Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Mystery of Body and Spirit

1I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.

Freedom From Human Restrictions Through Life With Christ

6So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
8See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
9For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.

Paul addresses the Gonostic belief system that was sweeping the region. The Colossian letter was able to be read in Laodicea (vs. 2:1) which is present day Denizil, located about 11 miles from Colosse.

2:2 "mystery of God" is refering to God's plan to redeem man. (I look at this as kind of a joke on Satan. Because, to redeem anything requires a paid price. Does Satan think that he will bartor with souls? Boy does he get ripped off. Look at him, standing their with nothing). What happens is Christ being a man, lived as a man and became an atonement offering for all of the Human Family.

"Mystery" was a popular pegan term, almost a 'buzz' word used in the mystery religions. It was used to speak in terms of information revealed exclusively to only a few people by Revelation. This is easily seen to have grown from the fact that God did speak through revelation.

The Gnostics believed:
Man's body (matter) was entirely evil and that the spirit was entirely good.

They thought those given special revelation were witnesses of having been saved because of having been given special revelation.

They taught "Cerinthianism"
"Cerinthianism. A first century Gnostic doctrine named after an early proponent, Cerinthus, who held that Jesus and Christ were separate beings." ...ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/pentecostal/One-Glos.htm - 28k -

They taught that because the body was evil, the treatment of the body ought to be harsh (aseticism)

And worse than any of their strange beliefs was the teaching of no consequence for breaking God's law. Afterall, they reasoned: " since the body was entirely evil, anyway. Why should our spirit have to be accountable for it?"

Paul addresses the issue of the Gnostic belief that Jesus was separate from the Spirit, (vs. 9 and 10). He tells the congregation that all of the fullness of God is in Christ. (To the present day, the Spirit dwells in bodily form [in the believer]).

We have the Holy Spirit living in us and we are responsible to provide it a Holy abode in our flesh. In doing this, we perfect our righteousness unto holiness by wich we gain ever lasting life.


satire and theology said...

Hey, Jim.

Reading your work, you may relate to one of my thekingpin68 blog links with a similar focus. He is not Reformed like I am, but is a very good guy with insights.


jeleasure said...

Thanks Russ,
I have looked at his ten points on why people do not disciple. He is right. I'm going to be thinking about some more reasons. I'm sure there are more.
Also, what happened on your blog page concerning The Lock Ness Monster? It seems to have exploded.

satire and theology said...

Yes, people should check it out.:)

Vicki said...

Our society is becoming more mystic than it was when I was little. At that time, children believed in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, but reality was only what could be proven by science. Now there are tv shows like Touched By An Angel, Dead Zone, psychic detectives, and hauntings.
I believe we could be headed back to gnostism with our thoughts on the mystic and licentious behaviour the norm. People live together without the sanctity of marriage. Almost anything goes and we as a society seem to approve.
Thanks for your thoughts on the passage from Colossians, Jim.