Hello everyone. Welcome back to Deeper Waters as we continue our Trinitarian Bible Commentary. We’ve been going through the book of Colossians looking at one chapter a night and tonight, we’re going to be in the third chapter. Our focus verse tonight will be verse 11. However, I am going to start my quote at verse 5 so all can see the context of the passage:
5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
Paul is talking about righteous living and as usual, this is going to be connected to Christ. This should remind us that for the early church, holiness mattered a great deal. The basis for all righteous living in each case was the new revelation of Christ. Because of him, all were called to live holy lives and all were capable through him of living holy lives.
Christ is also the one that shatters apart the boundaries. Consider the types of people Paul lists. We might look at that list and not see the big deal. Let us consider some modern ties that might help make it clear.
What if we were talking about someone of Jewish descent and someone converted from Islam who had both become Christians in the Middle East?
What if we were talking about a black man and a white man in South Africa who were both Christians?
What if we were talking about a Protestant and a Catholic in Northern Ireland who were both Christians?
That’s getting the idea. The ethnic identity of someone made a big deal back then and Paul is taking that which most people took pride in and saying “As far as it pertains to being in Christ, that counts for absolutely nothing.” Because you are in Christ, you are no longer to use race as an excuse to not acknowledge your fellow human being who is in Christ.
Christ is said to be all and in all. In other words, everything depends on Christ, which is a carry-over from Colossians 1 as this whole letter is about the supremacy of Christ, hardly a fitting letter to talk about Christ being a lesser god. This is also not pantheism. Christ is all in that he is supreme and Christ is in all in that by his very existence, he holds all other existence together. Nothing could exist if it were not for the existence of Christ.
Because of that, all life you see is that which is somehow touched by Christ, even if it refuses to acknowledge him. Christ overshadows all of life and this is his world. This is a lesson we as Christians should take to heart and reminds us of the importance Trinitarianism has on practical living. Because of who Christ is, we are to live differently
Are we living as Trinitarians today?