Raised With Messiah

What was nailed to the torture stake?  The indication is that the legal demands were nailed; but we know for a fact that it was the body of Yahshua nailed to the torture stake as the last Atonement sacrifice.  This was done once and for all so that your rap sheet might be set aside, so that you might be seen by Yahweh only through the sacrificial act of the Paschal Lamb, Yahshua.  You may be guilty, but your sheet was destroyed with his body!

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Jackson Snyder,
April 21, 2002 PM

 

Study of Colossian 3:1-3

1   Since, then, you have been raised with Messiah, set your hearts on things above, where Messiah is seated at the right hand of Yahweh.

What does it mean to be Raised with Messiah? 

Col 2:11   In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Messiah, 12   having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of Yahweh, who raised him from the dead. 13   When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, Yahweh made you alive with Messiah. He forgave us all our sins, 14   having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the torture stake

(1) Circumcision was the required marking of the flesh that designated a man’s identity as an Israelite.  This was done on the eighth day after a boy’s birth.  Likewise, in the household of the Messiah, baptism is the agent by which the heart is circumcised.  It is an outward, visible, sign of an inward change.  Being raised is through faith in Yahweh that Yahshua has been raised from the dead and that, when you came out of the baptismal waters, you were, too.

(2) You were previously dead as far as Yahweh was concerned through inherent sin.  There was a “written code,” a “handwriting of ordinances” against you.  A modern day term would be “rap sheet” or “bond” (RSV).  This bond barred your way to reconciliation with Yahweh.  The “regulations” or “legal demands” included an annual animal sacrifice for the atonement of sins. 

Lev 23:26   Yahweh said to Moses, 27   "The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present an offering made to Yahweh by fire.

(3) What was nailed to the torture stake?  The indication is that the legal demands were nailed; but we know for a fact that it was the body of Yahshua nailed to the torture stake as the last Atonement sacrifice.  This was done once and for all so that your rap sheet might be set aside, so that you might be seen by Yahweh only through the sacrificial act of the Paschal Lamb, Yahshua.  You may be guilty, but your sheet was destroyed with his body!

Paul is telling us that, in order to be raised to LIFE with Messiah, we should have a complete knowledge of what we have been raised up from and a hopeful vision of what we are raised toward.  In this case, we were raised from death (in the eyes of Yahweh) to life in Messiah and atonement, a right relationship, with Yahweh – entitling us to call Yahshua “Friend” and Yahweh “Father.” 

Col 3:2   Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  3   For you died, and your life is now hidden with Messiah in Yahweh.

Having just learned that we are brought from death to life, we read now that we are to die again.  In fact, in order to retain forgiveness, one must continually put to death those things that were previously written on you’re the rap sheet.  The bond is gone, but your desire to transgress what was on it may still be very active.  Grace is free but it’s not cheap; it is an effort to maintain one’s elect status.  We are saved by both faith and works!

Paul tells us three general areas that must be avoided.

(1) The first includes traditions and worldly systems. 

Col 2:8   See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Messiah.

 (a) “Human tradition” is literally the “deliverance of men.”  It speaks of unYahwehly religious traditions formulated and instituted by men outside of the will of Yahweh.  We have a tendency to go too far, thinking that all religious traditions are unYahwehly.  The Bible is full of ‘traditions’ that have been instituted by Yahweh, many of which we don’t observe today.  Some go as far as to say that all the traditions written out by Yahweh are among the ‘handwriting of ordinances’ that Paul is speaking about.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  There are inspired traditions originating in the Bible and there are strictly man-made traditions.  We have far more of the second than the first.

   Let me offer and example:  We are concerned about the Sophia movement in the United Methodist Women’s group, and we should be.  The traditions of paganism are being observed under the auspices of the Church and they are having fun doing it.  If this is so, why aren’t we concerned about Easter egg hunts put on by the local church.  This is a purely pagan worship tradition that goes all the way back to Babylon.  We need to clean our own places up first.

   (b) The second evil mentioned is “the basic principles of the world” or, in the RSV, “the elemental spirits of the universe.”  (The word ‘spirits’ is not in the Greek.)  The KJV has the best translation here: “the rudiments of the world.”  He’s talking here about the calendar, philosophy and religious practice (or lack thereof) that your secular world observes: the things that “make the world go ‘round.”  The term “politically correct” came into vogue in these last ten years.  That concept certainly fulfills the meaning of a worldly rudiment. 

   The idea Paul is referring to also includes placing your hopes in the government, in some financial system, in some welfare program or even in your family.  We should get what we can where we can, but we must move on from trusting the rudiments of the world to placing our hopes in principles of the Kingdom.  Soon the rudiments of the world and the traditions of men will be swept away; all that will be left is the Kingdom.  The time has come to learn what that means, and there’s only one place to learn – in the Old Testament prophetic books. 

(2) The second area to avoid is false religion and superstition.

Col 2:18   Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions

   (a) “false humility,” also “self-abasement” – this means coming under the thumb of a cult leader or other strong man who wants to take away your freedom of choice or power in the Spirit.  Locally we have groups with unbiblical ‘holiness’ regulations that serve no other purpose than to force you to submit.  Other groups want to think for you; you must tow the doctrinal line or you’re out.  But our motto is  “Open Doors, Open Minds, Open Hearts.”

  (b) worship of angels – our culture is deeply into the worship of angels.  They are called “ascended masters” or “celestial powers.”  This practice includes calling on angels for forbidden knowledge, for telling the future, or for channeled or psychic communication with the dead or ghosts of the dead.  Fooling around with spiritism is also extremely dangerous; it can get you cursed, oppressed or even possessed.

  (c) cults deriving from a vision, philosophy or reasoning.  Just as examples: Mormonism is based on a vision of a lizard, scientology is based on a outer space philosophy, and theological liberalism like modern Lutheranism or Universalism is based on reasoning alone.

(3) Finally, the believer must die to what I call “The Twelve Tribes of Sin” (count them): 

Col 3:5   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 Yahweh is coming (on those who are disobedient). 7   You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8   But now you must 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.

   Someone said that the best way to destroy old, bad habits is to counteract them with new and healthy ones.  That may be the best idea of all.  Contrast the 12 Tribes of Sin with what I call “The 12 Apostles of Holiness” and take up some new habits:

Col 3: 12   Therefore, as Yahweh's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13   Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as Yahweh forgave you. 14   And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15   Let the peace of Messiah rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.


16   Let the word of Messiah dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to Yahweh. 17   And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of Yahweh Yahshua, giving thanks to Yahweh the Father through him.
 

   Certainly here we find the whole key to remaining raised up with Messiah: Whatever you do, let it be done in the name of Yahshua.  If one can acquire this habit, then it would be quite impossible to transgress the will of Yahweh in any way.  And, in the end, this is what our life should consist of if we are really raised with Messiah – we see the world and the people around us from his vantage point: we see their potentiality through their weaknesses or sins; we see what Yahweh can do with situations and people, even if they seem far from him.

   One application would be to use this advice with lost or difficult loved ones: change your attitude and speech toward them to conform to your new understanding of Highness and see what kind of change may be affected over time.  This week one of our congregation confessed that the problem person she had so prayed to be released from was not the significant other, but her!  She determined to change her attitude to the perspective of Yahshua – to see all circumstances and persons, including the problem – from his perspective.  In a week’s pursuit of this goal, she had already experienced a change of attitude toward him and a greater respect for His power. 

©2002 Jackson Snyder