Vance Barton circa 77-17

Colossians 3:8-16

(8) But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. (9) Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, (10) and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, (11) where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. (12) Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; (13) bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. (14) But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. (15) And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. (16) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
New King James Version

This is the practical application of “seek[ing] those things which are above” (Colossians 3:1). In effect, Paul is saying that, if we are seeking heavenly things, the resources to overcome these things will be available. They will be part of us because God responds to those who are truly seeking Him.

We must be patient. Our relationship with God is not magic. It takes work. Those of us who have had any of these problems understand that one must hold a tight rein on oneself to keep from doing the things that Paul says to “put off.” They are so deeply ingrained within us that they want to break out all by themselves.

This is why Paul writes in Romans 7:15-23, “The things that I do not want to do, I do. The things I do want to do, I do not do.” He concludes that two conflicting laws were working within him. There was the law of his mind, which loved God, understood a great deal about Him, and wanted to submit to Him, to sacrifice for His sake and in His name, and to discipline himself. But the law of his flesh—sin that dwelt within him—every once in a while reared its ugly head and broke out.

Thus, we must discipline ourselves. We know that we are to “put off” those things that do not reflect the image of God and to “put on” the characteristics that do. “Putting on” and “taking off” are not always easy. Sometimes, we can readily apply or overcome certain things; they seem to come easily to us. But other character flaws are thorns in the flesh, their barbs stuck deep within us, and they embarrass us from time to time and make us feel guilty. They make us wonder whether we will be acceptable before God. Seeing this, we realize that overcoming them will take a great deal of work—and work requires discipline.

One of the final things that Paul mentions in this passage is love (Colossians 3:14). Love is the crown; it tops off, as it were, all of the other virtues, tying them all together. A true love for God and love for others—not to mention a proper love for ourselves—will motivate us to transform into Christ’s image.

The diligent “putting on” and the “taking off” will be the proof of our seeking God and the things which are above. When we understand this, we realize that even the ability to “put on” and to “take off” is a gift from God, as the resources to do this come from Him. God responds to those who make Him the focus of their lives, and this is who we exhibit. The evidence begins to show in the way we live our lives.

Rumi said

This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.
Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you.
You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life.

  1. Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about


    Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it


    Let the beauty we love be what we do.
  • Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love
    The wound is the place where the Light enters you.
  • Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along
  • Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom. Rumi

One thought on “Vance Barton circa 77-17

  1. Dear Brother Vance we put all these things off in only one fashion. That is to walk in the Spirit. We can see that the deeds of the flesh directly reflect the things Paul tells us to put off in Colossians 3-8-16. And then we see in the same way the Fruit of the spirit that will flow from us is the behavior that we will have if we are walking according to the Spirit. You see in Romans 8, the very next chapter that you spoke about Paul talking the law of sin in the in flesh and how wretched we all are in the flesh Paul says in Christ we have no more condemnation. The law in the flesh was week and so it is now condemned By God. In this, the Law of the Spirit of Life is in fact the Holy Spirit and we , new creations in Christ are in that Spirit and He is in us. So as we abide (to live) where we are in the Spirit and walk there we cannot fulfill the lust of the flesh and so we put off all of these things mentioned in Colossians above. To put off these things aren’t a performance that we can do by our own effort. If we try we are in fact doing so in the flesh. However if we live according to the spirit the putting off of such things will be a byproduct of the new nature that we are. It will not be any effort at all. It will be how we act because that is who you are. If we perceive our selves dead to sin and alive to God and if we believe that we are a new creation in Christ Jesus born of God that is who we are. And understand this. A man can not act any other way then how he perceives himself. If we are walking according to the flesh, we believe and perceive ourselves as fleshy, still separated form God and thinking that there is still something that we must do to become righteous. If we believe and perceive we have in fact been crucified and resurrected with Christ and we are in Him and he in us, and we are anew creature we are in the Spirit. So we are born of God. Thus, we are in the spirit. Paul states this in the best way possible “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” Romans 8:9 So we ought to rest in who we are and in who’s we are and where we are and be let the fruit of Gods love flow through us. As my good friend Brother Gary Linville always says. ” Stop trying and start trusting”. God bless you my Brother in the Name of Jesus Christ.

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