1 My name is Paul. My colleague, Timothy, and I are together in this mission ordained by the purpose of God, representing the ministry of Jesus Christ.
2 We greet you with grace, which is the blessing of his favor and friendship; and honor you who are in Colossae as saints and brothers included in Christ. God is our Father and Jesus Christ our Master.
3 Every time we pray for you we thank God for you. Together with our Lord Jesus Christ we enjoy a common origin in the Father.
4 The reports of your belief in Christ Jesus and your love for every devote follower inspires us.
5 Heaven (the spiritual realm) is the limitless reservoir of your expectation. The announcement of the goodness of God is not far-fetched or too good to be true. The word you heard is absolutely true!
6 This word resonates within you and its appeal is prevailing in the whole world. The harvest is evident everywhere and gaining ground; as also witnessed in your own experience from the moment you heard and understood the true implication and the relevance of his grace. (“My greatest joy is to realize that your faith is announced throughout the entire world. The total cosmos is our audience!” [Rom 1:8] Paul always sees the larger audience when he addresses the individual.)
7 Your experience is consistent with the teaching you received from our dear co-worker Epafras. He is passionate about your well being in Christ.
8 He told us how much you love us in the spirit;
9 and so we have become inseparably linked to you. Our constant desire for you is that you might be overwhelmed with the knowledge of God’s dream for your lives. We pray that the pattern of his wisdom and thoughts will fall into place for you in all spiritual understanding. (The word, sunieimi, means a joining together as of two streams; a fusion of thought.)
10 Go on a walkabout tour to explore the extent of the land that is yours under his Lordship. Now you can conduct yourselves appropriately towards him, pleasing him in every harvest of good works that you bear. Meanwhile, you continue to increase in your intimate acquaintance with that which God knows to be true about you. This results in the most attractive and fulfilled life possible. (The word, peripateo, means to walk about everywhere. The knowledge of God is not our perception of him, but his knowledge of us; to know even as we have always been known. [Jer 1:5, 1 Cor 13:12])
11 You are empowered in the dynamic of God’s strength; his mind is made up about you! He enables you to be strong in endurance and steadfastness with joy. (His glorious power, or doxa, comes from dokeo, to recognize for what it really is, true opinion; God’s intention—his mind made up.)
12 We are grateful to the Father who qualified us to participate in the complete portion of the inheritance of the saints in the light. (The light of the Gospel reveals what God accomplished to transform the sinner into a saint; from hagos, an awful thing to hagios, a consecrated object: “call no man unholy or unclean.” [Acts 10:28])
13 He rescued us from the dominion of darkness (the sense-ruled world, dominated by the law of performance) and relocated us into the kingdom where the love of his son rules. (Darkness is not a force, it is the absence of light. [See Eph 4:18] A darkened understanding veiled the truth of our redeemed design from us; translating exousia, from ek, origin or source, and eimi, I am. Thus, confused about who I am until the day that we heard and understood the grace of God in truth.)
14 In God’s mind mankind is associated in Christ; in his blood sacrifice we were ransomed; our redemption was secured; our sins were completely done away with. (The Greek word for sin, hamartia is a compound word, ha, without, and martia from meros, form or our true portion. Sin distorts. Sin robbed us of our allotted portion, the life of our design.)
15 In him the image and likeness of God is made visible in human life in order that every one may recognize their true origin in him. He is the firstborn of every creature. (What darkness veiled from us he unveiled. In him we clearly see the mirror reflection of our original life. The son of his love gives accurate evidence of his image in human form. God can never again be invisible!)
16 Everything that is begins in him whether in the heavenly realm or upon the earth, visible or invisible, every order of justice and every level of authority, be it kingdoms or governments, principalities or jurisdictions; all things were created by him and for him.
17 He is the initiator of all things therefore everything finds its relevance and its true pattern only in him.
18 The ekklesia (church) is the visible expression (body) of which Jesus is the head. He is the principle rank of authority who leads the triumphant procession of our new birth out of the region of the dead. His pre-eminent rank is beyond threat. (“ … leading the resurrection parade” —The Message)
19 The full measure of everything God has in mind for man indwells him. (“So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding.” — The Message)
20 He initiated the reconciliation of all things to himself. Through the blood of the cross God restored the original harmony. His reign of peace now extends to every visible thing upon the earth as well as those invisible things which are in the heavenly realm. (The heavens, ouranos, a place of elevation, from oros, a mountain, from airo, to lift, to raise, to elevate, “Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe, people and things, animals and atoms, get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death.” — The Message. )
21 Your indifferent mind-set alienated you from God into a lifestyle of annoyances, hardships, and labors. Yet he has now fully reconciled and restored you to your original design. (The word, poneros, means annoyances, hardships, and labors, often translated as evil. [See Septuagint: tree of knowledge of good and hard labor!] To reconcile: apokatallasso, fully restored to the original value. [In Thayer Definition: to change, exchange, as coins for others of equivalent value.])
22 He accomplished this in dying our death in a human body; he fully represented us in order to fully present us again in blameless innocence, face-to-face with God; with no sense of guilt, suspicion, regret, or accusation; all charges against us are officially cancelled.
23 Remain under the influence of what your faith knows to be true about you, firmly consolidated in the foundation of your belief so that nothing can distract you from the expectation of the Gospel; a hope that is consistent with what you have heard. Just as I, Paul, am in the ministry to proclaim the one and only message that rings true with resonance in all of creation under heaven. (The dimension of the invisible spiritual realm. “You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. There is no other Message—just this one. Every creature under heaven gets this same Message. I, Paul, am a messenger of this Message.” —The Message.)
24 This is why no form of suffering can interfere with my joy. Every suffering on your behalf is just another opportunity to reinforce that which might still be lacking (in your understanding) of the affliction of Christ on behalf of his body which is the church. (The inconvenience that Paul might be suffering on behalf of the believers is not to add to the sufferings of Christ—as though the sufferings of Christ on our behalf were insufficient but it is to further emphasize and confirm the principle of unselfish love that constrains New Testament ministry.)
25 I am an administrator in God’s economy; my mission is to make his word known to you with utmost clarity.
26 The element of prophetic mystery was concealed for ages and generations but is now fully realized in our redeemed innocence.
27 In us God desires to exhibit the priceless treasure of Christ’s indwelling; every nation will recognize him as in a mirror! The unveiling of Christ in human life completes man’s every expectation. (He is not hiding in history, or in outer space nor in the future, neither in the pages of scripture, he is merely mirrored there to be unveiled within you. Mt 13:44, Gal 1:15, 16)
28 This is the essence and focus of our message; we awaken every man’s mind, instructing every individual by bringing them into full understanding (flawless clarity) in order that we may prove (present) everyone perfect in Christ. (Translating vous + tithemi as to re-align every mind with God’s mind. The word, sophos, comes from sophes meaning clear, clarity. The word, paristano, comes from para, sphere of influence, closest possible association, and histemi, meaning to stand, to exhibit with evidence. The word, teleios, means perfect, without shortcoming and fully efficient.)
29 Your completeness in Christ is not a remote goal, but your immediate reference! My labor now exceeds any zeal that I previously knew under the duty-driven law of willpower. I am laboring beyond the point of exhaustion, striving with intense resolve with all the energy that he mightily inspires within me. (eis, a point reached in conclusion.)
Martyn Lloyd Jones has made the statement “What’s true of Him is true of you.” many times over. If I say this to people I often get the odd stare or the reaction of What! It seems to many to be heretical, but is it?
1 Jonn 4:17 and 1 John 2:8 both have the verbage stating as he is we are also and which is true in Him and in you. Is it so brazen a statement? Or are we just believing less than what we are called to be?
We were created in God’s very image. I’m not saying we are gods but yes we are definitely more than we have been lead to think. We are like Him, we are more spirit based and eternal than we are physical. He is our source. He is our dad. We are his heirs and as his heirs we can walk in that place of sonship and authority.
The prodigal son and his brother never lost that relationship bond to their father. They both were full heirs at all times. They both were decieved into thinking less than that and because of that, they both needed some Dr Phil time (ie. Identity counseling) to be restored to their original relationship to their father.
Do you need some spiritual Dr. Phil time?
1 John 2:7-8
7 Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard.
8 At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.
7 My beloved family, I know that the words I write to you here may not immediately remind you of Moses; this does not mean that it is a new doctrine, it is the ancient conversation that echoes God’s voice prophetically! It is indeed the very conclusion of the word which you have heard from the beginning!
8 And yet it is a glorious new message that I am writing to you! You may ask, “How can that which is old also be new?” Herein is the secret of its newness: whatever is true of Jesus is equally true of you! The days of the dominance of darkness as a reference to human life, are over! The true light surely shines with bold certainty and illuminates your life as it is unveiled in Christ.
(The word kainos means, fresh, recent, unused, unworn, of a new kind, unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of. The freshness of this encounter is celebrated in a fellowship of exactly the same oneness enjoyed between the Father and the Son! The word parago suggests that darkness no longer has any sway over you. The word ede, even now: – already, by this time; from ē [pronounced ay] an adverb of confirmation; assuredly: – surely; and dē [pronounced day] which is a particle of emphasis or explicitness; now, then, etc.: – also, and, doubtless, now, therefore.)
Grace isn’t a concept, it’s a person.
Love isn’t a concept, it’s a person.
That person is Jesus!
He is in all men, he indwells all men!
He is not distant, he is not far, he is not for some futrure time. We were made as living spacesuits for him to live in eternally. We don’t have to wait for some future attainment to walk in what he has already granted all mankind. The only thing to enter into this union is to accept what he has already done and provided. Believe!
We don’t have to do anything, He is a free gift, forgiveness, acceptence, grace, are and were freely given before the creation of the world. There is no distance or delay. We do not have to seek his presence anywhere then within us. He is already there waiting to be acknowledged. The veil has been not just torn but eliminated. The only time the veil comes in is when we bring it by striving on our own. Striving or doing is not needed. If man’s abilities could bring one closer to God, the cross would have not been needed. Christ’s death would have been in vain.
He is in me and I am in Him, we are one! This is the Gospel a the good news! We are His sons and daughters created and birthed with his DNA after his image! We have been deceived into believing we are less than this. Wake up into your true original identity into your redeemed innocence. Take the spiritual realignment that Jesus offers.
So I was just sitting there the other day. I had read through Romans 8 earlier in the day and all of a sudden Philippians 1:21 popped into my head.
“For me to live is Christ to die is gain.”
Earlier this year a friend of mine asked the question “As a Christian, when do we die?” I have thought this question and mulled over it hundreds of times since.
Have you not heard we have been crucified with Christ. We were crucified, died, buried, and resurrected with him. We are dead men walking. We are already dead.
In college I wrote this verse all over my chuckies and scrwaled it on my arm. I preached it numerous times. I always had a futuristic view of the “gain” part.
When looking the verse in Philipians in the context of already being dead it, it puts off the distance and delay.
WALK IN HIM TODAY, THE GAIN IS NOW!
1 Now the decisive conclusion is this: in Christ, every bit of condemning evidence against us is cancelled. (“Who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit.” This sentence was not in the original text, but later copied from verse 4. The person who added this most probably felt that the fact of Paul’s declaration of mankind’s innocence had to be made subject again to man’s conduct. Religion under the law felt more comfortable with the condition of personal contribution rather than the conclusion of what faith reveals. The “in Christ” revelation is key to God’s dealing with man. It is the PIN-code of the Bible. [See 1 Cor 1:30 and Eph 1:4].)
2 The law of the Spirit is the liberating force of life in Christ. This leaves me with no further obligation to the law of sin and death. Spirit has superseded the sin enslaved senses as the principle law of our lives. (The law of the spirit is righteousness by faith vs the law of personal effort and self righteousness which produces condemnation and spiritual death which is the fruit of the DIY tree.)
3 The law failed to be anything more than an instruction manual; it had no power to deliver man from the strong influence of sin holding us hostage in our own bodies. God disguised himself in his son in this very domain where sin ruled man, the human body. The flesh body he lived and conquered in was no different to ours. Thus sin’s authority in the human body was condemned. (Hebrews 4:15, As High Priest he fully identifies with us in the context of our frail human life. Having subjected it to close scrutiny, he proved that the human frame was master over sin. His sympathy with us is not to be seen as excusing weaknesses that are the result of a faulty design, but rather as a trophy to humanity. He is not an example for us but of us.)
4 The righteousness promoted by the law is now realized in us. Our practical day-to-day life bears witness to spirit inspiration and not flesh domination.
5 Sin’s symptoms are sponsored by the senses, a mind dominated by the sensual. Thoughts betray source; spirit life attracts spirit thoughts.
6 Thinking patterns are formed by reference, either the sensual appetites of the flesh and spiritual death, or zoe-life and total tranquillity flowing from a mind addicted to spirit (faith) realities.
7 A mind focused on flesh (the sensual domain where sin held me captive) is distracted from God with no inclination to his life-laws. Flesh (self-righteousness) and spirit (faith righteousness) are opposing forces. (Flesh no longer defines you; faith does!)
8 It is impossible for those immersed in flesh to at the same time accommodate themselves to the opinion, desire and interest of God.
9 But you are not ruled by a flesh-consciousness, (law of works), but by a spirit-consciousness, (faith); God’s Spirit is at home in you. Anyone who does not see himself fully clothed and identified in the Spirit of Christ, cannot be himself. (If anyone does not embrace the Spirit of Christ, he is not himself. The word echo means to have in hand, to hold, in the sense of wearing like a garment, to possess in mind, to be closely joined to a person, and hauto from heauto, reflexive relation, himself, herself, themselves. In James 1:24, “for he goes away from what the mirror reveals, and immediately forgets what manner of man he is.” Also in Romans 1:23, “Losing sight of God, made them lose sight of who they really were. In their calculation the image and likeness of God became reduced to a corrupted and distorted pattern of themselves.” See also Luke 15:17, “The prodigal son came to himself … .” [same word used here, heauto].)
10 The revelation of Christ in you declares that your body is as good as dead to sin’s demands; sin cannot find any expression in a corpse. You co-died together with him. Yet your spirit is alive because of what righteousness reveals. (The word traditionally translated, “if” de ei, as in “if Christ is in you …” can either be a condition or a conclusion, which makes a vast difference. If God be for us” (v 31) is most certainly a conclusion of the revelation of the Gospel; all of God’s action in Christ confirms the fact that he is for us and not against us. Thus, because God is for us … ” in the same context this verse reveals that Christ is in us. See Galatians 1:16, “it pleased the Father to reveal his Son in me, in order that I might proclaim him in the nations.” See also Romans 10:6-8, “Righteousness by faith says … .”)
11 Our union with Christ further reveals that because the same Spirit that awakened the body of Jesus from the dead inhabits us, we equally participate in his resurrection. In the same act of authority whereby God raised Jesus from the dead, he co-restores your body to life by his indwelling Spirit. (Your body need never again be an excuse for an inferior expression of the Christ life, just as it was reckoned dead in Christ’s death, it is now reckoned alive in his resurrection.)
12 We owe flesh nothing.
13 In the light of all this, to now continue to live under the sinful influences of the senses is to reinstate the dominion of spiritual death. Instead, we are indebted to now exhibit the highest expression of life inspired by the Spirit. This life demonstrates zero tolerance to the habits and sinful patterns of the flesh.
14 The original life of the Father revealed in his son is the life the Spirit now conducts within us. (The word, agoo, means to conduct or to lead as a shepherd leads his sheep.)
15 Slavery is such a poor substitute for sonship! They are opposites; the one leads forcefully through fear while sonship responds fondly to Abba Father.
16 His Spirit resonates within our spirit to confirm the fact that we originate in God.
17 Because we are his offspring, we qualify to be heirs; God himself is our portion, we co-inherit with Christ. Since we were represented and included in his suffering we equally participate in the glory of his resurrection.
18 He has taken the sting out of our suffering; what seemed burdensome in this life becomes insignificant in comparison to the glory he reveals in us.
19 Our lives now represent the one event every creature anticipates with held breath, standing on tip-toe as it were to witness the unveiling of the sons of God. Can you hear the drum-roll?
20 Every creature suffered abuse through Adam’s fall; they were discarded like a squeezed-out orange. Creation did not volunteer to fall prey to the effect of the fall. Yet within this stark setting, hope prevails.
21 All creation knows that the glorious liberty of the sons of God sets the stage for their own release from decay.
22 We sense the universal agony and pain recorded in history until this very moment.
23 We ourselves feel the grief echo of their groaning within us while we are ready to embrace the original blueprint also of our physical stature to the full consequence of sonship. What we already now participate in as first fruits of the spirit will bloom into a full gathering of the harvest. (The glorified physical body [Mt 17]. Also the full realization of everything reconciled in Christ. In James 1:18, “It was his delightful resolve to give birth to us; we were conceived by the unveiled logic of God, the Word of truth.”) We lead the exhibition of his handiwork, like first fruits introducing the rest of the harvest he anticipates.)
24 For what we already experience of salvation confirms our hope and continues to fuel our expectation for what we still cannot see (in terms of realizing the full gathering of the harvest). In the final visible completeness of the harvest, hope has fulfilled its function.
25 In the meantime our expectation takes us beyond visual confirmation into a place of patient contentment.
26 The Spirit also sighs within us with words too deep for articulation, assisting us in our prayers when we struggle to know how to pray properly. When we feel restricted in our flesh, he supersedes our clumsy efforts and hits bulls-eye every time. (He continues to call things which seem nonexistent as though they were! [Rom 4:17]. He is never distracted, he only sees and celebrates perfection.)
27 He who scrutinizes the heart understands the intention of the spirit. His intercession for the saints is consistent with the blue-print purpose of God. (“I knew you even before I fashioned you in your mother’s womb” [Jer 1:5]. “Then you will know, even as you have always been known.” [1 Cor 13:12]. He knows us so much better than what we know ourselves. He intercedes for us, entungchano, means to hit the target with an arrow or javelin. He is not trying to persuade God about us, he persuades us about the Father! He brings our conversation back to the point; the success of the cross.)
28 Meanwhile we know that the love of God causes everything to mutually contribute to our advantage. His Master Plan is announced in our original identity. (Called according to his purpose, kaleo, meaning to surname, to identify by name.)
29 He pre-designed and engineered us from the start to be jointly fashioned in the same mold and image of his son according to the exact blueprint of his thought. We see the original and intended pattern of our lives preserved in his Son. He is the firstborn from the same womb that reveals our genesis. He confirms that we are the invention of God. (We were born anew when he was raised from the dead! [1 Peter 1:3] His resurrection co-reveals our common genesis as well as our redeemed innocence. [Rom 4:25 and Acts 17:31] No wonder then that he is not ashamed to call us his brethren! We share the same origin [Heb 2:11}, and, “In him we live and move and have our being, we are indeed his offspring!” [Acts 17:28].)
30 Jesus reveals that man pre-existed in God; he defines us. He justified us and also glorified us. He redeemed our innocence and restored the glory we lost in Adam. (As in Romans 3:23, 24; prooritso, pre-defined, like when an architect draws up a detailed plan; kaleo, to surname, identify by name.)
31 All these things point to one conclusion, God is for us! Who can prevail against us?
32 The gift of his son is the irrefutable evidence of God’s heart towards us. He held nothing in reserve; but freely and undeservedly gave everything we could ever wish to have; this is what our joint sonship is all about. (The word paradidomi, reflects the source of the gift, the very bosom of the Father. The word pheidomai, means to treat leniently or sparingly. To show one’s self gracious, kind, benevolent, is the word charizomai. The word sun (pronounced soon) suggests complete union. Everything we lost in Adam is again restored to us in Christ. Sin left mankind with an enormous shortfall; grace restores mankind to excellence! [Rom 3:21-24, 1Cor 2:7])
33 God has identified us, who can disqualify us? No-one can point a finger; he has justified us. (He has placed us beyond the reach of blame and shame, guilt and gossip!)
34 What further ground can there possibly be to condemn man? In his death he faced our judgment; in his resurrection he declares our innocence; the implications cannot be undone! He now occupies the highest seat of authority as the executive of our redemption in the throne room of God. (See v 1, also Rom 4:25.)
35 What will it take to distance us from the love of Christ? You name any potential calamity: intense pressure of the worst possible kind, cluster-phobia, persecution, destitution, loneliness, extreme exposure, life-threatening danger, or war?
36 Let me quote scripture to remind you, “Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.” (Ps 44:22)
37 On the contrary, in the thick of these things our triumph remains beyond dispute. His love has placed us above the reach of any onslaught.
38 This is my conviction, no threat whether it be in death or life; be it angelic beings, demon powers or political principalities, nothing known to us at this time, or even in the unknown future;
39 no dimension of any calculation in time or space, nor any device yet to be invented, has what it takes to separate us from the love of God demonstrated in Christ. Jesus is our ultimate authority.