Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Colossians 1:13-29 (ESV) – 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister. 24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
Philippians 2:1-11 (ESV) – 2 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
When I read these passages, I am struck by two things: GOd Jesus, who draws us to Himself for love and forgiveness AND Jesus, who sits at the right hand of God in heaven. This same Jesus! What did He do? Who is He?
Jesus – our Lord (AMP)
- Image of the invisible God (exact living image)
- Firstborn of all creation (the preeminent one, the sovereign and the originator of all creation!)
- BY Him all things were created – in heaven and on earth
- ALL things were created through Him and for Him
- He is before all things
- In Him all things hold together (controlling, cohesive force of the universe)
- He is the head of the body – the church (life-source and leader)
- He is the beginning – the firstborn
- In EVERTHING He is preeminent
- ALL of the fullness of God dwells in Him (of deity – the sum total of His essence – all His perfection, powers and attributes)
- Through Christ, all things are reconciled
- Jesus made peace by the blood of the cross
- In the form of God
- God has highly exalted Him – given Him the name above every name
- At His name – every knee will bow – In heaven and on earth (in submission)
- Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is LORD! (confess AND openly acknowledge that Jesus is Lord – sovereign God!)
- This brings glory to God the Father!
Jesus – our Savior – (AMP)
- God rescued and has drawn us to Himself
- We are now in the kingdom of God’s beloved Son –
- We have redemption
- We have forgiveness of sins (cancellation of sin’s penalty)
- Presents us holy and blameless and without reproach before God
- Christ in ME – the HOPE of glory! (the hope AND guarantee of realizing the glory!)
- He works powerfully within us!
- Did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped (as if He did not already possess it or was afraid of losing it)
- Emptied himself – (doing this WITHOUT renouncing or diminishing He deity – but only temporarily giving up the outward expression of divine equality and His rightful dignity)
- took on the form of a servant, a man (became completely human but was without sin – being fully God and fully man)
- Humbled himself by being obedient – to the point of dying on the cross
Just typing these words, and rereading them in the Amplified Version brings me to the point of humbly acknowledging that Jesus is MY Savior and Lord. This Jesus – who is fully God – humbled Himself to the point of dying on a cross – for ME. Seeing ALL that He is, and yet willing to die for me. Yes, humbling. Can I be this humble? Am I willing to follow God to that extent? Do I allow Him to work powerfully within me? Another thought – He has drawn me to Himself. He took the first step. He loves me that much!
What more can I say? Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song, the joy of my heart, and the boast of my tongue. Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last, Hath won my affections, and bound my soul fast. Thank you, my gracious God.
Thy Mercy, My God – from the Northland Church –
THY MERCY, MY GOD, IS THE THEME OF MY SONG
by John Stocker, 1776
Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song,
The joy of my heart. and the boast of my tongue;
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last,
Hath won my affections, and bound my soul fast.
Without Thy sweet mercy I could not live here;
Sin would reduce me to utter despair;
But, through Thy free goodness, my spirits revive,
And He that first made me still keeps me alive.
Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart,
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart;
Dissolved by Thy goodness, I fall to the ground,
And weep to the praise of the mercy I’ve found.
Great Father of mercies, Thy goodness I own,
And the covenant love of Thy crucified Son;
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy, and pardon, and righteousness mine.