Saturday, April 1, 2017

Colossians 3:2 - 3

[Verse 2]
 Paul is encouraging the Colossian believers to live the Christian life to the fullest. He first challenged them to impassionedly continue to seek Christ’s interests and desires. He calls in them to now set their minds (Greek phroneo) on not the higher thoughts of the Gnostics, but on the higher thoughts of heaven. The phrase used for “set your mind” is a variant from the phrase in verse 1 – “seeking the things.” It carries a stronger connotation than the previous one.[1] It is an imperative, a command that Paul is giving to the believers at Colossae. Don’t set your ambitions on earthly, temporal things. These are transitory and inferior to what we have in Christ. Judge everything by the standards of our new creation, not from the viewpoint of the old that we have been removed from.

[Verse 3]
For (Greek gar) can be translated as because or in fact. Paul is stressing that because they had died (Greek apothnesko) once and for all to the old order of things, they were now released from the present order of life. They are now “hidden with Christ” (Greek kekruptai sun ho Christo). 

The word used for hidden means to be concealed. This may have been a rebuttal against the Gnostic secret wisdom and knowledge. He is saying that we are secure because we are concealed with Christ. Our well-being depends upon Christ’s well-being. The believer has a life that is indissoluble from Christ. But, to create an even greater emphasis on this, Paul says that it is “in Christ in God.” We can have assurance because our new life is concealed with Christ in God.

The believer’s life is “hidden with Christ” because we died with Him and has been raised with Him. It is “hidden…in God” because has His being in God, thus those who belong to Him also belong to God. 

Prayer: Today, O Lord of Creation, I am setting my thoughts upon You. May I submit to this command to seek out Your interests and plans for me. I want to focus on Heaven, and let the minor things of Earth pass from my mind. I can live in the now while understanding that I live in the Eternal. Amen. 

[1] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (2008). A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments - Volume 3 (Vol. 3). Peabody, Massachusetts, USA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. Page 451.

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