Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Mysteries

This message is centered around the Book of Colossians. I hope that this will, perhaps, inspire you to prayerfully invest some time grazing in the depth of this letter written to the Christians in the first century.

Let’s begin in chapter two

Paul begins by stating his deep desire for those who have not been able to meet him face to face. His desire is that these and all Christians will pursue the…

…attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

There is a wealth that comes from knowing the deep, deep mystery of Jesus and all that He has done for us. The things hidden from the beginning of creation and continue hidden from the world and, unfortunately, many Christians, are freely open to those who seek the TRUE knowledge of who Jesus is and what He has done.

I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument. For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ.

There are many who yearn to teach and many who teach are deluded because they are empty of the mysteries and the true knowledge of Jesus.

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.

Walking “in Jesus” is one of the profound mysteries that Jesus has invited us into. Paul says that walking in Jesus is exactly the same as how we received Jesus in the first place. It is by faith and only by faith that we receive Him and it is only by faith that we can “walk in Him”. There is so much more to say about this but, for now, we will go on.

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

No one ever intends to substitute the traditions of men for the truth of God. It just creeps in unaware in most cases. It is the easiest course to follow because it is based upon our understanding and logic. The truth of God is foolishness to understanding and logic.

For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;

Let’s not skip by this one too fast. Read that part once again….

There is another of the mysteries of Jesus. We have (past tense here) been made COMPLETE!
If there should be any doubt arise concerning this mystery, see the rest of this statement that Jesus is “the head over all rule and authority”.

And that’s not all…

and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

We were dead; we have been made alive “together with Him through faith”.

When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day--things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.

We can be “defrauded of our prize” of liberterating life by submitting ourselves to the “requirements” of religion. So many things that sound so right are the very things that rob us of our life. Reason, understanding and logic divert us from the truth that is offered within the realm of faith.

If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!" (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)--in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.

Perhaps a simple summation of what this is saying is: “if you have died with Christ why do you insist on dragging that old dead body around with you?” The “appearance of wisdom” is a far, far distance from true wisdom. Once again that which makes sense really doesn’t make sense within the Kingdom of God.

We have been made complete in Jesus and mysteries have been opened up to us. We will not unfold these mysteries until we accept our true position in Jesus and begin to live “in Him”.

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