JohnSWilson3 Blog

“…the reality, however, is found in Christ.”
July 7, 2010, 2:43 pm
Filed under: N Letter to the Colossians

Time and again in Colossians Paul keeps coming back to this one simple and extraordinary fact: Christ is our life. If Christ is our life then something wonderful has happened. Paul, in all of his letters, has explained in great detail what “Christ in you” means for those who have “received Christ Jesus as Lord.” It is a monumental truth! It is “the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints.” This mystery brings with it “glorious riches,” because in Christ “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” It is the fullness of gospel that the Lord desires that we know in an ever growing way. We will only know more of Jesus Christ when, “having been rooted” in Him, under His lordship, we “walk in him” and are “being built up” together “in him” with other brothers and sisters in Christ, fully functioning under the headship of Jesus Christ, who “is the head of the body, the church.”

Paul, in chapter 2 of Colossians has been describing how important it is to have a rock solid faith in Jesus Christ, knowing Him, who is our life! There is so much at stake! We are still in this fallen world and Satan, “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” everything of Christ. But Christ came to give us life, His life “and have it to the full.” What Jesus did on that cross for us is beyond imagination. Everything that we understand about Christ in us, Christ being our life, is centered on the cross. In a single moment in time, when Jesus Christ, in whom ‘all the fullness of the Godhead lives in bodily form” died on that cross and rose again He began a chain of events that will not stop until at the end of the age. “He forgave us all our sins.” Just like cutting the foreskin of a male baby and it falls away and dies (the circumcision done by the hands of men), He has cut away, put away our flesh, our old life, the old creation (the circumcision done by Christ). As he wrote to the Roman Christians: “A man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.” Jesus also took “away” “the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us.” In his letter to the Galatian churches Paul says that “before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus…” Jesus Christ “disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live…” That’s what the cross did for us, it took away our life. We no longer live. It is no longer about me or us! It is all about our Lord Jesus Christ who did everything for us! We were “co-buried” with Jesus Christ when He died on that cross. And when we have “faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead” we “were co-raised” with Him! God “co-quickened” or made us “alive with Christ”! “…but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Everything that dealt with the law, philosophy, human tradition, basic principles of this world were all dealt with in Christ. When He died to those things on that cross, we “died with Christ” to those things as well. To the Corinthian church Paul said: “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again…Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them…God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” We are to consider ourselves dead to sin! Again Paul said to the Romans: “We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don;t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life…(we are) freed from sin…count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Finally, Paul says: “But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”

That new life, Christ’s life, which is now ours, determines how we relate to each other, to my brothers and sisters in Christ. If Christ is in you and Christ is in me, and Christ is our life together, then how I treat you or my attitude towards you (and vice versa) is my treatment or my attitude towards Christ! “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however is found in Christ.” I think Paul has his comment to the Roman church in mind here: “Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables…One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each should be fully convinced in his own mind…each of us will give an account of himself to God…For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”

How we feel about certain things, things that are “disputable matters,” should not affect my relationship with my other brothers and sisters in Christ. While others believe they should follow the cultural traditions of a society (Jewish or otherwise), if they are not “disputable matters,” for example a means of attaining righteousness or draw us away from Jesus Christ, then we are not to judge each other. It is God who judges. Everything that was created by the Lord Jesus Christ, not just the law, is a shadow of Jesus Christ. “For by him all things were created…(and) all things were created by him and for him.”

Let us together seek after the things of Jesus Christ and keep our minds on Him, who is our life, not on what a brother or sister does or does not do, if they are fully convinced that what they do is “to the Lord” and are not disputable matters. I am reminded of what Peter asked our Lord in John’s gospel account:

Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them…When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”


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