Friday, September 15, 2006

More Colossians

This week, our group is studying Colossians 1:15-23:

The Supremacy of Christ
15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. 21Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[a] your evil behavior. 22But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
The questions are from a different discussion leader in our group, and are as follows:

1. Why is it important for you, like the Colossians, to be convinced of Jesus' all encompassing role in the creation and the sustaining of the world?

-- because collecting my thoughts is like crossing a tar-field, the only thing I can think of right now is that His role in the creation and sustenance of this world help me to rcognize the Divinity in Christ. I often relate well to the Humanity in Him, but seem to have difficulty grasping both his Divine nature and Human nature simultaneously. Clear as mud, right?
Edited to add: After our discussion Sunday night, it's also important to note that often we try to "contain" Christ to just the 30-some years he was on earth, but He has been since the beginning!

2. Why must Jesus have the supremacy?

--I'm assuming this means in our lives, as Christians. And, for me I'm saying Jesus must reign supreme or else our lives bear false testimony to the world on what it means to be in Christ. A lot of people think this is synonymous with sin-less living and thus impossible, but I don't think that's the point at all. I think if Christ is our foremost desire, and people are well aware of that, then even when we confess sin, Christ is apparent in our lives, via our willingness to become transparent and our desire for cleansing.

3. Why do we need to be reconciled to God?

-- Because He cannot live where there is sin, and there is sin in our lives, Something needed to reconcile us, because He longed to be together with us again.

4. What keeps us alienated from God?

--Sin, particularly undisclosed sin.

5. What will keep us holy in God's sight and free from accusation?

-- I think a tight relationship with our Abba is one of the foremost things we must pursue. Placing ourselves in environments conducive to spiritual growth and prohibitive of temptation helps us as we are weak. When we are strong, and I believe this is cyclic instead of progressive, we need to be out there helping our weaker neighbors. When we are weakened, I say it's time to retreat and focus on growing near to God. Free from accusation, means that there's not a chance God could misconstrue something in my life - which means I need to be clear on it too.

6. Give some specific examples of how you could continue in your faith, established and firm?

-- I think day to day living with the knoweldge and faith of what Christ has done for me is "continuing in my faith." Established and firm? Most of the time, though there are the times when I waver - as we all do. Basically I think that what I said above about the cycle of times of growth and times of service is how we get to where we can do that day to day living I talked of earlier. Attending church, regular study and prayer time, talking with my Christian friends and husband about my life, etc all help accomplish this.

7. What does it mean to "not be moved from the hope held out in the gospel?"

-- For me, I think concrete. I think this is remaining true to Christianity, and not embracing Buddhism, Confuciunism, or whatever the new age trend happens to be, when times get rough. I also think that it means always having heaven on our hearts, instead of going thru motions taken for granted.

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