Colossians 3:10-17: Spirituality in Action (part 2)

B. Put on the New. 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. 12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

-This whole image of putting on and off garments is an illusion to baptism, because there was a removal of clothes and then a putting on of a new baptismal garment. This signified what was taking internally in the baptismal candidate. They were being united with Christ in His death and resurrection.

-“renewed”: This is a continuation of the baptismal mystery, and should be ongoing.

-“knowledge”: The Christian is renewed through the knowledge of God. Once again this knowledge is experiential knowledge or communion. As we commune and unite ourselves with God we are transformed into the image and likeness of God. This is theosis. Becoming like God. This is what we were created for and was short-circuited at the fall.

-vs. 11 is a parenthetical side bar. He mentions the Scythians because they were seen as the worst of the barbarians. All who are united with Christ will be transformed, from the “best” of humanity to the “worst”. Unfortunately we all have our categories.

-Christ is all: He is our true and only reality.

-Christ is in all: All those in the Church are in Christ and each should be treated as such.

-vs. 12. Here is what your baptismal garment looks like. Here is what life inside the Church should look like.

-vs. 14. Love is the bond of perfection (1 Cor. 13). There is nothing radical in this statement, because it is repeated throughout the Gospels and epistles as the mark of true Christianity. However, this simple mark can easily be forgotten.

-Vs. 15 “peace and thanksgiving” So what we do on Sunday should spill into our everyday lives. Literally “let the peace of God be umpire in your hearts.”

-vs. 16 This reinforces the necessity of the liturgy. It is from our experience of God together in worship that all these good things flow. If the essence of the Christian life is living and participating in the life and presence of God, then there is nowhere the presence of God is more concentrated then at the celebration of the Divine Mysteries. It is from that experience that we understand and become aware of God’s presence and are able to live in it throughout our lives. In many ways our life in Christ is a constant preparation of our hearts for the grace of the Mysteries and then protecting the Grace that God has given us.

-vs. 17 Our communal act of thanksgiving should transform every aspect of life to be an act of worship and thanksgiving.

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