Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. —Col 3.1

When we obey the Good News, God places us together with Christ. In immersion, we are raised with Christ and he gives us life. In the verse above, Paul wants us to live up to the life which we’ve been given. This level is where Christ is, the level of God.

How do we seek the things above? The two chapters that follow develop the answer to this question. It requires a vigorous mind control, an unrestricted killing of all that belongs to the earthly nature. It is necessary to clothe oneself with Christ’s qualities, love above all. Continue reading

Fans and fanatics who follow some sport criticize the judges and referees for their many errors committed during a game or competition. It’s doubtful that they’ll ever be satisfied with their performance. But there is an infallible and faithful referee for all time.

Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as one body to this peace), and be thankful.
Colossians 3.15 NET Continue reading

EvangelismMany courses like Dale Carnegie teach students how to speak well in public. They know that effective communication is a key to persuasion and success in every effort. Even though he’s worried with the correct teaching of the gospel within the church, Paul makes it a point to speak about the mission to proclaim the gospel to those outside of Christ:

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer everyone.
Colossians 4:6 NET

Verses 2-6 deal with evangelism. Evangelism is not mere example in life. If it were, nobody would understand the message. Evangelism is speaking, and speaking well, about Christ.

We all need training in speaking. How to speak more persuasively, more effectively? Christian training happens in practice, daily, in the effort to constantly improve and to never leave off speaking a word and answering inquirers.

 

ExceptionsWe often speak of the exception that proves the rule. The expression is misunderstood and misused, often to justify flight from the rule. Some smart-aleck invented this rule: “All rules have exceptions, except the Rule of Exception.” But there is a rule with no exception:

For the one who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there are no exceptions.
Colossians 3:25 NET

Nobody, but nobody, will flee from the righteous judgment of God. There will be no justifications, qualifications, nor attenuating circumstances.

So in chapter 3, there are behaviors to put to death (stop practicing) and others that we must put on (practice), for God will judge each one according to his works.

 

ReasonThe arguments say that it’s just theory on the part of those who insist on the biblical pattern. The church needs to be renewed, according to these explanations, and not restored to the model of the New Testament. Church renewal means abandoning the teaching received from God’s messengers and adopting new lines of thought. It seems to make sense.

I say this so that no one will deceive you through arguments that sound reasonable.
Colossians 2:4 NET Continue reading

Pagans speak ill of others and find it difficult to praise people. They criticize, gossip, and lie. Christians, as children of God who have his character, speak well of others whenever possible and engage in the gossip of love.

[Epaphras] also told us of your love in the Spirit.
Colossians 1:8 NET

Several times the New Testament connects love to the Holy Spirit. Love is the fruit of the Spirit. The Spirit is the channel through whom God gives us his love; first, through the revelation of the history of Christ and, second, through the habitation of the Spirit in us as the active agent of love.

The love of the Colossians was alive and real, so notable that Epaphras reported to Paul about it.

Whoever seeks for love in God’s people will find and praise it.