Friday, April 7, 2017

Colossians 3:6

The continuing discussion from the previous verse shows the reader where the direction of these sins would find its final conclusion. In his letter to the church at Rome (1:18-32), Paul begins building his treatise that every person on earth, whether pagan, moral, or Jew, the entire world falls under the condemnation of a sin nature.[1] And, in turn, because God created and sustains a moral universe, there are divine judgments.[2]

God does not look at sin with indifference. God has instilled his decree not only in the law of Israel but within the heart of man (again, review the first three chapters of the Book of Romans). Mankind has been created by God with an inbred understanding that there is good and there is evil.[3] And, in turn, it is understood that if there is good and evil, right and wrong, there is the necessity for consequences. Mankind understands within their heart of hearts that the decrees cannot be willingly violated without some consequence. 

It is on account of this, that the word wrath (Greek orge) which originally meant any natural impulse, desire, or disposition, but came to signify anger as the strongest of all passions is used here. The use of the word orge in this passage instead of the Greek word thumos (generally translated as wrath) is the way that they are cognized. Thumos indicates an agitated condition, more of an outburst of feelings from an inward agitation, This would best be used to speak of a sudden outburst, what we might call a flare-up of anger which quickly subsides. Orge, on the other hand, speaks to a more settled or abiding condition of the mind. Orge is less sudden than thumos, but more lasting in nature. Thumos refers to a more inward feeling, while orge is a more active emotion.[4]

Paul calls this the “wrath of God,” signifying that it is the inevitable result of any person who freely chooses a way of life that sets them at enmity with the law of God. It is not an arbitrary action, but one that is in perfect harmony with the attributes of God. We hear much about the love of God, and it is because of the great love of God that Christ came, died, was buried, and rose again to provide the cleansing and forgiveness of our sin. However, the Scriptures also show us the attribute of God when His provisions are ignored or rejected. The wrath of God. Paul sounds the warning that this wrath is coming (Greek erchomai)[5] upon those who are obstinate, spurning belief, or unwilling to be persuaded to the way of God (Greek apeithes). This last phrase “upon the sons of disobedience” is disputed among scholars as to whether it is an addition or part of the original writing of Paul. It is included in Ephesians 5:6 and there it denotes the lives of those characterized by defiance of the law of God and thus, their being liable to the wrath of God. In 1 Pet. 1:14, Peter gives the contrast with speaking of the “children of obedience” (Greek tekna hupakoes). The Scriptures give a clear distinction between the “sons of disobedience” and the “children of obedience” and their resulting reception of God – wrath versus redemption. 

Prayer: Most Holy and Righteous Judge of all mankind, I come before You today seeking to be one of Your children of obedience. Judge me, and show me where I fall short. Open my eyes to how I may be living in disobedience to You. Cleanse me and forgive me through the provision of Your Son, my Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

[1] See McClain, Alva J. Romans: The Gospel of God’s Grace. 1973. Chapters 6-9 for a further insight into this truth. 
[2] Allen. (1971) Page 245. 
[3] All societies and worldviews that are developed philosophically, even is they seek to deny God, always come back to the conclusion that certain things are right and certain things are wrong. If man was an evolved creature as the evolutionary doctrine wants to teach, the random selection and development of molecules would not create a disobedience understanding of right and wrong. This is because God has placed this understanding in the deepest part of man, so they are without any excuse before Him. 
[4] Vine. (1996). 
[5] The word erchomai is the most usual word meaning “to come,” signifying the act in contrast to the word heko which generally stresses the idea of having arrived.

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