Liberation

Re:Verse passage – Colossians 2:8-15 (day six)

He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. Colossians 2:15

Paul now turns to empower the Colossians, quite literally. No longer are they push-over plebeians beholden to rulers and authorities of known or unknown realms. By faith, the power of Jesus has given them new freedom, new life, and a new identity. For the first time they are liberated to live full and restored lives, without shame or fear before God or humanity.

This matters. Sometimes we can live as if we are still enslaved to sin, cultural demands, even someone else’s condemnation or expectations. Paul would remind us those things have no hold on us, they have no authority over us; we are truly free in Jesus, fully belonging to a God who has redeemed us. Not only, but He also disarms and puts them to shame. 

If God is for us, who can stand against us? Romans 8:31

He Made

Re:Verse passage – Colossians 2:8-15 (day five) “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,” Colossians‬ ‭2:13‬

Paul paints an unflattering picture as to the spiritual condition of the believers in Colossae before they came to faith in Christ. He describes them as dead. Pretty dramatic and drastic.  Not lost. Not seeking. Not investigating. Dead. What are the expectations and opportunities of a dead person?  Nothing. No hope. No possibilities. No potential. Just “deadness”. It’s very accurate. It’s very humbling. It’s very helpless. Yet when life becomes a possibility, we don’t do anything. We are dead, remember?  It is God who does the work and provides the  power and possibility of life. Through Jesus.  Praise God, that HE MADE YOU ALIVE.  “So that no one may boast”.

Christ’s Example

Re:Verse passage – Colossians 2:8-15 (day four)

Satan does not exercise a lot of creativity when it comes to temptation.  He has been using the same lies since the Garden of Eden.  He wraps them up in a different wrapper, but they are the same seductive snares.  Sadly, they continue to effectively draw us away from God’s perfect plan.

One of the well-worn enticements is to do God’s work, but in our own practical, efficient way.  Jesus faced this temptation in the wilderness.  God does not necessarily value efficiency as much as obedience.  Paul cautioned the Colossians to avoid the deception of the world and follow our example in Christ.  In our short, 8 verse passage, Paul references our relationship with Christ thirteen times.  {In Him…with Him…He (meaning Christ).} Our example to follow is clear.  Assignment:  Circle or underline these references in your Scripture, but more importantly, underline them in your life and follow the example we have in Christ!

Cut

Re:Verse passage – Colossians 2:8-15 (day three)

“a circumcision made without hands…”

Modern Westerners get a little squeamish regarding language that refers to the human body. But unless we face forthrightly the practice and place of circumcision in Hebrew civilization, we will have no reference point by which to comprehend the meaning of Paul’s language. The cutting of the male body in this way stood as an irreversible and visible sign that the spiritual realm was making an inroad into the material realm so that the totality of the human person—spirit and mind and body and social context—was now devoted to God. This is why Paul adopts such a metaphor. The church’s irreversible and visible devotion to Christ will be conveyed in human language by nothing less than such a drastic term. The beauty of Paul’s metaphor will trump any polite squeamishness.

Immensity

Re:Verse passage – Colossians 2:8-15 (day two) 

For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form. vs. 9 

Immensity cloistered in thy dear womb. Annunciation John Donne

John Donne is one of my favorite English metaphysical poets. His poetry, like many of this movement, used expressive language and metaphor to capture the incomprehensible. This poetry are a beautiful picture of our own faith journey. We are forever trying to work out the mystery of our faith using our understanding and small parts of the bigger whole. There are parts of this mystery that will remain so until we reach Heaven. There are other parts that will be revealed as we faithfully walk.

The idea of a God walking as a man is mind-blowing. All of the creator in the created. We do well to remember that Jesus was fully God, and his decision to be fully man was voluntary and for our benefit. May we never lose sight of his choice to walk with us. May it not be lost on us that this creator of fruit trees was often hungry. He who designed us for rest was also weary. All of this was for you. Have you thanked him for that lately?

I also would like to encourage to familiarize yourself with the work of John Donne and his contemporaries. It may be a bit wordy for some, but the reward is worth the effort.

Annunciation

Salvation to all that will is nigh;
That All, which always is all everywhere,
Which cannot sin, and yet all sins must bear,
Which cannot die, yet cannot choose but die,
Lo, faithful virgin, yields Himself to lie
In prison, in thy womb; and though He there
Can take no sin, nor thou give, yet He will wear,
Taken from thence, flesh, which death’s force may try.
Ere by the spheres time was created, thou
Wast in His mind, who is thy Son and Brother;
Whom thou conceivst, conceived; yea thou art now
Thy Maker’s maker, and thy Father’s mother;
Thou hast light in dark, and shutst in little room,
Immensity cloistered in thy dear womb.

 

Monday Re:Verse Blog Post – 10/7/19

Re:Verse passage – Colossians 2:8-15 (day one)

Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through Colossians 2:8-15 in our Fall Sermon Series: “Fullness of Christ” a study of Colossians.

Monday Re:Verse Blog Post – 9/30/19

Walk

Re:Verse passage – Colossians 2:1-7 (day seven)

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him (Colossians 2:6)

We are called to walk in Jesus.  Walk.  Not sit or take off in a fighter jet, but walk.  We all seem to want to do anything other than walk in Jesus.  We will plop ourselves down and do nothing, or we’ll walk around with every burden we’ve ever thought of on our back slowing to a crawl with such weight on our shoulders.

And there are others of us who get it in our heads that we can run ahead of Jesus like we know where we’re going.  We’ll hop on a unicycle, juggling flaming knives hoping Jesus sees us in all our glory.

Why can’t we just walk in Jesus?

Knitted

Re:Verse passage – Colossians 2:1-7 (day six)

We can forget this a letter. It’s not a treatise. It’s not a manifesto. It’s not a blog, or editorial. It’s a Holy Spirit-inspired letter, personal and historical, intended to be read by a small group of people in a small town in Asia Minor, and now us. When Paul writes, “being knitted together in love,” his letter was exhibit A. Even though he had never laid eyes on this small church, he had a deep abiding affection for them, in the same way a grandfather has for his grandchildren. It was with this connectedness and love that Paul writes to them, reminding them, encouraging them, challenging them, longing to protect them.

With this letter Paul models what we must do for one another, being knitted together in love. And what Paul did from afar (in a letter) he expects us to do face to face.

How knitted are you? Or maybe a better question, do you long to be knitted in the way Paul hopes for us?

Thankful

Re:Verse passage – Colossians 2:1-7 (day five) 

“having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” Colossians‬ ‭2:7‬ ‭

Paul practiced what he preached. He lived a life of thankfulness and gratitude. Look at all his letters. Thankfulness and gratitude were always on his mind and heart. Paul reminds the Colossians that thankfulness and gratitude contribute to a maturing faith. Paul describes the consequences of not being thankful in Romans 1:21 “Although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened.”

Who are you thankful for today?  What are you thankful for today?  Why are you thankful? Will you express that to God and others?

Wealth

Re:Verse passage – Colossians 2:1-7 (day four)

Attaining to all the wealth..” verse 2Does this passage support the prosperity gospel of today’s TV evangelists?  No…this reference has nothing to do with material gain.  Wealth relates to the invisible characteristics that are ours in Christ.  Kindness, love, understanding, wisdom, knowledge, peace, faith, humility, gentleness, patience…all of these qualities are available to us through Christ.

Romans 2:4 says, “do you think lightly of the riches…?”  We settle for so much less when we focus on material gain.  It is trading fresh, flowing water for broken, stagnant cisterns. (Jeremiah 2:3)  Paul longed for the Colossians to know all of these characteristics of Christ and for them to grow and mature in their lives.  A relationship with Christ is not complete if we just know Him.  Growing in Christ-like character is essential for life…a life that is healthy and pleasing to God.  Go back to Paul’s prayer in chapter 1…”so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.”  Are you?