September 22, 2015 Psalm 18:16-32, Colossians 3, Psalm 18:33-50 (18)

We noted the Psalmist saying how good he was and how he followed God, and therefore God would reward him. This kind of writing was very typical of early Psalmists.

Just a little geography this morning before we start our discussion. Colossae is located in southeast Turkey just down the Meander River from Ephesus. It no longer exists as a city. It is not too far from the current city of Perge. The Christians were being persecuted by the Romans in areas not too far from here. Many of the early Christians lived in caves and tunnels as they tried to avoid the Roman Persecutors. So you can see the concerns of these people. Paul was under house arrest in Rome, and he was the principle leader of the non-Jewish Christians. It would be easy to be discouraged and so he would write about how they should live their lives.

Early Christian leaders thought the 2nd coming was imminent and they didn’t always write their thoughts down, but here Paul did write down this change in rules.  As Hal says he wrote how to live in Christ, and this is very like living the  golden rule. How do we think about God. What is our image of God when we pray? How do we think about heaven? Bill poses these questions to us and it prompts all of us to think about what our relationship with God really is all about. Paul says do it thru Christ, meaning that we should live our lives in Christ. This was a counter culture in that day. Pope Francis is suggesting the same kind of things that we live in Christ first and put the laws of the Old Testament in second place.  It seems that this is precisely what Paul was saying. Put on a new set of clothes for our lives, those of Christ, compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, etc. The words Paul gives about our family lives tell us to live with respect for others in our families. All of this is to show these lives lived according to the will of God. We got into a discussion about how God chooses those who will be saved and I don’t think there is a randomness or willfulness about it, but rather almost an idea of you turn away from God by your repeated actions against the will of God.

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