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Rise Above It

John Collins 01/09/2013Colossians 3 tells us to rise above the works-righteous faith we once knew.  

Immediately after Paul tells us not to be bound by leaders teaching asceticism in chapter 2, Paul tells us not to even think about the sin that our earthly bodies fall into.  We should rise above it.

He says that if we have been raised with Christ, then we need to seek the things that are above, not below.  Seek out the heavenly things where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  He says, "Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth."

Paul says that once we have surrendered our lives to Christ, these earthly bodies are dead.  They don't matter anymore.  Our lives are now hidden with Christ, in God.  Christ is our new life, and when He appears then we will also appear with Him in glory!

When we focus on heavenly things, we forget about the earthly things that once had us bound.  We put those things to death, along with our bodies which are already dead in Christ.  Paul says to put away what he calls "idolatry," which he associates with sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness.  He says that it is because of these things that the wrath of God is coming.

All men are born into sin, and the passions of the flesh are within.  Paul said that while we once focused on these things, we need to rise above it so that we can put them all away.  Instead of these things, we must replace them with greater things.

Paul said that anger must be replaced with love.  Wrath must be replaced with compassion.  Malice with meekness and slander with patience.  Always be truthful, and do not lead another person to believe something that is not true.  Put away the old self and replace it with the new.

He said that the new self is renewed in knowledge.  As the Creator has knowledge of all things, so are we renewed with knowledge.  In this knowledge, we are all one creation.  There is no Greek or Jew.  There is no circumcised or uncircumcised.  Christ is everything, and is inside all who believe in Him.

As Christ forgave us, we must also forgive one another.  If we do not forgive, then we are not Christ-like.

But above everything, Paul said that we must have love.  Love binds everything together in perfect harmony.  Love comes from the peace of Christ, and we should let that peace rule our hearts.  Through this love and peace, we become bound together as one body in Christ.

Let the Word of God flow through us, teaching us and growing us in wisdom.  Let it flow through our words, our songs, and our thankfulness to God.

Whatever we do, whatever we say, Paul says that we should do it in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  He says that through Christ, we are giving thanks to God the Father.