Monday, August 24, 2015

COLOSSIANS—God's Peace Treaty

Peace treaties between nations are always based on certain stated conditions that must be met in order for the peace to be maintained.

Peace after the horrors of WWII was dependent on Japan's absolute and unconditional surrender to the Allied Powers.

Paul writes to the believers in Colossae and tells them about God's peace treaty. He has established a peace treaty with us which appears—on the surface at least—to be unconditional.

There is no question that the full requirement of debt for sin has been met in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The debt has been paid. There is no longer any mortgage payments due. You have been completely released from any and all obligation to make any payment whatsoever for your sin.

What is normally stamped on a mortgage document as "Paid in Full" or "Debt Released" is marked in our case as "Not Guilty."

The case against you has been dropped. All charges have been dismissed. You are free to go. You are not on probation—the law just waiting for you to mess up again. You are free. No one can even find a record against you that ever existed.

HOWEVER (you knew I was going there, didn't you ), in order for you to enjoy that peaceful freedom, you must accept the terms of surrender.

The first of those terms was presented in the last article—be reconciled to God who has reconciled with the world.

The second of those terms for being able to enjoy the peace that freedom brings is given in Col. 1:23
If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
Herein lies the purpose of this letter—it is possible to be moved away from the hope of the gospel, thereby losing the peaceful freedom you once enjoyed.

I find it sad that most evangelicals take a verse such as this to prove that one can be saved and then be lost for all eternity, condemned to the fiery torments of hell. Sad indeed, for it is not even close to the reality of truth.

The reality is that walking with the Lord brings about a peace that passes understanding in this life.

Not walking with the Lord brings about a chaotic confusion that bypasses understanding until the truth is seen.

While I am not denying the existence of heaven or hell, putting everything off until we exit this life for one of those regions is ridiculous in the extreme to my way of thinking. (Please take note. I stated that as my opinion, not as fact.)

No. Being moved away from the hope of the gospel moves one away from the benefits of the gospel in this life and plane.

The gospel, at least according to Jesus, is about freedom NOW. (Luke 4:18-19)

The remainder of this letter is taken up with warnings about the possibilities of losing one's freedom by being moved away from the centrality of the gospel; by forgetting what has been done on your behalf.

Why are the warnings there? Because they are necessary.

They are necessary because it is so easy for the human frame to slip off into a deception that robs one of their benefits.

They are necessary because there are many who do not want you to enjoy the benefits of the gospel, and will do whatever is necessary to ensure that you are moved away from its hope.

If they were not necessary, they would not have been included in the peace treaty of the Word.


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