Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Let's find our footing:

I will admit, I want to dig into the actual verse BUT... my pastor reminded me that history makes a difference, literature plays a part, and I know better than to try to take something out of context. SO, today instead I will take a quick trip into Colossians and what it's all about.

Background::

Paul wrote from prison, with a leaning acceptance towards A.D. 60. The church was formed not by Paul, but by those who knew Paul and had become believer's by his teaching in Ephesus which was about 100 miles away. The church in Colossae was mainly Gentiles, but there was a Jewish presence in the city, as well as an influence that most likely developed into Gnosticism.

Paul felt the need to write because he had been informed there were some who were introducing ideas from other philosophies and religions on a level with Christian truth. Paul wanted to make sure the Colossians understood Christ's complete supremacy and utter sufficiency in all things. The two groups which were blending their ideas with Christianity were denying Christ's deity and either saying (1) our bodies don't matter so we can give into our fleshly desires or (2) the legalism which requires boxes to be filled to receive righteousness.

The first chapter can be compared to the first chapters for John and Hebrews as an exposition for the absolute deity of Jesus. Paul talks about why/how He is God, that His Lordship proclaims His adequacy, that Christ is in fact our Creator and our Savior, and that through Him we, His followers, are all one family.

The third chapter of the book brings the three themes together: (1) We are risen with Christ (2) therefore we should be a new creation (3) which will result in living a different life. All that Christ did and all that He is makes a difference in the life that we live.

Resources used: Zondervan Handbook of the Bible, Hayford's Bible Handbook, Believer's Bible Commentary, https://bible.org/seriespage/background-colossians,  http://biblehub.com/commentaries/expositors/colossians/1.htm

My thoughts reading through Colossians quickly::

The letter came from Paul and Timothy, and Paul claims his apolstleship. Maybe because he had never been in Colossae and wanted to claim his authority in speaking about the Gospel.

The church's love was made known to Paul and he was thankful for them.

What an amazing prayer for the Christians in Colossae. "be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord" -- why do we not pray like this for each other?

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation." There is no doubt or question or room for either in this statement.

"And you....he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him..." Again, he leaves room for no doubt.

"mystery..now revealed to his saints" this is in direct opposition of the idea that mysterious knowledge was given to a select few which was a lie that was spreading in Collosae.

"I say this that no one delude you with plausible arguments." People do this, they argue. And if we don't know the truth then we can be persuaded away from the truth.

"This he set aside nailing it to the cross." My heart is burdened for those who think they have to earn their salvation, but more so because I have fallen into that trap as well. It is so easy to do so, and truly a fine balance of knowing the difference between being saved and living saved.

2 vs 16-19 NOTHING discounts us for salvation in Christ. No one can disqualify us.

"These have indeed an appearance of wisdom..." things can look like they make sense, but go deeper. "They are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh." Rules don't help us be better. Rather it is Christ in us that makes us new.

3 vs 1-11 all the things we used to do but now shouldn't vs 12-17 what we should do now instead: these are all in how we relate to others, and how we treat others. "Christ is all and in all" "you were called in one body" This is why we should change. Because we need to treat each other differently than we once did.

"sincerity of heart" Ugh! This hits me squarely in MY heart. How I have been obeying "by way of eye service" rather than sincerity of heart.

"that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God." Again, I need to rethink the way I have prayed. SO much surface, when the deeper heart is where our focus should be.

"See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord." Not just for Archippus but all of us.

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