Peace of Christ

Peace of Christ

Daily Reading: (Colossians 3:15-17):

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Today’s facet of peace: When speaking of the Messiah’s peace it means the way that leads to peace (salvation).I am grateful for the addition of the word salvation in the Greek definition. Sozo/Salvation is to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction: to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e. one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health.

Let the peace of Christ (as in the salvation of the Lord) that He saves us, keep us safe and sound, rescues us from danger or destruction, makes us well, heals, and restore us to health lead you to His peace ruling in your hearts.

You could at any time allow the peace of Christ to rule in your heart or not. This is clear in the Greek:

Brabeuō: to decide, determine to direct, control, rule and it adds that you are the umpire. What a great picture of how this works. Life throws the ball across the plate and you decide, you make the judgment call all the time. No matter what comes let’s choose the peace of Christ.

The called to peace part of Colossians 3:15 is not written in the original Greek manuscript. It should read like this: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts to which indeed you were called in one body and be thankful.”  Now this makes sense because all around this verse Paul is talking about our interaction with other believers and that we are called to one body, meaning the church universal. You have a calling to the Body of Christ (Colossians 3:15). 

The question to be asked is, “how do we let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts?” The Apostle Paul gives us five different ways in the next two verses (Colossians 3:16-17).

1) Dwell in the Message of Christ Richly

2) Admonish One Another with Wisdom from the Spirit 

3) Sing to God with Gratitude in Your Hearts 

4) Do All in the Name of the Lord 

5) Give Thanks to God through Jesus

Take Me For Pomegranate

Take Me For Pomegranate…Devotional

Daily Reading: (1 Kings 7:13,14,18,20,42 & Colossians 3:23):

13 King Solomon sent to Tyre and brought Huram, 14 whose mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali and whose father was from Tyre and a skilled craftsman in bronze. Huram was filled with wisdom, with understanding and with knowledge to do all kinds of bronze work. He came to King Solomon and did all the work assigned to him.18 He made pomegranates in two rows encircling each network to decorate the capitals on top of the pillars. He did the same for each capital. 20 On the capitals of both pillars, above the bowl-shaped part next to the network, were the two hundred pomegranates in rows all around. the four hundred pomegranates for the two sets of network (two rows of pomegranates for each network decorating the bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars); 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters”

Huram’s name means noble and there isn’t a more noble work than to be a part of building the Kingdom of God. The text says that Huram was filled with 3 specific things…. wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. Those appointed to do God’s work are filled with wisdom, understanding and knowledge and that is every believer’s story who has the mission of building the kingdom as we share the Gospel (Exodus 31:2-3, 1 Kings 7:14).

Both 2 Chronicles and 1 Kings say that “he” set up the pillars and “he” named them Jachin and Boaz (1 Kings 7:21) Jachin means “he will establish,” and Boaz signifies “in him is strength.” Taken together, the names were a reminder that God would establish in Jesus strength. The sign would be a pomegranate.

Jewish tradition teaches that the pomegranate is a symbol for righteousness, because the pomegranate is said to have 613 seeds. I know it is not an exact number of seeds, but that number corresponds with the 613 mitzvot or commandments of the Torah in the Old Testament. So, the pillars are outside on the porch of the temple before you would enter into God’s Holy Temple. The pomegranates were a message that if you are righteous and fulfill all 613 commandments perfectly all the time then go ahead and enter. The pomegranates that Huram constructed each bearing those 613 commandments we failed at- showed that sin separated us from God in the Holy of Holies.

The pomegranates that Huram constructed each bearing those 613 commandments we failed at- showed that sin separated us from God in the Holy of Holies.  However, Hebrews 6:20 says: Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Melchizedek means my king is righteous. Jesus is our righteousness- He was able to enter in past the sign of righteousness, the pomegranates to enter in and offer a sacrifice for our sins, His blood, that cleanses us forever.

This “forever” aspect changes the way we are blessed and how we receive our blessings from God. As our High Priest, Jesus represents us before God. Since His priesthood is after the order of Melchizedek, which is one of righteousness, His righteousness becomes our righteousness forever. This means that we are forever righteous in God’s eyes! Obviously, this is wisdom, understanding, and knowledge from God.

By why did Huram make 400 of these pomegranates? Couldn’t he have got the message across with just a really large one on each pillar? The number 400 represents the covenant God made with Abram in Genesis 15:13 “ Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there.” A 400 year period of waiting for God to fulfill His promise to His people from Genesis 12:2-3 seen in the 400 total pomegranates on two pillars.

There was a subtle almost hidden message about our righteousness written by the man who commissioned the building of God’s Temple with the pillars of pomegranates. The message is that blessings are perpetually on your life because the Bible says that blessings are on the head of the righteous (see Proverbs 10:6), and you are righteous forever!

The bride of Christ the church which is us is written about in Song of Solomon 4:3: “Your lips are like a scarlet cord, and your mouth is lovely. Behind your veil, your brow is like a slice of pomegranate.” This sounds strange if you don’t know what the pomegranate is a sign for. Our thoughts, our mind is like a righteous pomegranate because we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

Solomon continues in 4:7: “You are all fair, my love, and there is no spot in you.” God sees the perfection of His Son’s finished work in your life. By one offering of Himself at the cross, Jesus has perfected you forever (see Hebrews 10:14)! You have been made the righteousness of God in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). And you will never find any spot in this righteousness that Jesus died to give you. So, God wants you to see yourself righteous—all fair and spotless in Christ.

Hidden in Christ

Daily Reading: Colossians 3:1-5

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.”

In Colossians 3, Paul tells us some remarkable things about our life in Christ.

A believer’s life in Christ is:

1) new 

2) blessed

                         3) dedicated to God

In fact, your old life is dead and your new life is hidden and Christ is your life (Colossians 3:3-4).

 “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” While the Greek word here can be translated as put to death (nekroō)– in the context of verse 3 that you died, it doesn’t make sense to tell someone to put to death what is already dead. Instead, the word (nekroō)– can also be translated as an impotent old man- as in to deprive of power, destroy the strength of. So, I believe what Paul is saying here is that your old self is as good as dead (you died), deprive it of power. Don’t try and revive your old sinful flesh.

“Because of these, the wrath of God is coming” (Colossians 3:5-6 NIV).

The NIV has chopped off some important words at the end of verse 6. New King James Version standard says:

“…because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience” (Colossians 3:6, NKJV).

Remember, disobedience in the new covenant is not “breaking the rules.” Disobedience means disbelief. It’s being unpersuaded about the goodness of God. But God’s wrath is not coming on the children of disobedience because they are doing bad things. It’s coming on account of their unbelief.

Colossians 3 adds some more details about a believer’s life that is new, blessed, dedicated to God, he/she is a chosen person, holy, and dearly loved (Colossians 3:1,12). If you know what your relationship status with Christ is all of the above then you can clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

 

Strength of Unity

Daily Reading: Colossians 3:1- 17: Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Paul’s focus in writing to believers in the church of Colossae in chapter three is to exhort them to live as they are and were made to be which is alive in Christ.

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ” (Colossians 3:1) -The Greek word is (synegeirō)- and it means: raise up together from mortal death to a new and blessed life dedicated to God. This teaches us three things: 1) raised to new life 2) given a blessed life 3) and your life is dedicated to God.

Every man-made religion preaches self-denial and dying to self but the Bible simply declares, “For you died” (Colossians 3:3).

If you think you are still in Adam, then the best you can hope for is to be a decent sinner. But when you know that you died with Christ, you will be empowered to live with Him here and now (2 Tim 2:11, Colossians 3:5).

John Piper said, “God’s aim in creating new people was that they would stop boasting in their distinctives (what separated them) and boast in Christ (who united them)” (Colossians 3:11).

To recap- in Colossians 3:9 we are told we have “put off the old self”, in Colossians 3:10 we have “put on the new self” which leads to Colossians 3:11 where because of our new self we can stop measuring our meaning by comparing ourselves with others because “Christ is all in all”.

John Piper. Living Together When Christ Is All in All. September 13, 1992. https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/living-together-when-christ-is-all-in-all