Thursday, February 9, 2012

Suggestion or command?

I had a thought this morning. It's an application of some of what was discussed in my Romans class yesterday. The topic in question was regarding things in the New Testament, Romans specifically in this instance, that are commanded to be done but can and are regarded as suggestions to moral living or rejected/ignored because they don't fit a personal paradigm of life.
In class the point was made in regard to being filled with the Holy Spirit, that it's a commanded aspect to the faith. I won't get to much into that because views differ on what that means and many aspects of the filling. The verses that struck with me on this are from Colossians 3.

Colossians 3

Put On the New Self

1Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
5Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. 8But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. 9Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— 11a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.
12So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
Family Relations
18Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. 20Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. 21Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.
22Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 24knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. 25For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.

I tried to pin point a verse or few that hit me, but as I reread the chapter, the entirety of it is a command toward holy living.
There's a fine line of understanding with this though, while it is our responsibility to live in the manner discussed in the passage it it not by our strength or will to do it. It can happen that way and unfortunately for many the precepts are followed in fleshly strength. The means of the walking in holiness is through the working of God in life. The closer a person becomes with God, the more the evidences of holiness will be in life.
It's a burden that none of us should have to carry but is far too often taken upon our selves to get where we're supposed to be. uff - da that makes me sad, because I've felt the weight of it on my shoulders and while it works...seems to work for a while it doesn't last and after things fall apart it may seem/will be worse then prior to the understanding coming into a life.
I know that was a tangent but I think it needed to be covered because the passage in Colossians and many others through out the Bible are commands but the full walking out of those commands can only happen through a Spirit - filled, Spirit - led life.