Do not lie to one another: Colossians 3.9-10

“Do not lie to one another since you have put off the old man with its practices and have been clothed with the new man that is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the one who created it.”

Colossians 3.9-10

Lying belongs to the old way of life. Christians have turned over a new leaf. God is renewing and transforming them. So they must live following the image or example of Christ.

Fear hides behind many a lie. Some people are just malicious. Do not we know better? God is true and cannot lie. The truth of the gospel precludes our use of lies. Watch your tongue!

#votd #Colossians #lying

Open a door

“At the same time pray for us too, that God may open a door for the message so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.”

Colossians 4.3

The apostle Paul asked for prayers for his work of proclaiming Christ. He had urged the Colossians to be alert in prayer, v. 2. Among many subjects of prayer, the greatest is the spread of the gospel.

Where is your prayer list of people who spread the gospel? How many people who need to obey do you pray for? What doors might God open through your prayers?

#votd #Colossians #prayer

Do not let anyone judge: Colossians 2.16 VOTD

“Therefore do not let anyone judge you with respect to food or drink, or in the matter of a feast, new moon, or Sabbath days—”

Colossians 2.16

Since it’s impossible to prevent others from criticizing or making judgments, what did Paul mean by not letting anyone judge the saints when it came to food or drink or observance of special days? He meant they should not be bothered or swayed by others who might judge them in this way, by standards that differ from the gospel truth.

Why is it we sometimes feel pressured to conform to a twisted vision of faith that others insist on?

#judging #Colossians #VOTD

Textual parallels in Ephesians and Colossians

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eph-col-parallels

#bible-study, #colossians, #ephesians, #textual-parallels

Short introduction to Colossians

“The theme of Ephesians is ‘The church of the Christ, while the theme of Colossians is ‘The Christ of the church'” (credit: Terry Jones).

While Ephesians has in mind the supremacy of the Lord’s church in the eternal plan of God (Eph. 3:10-11), Colossians has in mind the supremacy of Christ over all things (Col. 1:15-20).

It is the pleasure of the Godhead that every Divine purpose be fulfilled in the One called “Jesus” (v.19; cf. 2:9). It is through His supreme, sacrificial offering alone that humanity may be reconciled to the Creator (v.20). It is through Him that the riches of God’s grace are manifest (1:25-28). He holds the key to all spiritual wisdom and knowledge (2:2-3).

Only Christ can “cut off” our sin, raising us from the dead through faith and baptism in His name (2:11-13). Only Christ can overthrow empty, insufficient world views, and bring us into the realm of true worship (2:18-23).

He is now at the right hand of God, but He will return in glory, ushering an eternal, bodily resurrection for those who have put their trust in Him (3:1- 4).

His faithful ones live exemplary lives — honest, unbiased, holy, merciful, kind, humble, meek, patient, and charitable (3:8-14). They have peace, because they seek to please Him (3:17). Christ permeates every realm of the Christian’s life (3:18-4:1).

An interesting side note: the Colossian letter gives us insight into how the early church received and circulated inspired letters, “And when this epistle is read amongst you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea” (4:16).

Rick Kelley, Prestonsburg (KY) Informer

#colossians, #nt-introduction, #pauls-epistles

I pinched myself in my sleep

Remember that saying about pinching yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming? Well, last Saturday night I woke myself up because I’d pinched my arm in my sleep. I have a good bruise from it. First time ever I’ve done that.

I don’t remember dreaming about anything that might have led me to pinch myself. But maybe I was dreaming about the days when our children were small. (Ever pinched your child as discipline? Not my norm, but I think I may have done it once or twice.) Or maybe I was dreaming about pinching The Missus, but I probably wouldn’t have done it on her arm.

So Sunday morning, as I had the communion meditation, I talked about it being God’s way of letting us pinch ourselves to make sure we’re not dreaming. I told about pinching myself. Though I left out the part about any dream of pinching The Missus. I didn’t want to distract people.

I introduced Eph 1.3-11 as a single grammatical sentence, a piling-on of blessings from being in Christ. I actually read verse 3 only, since our time was running out, but characterized the passage as Paul pinching himself, in a way, almost not believing all we have in the Lord. All as illustration, of course.

So when you pinch off a piece of that bread, said I, pinch yourself, spiritually, not physically, and tell yourself that you’re not dreaming. Christ is real, and the hope, faith, love, power, and purpose that we have in him are real as well.

• A brother asked about “spiritual understand” and “wisdom” in Col 1.9. Here are my edited comments, which might be useful to someone else, somewhere.

BGAD gives this definition for sunesis (understanding) in Col 1.9: “understanding such as God grants to God’s own.” Sophia  (wisdom) seems to have a more practical turn than Robertson/Abbott allow; not only about general principles but how to make right decisions depending on the situation. Though one might argue in this context, at the beginning of Colossians, for a more theological meaning over a moral and practical one.

IOVC says of the two: “The knowledge for which the author pleads (vs. 9) is that insight into truth granted by the powerful working of God (vs. 11) to those who are open to spiritual wisdom. This wisdom expresses itself concretely in the life of the believer who increases in knowledge as his life bears fruit ‘in active goodness of every kind’ (vs. 10 NEB; cf. 3:10).”

These terms were possibly used by false teachers, but Paul rescues them from their twisting hands to put them into the lives of the Colossians. What a saint knows he lives, in communion with God. Such knowledge adds tread to his walking shoes.

• Which reminds me: I hear all the time, and I heard it last Sunday again, the words “difficult” and “complicated” applied to the Christian life. I’ve ranted and raved about this, to no avail, yet, apparently. “Complicated” is a code word for “impossible.” The excuse for inaction is that it’s “difficult.” But come now: If we have all spiritual blessings in Christ, and if in Christ all the fulness of God has been deposited for our access, and if the kingdom of God is home for his little ones who have no theological degrees nor knowledge of Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic, how can we say the way of Christ is difficult and complicated? Continue reading

#colossians, #communion-meditations, #corollaries, #movies

I’ll Tell You What To Give Up For “Lent”

I’m no protestant, but has the “protestant” world all but completely forgotten what and who they originally protested??? It seems like more and more I see signs in churchyards and hear people talking about what they’re going to do (or not do) for “Lent.” Sadly, even members of the Lord’s church have gotten caught up in this outward display of religious ignorance!

The Bible doesn’t have much to say about “Lent” but it does say enough to be clear:

Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations – “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.” (Colossians 2:20-23)

Do we get it? Outward restrictions don’t correct inward sins! “Lent” is the first thing I think of when I read Colossians 2:20-23 and then think of the religious world today. There is no biblical principle for this manmade doctrine. You don’t live it up on “Fat Tuesday” to give it up on “Ash Wednesday!” Sackcloth and ashes never changed a heart! Forty days of neglecting our self is not the same as forty days in the wilderness. Biblical prayer and fasting and “Lent” are not the same thing. One is about devotion to God and the other is about devotion to values that have no true value against wicked and sinful indulgences. It’s not what does or doesn’t go into the mouth that affects a person’s relationship with God – it’s what does or doesn’t come out of the heart that affects one’s relationship with God (Matthew 15:1-20). Depriving the body doesn’t equal feeding the soul! Never has, never will.

If something is not sinful it does not have to be given up to improve our relationship with God – but if something is sinful we best not wait for a time of self-imposed religion to correct something that needs to be addressed immediately. In other words, don’t wait for the “preparation of the Holy Week” to start living a Holy Life (1 Peter 1:13-16).

If you’re still looking for something to give up, my answer would be that the best thing to give up for “Lent” is “Lent” itself!

#catholocism, #christianity, #colossians, #heart, #lent, #manmade-doctrines, #outward-righteousness, #protestantism, #religion

To seek what’s Above, You have to be buried Below!

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:1-2, NKJV)

My ‘spiritual’ background is based firmly on being taught as a young person that baptism was not “to be saved” but rather was “for the saved.” This goes to show you how the truth can fade into the background if one isn’t careful with their own personal study of God’s word!

After obeying the gospel (part of which included my submission to God through baptism to receive the remission of my sins) Colossians 3:1-2 became one of those places in scripture that made the Bible’s teaching on baptism so abundantly clear to me. Listen to what Paul said. He said, “if you were raised with Christ….” This is a big deal. Paul is saying if we’re raised with Christ then we’re to set our mind on a higher calling and home. It makes one wonder if one is raised with Christ (in this present time and life) then when was one buried with Christ??? Praise God, because one doesn’t have to wonder! Paul answers the question he created himself:

In [Jesus] you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sinsof the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:11-12)

Buried when? When we submit to God in baptism! Buried for what? To be raised with Christ to set our affections on/to seek those things above! You go down a soiled sinner and you come up a shinning saint (Colossians 1:19-23).

There’s no question to it if we read all of what Paul has to say to the Colossians. Many people have an opinion about the role of baptism when it comes to salvation, but opinions stop where the truth of scripture begins. To seek what’s above we have to first be buried below. It’s that clear, but do you want to see it?

#baptism, #colossians, #salvation

Snippet of a Sermon on Repentance

Some old habits die hard for sure, but just make sure they die!

A desire to do God’s will will cause the heart to yearn for repentance – a desire to do our will will cause the heart to spurn repentance.

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.” (Colossians 3:1-7 – NKJV)

#colossians, #repentance, #sermon, #sin

Christians From Colossae

Every one of us, whether a Christian or not are examples to someone. This could be a good or a bad example. This evident in the Word of God. We are given accounts of the good and the bad example. The Word of God promotes godly examples for us to emulate.

Throughout the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, we are presented with many character studies. They come from all walks of life just as the writers of the Word. They come from large and small cities; they come from familiar and obscure places. I want to enter our thoughts today on a city in the New Testament that was not as prominent as some. It is mentioned in just 2 books; that being Paul’s letter to Colossians and his epistle to Philemon. I want to write about two men: Epaphras and Archippus.

They are mentioned in Colossians and in Philemon. More is said about about Epaphras. Colossae was located in Asia Minor, modern day Turkey. It appears that Paul did not visit this city but that some from there came in contact with his teachings and took them back to their home city. One of the 7 Churches of Revelation, Laodicia, is mentioned in Colossians, along with Hieropolis as being nearby.

Paul is very faithful in commending his co-workers. In writing to the Colossian Church in Col. 1:7-8 and Col. 4:12-14 he mentions Epaphras. It appears that he was one of the men who brought the Gospel to Colossae. Both he and Philemon may have came in contact with Paul when he preached “nearby.”

Even a casual reading of the text will give the reader an insight into the character of Epaphras. Paul uses terminology that we all would like to be described by. Paul calls him a dear fellow servant and a faithful minister in Col. 1:7-8. He is mentioned as one who loved his fellow believers. He is called a servant.

Paul uses a term in Col. 4:12 that should describe all Christians, that of a bond servant. This describes one who serves his master willingly and faithfully. We see Epaphras described as a man of prayer. He is genuinely concerned with the spiritual well being of his fellow believers and is described as laboring fervently for them. His motivation is that they would be made complete in the Lord and stand for Him. He puts into practice the admonition of Paul in 2 Tim. 3:16-18 where faithfully preaching and teaching the Word of God will lead believers to be equipped for service to the Lord Jesus. Col. 4:13 shows that he didn’t just center his efforts in his hometown but was willing to share the Word with those in Laodicea and in Hieropolis. May we ever be thankful for this faithful brother.

The other one mentioned in Colossians and in Philemon was a man named Archippus. He is mentioned in Col. 4:17 as well as in Philemon 2. It appears he was the son of Philemon and was faithful in preaching and teaching in the church that met in Philemon’s home. Paul reminds him that he received his ministry from the Lord Jesus. He is called a fellow soldier in Philemon 2. All Christians are in the Lord’s Army. We must take up the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:10-20) if we are going to be equipped for battle. Let’s look back the example of Archippus as we strive to serve together under the authority of the Lord Jesus and help reach the lost and lead them out of the kingdom of darkness in the kingdom of the Son of His love (Col. 1:14-16).

-Larry Miles, Nov. 16, 2011

#archippus, #colossians, #epaphras, #philemon

Clockwork and emotion

Back home again! Our trip — yes, let’s call it a vacation — was really great, spent with family. And getting home is always good as well. For the first time I can remember, in a long while, I returned home feeling rested. And it’s good to be back on TFR. Missed you guys, though I’ve been reading a good deal, so I’m not entirely out of the loop.

• During our trip, I’d decided to keep up only two, yeah, three things: my Forthright Magazine articles on Mondays, and the Portuguese devotional which I’ve also been translating regularly into English. I’m glad to say I didn’t miss a lick during the entire time.

• I’m not always so clockworkish. Writing has its creative, moodish element, though it is eight parts persistence. Not all my material written during our trip was of the highest quality, but I trust it was all true, understandable, and amen-able. (And even amenable.)

In the news. Is it justifiable to connect emphasis upon emotion with the modern evangelical praise movement? Could the music minister who tased his pastor, after getting the pink slip, be cited as a case in point? (Ironic the church name, New Welcome. Maybe that’s the new wave way of doing things.)

• Colossians 3 is the NT reading for today. Maybe the New Welcome folk might want to read it next Sunday. I need to, I know.

#colossians, #contemporary-worship, #praise-worship, #writing

Opportunities

Today’s Bible reading contains this verse: “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunities” (Col. 4:5 NET).

It is preceded by Paul’s request for prayer that he might make the message of Christ known as he should. It is followed by an appeal for gracious speech, “seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer everyone” (v. 6).

Though some versions do not show it, verse 5 is framed by the use of the term “word” (logos) in verses 3 (“message”) and 6 (“speech”).

The opportunities to which Paul alludes are opportunities to speak the gospel to those outside of Christ. The apostle’s single-minded vision is one every Christian should have. While he prays and asks prayer that he might take advantage of his own opportunities, he urges the Colossians to do the same.

The mission of God belongs not only to an apostle, but to the whole church. To each of us as well. Independent of our circumstances. Paul saw imprisonment as a means to reach more people. Let us see our present situation, whatever it may be, as an opportunity to teach the gospel to others.

Make the most of your opportunity today.

#colossians, #evangelism

Why the Laodicean Letter is MIssing

Someone asked in an email discussion group why the letter to Laodicea, mentioned in Col. 4:16, is missing from the New Testament canon. This assumes that the suggestion that it is our Ephesian letter is unfounded.

My reply mentioned that one could broaden that question to include all the documents mentioned in the NT that were written by inspired men, such as the epistle to the Corinthians mentioned in 1 Cor. 5:9 and perhaps a letter written between our 1st and 2nd Corinthians. There’s also the possibility of a “missing” letter in 3 John 9. (What have I missed?)

Suffice it to say that the Lord in his wisdom saw that these documents were unnecessary to our faith and devotion and chose not to have them preserved as a part of the NT canon.

Beyond that is speculation, whether they were subpar (though how could that be?) or redundant, or whatever the theory. Speculation may be interesting, but ultimately has no spiritual profit, so such questions are probably best left to gather dust.

#colossians, #new-testament-canon