Friday, July 15, 2011

A Thought Provoking Little Passage

Paul writes the following to the Collosian Christians in 3:12-17:

"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

Wow. What a high standard. We truly are called to live in a radically different manner than the world lives. If we do so, the lost will no doubt take notice.

This paragraph is filled with short instructions about living out our faith among our brothers and sisters in Christ. If we think of these as adjectives and/or nouns describing Christians, then we should see in ourselves and others:

love (note: above all else)
one body
living out the word
teaching and being taught
admonishing and being admonished
songs of praise
doing all in the name of the Lord

That is quite a standard. We are given no opt-out clause. We can't pick and choose which of these we like and which we'd like to ignore. Rather, our lives should look like this.

The wonderful thing is that through the power of the Holy Spirit we can live like this. God is not some sort of mean deity who would demand of his followers what they cannot do. Because of what Christ has accomplished on the cross, we can and must live as aliens. We are strangers in a strange land.

Essentially, because we have been rescued from our spiritual deadness by Jesus Christ, we are freed and commanded to live as Jesus did. His church reflects his magnificence for all the world to see.

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