Posted by: The Simple Guy | September 11, 2014

When Christ Appears

It has been a LONG TIME since I have posted anything.  Not sure if anyone even reads any of this anymore.  But I wanted to bounce an idea off of any of you believers in Christ who may still stop in from time to time.

Our church is currently going through the book of Colossians.  I think Colossians is about “The Mystery Revealed”

I think these are the key verses of the book:

Col 1:26-27
(26) the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints.
(27) To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

I think that Paul was writing to combat two separate errors that look different from each other, but have one common factor.  They both focus on the external.  One error was the Judaizers, who wanted Gentiles to act like Jews.  The other error was a worldview that saw the world through the dualism of Greek philosophy and would separate the spiritual from the physical.  This idea’s misguided conclusion was that God only cares about the spiritual and doesn’t care about the physical.  So as long as you have some sort of mysterious spiritual experience, the physical doesn’t really matter.

But in chapter 1, Christ is introduced as the supreme cause and reason for all of creation, and as the one who is redeeming all creation unto Himself.

Col 1:15-20
(15) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
(16) For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, wheather thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
(17) And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
(18) And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
(19) For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
(20) and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

So the physical world matters to God, and Christ is the center of it all.

Then Paul lays out for us how we fit into that picture, Christ is to be revealed in us, and God gets the glory.  (Christ in you, the hope of glory)  Remember, to glorify God is to show who He is.

In chapter 2, he talks about how we grow up in Him, and he is the Head.  We are the body.  I find it interesting to note all that is “in Christ” in this chapter (2:3, 2:9, look it up), and then remember that in 1:27, we saw that Christ is in us.

Then we are warned to not let anyone disqualify us by external checklists (law keeping, or measuring your mystical experience).  Externals look religious, but have no value in solving my internal problem.

Col 2:23
(23) These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

So what stops indulgence in the flesh?

Col 3:1-4
(1) If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
(2) Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
(3) For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
(4) When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

So now we come to the idea I wanted to bounce off of you.  Did you notice that last verse?  When does Christ appear?  Did you notice the verb tense of His appearing?  Present tense.  That’s right, now.

I always thought that was about the great blue yonder in Heaven some day. . .

But when I read this verse with the “revealed mystery” in mind . . .

God is glorified in me when I die and Christ lives in me.  That is the Gospel at work.  If I died with him, I live with him.  That is present tense resurrection power.

What do you think?

The Simple Guy

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