Studying Colossians upon coming to chapter 3 of this book I drew some thoughts that are more patterns of conceptual thought than they are articulated principals. All the same I present them to you, whether in or out of context. I do not doubt their being within context however disclaimers are good ways of saving skin in case you miss something. Colossians is a brilliant book and as with any other part of scripture there is so much more to take from it no matter how often or not you study it.
1. Knowledge effects our how we view our position and where our focus remains. – Key Verse- Colossians 3:2- “2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth”
Verses 1-4: These verses open by dealing with thinking and focus. Since we have been “raised” in Christ it is pointless to be consumed by earthly things when our mindset should be an eternal one. We allow our minds to get caught up in some of the most ridiculous things when in reality most of it hardly matters in light of eternity. Whether decisions, materials, relationships, or whatever else, compared to eternity a lot of it is meaningless. If we become careless our minds can become prey to distraction while compartmentalizing our position in Christ. Now that are lives are hidden and secure within Christ we need to live as if he is our life and not just one aspect of it.
2. Knowledge effects actions manifested by our focus. – Key Verses – Colossians 3 : 9-10 – “9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”
Verses 5-17: Now that we have been given a new position within Christ our old position no longer composes who we are. Because of Christ within we posses all of what is needed to lead an abundant and fulfilling life. As growth is produced in our fellowship with and knowledge of God the things of the world will leave us more and more unfulfilled. Do not make this mistake though by assuming these verses are saying that we shall no longer sin. The purpose of these verses are to show us the need to separate ourselves from sin and to bind ourselves to Christ. As we see in them we get perspective on what we are susceptible to look like when living in the flesh as well as when we are living in Christ. There is no need to bind ourselves to these principles as the Jews did to the law, but as we are make ourselves bound to Christ, they will organically flow, and come as we live in Him. As we live this life on earth we will never full discontinue sinning, however, we will develop ways to use our position in Christ to avoid it and become less impacted by it. By controlling our thoughts, mind and focus, we can also control manifestation of our actions. If we are focused on the flesh and the world our actions will show such, but if we are focused on Christ our actions shall reveal that as well. How we view what we do and who we are all begins and ends with where our mind and focus is. I can can tell as I am sure you can tell me, being a Christian does not make us any less able to sin. We still contain that ability as much as anyone else, with Christ making that difference enabling us to combat the urges of the flesh. By living with an eternal mindset that is the first step in living in Christ and not the flesh.
3. Knowledge effects what we do and the consequences or privileges of such.- Key Verses- Colossians 3: 23- 25- ” 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.”
Over the course of this chapter the point has been made that Christ should engulf all aspects of our lives. With our lives being in Christ we need to consistently live as such. Constant evaluation of our thoughts, motives, reactions, perceptions, abilities and whether or not it is for Him or for us needs to be an overly frequent action. If we are doing or being anything that is not for him then what is the point? Our existence should not be based off the worldly nonsense that we convince ourselves is of value but off Him and Him alone. I know as Christians we here over and over we need to be of Him, but the truth is we do. Just because you here it often does not mean the impact should be any less. Being believers, as we established previously, does not make us exempt from sin. As believers Satan wants to double hold us back, and even though we are in Christ, our sin still has consequences. When we sin God can very well allow us to have to deal with the consequences of such. In that we have the choice to learn through the consequences or to continue sinning, but either way, God allows it because he loves us. Consequences of our sin should not be to drive us away from Him but to impress on us just how much we do need Him. Growth can come from our successes as well as our failures within the Christian life, it is merely a matter of focus and whether or not we seek to grow or not.
There is so much more to this book and even to this chapter. As we take in those verses how can we deny the power of knowing. Everything begins with that. Whether the principles of salvation, the freedoms of spiritual truth, or whatever else, we believe, we are free, we live, because we know. We need to live and set our minds on Him whether we feel like it or not. Scripture never talks about feeling God as a means of growing or knowing Him. Sure emotion can be a manifestation and result of knowing God and His love, but above all God wants us to, and we need to, know Him….