Walking in Wisdom

| 0

Paul would have the Colossian Christians follow the higher way of Jesus in the household and among outsiders, walking in wisdom, glorifying Jesus in all they did. We do well to learn and do likewise.

Walking in Wisdom

Wives, be in subjection to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing in the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children, that they be not discouraged. Servants, obey in all things them that are your masters according to the flesh; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing the Lord: whatsoever ye do, work heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that from the Lord ye shall receive the recompense of the inheritance: ye serve the Lord Christ. For he that doeth wrong shall receive again for the wrong that he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. Masters, render unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.

Continue stedfastly in prayer, watching therein with thanksgiving; withal praying for us also, that God may open unto us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds; that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer each one.

All my affairs shall Tychicus make known unto you, the beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow-servant in the Lord: whom I have sent unto you for this very purpose, that ye may know our state, and that he may comfort your hearts; together with Onesimus, the faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things that are done here.

Aristarchus my fellow-prisoner saluteth you, and Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (touching whom ye received commandments; if he come unto you, receive him), and Jesus that is called Justus, who are of the circumcision: these only are my fellow-workers unto the kingdom of God, men that have been a comfort unto me. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, saluteth you, always striving for you in his prayers, that ye may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God. For I bear him witness, that he hath much labor for you, and for them in Laodicea, and for them in Hierapolis. Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas salute you.

Salute the brethren that are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church that is in their house. And when this epistle hath been read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye also read the epistle from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.

The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you (Colossians 3:18-4:18).

Walking in Wisdom
Paul's Letter to the Colossians

 
 
00:00 /
 
1X
 

The Higher Way

| 0

Paul has encouraged the Colossian Christians to root themselves in Jesus, the image of the invisible God, the treasury of all wisdom and knowledge. If they want to be alive in Christ, they must follow His higher way, taking off the worldly lusts and sins which lead to death, and to put on righteousness and its fruit.

The Higher Way

If then ye were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are upon the earth. For ye died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall be manifested, then shall ye also with him be manifested in glory.

Put to death therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry; for which things’ sake cometh the wrath of God upon the sons of disobedience: wherein ye also once walked, when ye lived in these things; but now do ye also put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, railing, shameful speaking out of your mouth: lie not one to another; seeing that ye have put off the old man with his doings, and have put on the new man, that is being renewed unto knowledge after the image of him that created him: where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondman, freeman; but Christ is all, and in all.

Put on therefore, as God’s elect, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving each other, if any man have a complaint against any; even as the Lord forgave you, so also do ye: and above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to the which also ye were called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto God. And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:1-17).

The Higher Way
Paul's Letter to the Colossians

 
 
00:00 /
 
1X
 

The Danger of Plunderers

| 0

Paul made his concern for the Colossian Christians clear: plunderers were about, seeking to rob them of their prized hope. They must be skeptical of philosophical claims based in the basic elements of the world; they must resist the imposition of Jewish customs; they must turn away from arrogant mysticism; they need to be careful about ascetic strictures. They did well to be grounded in Christ, in whom the fullness of God dwells in bodily form.

The Danger of Plunderers

Take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ: for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and in him ye are made full, who is the head of all principality and power: in whom ye were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with him in baptism, wherein ye were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

And you, being dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, you, I say, did he make alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses; having blotted out the bond written in ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us: and he hath taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross; having despoiled the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a feast day or a new moon or a sabbath day: which are a shadow of the things to come; but the body is Christ’s. Let no man rob you of your prize by a voluntary humility and worshipping of the angels, dwelling in the things which he hath seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast the Head, from whom all the body, being supplied and knit together through the joints and bands, increaseth with the increase of God.

If ye died with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, do ye subject yourselves to ordinances, Handle not, nor taste, nor touch (all which things are to perish with the using), after the precepts and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will-worship, and humility, and severity to the body; but are not of any value against the indulgence of the flesh (Colossians 2:8-23).

The Danger of Plunderers
Paul's Letter to the Colossians

 
 
00:00 /
 
1X
 

Striving for Edification

| 0

Paul had never met the Colossian Christians; he nevertheless sought to strengthen them in their faith and assurance in Jesus. Jesus is the treasure of all knowledge and wisdom; we have no need to look elsewhere.

Striving for Edification

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church; whereof I was made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which was given me to you-ward, to fulfil the word of God, even the mystery which hath been hid for ages and generations: but now hath it been manifested to his saints, to whom God was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ; whereunto I labor also, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

For I would have you know how greatly I strive for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; that their hearts may be comforted, they being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, that they may know the mystery of God, even Christ, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden. This I say, that no one may delude you with persuasiveness of speech. For though I am absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.

As therefore ye received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and builded up in him, and established in your faith, even as ye were taught, abounding in thanksgiving (Colossians 1:24-2:7).

.

Striving for Edification
Paul's Letter to the Colossians

 
 
00:00 /
 
1X
 

The Glorious Christ

| 0

Paul had never met the Colossian Christians but had heard good things about them and their faith. He wrote to encourage them to stand firm in their faith, for they had believed in the Gospel of the glorious Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, the image of the invisible God, who secured redemption for the whole cosmos.

The Glorious Christ

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ that are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, having heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have toward all the saints, because of the hope which is laid up for you in the heavens, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, which is come unto you; even as it is also in all the world bearing fruit and increasing, as it doth in you also, since the day ye heard and knew the grace of God in truth; even as ye learned of Epaphras our beloved fellow-servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray and make request for you, that ye may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, to walk worthily of the Lord unto all pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory, unto all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks unto the Father, who made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love; in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins:

who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him; and he is before all things, and in him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it was the good pleasure of the Father that in him should all the fulness dwell; and through him to reconcile all things unto himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross; through him, I say, whether things upon the earth, or things in the heavens.

And you, being in time past alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without blemish and unreproveable before him: if so be that ye continue in the faith, grounded and stedfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel which ye heard, which was preached in all creation under heaven; whereof I Paul was made a minister (Colossians 1:1-23)

The Glorious Christ
Paul's Letter to the Colossians

 
 
00:00 /
 
1X
 

A Mother in Israel

| 0

Judges 7:5 and 1 Samuel 20:19 speak of “a mother in Israel.” Deborah’s administration provided benefits to the people, but it is the image of a city as a mother that persists. Jerusalem of old nourished and sustained its inhabitants in community; new Jerusalem, the church, ought to serve the same function!

A Mother in Israel

A Mother in Israel
God's Faithful People

 
 
00:00 /
 
1X
 

The Folly of the Resurrection

| 0

If there’s any guarantee in life, this is it: dead people stay dead. Yet Christians proclaim Jesus of Nazareth as the Crucified but Risen Christ. The world has always found that claim ridiculous and foolish; but for Christians it is the anchor and hope of life which changes everything.

The Folly of the Resurrection

“The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent: inasmuch as he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”
Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked; but others said, We will hear thee concerning this yet again (Acts 17:30-32).

The Folly of the Resurrection
The Folly of God in Christ

 
 
00:00 /
 
1X
 

Folly of the Crucifixion

| 1

Christ and Him crucified? Sheer folly to the world. Yet, in Christ, God confounds the wisdom of the world. Wisdom is foolishness; weakness is strength; suffering is victory. The cross is the power of God for those being saved!

The Folly of the Crucifixion

For the word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God.
For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning will I bring to nought.”
Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For seeing that in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom knew not God, it was God’s good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save them that believe. Seeing that Jews ask for signs, and Greeks seek after wisdom: but we preach Christ crucified, unto Jews a stumblingblock, and unto Gentiles foolishness; but unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For behold your calling, brethren, that not many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God chose the foolish things of the world, that he might put to shame them that are wise; and God chose the weak things of the world, that he might put to shame the things that are strong; and the base things of the world, and the things that are despised, did God choose, yea and the things that are not, that he might bring to nought the things that are: that no flesh should glory before God. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who was made unto us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption:
that, according as it is written, “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:18-31).

Folly of the Crucifixion
The Folly of God in Christ

 
 
00:00 /
 
1X
 

Rooted and Edified in Christ

| 0

We cannot allow ourselves to be shaped by the world; therefore, we must be shaped by Jesus. We do so through repentance, rooting ourselves in Jesus in word and deed, not the world. We must also be built up in Christ and in His body, the people of God, the church.

Rooted and Edified in Christ

As therefore ye received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and builded up in him, and established in your faith, even as ye were taught, abounding in thanksgiving…for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and in him ye are made full, who is the head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:6-8, 9-10).

Rooted and Edified in Christ
Toward a Biblical Worldview

 
 
00:00 /
 
1X
 

Philosophy and Vain Deceit

| 0

Paul warned the Colossian Christians regarding the temptations of worldly philosophy. Greek philosophy was no doubt in view; it has posed the same problem ever since. What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?

Philosophy and Vain Deceit

Take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ (Colossians 2:8).

Greek Philosophy Primer

Presocratics: established philosophy, interested in natural explanations of things
– Thales and Anaximenes, sought to ascertain which of the four primeval elements (air, earth, fire,
water) was primary, or how differentiated things came to be (Anaximander’s pursuit); such is the
Milesian school
– Pythagoras, of mathematical fame, attempted to demonstrate the universe as perfectly
harmonious based on numbers and math
– Heraclitus believed all things were in flux; he called the pattern or structure maintaining this flux
the Logos
– Parmenides believed in one unchanging existence, rooted in the idea of God as ultimate unity
from Xenophanes of Colon; such is the Eleatic school
– Leucippus and Democritus came up with the theory of atoms, small indivisible bodies of different
shape but similar in form, colliding and forming various things, and the basis of everything
– The Sophists were not a school per se but professional educators in rhetoric, believing that thought
was based on individual impression and need not have any deep relationship with reality; such is
the origin of relativism

Socrates: best known Greek philosopher, but all we know is derivative; heavily interested in ethics and the core moral concepts of the good and justice (400s BCE)

Plato: “Platonic realism” within the Theory of Forms
– Forms: the ideal of any given abstract or concrete concept, thus as archetypes
– All things in reality, therefore, are imperfect replications of their ideal Form
– Highly pessimistic about value of physicality; yearning for spiritual release
– Exemplar: Allegory of the Cave
– Neoplatonism: focus on the One Unmoved Mover; its emanation the Demiurge
– Platonism and Neoplatonism provide major philosophical scaffolding for Christian worldview in
late Classical period

Aristotle and the Peripatetic School: Plato’s pupil, focused on what could be learned through scientific inquiry
– Sytematically wrote out expositions on logic, which remain its basis today
– Derived knowledge from induction, conclusions based on the accumulation of facts
– Belief in the Unmoved Mover, which compelled all other things to move and change; all things
made of matter
– Soul is life force; the soul gets conceptions, reasons regarding them, and from them obtains
knowledge of what is true
– The ultimate goal is not unity with the good and the ideal but in happiness derived from virtue;
virtue not rooted in knowledge but in balancing natural impulses
– Father of physical sciences; rediscovery of Aristotle in the 11th and 12th centuries would lead to
Scholasticism, the challenge of nominalism, and the beginning of modernism

Cynicism: first Antisthenes, more famously Diogenes, seeking to lead a simple life by living in accord with nature according to human reason
– Called eudaimonia; it is dependent on self-sufficiency, virtue, clear speaking, a love of humanity,
and indifference to the happenstance of life
– Must practice asceticism and recognize how wealth, fame, power, etc., corrupt, are unnecessary
– “Clear speaking” leads to complete indifference to societal norms through practice of
shamelessness
– Thus virtue is all that is necessary for happiness, and Cynics went about as people without
property, homeless, begging from others
– Especially influential on them monastic movement in Christianity

Skepticism: Pyrrho of Elis, establishing that nothing can be known as absolutely certain
– Pyrrho spent time in India
– The philosophy was later explicated by Sextus Empiricus, bringing in features of empiricism,
attempting to establish confidence in knowledge outside the self
– A recognition that the senses of humanity are easily deceived, and reason tilted toward what we
want: thus the individual can never have absolute confidence in his or her belief system and what
they hold to be true
– Both skepticism and empiricism would become issues driving Descartes, etc.

Epicurus and Epicureanism: working out the consequences of atomic materialism
– The gods existed, but were uninvolved in human affairs; they lived in a state of tranquility
without worry to which humans should strive
– Pleasure was the ultimate goal; the pleasures of the soul as superior to that of the body, and the
latter is really the attempt to give them up and live without pain: seek freedom from fear
(tranquility) and freedom from pain
– Knowledge rooted in sense, preconceived notion, and feelings; preconceptions as worldviews or
universal ideas
– Ethic: strive for happiness according to justice: do as you will but harm no one; “Don’t fear god,
don’t worry about death; what is good is easy to get, and what is terrible is easy to endure”
– With utilitarianism, substantively the philosophical foundation for the modern secular consensus

Stoicism: Zeno of Citium, suggesting ethics as the primary emphasis of knowledge and the
development of self-control and courage to overcome destructive emotion
– Belief in ability to come to objective understanding of universal reason, the Logos
– This Logos also as Fate, the universe as material, reasoning substance; all things subject to its laws;
highly deterministic
– Ethic as intrinsic to the soul, must be developed into virtue
– Virtue as will in accordance with nature, accepting one’s lot in life, pursuing excellence in it; four
virtues as wisdom, courage, justice, and temperance
– Highly favored by the Romans and a good number of Christians through the ages; leads to
“Classical Pantheism” in early modern era

Philosophy and Vain Deceit
Toward a Biblical Worldview

 
 
00:00 /
 
1X