What Should a Christian KILL, and What Should a Christian Embrace? #291
Happy Tuesday, friends! Short episode tonight because I have the privilege of leaving early tomorrow morning to go pick my wife up at the airport. Okay, honest confession time…it isn’t that early, but me and the big kids stayed up pretty darn late tonight – on a school night, no less, to watch a movie together. The sheriff is back in town tomorrow night, so there will be no more late night movies on a school night for quite some time!
Today’s readings are in 1 Kings 16, Psalms 102, Ezekiel 47 and Colossians 3.
In Colossians 3, as a whole, we have God’s Word calling us to KILL certain sinful, worldly, or fleshly parts of our nature. HOW do we do this? With the Sword of God’s Word. We take up the Word by reading it, memorizing it, listening to it and proclaiming it – to each other, and ourselves. Multiple times in Scripture we see a picture of Jesus Himself with a sword coming out of His mouth. What does that mean? It is the Word of God – our weapon against the world, our own fleshly desires, and all of the plots of Satan. The Word of God coming out of our mouth is a Sword, sharper than any human made sword.
Then we see a call in Colossians to not only KILL or Throw off parts of ourselves, but to PUT ON, or EmBRACE Jesus’ traits – this is how we set our minds on things above AND how we are being renewed and remade according to the Image of God, vs. 10. Galatians 5 has almost this same exact construction:
KILL THESE: 19 Now the works of the flesh (NATURAL IMPULSES) are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy,outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 21 envy,drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
EMBRACE THESE: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit. 26 We must not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
NOTE: vs 21 – Paul is repeating himself that the things above will disqualify CHURCH PEOPLE from inheriting the Kingdom of God. PONDER THAT.
Consider 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 9 Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or anyone practicing homosexuality, 10 no thieves,greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom.
Provocative Statement: The Bible treats Factions and Dissensions the same way it treats sexual sin. Can cliques, factions, dissensions and divisions send us to hell? YES! If sexual sins can DISQUALIFY church-goers from inheriting the Kingdom of God, and they can, then also Jealousy, verbal abuse, selfish ambition, DISSENSION, factions, ENVY, hatreds, outbursts of anger, etc. THESE THINGS ARE JUST AS DISQUALIFYING AS SEXUAL SIN.
Ask yourself this: Has the church treated the sins of jealousy, dissensions, factions, envy, outbursts of anger, etc, in the same way as we have treated sexual sins? NO, we have not. We give a pass to some of those, and don’t give a pass to the others, but the Bible says all can and will disqualify those who practice them from inheriting God’s Kingdom. PONDER THAT.
Therefore – what must we do? We don’t merely take off the appearance of factions, dissensions, anger, malice, verbal abuse, slander, etc. We PUT ON A NEW APPEARANCE.
HOW MUST WE APPEAR? (Remembering that we aren’t talking about putting on an appearance, but we are talking about an inner transformation that is evident to those watching)
A tree rooted in Jesus produces certain fruits and a tree rooted in the flesh produces certain fruits If you are rooted in Christ, you will produce these things, because you are rooted in the vine of Jesus and because His Spirit is inside of you. These things are the fruit of the Spirit. We are saved by being rooted in Christ.
That acknowledged, we need to see that Colossians calls us to KILL and Embrace. This is a more active set of commands than simply abiding and bearing fruit. It all comes from our roots, but I’ve heard people say that all it takes is abiding, and you will bear fruit, etc, and I actually think that Colossians calls us to more Spirit led and Spirit empowered activity than that.
We MUST put on:
- Heartfelt compassion = splagchnon (spleen) Bowels of Mercy/Compassion
- Kindness chrēstotēs Gentle Kindness of God.
- Humility tapeinophrosynē Low-heartedness, low-mindedness., Low-judging of other people. Having a little opinion of yourself.
- Gentleness Mildness/meekness.
- Patience makrothymia Endurance, long-suffering, tolerating much before you get worked up. ARE YOU EASY TO RILE UP? Ask somebody else. 🙂 A Christian MUST NOT be easy to rile up.
- Acceptance of Each other – To tolerate, to long-suffer, to handle annoyance/weakness/agitation well without separating or losing your temper. Christians do not trivially separate. They do not lose their temper with each other over hardly anything. The idea here is to suffer LONG and quietly with people who distress you.
- Forgiveness of Each other Charizomai – More accurately means to give grace to each other. GRACE IS UNDESERVED.
- Forgiveness like the Lord forgives WE MUST GIVE GRACE TO EACH OTHER LIKE GOD GAVE US. DO you deserve Heaven? Is it a Wonder that Christ has saved you? Did you earn it? We must give that kind of grace to others. We can’t make it, but we share it, because it is transforming us.
- Above all Love Agape. Agape doesn’t really mean God’s love exactly, or Unconditional love. We are to Agape each other. IT MEANS THIS: affection, good will, love, benevolence, brotherly love. IT MEANS LIKING. You can’t Agape somebody you don’t like. Agape means LIKE AND LOVE! It is the NUMBER ONE mark of Christians. John 13:35 – By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. THAT YOU LIKE AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER. “I love you, but I don’t like you.” Then, actually, you don’t love them either.
- Peace of the Messiah RULE. Or be an UMPIRE/REF/ over your thoughts and actions. Why? Because you were called to ONE Body. The peace of Christ must RULE/REF over our actions, or otherwise, we will fracture the Body of Christ. Which has been done, repeatedly, and each time it happens, our light as a witness to Jesus being the son of God is diminished. MASSIVE STAKES HERE.