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Home » Get It Right – Colossians 3 正しく理解する-コロサイ人への手紙3

Get It Right – Colossians 3 正しく理解する-コロサイ人への手紙3

Some passages of the Bible are so wonderful, so rich, that I just feel like reading them to you and walking away, thinking that there is simply nothing I can add to the words.

Colossians 3 is one such chapter. I’d like to read it to you (v1-17) with all my heart. Please listen to it with all your heart.

Then I will teach a little from it. (It’s quite long, so initially Japanese people please just read from the screen.)

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b] 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:1-17

This passage begins with the encouragement to keep our minds set on the things above, not of the earth.
With work, family and even ministry matters, this is a daily discipline.
But it is the attitude in verse 4 which is striking and equips us for this task. でも、この天に重きをおくということを私たちに教えてくれているのが4節です。
It says that Jesus “is your life”. 
This is who we are.
If you see yourself primarily as a teacher, a student, a mother, a father, a sinner or an egg farmer, then you are living under a false identity.
Because the very essence of your life is Christ.
You are a child of God.
That is first and foremost who you are.
このことは なによりも最優先にあなたの身分を表しています。
Remember that when you are tempted in the ways of the world.
Your mind is to be on the things above because your identity is in Christ above.

Therefore, the next section tells us, we are to put to death our earthly nature.  
従って、次の箇所ではこのように書かれています。 地上の肢体を殺してしまわないといけません。
We are not to tone it down, balance it out, regulate it or keep it for the weekends.
We are to put our old nature to the death.
Don’t be timid about this. There is actually a place for spiritual violence here!

There are two specific areas highlighted for riddance in this passage.
The first is sexual. The second is verbal. 
“Sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed” are all part of the same idolatrous package.
The world excels at justifying all of them.
For the young singles here today, you probably have it harder than any other generation that has ever lived on the earth and that is really saying something.
But that doesn’t give you any greater justification for sexual sin.
The call to godly purity is upon you.

Purity is the probably the most undervalued and misunderstood virtue in the world today.
Christian psychologist Gary Collins comments that, “For many, sex no longer is something that may be right or wrong; it is little more than a pleasurable way for two people to interact with each other”.
He concludes that, “Sexual perversion has become the major example of the sin and moral sickness that characterize modern human beings.”
But if you think the Bible is prudish about sexual matters, I challenge you to read the Song of Songs aloud to your parents or your children and not blush.
しかし、 もしあなたが、聖書が性的なことに高潔で上品ぶっていると思っているなら、聖書の雅歌などは両親や子ども達に読み上げるのも恥ずかしくなるような性的なことがたくさん書かれています。
It’s not about repression. It’s about correct and healthy expression and that is what marriage is for.

“Anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language” is the second package especially marked for killing off.
This passage reminds us that there is nothing modern about sexual immorality or verbal abuse.
They are age-old human problems.
Jesus teaches us in John 10 that the work of the devil is to steal, kill and destroy.
These twin packages (sexual immorality or verbal abuse) are his favourite and most effective tools for doing that.
The quickest and most thorough way to destroy relationships with each other and with God is through sexual immorality and verbal abuse.

How do we do this?
How do we kill off the old earthly nature?
We put on a new self which is being renewed by the Holy Spirit.
Do you see the partnership here?
We take action to put on a new self.
We don’t just sit back and wait for God to do it all.
There must be intent – repentance and faith – on our part.
That’s our role in the transformation.
But this new self is continually being renewed by the Holy Spirit.
That is the work of God. That is God’s role and it is a role that only He can do.

So far we’ve looked at what not to do – the old nature that we have to kill off.
This is necessary but sounds a little negative.
Anshin shite kudasai. 安心してください。
There is a whole set of positive characteristics for us to take on:

“Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
I want you to take a moment to silently rate yourself with a score out of 10 for each of these qualities. Which do you score highly in?
Which do you give yourself a low score in?
(Did anyone give themselves a high score for humility?!)
Why is your score for some characteristics lower than others?

Does anyone know who this is? [image] 
This is James Fallon.
He is Prof. of psychiatry and human behaviour at University of California, Irvine.
He has done a lot of research on psychopaths.
He studied the brains of many known psychopaths and compared them to ‘normal’ people to study the differences in the makeup of the brain.
彼はたくさんの数の精神異常者の脳の構造を研究し 健常な人の脳と比較して何が違うのかを研究しました。
And the differences were very clear to see.
In taking some random samples of brains, he used a number of his own family members and was surprised to find that some of his own family members had psychopathic brain structures.
But what really surprised him was that one family member ticked every box for psychopathic traits in the brain – and that was himself.
Prof Fallon is a complete psychopath.
But that doesn’t make him an ax murderer.
It means he functions very poorly socially and has virtually no natural empathy for anyone around him.
But he is still a high achiever who has learnt to cope with his condition.
(By the way, it’s estimated that as many as ⅓ of U.S. Presidents have been psychopaths. So there’s still hope if Trump wins the election!)
But what is important for us here today is one of the conclusions Fallon came to as a result of his study:

“I found out I was completely wrong about the science, which was a bitter pill to swallow, ‘cause I had thought everything was driven by genetics – biology – and I didn’t think nurture had anything to do with it…[but] if you’re brought up in a nurturing environment, you can offset the biology.”

Prof Fallon is confirming Biblical truth.
We are new creations in Christ. The regenerative, nurturing work of God’s love through the Holy Spirit can offset any biological tendencies.

This means, apart from many other traits, if you scored low in compassion or kindness or gentleness or patience, it might be because of your genetic makeup.

But in Christ, you are not limited to your genetic makeup.
There is no ‘shoganai’ in Christ when it comes to our characters!

These characteristics are not gifts of the Spirit for select people.
They are general characteristics – fruits of the Holy Spirit – for all believers.
So we are told to “Clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

One of the key areas to facilitate this clothing of godly character comes in the next verse and prepares us also for communion which we will have shortly.
13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.
It’s very hard to have compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience if we are holding onto unforgiveness.
So Forgive as the Lord forgave you.14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
だから、主もあなたがたをゆるして下さったのだから、そのように、あなたがたもゆるし合いなさい。 これらいっさいのものの上に、愛を加えなさい。愛は、すべてを完全に結ぶ帯である。
Let me finish with verse 16.
16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
There is a three-fold calling in this verse: 
Know the Word well. Learn from it daily and let it dwell in you richly. 
御言葉をよく知る さらに学び、日々、豊かに御言葉が私たちに宿りますように。
Mentor one another. Last year we talked a lot about discipleship.
   互いに教えあう   昨年は弟子修行のことについてたくさんお話をしました。
There is a real need for both small group studies and support and also for one-to-one mentoring/discipleship.
小さな勉強会と一対一の弟子修行の勉強の グループにとって支援が必要です。
If you are not mentoring and/or being mentored, then you are lacking.
I would like us to work on this and make it a priority.
Prepare for this in your hearts as well as your schedule.

Sing to God with gratitude in your heart.

Let’s do that now.