Publication Date: 1984
Walter J. Cummins graduated from the Power for Abundant Class in 1962.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Ohio State University in 1968 and his Master of Education degree in Secondary School Administration in 1978 from Wright State University.
He was ordained to the Christian by The Way International in 1968. He has studied at The Way International under Victor Paul Wierwille and K.C.Pillai. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he was director of the Research department of the Way International and served as assistant to the president.
May 23, 1984
Chapter three we're into tonight. And I think this chapter is very appropriate. It goes right along with those preparatory remarks from Rev. Craig Martindale and Dr. Wierwille. I'd like to go back to chapter two again, in verse 18, just to remind you, because I thought about this this week as we were into our discussions here at International Headquarters. It says, in the literal according to usage... because that word "not" is not in there and the word "intruding" was to speculate about. It was used of the mystery religions where they would get into those things that they had seen, their visionary experiences. And I think sometimes people, even in the ministry, (they shouldn't), it happens more so in other parts of Christendom, base what they believe on experience and on what they see, their visions, rather than on the integrity of God's Word. And of course this verse said:
Colossians 2:18: (Literal)
Do not allow yourself to be disqualified from the competition and cheated of your reward by those who take pleasure in self-abasement and the bondage of the religious worship of angels, speculating about their own visionary experiences, with vainly inflated, carnal egos.
If we cannot find in God's Word, what we believe, what we confess, then it just isn't true. What we believe has to be found in God's Word. It's the integrity of the Word that our ministry is built on, not some visionary experience that I've had or Dr. Wierwille or Rev. Martindale, or Howard Allen or Don Wierwille or someone else. It's the integrity of the Word. And yet, from time to time, we'll hear of someone in a leadership position even, who has a certain visionary experience or he's seen this thing by his experiences and so on. And he tries to put things together and before you know it, people are way off on tangents. Some things that happened two, three, four years ago are still having thunderings in this day and time, still having effect upon people's lives, because somebody built and spoke and taught something based on their experience rather than on the integrity of the Word. And that verse was certainly central to this whole part of Colossians where they were building what they believed on their visionary experiences, so that they worshipped angels, or worshipped devil spirits, gods of various sorts, having different heads instead of one head, holding the head, which is Christ, from whom the whole body is joined together and so on.
Colossians 2:23: (Literal)
These things, which appear to have a word of wisdom, are really self-prescribed religion and a facade of humility and harsh treatment of the body, all of which lack any value as a remedy against carnal indulgence.
Now if you want a real remedy against any carnal indulgences it's chapter three.
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Seek those things which are where? Above. And "above" is put for those things which are spiritual as opposed to the things on earth which are carnal, of the flesh. The right hand of God, God doesn't have a right hand, so it has to be the figure of speech condescensio. And of course it employs that custom of the right hand of honor, the right hand of blessing, a position of high honor. Christ is seated at the right hand of God, in that position of honor. And we're to seek those things which are above. The word "seek" is that word used in I Corinthians 12:31 and in 14:1 where it says "covet earnestly" or to covet the best gifts. It's to
desire earnestly. So we're to desire earnestly spiritual things, those things which are above and "to be risen with Christ" is to be raised together with him. That's our identification with Christ. And so, we translated this verse:
Colossians 3:1: (Literal)
Therefore, since you were raised [from the dead] together with Christ, desire earnestly those things which are above where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God.
Those spiritual things, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, the hand of blessing.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
To "set your affection" in both the Greek and the Aramaic it literally means to think, think. It's related to that word for thoughts in Greek. To set your thoughts on, or to think things above, spiritual things, not on things (where?) on the earth, which would be the carnal things. Verse one says we're to desire earnestly spiritual things, and in verse two we're to think those things, set our thoughts on those things. First, you have to seek after it, desire it earnestly and then secondly, think it, you learn about it from desiring. And then you think those thoughts, not things on the earth.
For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
"For", gives the reason. You died. Your life has been hidden with Christ in God. And that again is a part of our identification with Christ.
Colossians 2:10, 11: (Literal)
And you are absolutely complete in him [Christ] who is the head over all principality and power. You were circumcised in him by the nonphysical circumcision, by stripping off the sin nature, by the circumcision of Christ.
This is all a part of our identification with Christ, which is what made us complete in Christ.
Colossians 2:12, 13: (Literal)
You were buried with him in baptism, with whom you were also raised by believing in the energizing power of God, Who raised him from among the dead. When you were dead in sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He [God] made you alive together with him [Christ] by graciously remitting all your sins.
Colossians 2:20, 21: (Literal)
Since you are dead with Christ to worldly principles, why do you submit to ordinances which indict you, as those living in the world do? (Do not touch! Do not taste! Do not handle!
You see, all of that is a part of our identification which really takes you back to the book of Romans when we were buried with Christ, we died with him, we were buried with him, we were raised with him. So we've got everything we need. You don't need those carnal ordinances. Yet they were setting their affections...somebody there was setting their affection on things on the earth, the carnal ordinances. They were looking into angels and making different heads instead of having the one head, who is Christ, and setting their affection on spiritual things. That gives the reason for setting your thoughts on things above,
because you're dead, your life has been hid with Christ. And when Christ, who is our life, shall appear...and to appear is to be made manifest or revealed, it's the opposite of being hidden. So when Christ who is our life appears... Right now our life is hidden with Christ, but when he appears then shall ye also appear, or be revealed with him in glory. That's the end of the hiding. So we translated verses two, three and four.
Colossians 3:2-4: (Literal)
Set your thoughts on things above, not on things of the earth, for you died and your life has been hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, your life, shall be revealed, then you also shall be revealed with him in glory.
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
The word "mortify" means to put to death. It's a figure of speech metonymy, where one word is put for another one remotely associated with it. Metonomy. Mortify, to put to death, is put for removing it from you, remove from you. "Your members". The word "your" is omitted in some of the Greek manuscripts and texts. If you are a faithful believer and this is addressed to the faithful in Christ, then you shouldn't be practicing the things that are in this verse. You might be off in verse eight. But if you're faithful, you're certainly not into the things that are in these verses. So you put off or remove, put to death, is like I said, metonymy, those members which are upon the earth, the carnal members, those members of the Body who were introducing this error that we read about back in Colossians chapter two. Like in verse four:
And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.
There were those that were beguiling them with enticing words. And then again in verse eight:
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Colossians 2:16, 17:
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
See, all the way through here. And then, let no man beguile you, or cheat you, get disqualified from the competition. That tremendous verse we read. Because, verse 19, they don't hold the head.
In I Corinthians chapter five... At Corinth there were men and women practicing error. They were introducing things that were contrary to the Word of God. In Galatia, that area, you had the problem, only with a doctrinal issue. In Philippi, you had some problems, because of those that were introducing error from outside the Body, or some might have been inside the Body, but they just weren't walking right.
I Corinthians 5:5:
To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
I Corinthians 5:11:
But now I have written unto you not to keep company,...
That's how you cut them out of the fellowship, mortify them, deliver them to Satan.
I Corinthians 5:11:
...if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
I Corinthians 5:13:
But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
What do you do with them? Put them away from among you. Not to keep company with those.
II Thessalonians 3:6:
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves...
What does it mean to withdraw? Remove, pull out from, not to keep company with, withdraw.
II Thessalonians 3:6:
...from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
Two drink limit. A few other things, pertaining to the earth. Worldly, carnal things.
II Thessalonians 3:14, 15:
And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
And yet it says, don't have any company with him. And there are times when you have to draw that line, where it's just not the best, and not beneficial to have company with certain people, because they'll pull you down. It tells us in Galatians to help one another, but not to the end that they drag you down. You don't want get pulled in, sucked in by their thing.
I Timothy 1:20:
Of whom is Hymenæus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
These are those that have made shipwreck of the faith. These are rather pointed verses, but it's sometimes necessary.
Philippians 3:18, 19:
(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
Of course, we've covered this in Philippians. But look, even in a tremendous epistle like Philippians, where they were faithful in Christ Jesus, yet he brings to their attention, those that were in the fellowship that were serving their own bellies, serving themselves... That's where their God was. They gloried in their
own shame, minding carnal, earthly things. So in Colossians, it tells you again very pointedly, kill them. Now, it doesn't literally mean to kill people in the Body. That's why we didn't translate it that way. But it's a figure. To mortify, to put them to death, not literally, but metonomy, meaning you remove them. Look at how it said it in Corinthians, deliver to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. When you're cut out of the fellowship, you don't have fellowship with believers, you've got a hard time living. That's right. Very difficult. Your source of fellowship and life, the Word... Mortify, remove, therefore, your members, or "the" members, not "your", the members, which are upon the earth. Those that are carnal. They're carnal members who practice these things.
"Fornication" is spiritual fornication, idolatry. "Uncleanness" is the opposite of purity, and it's used biblically of all forms of sexual perversion, including homosexuality. And of course it ties into idolatry. Uncleanness in idolatry and in possession, like devil spirits. It calls them unclean spirits. That's this word. So uncleanness is very descriptive of idolatry and all of the perversion that goes with it. "Inordinate affection". The Aramaic word here means pain, grief or passion. The Greek word is a feeling which the mind suffers, the emotions. And it's related to sufferings which accompany idolatrous practices, like a hangover or drug addiction. Those are sufferings, consequences, that are the result of using those things. I told you this was very timely to the preparatory remarks here this evening.
Basically, it's uncontrollable cravings, actions and the suffering that results from it. We translated it "intemperate cravings". Then "evil concupiscence". Evil is that word that means destructive evil. It exemplifies or amplifies the destructive nature of evil. And concupiscence is an intense passion or craving. A lust as for other gods and all the practices that go with it. So it's the destructive evil desires that they have. Because when you get into idolatry and into the drugs and the alcohol and the other things that go with it and you start serving other gods, then it leads to more and more things of a destructive nature. The sexual practices, for example, the things you just seldom heard about, or maybe never heard about, back in the 60's...all of a sudden, it's running rampant. Masochism and a lot of other things. Because they just want more and more of a destructive nature. And then "covetousness" just means more and more. It's that greedy desire for more and more and more gods. Trinity. Then, it says "which is idolatry". All those things are idolatry and practices of idolatry.
For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.
Some of the manuscripts omit, "children of disobedience". If you leave it out, it doesn't make much sense. For which things' sake the wrath of God comes. Because it comes on the children of disobedience, not the believer. Although some believers fall into the practice of these things, and they shouldn't, but when they do, you mortify them. That's why you need that phrase "on the children of disobedience". Because those are the sons of the devil. Those born of the wrong seed. The wrath of God will come on them in the future. And that's why this word "comes", which is present tense, has to be a figure of speech heterosis, where the present is put for the future. The wrath of God is coming in the future on the children of disobedience, the sons of the devil. Now verse seven really ties into verse six, "in the which". It's "among whom", it has to be masculine here, referring to those sons of disobedience, among whom you also walked sometimes when you lived among them.
There was a time in the past, you walked among those sons of disobedience. That verse in Proverbs that Rev. Martindale has covered that shows how those sons of Belial are the ones who manipulate the society. They control the business dealings, and so on, that are going on. And you went right along with them. You were manipulated by them, like everybody else is, when you lived...the word "lived" is, in the Aramaic, "had your dealing". To have your dealing. Like your business dealing. It ties very nicely into Proverbs six. Now look at the literal according to usage:
Colossians 3:5-7: (Literal)
Therefore, remove the carnal members who practice spiritual fornication, impurity, intemperate cravings, destructively evil passions, and greedy desire, which are idolatrous practices. Because of these things, the wrath of God will come on the sons of disobedience, among whom you also walked formerly when you had your dealings among them.
I think it ties a very descriptive picture of those sons of disobedience again manipulate the world and you had your dealings among them in time past. You were controlled, you were a part of the system, the culture and so on. But, not anymore. And yet there are some believers who are being sucked in by that. And when they are, it says, mortify them, remove them from among you. I want you to look at Ephesians chapter five. You can follow there, but I want to read to you is Dr. Wierwille literal according to usage of verses 3-6, because it is very close to this here in Colossians.
Ephesians 5:3, 4: (Literal according to usage)
But [spiritual] fornication and every impurity and also greed will surely not be named among you as becoming to saints, nor profanity nor senseless talk nor nonsensical fun which is unnecessary but, instead, thanksgiving.
In the expanded translation of that verse he says "to do something making Him (God) a laughing stock", which is literally the greatness of that.
Ephesians 5:5: (Literal according to usage)
For you know that no idol worshiper nor unclean person nor defrauder who is an idolater has any inheritance in the Kingdom of God.
No inheritance for those who are practicing those things.
Ephesians 5:6: (Literal according to usage)
For those born of the Devil will terrify you by words devoid of truth; and because of these men comes the wrath of God down upon the sons of disobedience.
Those that fall back into that idolatry error, there is no reward for them. They're cutting their own spiritual throat so to speak. Back to Colossians. See what this is built on. This is correcting the error that crept into Colosse, because they didn't adhere to the revelation that's given in the book of Ephesians. And it was doctrinal error, because they were not holding Christ as the head. When you don't hold Christ as the head, you've got to get into idolatry, which means worshipping other gods and all the shenanigans that go with it. Namely, inordinate affection and all these other things...Intemperate cravings etc, destructively evil passions, greedy desire...And you formerly had your dealings among those sons of disobedience that cause all these things. Now verse eight.
But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
But now, here is what you as the believers must do, if you're going to continue and maintain that spiritual unity, unity of the spirit in the one Body, with Christ as the head of that one Body. "You also", the word "also" is omitted in the Aramaic. "Put off", is to lay aside or to put away...all these. "Anger", that's the Greek word orgē and it means venom, or an indignation that arises gradually and becomes more settled or long lasting. It's an anger that gets to you and it grows and it grows and pretty soon you're really teed off and you hold on to it forever. It's a venomous anger. And "wrath" is thumos in Greek. That's the kind of anger that boils up quickly and then subsides again. It's your emotions getting in the way, where somebody says or does something, and all of a sudden you boil up and you're ready to clobber them over the head, but then you cool off again. Well, those are a couple of things to put away, both the venomous anger and that short-term anger, an impulsive anger as we call it. And "malice". That's the word that means evil, and it emphasizes the destructive nature of evil. In other words, a destructive evil with the intent to hurt. "Blasphemy", is evil speaking, any type of blasphemous speech or evil speaking. "Filthy communication
out of your mouth". That's profane word, or filthy abrasive language out of your mouth. Again, a lot of these things you read here, you find the great doctrine back in the book of Ephesians.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Anything that tears down, doesn't build up, would be in that category, profane words.
Colossians 3:8: (Literal)
But now, put away all these things: venomous anger, impulsive anger, hurtful evil, blasphemous speech, profane words out of your mouth.
You don't want to be hurtful to someone in the Body. And you don't want to have this type of anger where you get ticked off at somebody and then the next day, you just sort of incubate it and then two weeks later you're still incubating it and it goes on and on. Or, your impulsive anger. Those things happen too. There's a difference between that and spiritual anger because God gets angry too sometimes, but that's when something is not according to the Word. Usually what happens in the Body it's a personality thing. You get angry about somebody leaving their socks on the floor. "Hurtful evil", when you get angry at somebody, you don't like something then the next thing you want to do is destroy. "Blasphemous speech, profane words out of your mouth", anything that tears down, doesn't edify.
Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds.
The word "put off", means to take off, like your clothes, to unclothe. That's the word put off. You unclothe yourself of that old man. Now "old man" is a figure of speech hypocatastasis, as you've had before, where you have an implied comparison. You're comparing your carnal fleshly walk, the deeds of the flesh, with an old man. That's the comparison, and it's an implied comparison. "With his deeds". It can mean deeds or acts in Greek. However, the Aramaic word hupaka, means conduct or manner of life. And it's real interesting because it's related to that word that I told you was dealings up in verse seven. When you had your dealings among them, remember that? You had your dealings among the sons of disobedience. Well, where does the old man get his dealings from? From God? No. From the world, which ultimately comes from the Devil and his hordes. So you're to put off that old man with his dealings, his conduct, his manner of life, his associations with the world.
And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.
Now "man" is supplied there by ellipsis. It's the figure ellipsis because it's not there. But it's talking about the new what? Fingernails? No. The new man. You get that from the previous verse. Put off the old man, put on the new what? Man. "Which is renewed", and of course that's the word used in Romans 12:2, where you renew your mind. But that new man is renewed in knowledge...gnosis? No, epignosis, that full exact complete knowledge. Not just knowledge. But that new man is renewed in the full exact complete knowledge. The knowledge of the Mystery, everything you need. After the image of him that created it. Renewed after God. It's the Great Principle: God's Spirit teaches His creation in you which is now your spirit...and then it becomes manifested in the senses world as you act. There it is in verse ten.
Colossians 3:9, 10: (Literal)
Do not lie to one another, but put off the old man with his conduct, and put on the new man which is renewed in perfect knowledge after the image of its Creator.
Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
"Where" or in which, in that new creation, there is neither Greek nor Judean. Remember our discussion of the words for Greek in Aramaic, back when we were in the book of Galatians? This is the word armaya, which was that derogatory term used of the Greeks. And we translated it at that time, a Greek-Gentile. The best derogatory term we could think of at the time. So there's neither Greek-Gentile nor Judean. Now why is that so significant? Because the Judeans considered anybody that wasn't a Judean to be a dirty old Greek-Gentile. And then "circumcision nor uncircumcision", because anybody that wasn't circumcised was obviously uncircumcised. Even some of the Judeans were not circumcised, and they went around checking. Then, "Barbarian, Scythian", now that one you don't quite understand maybe. "Bond nor free". A "bond" is a slave, bondslave or a freeman, that's a man that is not a slave. See the contrast there. And it was a greater honor in that culture as most cultures, to be a freeman than it was to be a slave. Now the two middle terms "Barbarian, Scythian". The word "Scythian" were Barbarians who were of a very notorious reputation, very savage among the Barbarians. However, the Aramaic has the word yaunaya, and that's the word that means Greek, the normal word for Greek, not a Greek-Gentile, not a derogatory term, but the normal word that means Greek. And it also inverts the order, so it has Greek nor Barbarian. Instead of Barbarian nor Scythian, it's Greek nor Barbarian. Now that makes sense. Because a Scythian is simply another type of Barbarian, a very rank kind, very notorious, savage. But the contrast between Greek and Barbarians was a similar situation as with Judean and Greek-Gentiles. Judeans considered anyone who was not a Judean to be a Greek-Gentile. The Greeks considered anyone who was not Greek, to be Barbarian. So the world is made up of two groups, Greeks and Barbarians. Today it's Catholics and non-Catholics or Romans. You know, the distinction, my group and the rest of the world. That's the distinction. Now believers and unbelievers that's pretty good. Anyway, this is from the Aramaic, Greek nor Barbarian.
Then "Christ is all". It doesn't matter if you're a Judean or a Greek-Gentile, circumcision or uncircumcision, Greek nor Barbarian, bond nor free...but Christ is all and in all in that new creation. In that new creation, you don't have any of that "respecter of persons" business, but Christ is all in all. Now that phrase "all in all" occurs three other times in the Greek New Testament in this exact form. I'll give them to you, you can check them later:
I Corinthians 12:6; 15:28, and Ephesians 1:23. And that phrase always means, all things in all members. Christ is all things in all members. Now there's a similar phrase in I Corinthians 10:33. It's not the same as this one but it's similar. And that one means all men in all things in
I Corinthians 10:33. Now you can check those others out later. But I want you to see it here, Christ is all things in all members. Because he's the one head of the Body and that's what they're having the problem with, having all those different heads, angels, devils, whatever, but Christ is all in all. It's not a matter of being Judean, Greek-Gentile, Greek or Barbarian, circumcision or uncircumcision, bond or free, Christ is all things in all members of the Body of Christ. He's the head, he's everything! Christ in you. So we translated that verse:
Colossians 3:11: (Literal)
In this [the new man] there is neither Judean nor Greek-Gentile, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision, neither Greek nor barbarian, neither slave nor freeman, but Christ is all things in all members.
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.
To "put on" is to be clothed with. It's the opposite of "put off" that you had in nine and it's the same word as "put on" in verse ten. So here is what you clothe yourself with. By the way, that word clothed with, is used of clothing yourself, of being clothed with the holy spirit inside, new birth. It's being clothed with the renewed mind, to put on the new man. And it's used of being clothed with a new body, when Christ returns. Those are the three ways it's used. So clothe yourselves therefore, put on, as the elect of God, holy and beloved. Holy and beloved and elect are all describing the believers. Of course, elect is called out. We're elect, we're holy and we're beloved. So you elect, holy and beloved ones, put on, number one, "bowels of mercies". "Bowels" being put for emotions, tenderness, compassion. "Mercy" meaning also tenderness or compassion. When these two words are used together, "bowels of mercies", they mean a tender compassion. A very beautiful tenderness, bowels, of course, being used of the bosom, like a mother holds her child in the bosom, the bowels. Tender compassion. "Kindness" or gentleness; it's one of the encouraging fruit in Galatians 5:22. The opposite of gentleness is severity; to be hard, critical. This means be gentle, put on gentleness. Another thing that came up this week about being gentle when you're in a leadership position to help people, instead of being hard. You've got to be loving. Now at times, it's necessary to reprove, but then also being loving with people. Otherwise you get this long- term anger that we had up above. You can't afford to do that. You'll lose people. "Humbleness of mind", humility. "Meekness", that's the action that corresponds with humility. Humbleness of mind is in the mind. Meekness is the action that goes along with it. "Longsuffering", that's that patience, where you don't fly off the handle real quick.
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another,...
"Forbearing", bearing with one another. You've got to let them step on your toes, until they grow up. And sometimes even after they grow up, you've got to let them step on your toes once in a while. And you also do what? Forgive one another.
...if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
All you have to do is remember what Christ forgave you for. You shouldn't have any trouble forgiving others, or putting up with, bearing, letting them step on your toes once in a while. But also forgiving, to forgive one another. And to have a quarrel against somebody. That word "quarrel" means a complaint, a formal cause of blaming someone. The old English word "quarrel" was used of a complaint or action in law which a plaintiff brought against a defendant. It talked about a "quarrel" in court. It meant a formal complaint they would bring against someone. That's the word "quarrel" in old English. So, we translated these two verses:
Colossians 3:12, 13: (Literal)
Therefore, as God's called out, holy and beloved, be clothed with tender compassion, gentleness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering,
bearing with one another and graciously forgiving one another. If any believer has a formal complaint against another believer, as Christ graciously forgave you, so you also graciously forgive.
And that's that word, I said was related to grace. Remember, we had it back in verse 13 of chapter two,...You being dead in your sins...having graciously forgiven you all trespasses. It's not the normal word for "remit" or "forgive". But it's the word that means to graciously remit or graciously forgive, because it's connected with the word for grace. And how did he do it? He took down that handwriting that was against you, doubled it and nailed it to his cross. He paid your debt for you. That's why it's graciously remitting or in this case, graciously forgiving, here in chapter three. You graciously forgive one another.
And above all [with all] these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
"Put on" is supplied by ellipsis, I've got to have a verb here. So the thing that we're dealing with in 12, 13 are things that you must put on, put on, to renew your mind, to be clothed with. So be clothed with or put on charity, agapē, which is the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation. With all the forgiveness, with all the gentleness, with all the other things of the renewed mind, you put on the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation, which is the bond. That's what holds it together, it's the glue. It's the rope around the sticks. You have a bundle of sticks, you have a rope around it. That's the bond that holds that group of sticks together. Well, we're more than sticks. And when you put all these things, utilize them in your life, you have gentleness, you have long-suffering, you forbear, you forgive. You've got to have the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation or it falls apart. That's what holds us together. That's the bond. "Of perfectness" which is in Aramaic the gmirutha. And that comes from what? Gmir, perfect, complete, mature. And the Greek word is teleiotēs. And that is that word that's used of those who are fully initiated, fully mature, that type of perfection. And it's a genitive of relation. The love of God is the bond which brings about perfection or maturity. It's the bond which leads to complete maturity in the one Body. Isn't that beautiful. We translated that verse:
Colossians 3:14: (Literal)
And with all these things be clothed with the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation which is the bond which brings full maturity and perfection.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
The word "God" is Christ in the Aramaic and most critical Greek texts. And the subject here has been the head, Christ. It's Christ in you in 1:27. They were not holding the head who was Christ. Christ is the head of the Body in chapter one. The subject is Christ in you the head of the Body. And it's that peace that pertains to Christ. You let that rule in your heart. The peace, because of the Christ in you. That's the peace you let rule in your hearts. By the way, I made a statement when we were in Philippians 4:7 that that was the only place that "peace of God" was used. The God of peace is used a number of times, but "peace of God", I said, was only used one other place and I thought to myself and I said, that can't be right. You remember that night? Well, I do. I was right the first time, that is the only place. This was the other thing I was thinking of. But it's "peace of Christ" in the text. You let the peace of Christ... So that means Philippians 4:7, that is the only place, that phrase, "peace of God" is used. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. The word "rule", the Greek word is brabeuō, and it means to umpire, as in a contest. We had katabrabeuō over in 2:18, which means to rule against, where an umpire rules against you and decides against you in the competition. And so you lose your rewards, you lose your prize. Well, here you let the peace of Christ be the umpire in your hearts. Let him make the decision. Let it make the ruling decisions in your hearts. To the which also, that's the peace to which you are called in how many bodies? One Body. And who is the head? Christ...is the head. That's the Mystery. What is Colossians correcting? Doctrinal error relative to the revelation given in the book of Ephesians, which is the one Body with Christ at the head of that one Body. And you are called in one Body. Here we're setting it back in order now. That's the Mystery. And be ye thankful. That word "thankfulness", whether it's the verb or noun, the idea of thankfulness is used six times in Colossians. The only other book in the New Testament that it's used more than that, is I Corinthians where it's used seven times but usually it's used there like, I thank God. Paul says, I thank God this, I thank God that. Here it's used not only in the first person, but also of the believers to be thankful. Six times. So it's more frequent here in Colossians than in any other epistles, or any other book as far as that goes. The first place is chapter one verse three. Where it says, "we give thanks". That's Paul and Timothy.
We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.
We're a part of the one Body and we give thanks for you. We do it and we're the example. So then you get down to verse 12. This is what you, the believers, are to do.
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet [adequate] to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.
Be thankful for your inheritance. For what He's given you. You the believer, be thankful for your inheritance. You've been delivered from darkness and so on, be thankful for your inheritance. And then in chapter two verse six.
Colossians 2:6, 7:
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
You're to abound in your walk with what? Thanksgiving. We give thanks. You should be thankful for the great inheritance and what God has delivered you from and to. But now, in your walk, abound with what? Thanksgiving. Abound with thanksgiving. Then you come to chapter three, verse 15. And at the end of this phrase.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be [what?] ye thankful.
Thankfulness is that which is going to keep that one Body together. It's already been done for you. Maybe the Judeans had to look for this. As I was looking at these words for thankfulness, in the Gospels I noticed that it's always used of giving thanks for food, except twice. One where the guy said, "I thank God I'm not like him." And the other one where Christ said, "I thank you", when he raised Lazarus from the dead, for showing him these things, remember that? Otherwise it was always used in the context of food, giving thanks for food, things they already had. We've already been given everything. That's why we're to abound in thanksgiving. Be thankful for your inheritance. Do you already have it? You bet your life you do. From God's standpoint they didn't, but the Church does. It's the one Body. Be thankful. You're called in that one Body. And then in verse 17, is the fifth one.
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus [Christ], giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Whatever you do, give thanks to God, the Father by him. You're to give thanks in everything you do. That's abounding with thanksgiving in your walk. In everything you do. And then in chapter four.
Colossians 4:2, 3:
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds.
Praying, watching in prayer with thanksgiving, withal praying for us, to speak the Mystery, that the Mystery gets spoken. If we don't speak it, how is it going to get spoke? Right? We've got to stir up the smoke. But you pray with thanksgiving and thank God for it moving. Because if the Mystery doesn't live and continue to live, there's not much hope for culture. You go back into the dark ages if there's no light. That's right. That's why we're thankful that the Mystery is moving in our day and time.
Look at the abundance of thanksgiving here in this book. The emphasis on thanksgiving. Because if you're not thankful for what you've already got, you won't hang on to that Mystery very long, the one Body with Christ at the head. You'll start looking for new things instead of being thankful for what you've got. You'll start dreaming up new theology, because you're not thankful for what Christ has already done for you. I think it's neat. Thankfulness is necessary for the continuance of the unity of the spirit in the one Body. And how do you give thanks well? By speaking in tongues. So speaking in tongues is here too. Well anyway.
Colossians 3:15: (Literal)
Let the peace of Christ preside in your hearts, to which [peace] you have been called out in one Body. And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Why doesn't it say the Word of God? What's the subject? The one head. Christ, the head of the Body. Christ in you. Let that word "pertaining to" Christ...if it'd be God, then that would be a genitive of origin. But it's the word pertaining to Christ, genitive of relation. "Dwell in you richly". Then, period. The phrase "in all wisdom" goes with the next part of the verse, "teaching and admonishing one another". That's where your next pause should be, after "another". Then, "in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs", goes with "singing with grace in your hearts". See it? Now, you let the word pertaining to Christ...it's that Christ in you that you let dwell in you richly. Then, "in all wisdom, teaching and confronting". I heard that word in the preface tonight, confronting one another in all wisdom. What's the wisdom we're dealing with here? The one Body, Christ is the head. That phrase "teaching and admonishing (or confronting)", neutheteō, confronting one another, is used back in chapter one verse 28.
Whom we preach, warning [confronting] every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
See, that same phrase. We preach Christ in you, "confronting and teaching" every man in all wisdom why? That we may cause every man to stand before God perfect, fully mature in Christ. So here, you let that word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and confronting one another in all wisdom. Why? So they can stand fully mature. In psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed...
In word or work, that's the action that corresponds. You have to have the word lined up with God's Word, and the action that corresponds with that. Word and work. Whatever you do.
...do [it] all in the name of the Lord Jesus [Christ], giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Lord Jesus Christ, in the Aramaic and some of the Greek manuscripts. And the name is your power of attorney. That's the ability...or that's how you get it done. That's your power of attorney. Giving thanks to Christ, praying to Christ. NO. You pray to whom? GOD. Give thanks to whom? GOD. In the name of whom? Jesus Christ. He's the head and that's your power of attorney, but your prayer life is directed to whom? God, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. He's the head of the Body. Giving thanks to God. The word "and" is not in Aramaic and it's not in some of the Greek texts and manuscripts. So, it's giving thanks to God the Father by him, or through him, Jesus Christ. Because that is our power of attorney. And he's the head of the Body. So we translated those last two verses.
Colossians 3:16, 17: (Literal)
Let the Word regarding Christ [in you] live within you richly. Teach and confront one another in all wisdom. Sing in psalms and hymns of praise and spiritual songs with grace in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or work, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God, the Father, through him.
This is the key, this section. It sounds like a lot of renewed mind. Well it is. It's the key though for the Mystery living, continuing to thrive in our day and time. To set your affections, your thoughts on things above. You earnestly desire those things above and you set your thoughts on those things above. And if it's necessary to set out certain members, mortify them, then do it, remove them. Those that are practicing idolatry. But you also, if you're going to maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, you've got to put off these things and be clothed with the new man. Put on the new man. Be clothed with kindness, gentleness, meekness, long-suffering, forbearing, forgiving and with all of it, put on what? The love of God in the renewed mind. And then verse fifteen. Let the peace of Christ preside in your hearts, to which you've been called out in one Body and be thankful. Let the word of Christ live within you richly. Teach and confront one another in all wisdom. Sing in psalms and hymns of praise and spiritual songs with grace in your hearts to God. Because we've got something to sing about.
Colossians 3:17: (Literal)
Whatever you do in word or work, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God, the Father, through him.
Father, we surely are grateful for the Mystery that you've set in our midst and that we can walk upon your Word and cause the Mystery to thrive in our day and time. As our lips speak in forth and as our minds so renew to your Word that we can be examples, Father, of the Mystery living in this day and time with Christ, the one head of the Body, living in our hearts. Thank you Father in the name of your son Jesus Christ. Amen! God bless you!