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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Responsibility Of Our Reality

There are two components to Biblical Christianity; our reality and our responsibility.  One does not have to read the New Testament very carefully to realize two things are true about Christianity.

The first is that being born again creates a new reality for us.  It is independent of anything we do.  It is what God does for us.  This component is summed up in Colossians 1:13, "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear son."  God does this.  We could not do it for ourselves.  Having done this we now live in a different reality created by God himself.  It is a reality of forgiveness, redemption, justification, sanctification and glorification.

The second is that being born again creates a new set of responsibilities for us, responsibilities that we are now equipped to fulfill.  This component is summed up in Colossians 1:10, "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; . . . ."  God changes our reality and gives us responsibility.  We are responsible to walk worthy of the Lord, to please the Lord, to be fruitful in every good work, to increase in the knowledge of God.

These two components are tied together in Colossians 2:6, "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: . . . ."  Because of what we have received a certain walk is required of us.  The walk is fulfilled by faith just as we received him by faith.

Colossians 3 binds the reality to the responsibility.  Without plunging into an exposition of the entire chapter, let me briefly make the point at hand.

The reality:
    Vs: 1 - Risen with Christ
    Vs: 3 - Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God

This is really the sum and substance of our reality.  In salvation we are identified with Christ.  Romans 6 expounds this truth with assertive logic and unrelenting arguments.

The responsibility:
    Vs: 5 - Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth
    Vs: 8 - Put off all these
    Vs: 9 - Put off the old man with his deeds
    Vs: 10 - Put on the new man
    Vs: 12 - Put on therefore, as the elect of God
    Vs: 14 - Put on charity
    Vs: 15 - Let the peace of God rule in your hearts
    Vs: 16 - Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom

Our responsibility is to put death some things, put off some things while putting on some others, letting God's Spirit have his way with us in creating peace and receiving the word.  It is impossible to read these words without seeing we are responsible for taking action.  It is not that we do these things independently of God which would be impossible but we do these things through the power of God.  But, we do them nonetheless.  God does not do them in us without the assent of our will.  Our will would never be enough to act on these responsibilities apart from the power of God.

It is our reality that makes us responsible.  We are no longer allowed the luxury of complaining that we can't.  Our reality makes this excuse untenable.  We must now assume the responsibility and live in the power of God rejoicing along the way in our reality.
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