Monday, February 4, 2013

         "Full Life in Christ"           

International Sunday School Lesson for February 10, 2013

Scripture Text: Colossians 2:6-15

Purpose: To live out Paul's portrayal of a full life in Christ

Colossians 2:6-15 (CEB)
6So live in Christ Jesus the Lord in the same way as you received him.7Be rooted and built up in him, be established in faith, and overflow with thanksgiving just as you were taught. 8See to it that nobody enslaves you with philosophy and foolish deception, which conform to human traditions and the way the world thinks and acts rather than Christ. 9All the fullness of deity lives in Christ’s body. 10And you have been filled by him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. 11You were also circumcised by him. This wasn’t performed by human hands—the whole body was removed through this circumcision by Christ. 12You were buried with him through baptism and raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13When you were dead because of the things you had done wrong and because your body wasn’t circumcised, God made you alive with Christ and forgave all the things you had done wrong. 14He destroyed the record of the debt we owed, with its requirements that worked against us. He canceled it by nailing it to the cross. 15When he disarmed the rulers and authorities, he exposed them to public disgrace by leading them in a triumphal parade.

My Thoughts by Burgess Walter
It is hard to start reading at verse six of this chapter and still know what Paul is referring to when he says, “So live in Christ Jesus the Lord in the same way as you received him.” You need to go back to the prior verses in chapter two, to realize Paul is talking about an influence that had crept into the believers of this and other congregations, such as Laodicea. This philosophy, as Paul calls it in verse 8, was evidently based on a false belief that suffering and angel worship, or worldly behavior, were the answer to a more spiritual life.

Paul emphasizes, that the doctrine being taught by these philosophers ,was wrong and not based on Christ as a part of the Godhead as Paul had taught. Nor was it based on “faith” in all that God had done through Christ. The philosophy was based on traditions, and a harsh self denial or “asceticism.” Paul confirms this in verse 23 of this chapter, which says, “ 23They look like they are wise with this self-made religion and their self-denial by the harsh treatment of the body, but they are no help against indulging in selfish immoral behavior.

All of God is available through His Son Jesus Christ. In verse 6 Paul encourages the Colossians and us to “live in Christ,” the original Greek could translate, “walk in Christ,” but better yet is the the thought of walking hand in hand with Christ, much the same as taking a father's hand and walking with him on your journey.

Verse 4 gives us four examples of how we can “live in Christ,” (1) well rooted, (2) “have a firm foundation,” (3) “firmly established in the faith,” and (4) “always thankful.”

In verse 11 Paul discusses circumcision, not the physical act required by the law, but rather a spiritual act that Christ performs on us when we accept and receive his forgiveness. As Christians, Christ circumcises us by removing our sins from us. Once we were alive, but condemned by our sins, now our sins have been buried with Christ but we arise anew, without the sins we once carried with us. Christ not only forgives us of our sins, He also destroys the record of our sins, they is nothing left to condemn us. All of those old things that were a burden to us, and those things that we carried around with us have been circumcised from us.

So, Paul paints a new picture of us, one walking hand-in-hand with Jesus. All of our bad deeds and sins have been removed. By faith we can accept God's forgiveness and trust his word that they will be remembered no more. We can not be prosecuted, because there is no record of our sins. Our accusers will be part of that parade that are publicly disgraced, because, God is all powerful and knowing and there is no entity in heaven or on earth that can harm us when we walk hand-in-hand with God.

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