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Becoming Who We Are

 

identity

identity

In the opening two verses of our focus passage from Colossians, Paul neatly sums up the message of his entire letter. He draws together all the Christological statements from his introduction and the practical implications which are to arise out of them. In essence, Paul is saying, that in light of who Christ is, as God’s perfect image, God’s wisdom personified and God’s mystery revealed, this is how we are to live as Christians.

Paul talks first of all about receiving Christ. The Greek word behind receive, was a common technical term carried over from Judaism which referred to the transmission of teaching from one person or generation to another. Cleary Paul is referring here to the Apostolic Witness, which in time, became encapsulated in the NT Canon as we have it today.

Paul then uses some rich metaphors to illustrate how the Christian faith becomes a reality for those of us who have received Christ Jesus as Lord. As Christians we are well rooted like a tree, solidly built like a house, confirmed and settled like a legal document and overflowing like a jug full of wine.

Each of these metaphors has its own point to make. Being rooted indicates the once-for-all planting of each Christian in Christ, being built up implies that believers are still under construction as they are not yet a finished product, being established in the faith refers to becoming stronger in our understanding of ‘the faith,’ meaning, the Gospel message as a whole and abounding in thanksgiving refers to the thankfulness which is to be full to overflowing in the life of each Christian, for gratitude to God is to be the main characteristic of God’s people, a sign that we are indeed living the Christian life.

In this passage, and throughout Colossians as a whole, as is also evident is all of Paul’s letters, is the appeal that because of the accomplishments of Christ’s death and resurrection, the church should become in reality, what it already is in theory. In Short, Paul is constantly pleading with us, to become who we already are in Christ. That we should put into detailed operation the lifestyle to which we have been called to through our committed to Christ. May we live into and out of this reality each day!

Colossians 2:6-23

Fullness of Life in Christ

6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives* in him,7rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe,* and not according to Christ.9For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,10and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority.11In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision,* by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ;12when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.13And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God* made you* alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses,14erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross.15He disarmed* the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.

16 Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths.17These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.18Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling* on visions,* puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking,*19and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.

Warnings against False Teachers

20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe,* why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations,21‘Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch’?22All these regulations refer to things that perish with use; they are simply human commands and teachings.23These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-imposed piety, humility, and severe treatment of the body, but they are of no value in checking self-indulgence.*

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