Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Keys to fulfilled Christianity - Peace of Christ's Lordship

Colossians 3:15 "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful."

What does it mean to be a fulfilled Christian? I'm certain that for some it may mean having things finally going your way or having a life that is successful, problem free and pain free. What does the scripture, and Paul here in particular, have to tell us about what it means to be a fulfilled Christian? Whenever you read the entire Colossian letter, the theme is centered upon the fact that "Jesus is enough". In developing that truth doctrinally in Colossians 1-2, Paul aims to unpack it practically in Colossians 3-4. 

Unless you and I are finding our fulfillment in Jesus Christ, we won't experience nor retain fulfillment. With that said, Colossians 3:15-17 gives us the specific keys to fulfilled Christianity. Another epistle written at the same time as Colossians, Ephesians, has similar statements in Ephesians 5:18-21 that we find here in Colossians 3:15-17. Therefore we will include Paul's remarks from that epistle in upcoming posts.  

Point of Application: So what are the keys to fulfilled Christianity? To answer that question we will spell it out in the point of application for today's post: The keys to fulfilled Christianity are Christ's Lordship, the Holy Spirit, the scriptures and thankfulness.  

Key #1 to fulfilled Christianity - The Peace of Christ's Lordship - Colossians 3:15

When the Holy Spirit says in Colossians 3:15 "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts....", how do we fulfill that command? In briefly looking back through Colossians 3:1-14, the answer is plain: surrender to Christ's Lordship. As one scans over Colossians 3:1-14, the overwhelming emphasis has to do with "giving it all to Jesus" or "surrendering to Christ's Lordship".1 

Colossians 3:1 tells us as believers to "keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God". By looking unto the One who alone can lead and aid us in the Christian walk (Psalm 121:1-2), we are in affect handing over to Jesus Christ our priorities, behavior, speech and relationships. One of the repeated practical points made by Paul throughout Colossians 3:1-14 is to "put off" the old life (3:5,8) and "put on" the new self which is being renewed in the image of Jesus Christ. 

When Jesus Christ is Lord of our life, there is peace. In the context of 2 Thessalonians 3:16 for example, we could say Jesus Christ is the Lord of peace: "Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!" When Jesus was ministering on this earth and walked on the water in Mark 4:39 where his disciples were in a boat, He rebuked the storm and the text states: "And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm." Christ's Lordship is such a dominate theme in describing our salvation that without His authority in our lives, we cannot enjoy the benefits of our salvation. The oft quoted verse of Romans 6:23 drives home this point:  "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." 

All the time at our house we tell our children that if they will do as we say, they will have a much more enjoyable experience than if they try to do it their way. The Christian's relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ operates on similar principles. To love Him is after all to do as He says. (John 14:21) Whenever we make Jesus Christ's Lordship our priority, there will be peace. Certainly we may well begin with the attitude of obedience or an "I have to" approach to our Christian life.  However as we become more closely acquainted with the Lord Jesus Christ, He has a way of turning my "have-to's" into "want-to's". What begins as a duty of obedience becomes a delight of surrender. 

As you and I wave the white flag of surrender to Jesus Christ's Lordship, we are really waving the flag of victory in the Christian life.

More tomorrow..... 


1. For those readers desiring to see a detailed treatment of Christ's Lordship in Colossians 3, I will refer to last week's  post: 

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