March 26th 2020
Human beings aren’t all bad, we were after all created in the likeness of God, and he has allowed us to share many of his attributes. We are loving, we are creative, we have freedom of will and so on. Unfortunately the image of God in us is broken and many of these attributes have been corrupted. Love turns to hatred or control, we are creative in immoral or destructive ways, and freedom has been squandered in some cases to enslave ourselves to base passions and selfish pleasures. The present emergency has brought out much that is good in people, but along with that there will always be some who seek to profit by fear and the misfortune of others. We hear examples of those who are profiteering on sanitising gel or preying on the fears of an older generation and offering to disinfect the paths and driveways of their homes, for a fee of course, even though it’s of very limited benefit.
If you read again Colossians 2:8-9 you will find that Paul is concern by the possibility of someone, and commentators say it’s likely he has an individual in mind, coming in to deceive the Colossians. How? By pushing an idea that is deceptive because it claims to be deeper than the gospel they received, and built on yet more ancient traditions but in reality is hollow because there is nothing in it and no value to it. As we know by experience ideas that depend on human traditions come and go because what appears sensible and good to one generation looks daft and repressive to another. The result as we move from Christ is not greater freedom and deeper knowledge, but captivity, and the word Paul uses describes being kidnapped. Behind the person or persons he has in mind and their enticing ideas stands the enemy of the soul. Such ideas are dangerous and appealing because they flatter us. They make us think that we are a cut above others; that we have something they don’t have, a deeper understanding, a greater ability, or knowledge not open to all.
The truth is, there can be no greater knowledge of God that that open to us in Jesus Christ. One author, a man called Douglas Moo put it like this “All that human beings can know or experience of God is found in Christ. And so Christians, simply by being Christians have access to all this knowledge and all these experiences.”
When Paul writes, as he does in verse 10, “and in Christ you have been brought to fullness” he leaves no doubt there is nothing further open to any one of us that has not been opened in Jesus all we have to do is press on in Christ.
My shed is falling apart and yesterday afternoon I looked out what I hope are enough materials to repair it, it hasn’t stood the test of time, though for a shed, I suppose it wasn’t too bad. I’ve had it for about 13 years. All this, our reading and the experience with the shed reminded me of Jesus parable about the two builders. One who built on the sand and one who built on rock. The sand washed away in the storm and the house fell, though once it looked sound, but the rock didn’t move and the house was saved. The lesson Jesus draws has nothing to do with construction but life. He says in effect, the wise person is the one who builds on the foundation of his word. It’s an idea that the Psalm writer expressed before. “Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.” Ps119:111
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