Monday March 25, 2013

Day 35 – Transformation

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Read

Colossians 3:1-11

 

So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life. But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. 9Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices 10 and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. 11 In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!

Reflect

A new status. In Colossians 1 and 2 Paul tells us that when Jesus Christ came a dislocation occurred in human history: God’s rule over the cosmos took on a new form. With Jesus a new world order began, and that new world for the present co-exists with the one we see about us.  In 1:13 Paul put it like this:  God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves…’.

Paul wants us to know that God is working out his cosmic strategy in world events and in the arena of our lives.  From before the creation of space and time, God put in place a plan to rescue men and women. The Son of God agreed to take on human form and give his life as a sacrifice— the just for the unjust, to satisfy God’s justice and to express his love (see also, Philippians 2:5-6). Jesus’ death was not the end. Rather, it was the end of the beginning, and the beginning of the end— the last stage of God’s plan for the world as we know it.

How can we be sure of this? We have the evidence of Jesus’ resurrection which points to more than merely life beyond the grave. It points to a universe beyond what we experience now.

We can think of it like this: two great realms now co-exist— the dominion of darkness and the kingdom of God’s Son.  The dominion of darkness is shrinking in on itself to eternal destruction.  The other world, the kingdom of God’s Son, is an expanding universe, expanding to eternal glory. For the present, there is a door that allows people to pass from one world to the other.  People who turn to Jesus and give him their allegiance have an identity in both worlds.  Physically we are still in the old, but our names are registered in the new.

And there are consequences for us now – a new life-style. In 3:5 we read, Put to death therefore whatever in you is earthly…  Toss out of your life what doesn’t fit this new life with Christ. Is it sexual immorality? Is it lust? Is it evil desire or greed, which is idolatry? Is it anger or rage, or malice or slander, or perhaps foul talk?  Do you always tell the truth? These things belong to the old self.  Put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator.

Consider

  1. What does it mean for you to seek the things that are above (3:1-2)?
  2. Are looking forward to the appearing of Jesus Christ (3:4)?
  3. What aspects of your life do you need to review in the light of Paul’s words in 3:5-10?
Pray
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