Verses 11-14: A list of "do’s" – which is similar to the listing of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. Above all things, put on love.

· Verses 15-16 – let the peace of Christ control your heart, and let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.

At first, second, and third glance, the list can seem onerous and restrictive. However, I have found that the closer I get to Christ, the easier it is for me to be obedient. The Scripture backs this up:

1 John 5:1-5

1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God, and everyone who loves the father loves (also) the one begotten by him.

2 In this way we know that we love the children of God when we love God and obey his commandments.

3 For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome,

4 for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.

5 Who (indeed) is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?