Friday, March 31, 2017

Colossians 3:1

Paul begins this discussion with the word “if.” This is not a conditional “if,” it is the “if” of argument. It is better translated as “since.” It carries the idea of “seeing that” something has been accomplished. In this sentence, the word raised (Greek sunegeiro) meaning to raise together[1] is in the aorist tense which is characterized by its emphasis on punctiliar action; that is, the concept of the verb is considered without regard for past, present, or future time. It could be rendered in this place as “Since you once and for all have been raised together with Christ.” Paul is continually reminding the Colossian believers that when they received Christ they were made one with Him, and they had in effect died and rose again with Christ. This he had reminded them was the image of their baptism (Col.2:12). He wants them to understand that their new life in Christ had already begun. There benefits of salvation was not a future promise, but an already existence.[2]

Because they were already raised up with Christ, Paul is encouraging them to focus on Him. They are to seek (Greek zeteo) carries the image of to seek after, seek for, aim at, strive after, to crave, or demand something.[3] If you watched an Olympic game, the athletes were seeking to be the first. It is an impassioned searching after something. Paul is calling on them to have an impassioned focus on the real heavenly things (2 Cor. 4:18). These are the upward things of Phil 3:14 the treasures of Heaven (Matt. 6:33). Our Head – Jesus – is already there, so we should be striving to accept our home. His interests must be our interests.

Paul speaks of Jesus seated at the right hand of God. He is referring to the opening verse of the Messianic Psalm 110. This verse states, “Jehovah saith unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, Until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (ASV). He is referring to the exaltation of Christ, the Divine seal of approval upon His mediatorial salvation. As He would also proclaim in Phil. 2:9 – 11 (ASV), “Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name; that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” This is the place of exaltation, power, and glory. 

Prayer: May I keep my focus on You, O Lord. I too often live as if this life is all there is. But, because of what You did for me, I am already in the Heavenlies living with You. I must focus on what interests You. I must strive to see You at all times in my life. May I be aware of my relationship with You, Amen.

[1] W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1996). Page 506. 
[2] Consider Paul’s teachings in 2 Cor. 5:14 – 19; Gal. 6:12 – 16; Eph. 2:11 – 22, 4:17 -24 to see more on his teaching of this truth. 
[3] Thayer, J. (n.d.). Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Retrieved March 4, 2017, from StudyLight.Org:

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