Before and after pictures. We've all seen them. They demonstrate the effectiveness of aesthetic medical procedures, home makeovers, weight loss, etc. Paul often uses such "before and after" pictures in his epistles to narrate the Christian life. In Colossians he offers this example: ”Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom were have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:12-14a).
The "before and after" in Colossians:
Since Christ has effected such change in our lives, those who know us ought to be able to observe those changes because we cooperate with Him by being:
In another letter Paul defines this "before and after" experience of every believer, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" (2 Cor. 5:17). What God has done for us in Christ is scandalous. Sinners made righteous. Spiritually dead people made alive.
It is just as scandalous when those who've been made new remain infantile in their growth in Christlikeness because of personal passivity. Oswald Chambers warns against the lack of cooperation with God in moving toward spiritual maturity: "You must discipline yourself now. If you do not, you will ruin the whole of your personal life with God." (Dec. 10, My Utmost)
What does Paul teach the believers about the Christian life through his prayer for them?
How does Paul describe the person and position of God's Son?
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