Thursday, June 29, 2006

Preaching Colossians to Ourselves

Luther coined the phrase "simul iustus et peccator." This basically means we are simultaneously both righteous and a sinner at the same time. As I’ve been reading through Colossians, this doctrine is undeniable.

One area I have been most surprised by is my lack of preaching the full gospel to myself (for lack of a better phrase) that Paul commends to the Colossian church. He spends a large majority of the letter telling believers the half of the gospel I so often neglect—that we are righteous in Him.

I find it extremely easy to acknowledge that I’m a sinner—I find it very uncomfortable to acknowledge I’m righteous in Him—especially the way the Bible describes it! I might sheepishly acknowledge I’m righteous—but not without a stronger emphasis on my title as a sinner. Yet, Paul seems to do exactly the opposite! He does nothing short of "assault" sinners with their new identity of the imputed righteousness of Christ to kill gnostic, joy-killing, and proud legalism.

Here’s my list of the unashamed ways Paul wants the Colossian church to "feel" about themselves—and the way God wants me to preach the gospel to myself when my old flesh and all the devils of hell do nothing but preach the bad news.

"Simul Iustus" statements in Colossians that describe who we are in Christ.

Qualified to share in the inheritance of the saints in light (1:12)
Delivered from the domain of darkness (1:13)
Transferred to the kingdom of His beloved Son (1:13)
Redeemed (v. 14)
Forgiven of sins (v. 15)
Reconciled in his body of flesh by his death (1:22)
Holy (1:22)
Blameless (1:22)
Above reproach before Him (1:22)
Indwelt by Christ (1:27)
Received (2:6)
Filled in Him (2:10)
Circumcised with a circumcision made without hands (2:12)
Buried with him in baptism (2:12)
Raised with him (2:12)
Alive together with him (2:13)
Forgiven of all our trespasses (2:13)
Free from the record of debt that stood against us (2:14)
With Christ and alive in him (2:20)
Raised with Christ (3:1)
United to Christ in His death (3:3)
Hidden with Christ in God (3:3)
United to and owned by Christ (3:4)
You have put off the old self (3:9)
You have put on the new self (3:10)
Being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator (3:10)
Indwelt by Christ (3:11)
God’s chosen one (3:12)
Holy (3:12)
Beloved (3:12)
Forgiven (3:13)
Called to Christ (3:15)
Recipients of the inheritance (3:24)

Preaching the gospel to ourselves is not just recalling the saving events of Christ—but what those saving events mean.


Chris said...

An excellent list. We are blessed indeed. Here is the question that I asked as I read the list. Back to one of your earlier posts, I know all of these thing in my head, but how do they manifest themselves in my heart, in my actions? If I am all of these things (whether I feel them or not!), what difference should it make in what I do everyday? I am redeemed, reconciled, holy, righteous. Oh that the Holy Spirit would make these qualities more evident in me. That I might spread the glory of these gifts to everyone I know and meet.

Praise God!

justin said...

Yes, great list indeed. The gospel is great news.

I will share this list with my discipleship group this afternoon. They have been reading Colossians this week.

Rob Tombrella said...

Chris --

I extend the hearty amen to your prayer. Can't wait to visit on these things tonight and pray for God's empowering.

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