Wednesday, September 9, 2015

COLOSSIANS—Preparing for Glory

We have been given a new life in Christ,
therefore

Start Living!!

It is as if you have been given a second chance to get it right.

Paul makes no apologies for what he writes here. It is plain and without subterfuge of any kind.
"If you want to enjoy the benefits of this new life you've been given, then some changes are required on your part. You have now been given the power, so get to it." (loose translation and interpretation of Col. 3:1-3)
He gives no place to the idiocy that would say, "But, brother Paul, you just got through telling me I am not to place myself under any kind of law, and here you go telling me what I should do. Isn't that the legalism you were warning me about?"
Nope.

It is very simple, actually.

Paul is giving the practical instructions necessary for those who would enter into training. "You want bigger biceps? Start curling 20 pounds in each hand. If that is too much for you to consider, then do nothing and wait until you die and get a new body."

In the interest of FULL DISCLOSURE—there is no question but that the writer of this blog has a problem with what he is observing in the Body of Christ. It seems that there is an abundance of people willing to forego pressing "toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus," (Phil.3:14) and just settle for "it's all been done; there's nothing left for me to do." I do realize, though, that when someone is looking for an excuse, any excuse will do—even if it involves a lopsided theology.
Therefore, the first thing we must do is to recognize and reckon. We must recognize our position in Christ, and reckon it to be so in our minds. When that reality becomes firmly settled in your mind, your body will begin to line up with the mind.

In Col. 3:2, the phrase translated "set your affection" in the KJV is from a single word φρονέω (phroneō) [Strong's G5426]; but it carries the idea of the phrase consistently throughout the NT with only a couple of minor variations. It is written in the present active imperative, meaning that it is something for you to continually do. It is not a "one and done" event of the Christian life.

Setting your affection has the idea of directing your heart—the core of your being. Other translations render it as thinking or setting your mind, all of which have pretty much the same thought.

Paul writes in another place "Have this mind in you..." (Phil. 2:5), which is the same word as in this verse.

Shocking Spoiler Alert
Now that you have a new life in Christ, you have the ability to control your mind.

Your mind is the gateway to the heart, the seat of your affections. What you allow to enter your mind has the potential to direct your life (Pro. 4:23).

Paul reiterates here in Colossians what Jesus said in Matthew 7:24—you cannot serve two masters. It is just not possible. It is the same with the mind. You cannot think in two directions.

James said it this way, "Try to think in two directions, and you will only fall down" (loose translation and interpretation of James 1:8).

Therefore, does it not make sense to follow Paul's admonition and take control of our mind? (cf Rom 12:2) Of course, it does; but, will you?

Will you make the decision today to take control of your mind? To take Every thought captive and bring it under the obedience of Christ? (2 Cor. 10:5c)

Prayer: Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord. (Ps. 19:14)

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