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It's Good!

All Things Rise  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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In an age of chaos, disharmony, disunity, alienation, and an overall resignation that the universe is on the decline, our human longing is to return to everything being good again. The Good News is that Jesus, the complete firstborn and co-creator, nature and character bearing presence of God, inheritor of everything that has been created, reconciled/restored all of it to God through his blood making it good (controlled by love). To be controlled by love is to no longer live to please self and to no longer see, think of and speak of others according to the external sphere of human standards.

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Introduction

JB: The Chaos that is my Life.
How we define chaos: Complete disorder or confusion.
Signs life is unraveling…is it holding together or coming apart at the seams?
Experience it in every area of our existence: friendships, marriages, work, roads, shopping, natural world, government, etc.
Chaos exists everywhere - in systems, relationships, the human body, nature, the universe.

Chaos Theory

Colossians is a letter of encouragement and instruction that begins by taking us back in order understand the present so that we can move into the future.
Balance is that place we fly through as we swing from one extreme to the other. Scott Carmode
What things were like
Nature is complex and the only prediction we can make is that it’s unpredictable.
What things are like
Scott Carmode
What things will be like
Chaos Theory attempts to capture the beauty of the unpredictable and display it in the most awesome patterns.
Creation

Creation

Nature is complex and the only prediction we can make is that it’s unpredictable.
Chaos Theory studies complex systems and attempts to capture the beauty of the unpredictable and display it in the most awesome patterns.
Nature: The earth’s weather system
How water boils on a stove
Bird migration patterns
Economics
Politics
Relationships
Complex systems often appear too random and chaotic to recognize a pattern with the naked eye but there is an underlying order we may not see…and a causal agent behind it.

Creation: It’s Good

Edward Lorenz, The Essence of Chaos
Anyone who has ever tried his hand at releasing a pinball with just the right velocity to make it repeat the desired trajectory knows that it cannot be done except on apparently random occasions. It's not that the pinball's path is random, it's just that the resultant trajectory is extremely sensitive to slight variations in initial conditions-striking a pin just a few thousandths of an inch to the left or right of the previous occurrence, can cause a deflection in a completely different direction.
First stage of creation - God, the initiator, the driving force brought something out of nothing and giving it order.
Chaos and stability are actually working together.
Created perfect
Created for the purpose of his glory, his possession, his use
AND IT WAS GOOD.

What Went Wrong

Genesis: The created order had stability systemically and relationally. Chaos didn’t go away - order came from it. Chaos and stability were actually working together.
Nature
With God and each other

Torn Apart

Symphony - chaos is present but subdued, surrendered to the structure of the music and instrumentation. As long as the ensemble follows the lead of the conductor, the music is beautiful, harmonious as the players are performing in unity almost as if with one voice.
A rehearsal is practice getting everyone on the same page with the conductor so that the performance can be a thing of beauty to be enjoyed by all.
In the end, The Conductor by his own self-limiting nature knows that anything can happen.
Human desire and choice to march to the beat of a different drummer and step outside that order led to a tear in the order making all of creation unstable and chaos to once again take over.
Music tear in an ensemble.
Theory of Everything film about Stephen Hawking. Quest to explain all reality with one single theory.
Everything in the universe is a grand cosmic symphony. The big question is: Who’s conducting?
Nature
Theory of Everything: Everything in the universe is a grand cosmic symphony. Who’s conducting?
With God and each other
A rehearsal is practice getting everyone on the same page with the conductor so that the performance can be a thing of beauty to be enjoyed by all.
In the end, The Conductor by his own self-limiting nature knows that anything can happen.
Human desire and choice to march to the beat of a different drummer and step outside that order led to a tear in the order making all of creation unstable and chaos to once again take over.
God sometimes allows a return to chaos as a form of judgment.
Theory of Everything film about Stephen Hawking. Quest to explain all reality with one single theory.
The conductor
Everything in the universe is a grand cosmic symphony. Who’s conducting?
God sometimes allows a return to chaos as a form of judgment.

Chaos Doesn’t Reign

Elusive Balance

Illusion of Balance

Our idea of getting out of chaos is finding balance.
[SLIDE] Balance is that place we fly through as we swing from one extreme to the other. Scott Carmode

Chaos Theory

Scientific lit - random and disordered but controlled by natural laws.
God sometimes allows a return to chaos as a form of judgment.

Illusion of Balance

Chaos Doesn’t Reign: Remaking Creation

, ‘When all things began, the Word already was’. The eternal pre-existence of Jesus, the Son of God means he holds supreme rank.
16 -
God the Father was working in the Son to eventually remake the world and its power structures so that they reflect his glory instead of human arrogance.
God will eventually remake the world and its power structures so that they reflect his glory instead of human arrogance. That is why he can speak both of the reconciliation of the ‘powers’ and also of God’s victory in Christ over them as hostile forces (2:15). God plans for an eventual complete harmony, new heavens and new earth. All evil is to be destroyed through the cosmic outworking of the crucifixion: all creation is to be transformed in the cosmic results of the resurrection.
Christ’s Victory over the powers/forces and their structures hostile to the Father
They are then reconciled to him.
the passive ‘were created’ indicates, in a typically Jewish fashion, the activity of God the Father, working in the Son. To say ‘by’, here and at the end of verse 16, could imply, not that Christ is the Father’s agent, but that he was alone responsible for creation.
That is why he can speak both of the reconciliation of the ‘powers’ and also of God’s victory in Christ over them as hostile forces (2:15).
God plans for an eventual complete harmony, new heavens and new earth.
All evil is to be destroyed through the cosmic outworking of the crucifixion: all creation is to be transformed in the cosmic results of the resurrection.
Main point of the poem: the parallel between creation and the new creation - accomplished by the same agent.

Atonement/Redemption/Reconciliation/Forgivemenss

Atonement

If you don’t agree with the idea of sin, none of this makes sense.
In Jesus, God's fullness lived and through Christ all things (creation) was reconciled to God by the blood of his cross.
Blood - sacrifice which makes peace between God and man
Symbol of God’s new covenant which is at the heart of the new creation.
On the cross, God took upon himself that which stood as a barrier between himself and his human creatures, i.e. sin and removed it.
[SLIDE] OT - To wipe out, erase, cover, remove.
In Christian thought, the act by which God and man are brought together in personal relationship.
A separation/alienation that needs to be overcome if humans are to know and have fellowship with Go.
As a term expressing relationship, atonement is tied closely to such terms as reconciliation and forgiveness.
As a term expressing relationship, atonement is tied closely to such terms as reconciliation and forgiveness.

Atonement

Creation is God’s work—Christ’s work: though spoilt by sin, it still belongs to God and God still has plans for it. Redemption is not an invasion from a different or hostile realm. The Lord of this world has come to claim his rightful possession.
Christ is our sacrifice and our representative.
In Him, God’s fulness dwells - God took up permanent residence in Christ.
Jesus is the image, reflection in nature, character, essence of, tangible presence of God.
Jesus is the image, reflection in nature, character, essence of, tangible presence of God.

Christ was the First Born

Firstborn - the principle, source, creative initiative.
Highest rank
Inheritor of all of it
He entered the world in a particular time in history and yet was the first born of all creation. Creation being created by being birthed of God of which Jesus was the first of it.
The one who was birthed first (assuming the him is Jesus and not God) is responsible for the rest of creation - heaven, earth, authorities, rulers, kingdoms - everything was created through him and here's the interesting part: FOR HIM.
The one who was birthed first is responsible for the rest of creation - heaven, earth, authorities, rulers, kingdoms - everything was created through him and here's the interesting part: FOR HIM.
In Jesus, God's fullness lived and through Christ all things (creation) was reconciled to God by the blood of his cross.
Blood - sacrifice which makes peace between God and man
On the cross, God took upon himself that which stood as a barrier between himself and his human creatures, i.e. sin. The worst that sin can do is to kill: dying, Jesus exhausted its power. The word ‘blood’ also suggests the ideas of the sacrifice which makes peace between God and man and of God’s new covenant, which stands at the heart of the new creation. (See further on 1:22; 2:11–15, where this summary statement of the achievement of the cross is considerably amplified.)
Symbol of God’s new covenant which is at the heart of the new creation.
Jesus is the image, reflection in nature, character, essence of, tangible presence of God.
On the cross, God took upon himself that which stood as a barrier between himself and his human creatures, i.e. sin and removed it.
The worst that sin can do is to kill. in dying, Jesus exhausted its power.
The word ‘blood’ also suggests the ideas of the sacrifice which makes peace between God and man and of God’s new covenant, which stands at the heart of the new creation. (See further on 1:22; 2:11–15, where this summary statement of the achievement of the cross is considerably amplified.)
He entered the world at a particular time in history however he was first born (not created) of all creation. Interesting. The concept of creation being birthed by God of which Jesus was the first - despite not being named in Genesis.
The one who was birthed first (assuming the him is Jesus and not God) is responsible for the rest of creation - heaven, earth, authorities, rulers, kingdoms - everything was created through him and here's the interesting part: FOR HIM.
Priority
Preeminence
Inheritance
Heir of all things.
The redemption achieved in Christ is indeed the new Genesis: the church really is the new humanity (3:10–11).

To Bring Reconciliation

Because the relationship: unity and harmony of the cosmos has been disrupted, torn, it requires reconciliation by removing the offense/barrier that led to the breakdown.
SLIDE] The act of restoring a relationship that had become hostile and alienated to harmony by removing the offence that led to the disruption of peace and harmony.
The act of restoring a relationship that had become hostile and alienated to harmony by removing the offence that led to the disruption of peace and harmony.
Objective: Restore the original unity the whole universe of things to himself by reconciling access to himself.
so as to have reconciled access to himself.
re-establishing of a mutual relationship when we are in Christ
Not just humanity rx with God but Total new creation
He removes it by the blood of Jesus that Justice requires for restoration
Re
He takes away by the blood of Jesus the barrier which God’s justice interposes against man’s being in union with God (cf. note, ; , ).
In Jesus, God's fullness lived and through Christ all things (creation) was reconciled to God by the blood of his cross.
Blood - sacrifice which makes peace between God and man
Symbol of God’s new covenant which is at the heart of the new creation.
Reconciliation.
Symbol of God’s new covenant which is at the heart of the new creation.
On the cross, God took upon himself that which stood as a barrier between himself and his human creatures, i.e. sin and removed it.
Secondly, ‘reconciliation’, the re-establishing of a mutual relationship, cannot occur ‘automatically’ in the world of human relations from which the metaphor is drawn. In theological terms, reconciliation occurs ‘when someone is in Christ’
The worst that sin can do is to kill. in dying, Jesus exhausted its power.

Forgiveness

[SLIDE] Wiping out of an offense from memory.
No longer impacts the relationship and harmony of what was broken is restored.
No more resentment easing to feel resentment
Ceasing to feel resentment for wrongs and offenses; pardon, involving restoration of broken relationships. Primarily, forgiveness is an act of God, releasing sinners from judgment and freeing them from the divine penalty of their sin.
Release from the past, judgment and freeing us from the living with guilt so we can live.
Declared and treated as righteous
Living in peaceful fellowship and communion with the Father.
Blood - sacrifice which makes peace between God and man
Symbol of God’s new covenant which is at the heart of the new creation.
On the cross, God took upon himself that which stood as a barrier between himself and his human creatures, i.e. sin and removed it.

What if I don’t Buy it?

Explain the human condition another way.
Haven’t experienced it.
It reflects the character of God as one who pardons and enters into a meaningful relationship with his creature, producing a change in human relationship with him. This has been done in the costly anguish of the cross of Christ.
2. It expresses the efficacy of divine atonement in the reconciliation of man with God. Those who truly realize their condition as sinners know that God can remove sin and redeem sinners. This must be experienced, not just comprehended intellectually. In Christ’s death, sin is condemned and absolutely judged, and yet Christ bears the penalty on our behalf by his sacrifice.
3. For the apostle Paul the bare concept of forgiveness did not convey deeply enough the full consequences. Instead, he speaks of being justified. To be “treated as righteous” is a rich consequence of forgiveness (), a gift of God’s grace (3:24), a present experience () for those who have a faith relationship with Christ (). Thus justification is the positive relationship that forgiveness provides.
4. Forgiveness implies that God has reconciled man to himself (). The outcome is peace with God (; ), a reconciliation accomplished by the cross (). This is the implication of all the references to being justified, reconciled, and trusting in . It also includes the idea of divine sonship (, ; ).
5. Forgiveness includes the theme of fellowship with God the Father (), Son (), and Holy Spirit (). It is expressed in the Pauline phrase “in Christ” or “in the Lord” (used some 164 times), indicating a profound relationship of communion and union with God. Forgiveness as reconciliation and restoration to fellowship with God comprehends, in effect, the whole nature of the Christian life. Sanctification is its fruit, and glorification is its objective. In forgiveness, God ultimately remains God, and the erring sinner is brought home to the Father who has eternally loved him.
The Lord through whom you are redeemed is the one through whom you and all the world were created.
the new life in Christ is nothing less than the beginning of the new creation. And, if new creation, new humanity. Christians already share in the new age which began on Easter Day. This facilitates and enhances our full humanity.
Blood - sacrifice which makes peace between God and man
Symbol of God’s new covenant which is at the heart of the new creation.
On the cross, God took upon himself that which stood as a barrier between himself and his human creatures, i.e. sin and removed it.

Christ Holds It Together

How the Universe is Held Together - Larry Elie
Right combination of attraction, repulsion, vibration, etc. Many theories. The Theory of Everything
“I don't think we have a 'real' understanding because everything science knows short of quantum entanglement moves no faster than the speed of light. Speed implies time. Light has a speed limit but God does not. I read "Let there be light" as; "Let there be a construct in which light can exist." That construct would be energy, matter and time. Without all 3 existing (and probably a lot more), there can be no light of any kind.  You need everything at once or nothing can work at all.
How are cultures, societies, etc held together?
How is t
What holds our global geopolitical environment together so that we don’t destroy one another completely?
NO ONE KNOWS.

Christ was the First Born

Firstborn - the principle, source, creative initiative.
Highest rank/Authority given to him by the Father over the universe and all of creation of which he the first.
Inheritor of all of it
The one who was birthed first is responsible for the rest of creation - heaven, earth, authorities, rulers, kingdoms - everything was created through him and here's the interesting part: FOR HIM.
Jesus is the image, reflection in nature, character, essence of, tangible presence of God.
Creation being created by being birthed of God of which Jesus was the first of it.
Blood - sacrifice which makes peace between God and man
He entered the world at a particular time in history however he was first born (not created) of all creation. Interesting. The concept of creation being birthed by God of which Jesus was the first - despite not being named in Genesis.
Symbol of God’s new covenant which is at the heart of the new creation.
On the cross, God took upon himself that which stood as a barrier between himself and his human creatures, i.e. sin and removed it.
The worst that sin can do is to kill. in dying, Jesus exhausted its power.
The one who was birthed first (assuming the him is Jesus and not God) is responsible for the rest of creation - heaven, earth, authorities, rulers, kingdoms - everything was created through him and here's the interesting part: FOR HIM.
The Universe
Right combination of attraction, repulsion, vibration
So, he is before everything (preeminence) and his essence, character, holds everything in the universe together (scientific implications).
Firstborn not just of creation but also of those who will be raised from the dead on the last day.
Priority
Preeminence
“I don't think we have a 'real' understanding because everything science knows short of quantum entanglement moves no faster than the speed of light. Speed implies time. Light has a speed limit but God does not. I read "Let there be light" as; "Let there be a construct in which light can exist." That construct would be energy, matter and time. Without all 3 existing (and probably a lot more), there can be no light of any kind.  You need everything at once or nothing can work at all.
 It's a simple statement better understood as; "Let there be a construct in which light can exist." That construct would be energy, matter and time. Without all 3 existing (and probably a lot more), there can be no light of any kind. Electromagnetic energy (light and the like) are totally entangled with time, which may sound odd, but it's clearly true. You can't have light without decay (not the sort of decay most young-earth creationist talk about, of rotting organic matter) of energy levels of atoms. Atoms of course are matter, but they also are tied to energy.  You need everything at once or nothing can work at all.
Inheritance
the subject of fulness represents God in his fulness. Christ holds pre-eminence because God in his fulness took up permanent residence in Christ. There is one God in all his fulness, dwelling in the human Christ.
God is intimate with his world.
the subject of fulness represents God in his fulness. Christ holds pre-eminence because God in his fulness took up permanent residence in Christ. There is one God in all his fulness, dwelling in the human Christ.

The Universe

Authority of Jesus. Given by the Father, over the universe.
Creation - The universe (object) that God brought into existence.

Lord of All: He Holds It Together

All Things
things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities.
Wherever you look, or whatever realities you think of, you discover entities which, even if they do not acknowledge the fact, owe their very existence to Christ. They are his handiwork. Paul has here chosen to mention especially what we today call the power structures of the universe.
Because it belongs to him all the parts of it are composed into a cohesive and enduring, complete, whole.
Held Together - to become composed of many parts into a cohesive and enduring whole.
Fullness - completeness, divine possession, satisfied soul. Wholly filled, dense, think, to complete.
The elements
The good and the evil - both are subject to Christ the creator.
Those authorities, governments, parents, etc - human entities and institutions that have control over others - held in trust from the creator.
International power politics or economic ‘structures’ that are subject to Christ as creator.
Authorities - Person with the ability to exercise administrative control over others.
Supernatural powers. The various powers that govern human life and stand between God and us.
It then means the “right,” “authority,” “permission” conferred by a higher court: a. the possibility granted by government; b. the right in various social relationships, e.g., that of parents, masters, or owners.
Unseen forces working in the world through pagan religion, astrology, or magic, or through the oppressive systems that enslaved or tyrannized human beings.
unseen forces working in the world through pagan religion, astrology, or magic, or through the oppressive systems that enslaved or tyrannized human beings.
Though the powers are now in rebellion, he remains their true Lord.
C. The NT Concept of exousía. The NT concept rests on three foundations. First, the power indicated is the power to decide. Second, this decision takes place in ordered relationships, all of which reflect God’s lordship. Third, as a divinely given authority to act, exousía implies freedom for the community.
2. God’s exousía may be seen in the sphere of nature (). Natural forces derive their power from God (; , , ; ; ).
3. God’s will also encompasses Satan’s sphere of dominion (; ). The final mystery of evil is not its power but the fact that this hostile power may still be encompassed by God’s overruling (; , ; ).
4. In relation to Christ’s person and work exousía denotes the divinely given right and power to act along with the related freedom (; ). This is a cosmic power but with a special human reference (; ; ; : at the judgment). The historical Jesus claims exousía within the limits of his commission, e.g., to forgive sins (), to expel demons (), and to teach (; ; ; ). This power is inseparable from the imminence of the kingdom; with the presence of him who exercises it, the kingdom itself draws near.
5.
6. A special NT use, usually with archaí etc., is for supernatural powers. We do not find this in Hellenism or Gnosticism, but cf. Asc. ; , etc. and Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, as well as Christian Gnostics and the apocryphal Acts. The concept developed on Jewish soil. exousíai are cosmic powers, distinct from daímones but not clearly different from archaí. Paul combines the Jewish idea of the forces that rule nature with the Hellenistic notion of the nexus of destiny embracing the whole cosmos. There are thus various powers that govern human life and stand between God and us. They share the carnal nature of creation but also the fact that it is created in and for Christ (). There is thus tension but no dualism, and the powers can never separate us from Christ.

Lord of All

In his view, earthly rulers held authority (in the sense intended by ; ) only as a trust from the creator. At the same time, we should not ignore the supernatural or ‘demonic’ element in these ‘powers’. Anything to which human beings offer the allegiance proper only to God is capable of assuming, and exerting, a sinister borrowed power. For Paul, the ‘powers’ were unseen forces working in the world through pagan religion, astrology, or magic, or through the oppressive systems that enslaved or tyrannized human beings. (See below, on 2:13–15.)
Paul stresses that even the spiritual powers and authorities, whether good or bad, are all subject to Christ as Creator. Four classes are listed, thrones, powers, rulers and authorities: from the highest to the lowest all were created in him, through him and for him. The teaching that Christ is the ultimate goal of all creation (all things were created forhim) has no parallel in the Jewish Wisdom Literature or indeed any other Jewish source.
Dominions - Lordships, authorities; a person who exercises administrative control/power over others.
kýrios. Historically the concept of lordship combines the two elements of power and authority.
Gerhard Kittel, Gerhard Friedrich, and Geoffrey William Bromiley, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 1985), 486.
The adjective kýrios, from a root “to swell,” “to be strong,” means a. “having power,” “empowered,” “authorized,” “valid.” The power denoted is a power of control rather than physical strength. Laws are valid, persons are authorized or competent, and rulers may have a powerful impact.
Through him it is held together - sustained, prevented from falling into chaos.
Gerhard Kittel, Gerhard Friedrich, and Geoffrey William Bromiley, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 1985), 487.
A. Ordinary Greek Usage.
1. This word denotes first the “ability” to perform an action.
2. It then means the “right,” “authority,” “permission” conferred by a higher court: a. the possibility granted by government; b. the right in various social relationships, e.g., that of parents, masters, or owners.
3. Since the authority under 2. is illusory without real power, the term approximates at times to dýnamis, but with the distinction that dýnamis denotes external power but exousía has a more inward reference.
4. The term may then denote self-asserted freedom or caprice in antithesis to law (with hýbris as a parallel). Yet legal order is usually the context.
No power structures are, however, independent of Christ.
17 - Through him it is held together - sustained, prevented from falling into chaos.
The Church
In the original hymn: He is the head, sustainer of the universe and the unifying principle of its life. Apart from his continuous sustaining activity all would fall apart.
Paul reinterpreted later to speak of the church.
He is our authority and our source for life and power. As his body, we are vitalized by his abiding presence and risen life.
It is to this Jesus Christ that the Colossians now belong in belonging to the church.
A world-wide body of mutually dependent people drawn to and held together by Christ.

New Creation

v. 18 This is the moment when, according to the careful structure of the poem, the thought moves from creation to new creation.
Paul starts where the Colossians are, as members of the one world-wide people of God. If God’s people are the new humanity, the metaphor of a human body is utterly appropriate to express not only mutual interdependence (as in ; .) but also, as here, an organic and dependent relation to Christ himself.
Jesus’ resurrection was thus accomplished so that in everything he might have the supremacy. God’s plan is not merely to shore up the old creation, but to inaugurate the new creation.
With Jesus’ resurrection, the new age has dawned.
He is the founder of a new humanity with a new purpose of reconciling love
Christ’s resurrection will be reenacted by a rather large company of others on the final day.
Church is not some universal congregation, scattered throughout the world, to which all believers belong, but a heavenly assembly, gathered around Christ.
We are members of this gathering in heaven, because of their fellowship with him.
behind Jesus’ resurrection there stands the divine purpose, which is now explained as a purpose of reconciling love.
The resurrection age = guarantee of future resurrection of others.
His headship points to a close personal and living relationship with them in which he rules over his people in the way that the head of a body exercises influence over its various parts. Head-ship also refers to their total dependence on him for life and power. Church is not some universal congregation, scattered throughout the world, to which all believers belong, but a heavenly assembly, gathered around Christ. Even as they go about their ordinary daily tasks, all Christians are members of this gathering in heaven, because of their fellowship with him. Christ is the beginning in the sense that he is the firstborn from among the dead, i.e. the founder of a new humanity. The resurrection age has burst forth and as the first who has risen from among the dead (here firstborn means first in a series) he is the ‘firstfruits’ who guarantees the future resurrection of others (, ). The ‘hymn’ had previously spoken of Christ’s primacy in creation; it now mentions his primacy in resurrection. In both new creation and old the supremacy now belongs to him alone.
If the Colossians, who had gratefully turned away from their pagan ‘gods’ in becoming Christians, can understand this, they will not want to go back or look to others [Judaism] for protection against the pagan ‘principalities and powers’.

It is Good

Jesus, the complete firstborn and co-creator, nature and character bearing presence of God, inheritor of everything that has been created, reconciled/restored all of it to God through his blood
Jesus, the complete firstborn and co-creator, nature and character bearing presence of God, inheritor of everything that has been created, WHO reconciled/restored all of it to God through his blood
[SLIDE] Making it good - controlled by love.
To be controlled by love is according to to no longer live to please self and to no longer see, think of and speak of anyone according to demeaning human standards.
:The love of Christ controls us...those who live might no longer live for themselves for for him who died for their sake. We don't regard anyone according to the the demeaning human standards.
To be controlled by love is to no longer live to please self and to no longer see, think of and speak of others according to demeaning human standards.
sárx denotes those who measure by their own standards and not God’s. In 2:13 the Gentiles are in view; their sin comes out in licentiousness (3:5). In 1:22 the body of flesh is Christ’s crucified body, but in 2:11 (cf. 2:18) it denotes the body that is to be put off in the circumcision of Christ.
Paul - the whole physical existence, the earthly sphere.
Jesus, the complete firstborn and co-creator, nature and character bearing presence of God, inheritor of everything that has been created, reconciled/restored all of it to God through his blood making it good (controlled by love). To be controlled by love is to no longer live to please self and to no longer see, think of and speak of others according to the external sphere of human standards.
He (not the Law) is the Father’s agent in the world. He (not an abstract divine ‘Wisdom’) is supreme over the nations and their ‘gods’. For him, not for Israel, all things were created. This is the fundamental emphasis of the poem within the letter as a whole.

New Creation

The poem leaves the church, and the world, not just with a picture of the exalted Christ, but with a vision of the gracious, loving and beckoning creator-redeemer God.
To be controlled by love means we understand there is no sphere of existence over which Jesus does not rule.
As Imago Dei: You and I were designed to express his rule as we live in and steward/rule in love over creation.
To speak and live the Gospel truth to the idolatry of the world and supernatural powers, authorities, oppressive systems with prayer, discernment, humility and wisdom
Bring Christ’s Lordship to bear on every area of human and worldly existence
Work to help create conditions in which human beings, and the whole created world, can live as God always intended.
The church has the authority from Christ to be this…to do this. Therefore it is our responsibility.
God will eventually remake the heavens and earth and its power structures so that they reflect his glory instead of human arrogance.
The total impact and final result of the crucifixion has not yet happened - all of evil will be destroyed.
The total impact and final result of the resurrection has yet to take place when all creation is transformed.
If our society isn’t reflecting goodness, maybe Christians like us need to be penetrating it differently than we are.
, he is already Lord, his new creation has begun and all are called to surrender to him.
Authority means freedom in God’s kingdom for

The New Creation

the main thing that the gospel was bound to attack, was idolatry. Anything put in the place of the one God of all the earth becomes an idol, be it never so useful, beautiful or sacred. Even the God-given Torah could become an idol: how much more the man-made political and economic systems of Paul’s world or ours. To apply the gospel to the idolatry of our modern world will take more prayer, discernment, humility and wisdom than it is usually given. Not to apply it in this way is implicitly to deny it.
The exaltation of Christ after his work on the cross gives him, publicly, the status which he always in fact enjoyed as of right. The puzzle is caused by sin: though always Lord by right, he must become Lord in fact, by defeating sin and death.
There is no neutral ground in the universe: every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan.’ The task of evangelism is therefore best understood as the proclamation that Jesus is already Lord, that in him God’s new creation has broken into history, and that all people are therefore summoned to submit to him in love, worship and obedience. The logic of this message requires that those who announce it should be seeking to bring Christ’s Lordship to bear on every area of human and worldly existence. Christians must work to help create conditions in which human beings, and the whole created world, can live as God always intended. There is a whole range of ethical norms which God built into his world: respect for persons and property, maintenance of family life and of the ecological order of creation, justice between individuals and groups. Christians must be in the forefront of those working to promote such causes. Many opportunities to speak about Jesus will occur in the undertaking of such work, as it becomes clear that the gospel provides a coherent and satisfying underpinning for those standards which uphold and enhance a truly human life.
Because humanity plays the key role in the ordering of God’s world, human reconciliation will lead to the restoration of creation, just as human sin led to creation’s fall (compare .).
The ‘so that’ in our present passage implies that behind Jesus’ resurrection there stands the divine purpose, which is now explained as a purpose of reconciling love.
This passage gives us a different view of Jesus, humanity, God and his world. Everything is to be understood in relation to Jesus Christ.
The redemption achieved in Christ is indeed the new Genesis: the church really is the new humanity (3:10–11).
The Lord to whom the young Christians have given their allegiance is not one cult-figure among many, but is the one through whom was made the entire universe, all mere cult-figures included.
The Lord to whom the young Christians have given their allegiance is not one cult-figure among many, but is the one through whom was made the entire universe, all mere cult-figures included.
the new life in Christ is nothing less than the beginning of the new creation. And, if new creation, new humanity. Christians already share in the new age which began on Easter Day. This facilitates and enhances our full humanity.
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