Our reading in the book of Colossians addresses many “modern-day religions” – Some 20 years ago, the major emphasis was on combating the so-called “New Age” religions. But as Ecclesiastes tells us “there is nothing new under the sun.” Paul is in a peculiar situation, having never been to Colossae. It is evident that he does have some knowledge of the church and its people. [Philemon request for Onesimus]
The church at Colossae was fighting against these “knowledge based” religious leaders. Over and over again Paul uses the word “true knowledge” to indicate that those who thought they were more intelligent or wise actually were ignorant of the ways of God. Specifically, the teachings came from Epicureans and the Stoics. Their religious practice centered around “dualism” of the person. In other words they held that the spirit and flesh were separate, and what one did in one realm was separate and of no effect on the other part of the body. This gave license to do in the “flesh” whatever they wanted, since it didn’t have any consequences on the spirit. In chapter 3, Paul addressed that if a person is IN CHRIST, there will be the old life and its sinful practices that have to be “put off” and there must be some new practices “put on.”
Even within theses so-called “super saints” there was great conflict. On one hand there were the philosophers who advocated a superior knowledge that lifted them above the “human experience.” There were also the syncretistic thought where Greek thought was incorporated into the Christian faith. The belief that Christ wasn’t enough, but that people needed a higher “knowledge to be really spiritual.
Then again there was the faction that held to an opposite practice of asceticism/monasticism. This man-made thought felt that if there was “suffering and depriving” of the flesh, this was spiritual. The monastic practices developed in to a rigorous flagellation. You may have seen the movie “The DaVinci Code” where self-inflicted pain was used by the villain as a means of “paying for his sins.”
Colossians is a very complicated book that addresses Greek philosopher influences of the day. At risk was the “True Knowledge of Christ.” At times, reading the epistle will lead to a Jewish influence, and at others it is a Greek influence. Either way, both wanted to change the
Paul addresses the “Mystery of the Gospel.” The superior knowledge minimized the superiority of Christ in sovereignty and creation. As was the case of new works of Paul he had to combat the “works salvation” thought and the return of believers back to a flesh dominated lifestyle. There was also the problem of incorporating many “traditions and customs” of man into the religious practices. The “defrauding” of believers by making them observe certain holy days, festivals, and food and drink. This is still found today in many churches. The traditions of men are not wrong in and of themselves, but if they contradict scripture or enslave believers then they are of no benefit.
The epistle is strong for Paul, especially since he had not been the founder of the church. His relationship with some of the members gave him the “right” to be stern towards their internal legalism.
As is many times the case, churches are subjected to a “more than Jesus” requirements from “works salvation” people. Paul tries to relay the foundation that it is Christ Alone for salvation and sanctification. I am not really sure why we fall for a “Jesus Plus” type of christian expectation, other than we feel we MUST DO something to be found worthy of salvation – which is completely contradictory to The Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Rainbows and Promises
Amidst the onslaught of message traffic from the SCOTUS decision yesterday I pondered whether to post anything about the Homosexual marriage decision. The rainbow [symbol of the movement] was used by Jehovah God to promise that the world would not be destroyed by water again. The rainbow has been plastered everywhere since the decision, even on the White House in D.C.
I cannot help but think of the significance of God’s promise not to destroy the world again, and the use of the rainbow by proponents of homosexual marriage.
God could no longer “strive” [Genesis 6:3] with man and his sinful condition. One man – Noah was found to be righteous. Through Noah 8 people were saved/rescued by God from total destruction. Genesis 6:5 – God saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. It grieved God that He had made man, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land.” A huge word every time it is used – “But”. In this case But Noah found favor with God.[Gen 6:8]
The word “But” gives hope to mankind. All it takes is one person to live righteously before God to extend His grace and mercy. This was the case with Abraham too, the Father of our faith.
All mankind is sinful – Romans 3:23
All deserve death – Romans 6:23
All Can receive forgiveness and the gift of eternal Life – Romans 10:17
Confessing the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God and His work of redemption on the Cross of Calvary
All Can be made a New Creation – 2 Cor. 5:17
While mankind elects to live in rebellion to his Creator, the Creator stills offers love, forgiveness, pardon and everlasting Life.
Mankind/Satan [the liar and deceiver] has always distorted what was made “good” by the Father.
We cannot change mankind; we cannot legislate morality; we cannot expect “the World” to embrace Gods ways.
The Church [Bride of Christ] has not kept herself chaste for her Groom; Israel did not do it; nor has the 21st Century Church. We have chased after gods of comfort and convenience; pleasure and popularity. When we look at the world and the condition it is in; shall we not also look at ourselves , the Church and find what condition we are in as well?
I believe that the world is just living out who they are; the world has not found the “God mandate for marriage successful.” The marriage by the world has been found broken with its divorce rates and dysfunctional families; is it no wonder that they are looking for other “options to marriage.?”
I think that the Church has been so enamored by the need for “attendance levels” to continue their way of doing church, that we have sacrificed the scriptures to accommodate the sins of people who can fill out church buildings.
I believe that the ruling by SCOTUS is a reflection of society, Satan and the failures of Believers.
“But” – there’s that word again; just as God used Noah and Abraham along with others, He was able to Restore His cultural of holiness and righteousness. Will God find anyone willing to stand in the Gap and pray for the land so that God would not destroy it – Ezekiel 22:30-31
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Tagged as Gay marriage, promises, rainbow