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The True Way, All The Way

September 14th, 2014


So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Colossians 2:6-7

Paul explained the doctrine of Grace. He had a way of expressing things that got to the root of the matter, dividing one thing from another, by means of the Word and the Spirit. He often captured complicated things in such a way as to express and administer them to people so that there could be understanding of what was being taught so that people could come to the same place of agreement in faith concerning subjects as he had.

In speaking to the church at Colossae, Paul laid out the way of Grace through faith. Grace is the enablement of God, and faith is God’s gift.
When we consider the children of Israel, it says they perished in the wilderness because they did not mix their promises with faith. Although they had faith, they did not choose to use the free gift of God, and so enter into His Rest.

As Paul demonstrates, God empowers people through this Grace through faith, so that they might have the ability to overcome evertyhing, even as Christ Himself did. He does not do everything for them, even as He did not do it for the children of Israel in the wilderness, but He equipped them with revelation and power, that they might scale the heights, and become full-grown sons.

God’s ways are all about responsibility and maturity, and with responsibility comes both consequences beneficial and detrimental. Nor is everything automatic once we are born, but we must be properly turned to the correct source and learn to listen only to it. Even as Peter heard from the Father in one moment, and then immediately spoke the words of the adversary the next.

Through the whole of the Word, God’s way is always to make us able. He gives us the power to make wealth, and expects us to use it. He gives on man a certain number of talents, and expects a man to employ it.

The same is with faith, and the same is with Grace. Consider even Paul, when he spoke of the “thorn in his flesh”. What was God’s response? He said, my grace is sufficient for you. This was God’s solution. It was not the removal of the immediate problem, but it was the overcoming empowerment to go Beyond the circumstances, surpassing what seemed impossible, to be able to accomplish what God had said to do, despite how things seemed.

God’s Grace was sufficient. Why was the problem, whatever it was, not removed? We are not told. But, rather than giving Paul the option to go around it, he was given, by God, a grace to use instead. And, the treasure is in that he used it, and so overcame. This is the treasure that is ours.

If God simply removed the trial, there would be little reward, or none. But, in walking through the trial, often, the Grace we receive in that place is the Grace keep, and it will continue through this life and the next. This divine gift, this walking through the storm, is more valuable than anything else. For, once strengthened, the strength remains, and we are able to weather any storm that is weaker than it, because we have already known the One.

So, as we look at Paul’s instruction in the second chapter of the letter of Colossae, Paul lays out the foundation of what many look to as pointing to the “finished works” of the cross.

Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

Colossians 2:20-23

In this, Paul lays out the basic principle for a Christian, that they are no longer governed by the ordinances of man, by the rules of of the body, or by the ordinances of the Law of Moses.  God has set man free once and for all from it, and man is not in subjection to it.

This, of course, is one of the central portents of the cross of Jesus Christ.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

Colossians 2:8

The world, and the religious system, would like to “take us captive”. It would attempt, by any means, to either keep us from that enablement, or keep us from using it. It attempts to keep our eyes on ourselves, either through performance, effort, self-guilt, shame, or the like, rather than upon Christ.

Through philosphy, through thoughts of man, and through the efforts of human reasoning and thinking, man would like to take us captive, and make us like them, and make us bound. But, we are called to Freedom.

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.

Colossians 2:16-19

Paul says that this is the reason we do not follow the feasts of Israel, and observe their feasts and days. It is because these were only shadows pointing to Christ. They were mere shadow, but He is the reality.

Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

Colossians 2:20-23

And, so Paul brings it around. The reason these law are no good is simply for one reason. They were never enough to stop sin.

It isn’t because they were bad, or wrong, but Paul’s reasons for rejecting them was not because they no longer mattered, but because they simply didn’t work.

They were enough to condemn, but they were not the empowerment of the Spirit, the Grace, that the Gospel would bring.

This, then, is the difference in the Gospel. God’s chief aim is to have a holy people, but the difference is that man canot accomplish this on his own. Man was given the law as a temporary measure to “restrain” sin, meaning, to lessen it, much like temporary plug might stop some of the dripping, but it is not a fix.

But then, where then is Grace?

We see that the rules and ordinances of man are rejected because they could not stop sin, yet, we see in Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount, saying that whoever breaks the least of the commands and teaches others to do so would be the least, and, in Matthew 7, He says many who call Him Lord, who even do miracles in His name, will be cast out as workers of iniquity.

Where then is the True Way? It is in this…

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is youra life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Colossians 3:1-4

Paul begins with the resurrection. This is the reason for the change. Since we have been raised with Him, He instructs us to think accordingly. We have died, and our life is there.

This is the first step, to begin to think along the lines with our new way of life. It is only the one with the eyes fixed on the Eternal that has any real stability in this life. Many are those who would come and go, but the only thing that remains is His.

Though He is with us through it all, and never leaves, it is His Eternal glory that is above all else.

And, leading from this, Paul goes on…

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Colossians 3:5-11

Still going off the theme from Colossians 3:1, “Since you have died with Christ…”, Paul instructs us, “Put to death therefore…”

As we read in Romans 8, Paul there instructs the believers to “Put to death by the power of the Spirit the works of the flesh”. Here, Paul lays out what all that is, “everything that belongs to the earthly nature”.

This, then, is the Grace. These things that Paul instructs us to put to death are not put to death automatically, but like Paul’s thorn, we are given the Spirit of Christ to do so. The Grace is given, and it is ours to obey.

Consider the alternative. God certainly could take away all of our temptations, all of our difficulties, and all of our trials, but of what reward would that be? Certainly, if He chose, He could do that, and certainly, the old nature which was bent towards wanting sin has been removed by the cross, and we are already crucified with Him. But, the Scripture points to the ability of the Spirit within us to crucify even our bodily influences.

This also leaves the Christian completely dependant upon the continual fellowship and relationship with the Father. As Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing”, so the believer learns to trust and rely upon the Father, through the Spirit for every thing they need, want, and desire. And, through this, relationship grows. In the continual fellowship, the believer learn what it is to be His child. He learns how to commune with God. He learns how to seek and require Him daily. Why? Because, while it is the most wonderful thing in the world, and is exactly what we are created to do, for many, it does not come automatically. Simply because we are broken, do not know love and grace, or because we have never learned, many of us simply do not know how to love and be loved.

This is well beyond the abillity of the law, which only had the power to condemn those who violated it. This is the ability, through the agency of God Himself within us, to overcome any obstacle. And, it does mean any. Just as Christ has already overcome the world, so we have overcome, through believing on Him. This Grace is freely given, but it is ours to do what we will with it.

The outcome of putting these things to death, then, is the same intent as the law, but is the power to accomplish it. Whereas the law only set the standard, through the enablement of the Spirit within, we destroy even the fleshly impluses on the inside that want to do evil, and in so doing, we do not sin.

As we live by the Spirit, and keep in step with the Spirit, we find we are walking in perfect love, because God is love. This is “Love on God’s Terms”. As we do, we find we are actually, without trying to, keeping the whole of the true intent of the Law of Moses, because the whole of the Law and the Prophets is to love the Lord with everything, learning to completely rely and trust upon Him, and to love our neighbor as ourself, keeping in step with the Spirit, caring for our brother, neighbor, the stranger, widow, orphan, and our fellow man.

The man who lives in the Spirit the most, who is the greatest in the Kingdom, keeps and teaches that Law, whether he realizes it or not. This is the mystery of the Kingdom.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Colossians 3:12-14

And, this is what we are. His chosen people, holy and dearly loved.

This, also, is the capstone. In that, once our flesh and our selves are put down and out of the way, we are to clothe ourselves with His attributes, bearing with each other, and forgiving.

In all of these things, in the perfect harmony, only in this are we able to truly do what God commands. What the world can only do through heirarchy, God did through His Son, so that Christ is th head of every man, and every man might love his neighbor.

And, it is this love that connects it all together.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:13-15

And, the final end of that man is peace.

What is the place of the abode of godlines? Just peace.

All thanks and glory and honor and praise belong to Him.


  1. Cheryl Baghernejad
    September 30th, 2014 at 11:21 | #1

    so, so, wonderful and inspiring