These are notes collected from studying with brothers in Christ. Anything good comes from the Lord. Everything else is from us!
Colossians 1:13-14 – “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Lives look different after meeting Jesus. As we follow Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, the evidence of God’s work in us eventually pours out. Paul describes what this looks like in verses 10-12:
“so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.”
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”
“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”
Following Jesus is very active. I like this idea that every day I am to actively put to death my “old self” and clothe myself in Jesus’ transforming power.
My friend Ken says, “I’m either praying or I am sinning,” and this passage reminds me of that. My daily/hourly walk with Jesus transforms me and puts to death the sin that is deep within me, and when I slack off I tend to fall right back into my “old self.”
I’m feeling very grateful today for Jesus’ transforming power in my life.
To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
Love how both “Christ in you” and being “in Christ” are used alongside each other here. I believe the former speaks to our sanctification (that is, Christ via Gods Spirit lives in us to change us and mark us as His possession). And the latter (us “in Christ”) to our justification—being counted righteous by being clothed/covered in Christ’s righteousness.
I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments.
So so much here!! Too much for now. But I share this to point out that it is “plausible” arguments that are said to delude us here. Consider that. It’s not the implausible ones but the plausible ones that can lead us away from Him (partially because they seek to have reason usurp revelation—that is, they seem plausible to the human mind, but completely ignore the need for Gods revelation and for sincere and simple trust in what He speaks.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
Goes with the comment about Christ in us and us in Christ. We have died in Christ positionally (our justification). But the Spirit in us wants us to put to death sinful habits in our ongoing sanctification.
Notice also that the latter part of that list is thoughts and passions that are evil. This completely overturns modern concepts that “if I feel this way” or “if I have this sort of passion” it is somehow good. God forbid! I think much of our sinfulness is in our passions and thought life. We, like Pharisees, claim that our actions prove our righteousness. But God goes much deeper. In fact, even if we give everything for the poor and sacrificially lose our life for others, yet we can still be devoid of love and it all is meaningless (1 Cor 13:1-3). Sobering thought. All the more need for being in Christ and Christ in us.
Let our speech be gracious, seasoned wit salt
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. 3:18
For me, these help me stay on track and are challenging. To always have my speech seasoned with salt. I’m often too harsh and irritable with my wife. Seeking my own way. I do not struggle as much with my kids, but can be too harsh with her and see how it hurts her spirit. Please pray for me for this and to keep my speech seasoned with salt.
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
Goes with the “if you’re not praying you are sinning” line. Really speaks to me.
Neat testimony and prayer request:
This morning I read Col 4 and how Paul said to keep praying, then to pray specifically for opportunity and words to speak the gospel. I was so encouraged and made it my point to just pray today for me to share the gospel with some non-believing family members. Well…moments ago we were watching Wimbledon together and one thing led to another and we were having great dialogue. It led to the Day of Atonement and it was a beautiful open door to talk about the gospel. I had to take a bathroom break (where I’m typing this from). But praise the Lord! And pray for more please!
Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis.
I’m struck that prayer here is equated with “struggling” and “working hard”. Man, I really wonder as a nation how much it has been prayerlessness that has plunged us into rejecting Christ so much…
We have work to do along these lines, brethren. In fact in 1 Tim 2, men are specifically called out to this task