1 ¶ If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
See here what Jesus said;
Matthew 6:19 ¶ Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Folks, when you die, within one or two generations, unless you are famous, it will be as if you never existed. Name an ancestor from five generations ago. Go ahead. Anyone? What made them laugh? What made them angry? What did they like to eat? So, focus on eternal things, things that last forever. Are you leading people you love closer to Christ and eternal life or pushing them away from Him? Think about that rather than, “did they mean what I thought they meant when they said what I thought they said?” Or, “was she talking about me?” or “I don’t think he should have gotten that raise at work before me. After all, I work harder.” Or “Why isn’t my child going to be a doctor like I want them to be?”
Let me put it another way. If you love anything or anyone on earth more than Christ, that will mess you up. And Christ can, if you are truly saved, take that thing that’s blocking your view of heaven away from you. It can be a very sad and tragic time for you. Better think now.
Focus on obedience to the Holy Spirit’s pull on your life and focus on eternity. Get your mind off these silly temporal things. We have so many attitudes and things of importance to us on this earth that keep us from a full relationship with Christ that is pathetic. Focus your attention above, not here below.
God has taken many a mother’s little child to make her look up.
4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
2 Corinthians 5:1 ¶ For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
2Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
This is to be the primary focus of our attention and thoughts on the future. Not hoping that the Orioles win the series or that the Steelers win the Super Bowl and thinking about that great vacation we hope to take next summer but;
Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
When He calls us out of this present, evil world;
1Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
5 ¶ Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
We are supposed to make our bodies dead to sin, not by mutilation, but in our attitude. Here is an interesting note; inordinate affection, which is obsessive behavior, is sinful. Covetousness, the purpose of advertising, always wanting something you don’t have, is sinful. Evil concupiscence is one of those words its hard to find a parallel verse for but I read that it is a desire for what is forbidden to you, like another person’s spouse. It’s a type of coveting, but to a sinful extreme.
6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
The children of disobedience is a reference to the unsaved.
Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Ephesians 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
God is not pleased with these practices, mindsets, and actions on the part of the world. Why do you think He would be pleased with us in them?
7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
The unsaved lives in his sin. He swims in it. He’s like a person who is wallowing around inside of a nearly full septic tank. Unsaved people often laughingly refer to themselves by their sins. We have to leave these things.
Read Romans, chapter 6.
8 ¶ But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
Here are five things we need to discard from our repertoire. Notice that anger and wrath are two separate subjects. Anger is a flash while wrath is a boiling rage that lasts longer and wreaks more damage.
Genesis 49:7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.
Now, not particularly on these words, but if you were to take any Hebrew or Greek Lexicon or Dictionary and I MEAN ANY, they are all based on the modern musings of Westcott and Hort and their thinkalikes, you would be trying to define a KJB word by the way the word is defined in the NIV. This includes Strong’s. This is a warning. Do not look for a definition in any Hebrew or Greek lexicon today to define a KJB word any more than you should use the usual map in the back of your Bible, most of which do NOT have Moses and the Hebrews traveling through the Red Sea but through a marshy area above it. Satan is very, very subtle. Let the Bible define itself or go to the 1828 Webster’s or the OED or a secular dictionary, as they won’t have the agenda of robbing you of your Bible.
As an aside for a moment malice is evil in many places. Evil does not always stand for sinful iniquity. It is calamity, trouble, disaster, and malice in context. They can be synonyms.
Mt 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Genesis 37:33 And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
Obviously God is not the author of sinful iniquity and animals, no matter how ferocious, have no concept of sin. Mal is the Latin for evil and for bad. We get malicious and malefactor from it. A person with malice has evil intent, usually meaning harm to someone.
Blasphemy is defined in secular dictionaries as speaking irreverently or condemning God and also as claiming some of the attributes of God for you. Satan was the greatest blasphemer as will be the Beast of Revelation.
Filthy communication can be vulgar words or implied vulgarity. Some people are very good with the double entendre, defiling the precious things God has given us. We are to put all of these off.
9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
God does not think much of lying, as is evidenced throughout the Bible. False witnesses and liars are not people God honors.
Just run the word, “liar”, through a concordance. Lying does not come from the Spirit of God in you. It comes from your flesh. People lie because they are afraid, afraid the truth isn’t good enough. If you aren’t a coward or playing the coward at a certain time you won’t lie. You don’t have to offer information to someone. If someone asks you something and you don’t want to reveal the answer don’t. But don’t lie.
10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
You still have both the old and the new man, with the old vying for attention. The new man is renewed in knowledge of Christ. The Christian walk is a constant renewal.
Romans 12:1 ¶ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
Here’s a companion verse.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
A Scythian would be a Southern Russian. Barbarian, from which we get the word, Berber, an Arabic nomad, was used by the Greeks to denote anyone who didn’t speak Greek, the onomatopoeic speech of bar-bar, being like our saying “blah blah” for someone we don’t understand. So, we have a reference here to Greek, meaning a civilized Gentile, and a Jew by contrast, then Jew and Gentile again by contrast, and finally a slave or a freeman. In Christ, all distinctions of gender, race, ethnicity, and social status are erased.
By inference, if you defer to a wealthy Christian because of his or her wealth you are denying this and if a wealthy Christian is condescending to his or her poorer brethren, they, too, are reprobate. We, as Christians, among ourselves, should honor no distinctions of social class, ethnicity, race, or gender except as prescribed in Paul’s letters. There are differences between genders that are operational only, and have nothing to do with value or importance. You are free to disagree with me. You’d be wrong but you are free. The Bible is very clear on this. Unless, of course, you want to put me back under the Law but then, I’m not a tenth century BC Hebrew and neither are you.
There is complete equality IN Christ. This is not a political statement. I don’t believe that everyone should be allowed to vote without condition or to hold public office without condition or be licensed in certain trades without condition or open borders or any of that nonsense about everyone having an equal right in temporal society regardless of their character or past record or personal condition. (Give the bad credit Christian and the Christian loan officer example). This is about being IN Christ. Left wing Christians misuse these verses quite routinely.
12 ¶ Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
The word “elect” bears further mention here. Elect first appears in the Bible in reference to a Christ in Isaiah 42:1. It’s mentioned three more times In Isaiah as a reference to the Jews. In the gospels it is also a reference to the Jews doctrinally, specifically to those who belong to Him by their obedience. In the Church Age letters the elect refers to the born again Christians. The elect are those called by God because they believe. See 1 Peter 1:2 to understand that a person is elect because of God’s foreknowledge. Notice also, that the word predestination, which the Calvinist uses in conjunction with elect is always a reference to a saved person, not to someone is unsaved. See Romans 8:28,29. You are predestinated to something, as the elect, after you are saved. You are not presdestinated to salvation as in God randomly chose this one to be saved and made that one for Hell. By comparison the wicked would be condemned to Hell because they are the wicked, not because of some kind of lottery.
There are character traits God wants from those who are holy and beloved and these include kindness, humbleness, meekness, and longsuffering.
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
We are supposed to put up with each other as well as forgive each other, as Christ forgave us.
14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Charity, the Christian’s love for the brethren, is what marks him or her as different than the world.
Read 1 Corinthians 13.
15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
The peace of God is that attitude that exists now, because of Christ, between us and God.
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
It’s through this that we can be united together as one body, Christ’s body on earth.
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.
Our music admonishes and teaches us so it is important that it is doctrinally correct and not just an “old beloved” hymn. But, all of our singing is to the Lord. If you are up here singing your hymn or gospel song to the congregation and not to God, then you’re just entertaining the troops.
The difference between a hymn and a spiritual song is that a hymn glorifies God as in Marin Luther’s epic, “A Mighty Fortress is our God”, while a spiritual song or gospel song talks about what He has done for you. They are two different things. Both are good, psalms and hymns are superior, the first being written by Him and the second being written about Him, but gospel songs are good as long as they aren’t all you have in your heart.
Please notice what the consequence of being filled with the Holy Spirit is. It’s not church attendance or soul winning, per se.
Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Do you wake up with a gospel song or a hymn in your heart?
Job 35:10 But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night;
If not, start reading the Bible. Start praying before you go to bed. Pray when you have a sleepless night. Get close to God.
17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Do everything in Christ’s name. If you can’t do it in Christ’s name, you can’t do it. This is a real simple standard to apply to your actions. Very few questions will arise. Can I do this in Christ’s name?
Over and over again we have the need for having a thankful heart expressed. Lack of gratitude and thankfulness is the beginning of sin, despair, and defeat.
18 ¶ Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
Once again, and no one seems to notice this, we have an emphasis on wives submitting to THEIR OWN husbands. Remember the verses back in Ephesians?
Ephesians 5:21 ¶ Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
Do you see the qualifier on our submission to each other? Paul eliminates the problem of someone thinking that all Christian women should submit to all Christian men. Some churches seem to have that hierarchy thing going where any woman is to be submissive to any man. Well, that’s only in the context of us submitting to each other. Wives submit to THEIR OWN HUSBANDS.
Titus 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
1Peter 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
1Peter 3:5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
Here, he has another qualifier, as it is fit in the Lord. The husband cannot command the wife to rob a bank or to commit suicide. How would you feel that her submission to those commands then was “fit in the Lord”?
The 1828 Webster’s, who got his definitions from the Bible, has fit as suitable, meet, or becoming among other definitions. In Job 34:18 fit is proper, acceptable. Proverbs 24:27 it’s useful. In Luke 9:62 its worthy. In Acts 22:22 it is right.
19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
Bitterness is a terrible, indwelling emotion. It poisons many relationships. What are some reasons you might be bitter against as spouse? We often come into a marriage with unfair and unreasonable expectations that aren’t even laid out on the table and then resent the other person because they didn’t meet our expectations. Young people should discuss every possible aspect of their impending marriage with a prospective spouse and nothing should be hidden. Remember, too, you aren’t going to change anyone.
One of the worst things I’ve heard is that one spouse wants children and the other doesn’t. How can you get married and not know this? There are many other issues having to deal with money, sex, entertainment, child rearing, etc. etc. that are often not discussed before taking the all important step of a lifetime commitment. Bitterness we hold, is often our own fault, not the other person’s, from our arrogance in assuming everyone must think like we do without anything being said. Baloney.
You can’t be in obedience to Christ and hold bitterness in your heart to your spouse.
20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
This is hardly something that needs to be elaborated on. The parent-child relationship is a type of the relationship between the Christian and God. If you are unwilling to obey your parents you will probably rebel against God.
Ephesians 6:2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
Which refers back to this commandment;
Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Here’s a little side note that some believe. If you compare the two verses I’ve just read you’ll get a definition of “the earth” as a reference only to the land promised to the Jews. Whether a specific meaning of the earth refers to that or the entire planet will depend on the context.
However, the words “the earth” are first used and consistently used to represent the entire planet’s dry land starting in Genesis, chapter one, so you can overwhelmingly trounce that person’s narrow belief when you hear it. Just run “the earth” down in an electronic KJB. Another side note is that Isaiah 26:9 and Revelation 3:10 define “world” as the people that live on the earth. In that regard, when you find the word, world, you might even consider it to refer to an age or period of time with regard to God’s dealing with people. However, based on context, it can mean the earth itself. Context determines meaning.
Now, here’s an issue when using a lexicon. Scholars don’t examine Plato to understand how Homer uses a word. They examine Homer. Yet, modern lexicons invariably use pagan extra-biblical sources to define Biblical words, which is an error. Some words used in the Bible are used only in that specific way there. I’ll give you an example. Try to define the modern computer by reading Shakespeare or the television by reading Boswell’s Life of Johnson. You can’t do it. It makes no sense. That’s what happens when ANY lexicon you use tries to define a Bible word by a pagan writer. Why do you use Greek and Hebrew lexicons to “get deeper meanings from the Bible”? Compare verse to verse.
All lexicons on the market are hopelessly corrupt and grievously in error. You won’t learn one deeper thing by using a lexicon, more than you would by learning all the cross references and internal dictionary of the Bible.
Anyway, Paul is obviously extending a truth to the Christian here, that honoring your mother and father will benefit us all.
This brings up a point. What does it mean to “honor” your parents? Does it extend to following their orders long after you’ve started your own family? Does it mean they have a right to come into a forty year old child’s home and order him or her around without consideration of his or her place in their own home? That’s something you’ll have to pray about. I know what I believe God says in His words.
21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
This goes along with;
Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Those of us who did not raise our children with daily devotions as a family and daily Bible reading begun at a young age when they just love to hear mommy and daddy read anything aloud will perhaps regret it if God is not merciful to us.
For those of us who did not raise our children with God’s words ringing in their ears more than the devil’s words coming from the television or CD player, we can only pray and try to be an example for our grandchildren.
I read a report once that stated that it wasn’t strict parents that ruined children or even liberal parents but it was inconsistent parents. When we are up and down, and a child doesn’t know what to expect from day to day, it is very trying for them. Children who don’t know what is expected of them by either God or Dad, because the words in the Bible, stressed in an appropriate doctrinal, dispensational manner to a child, are missing in their daily lives are starting life out on a hard footing.
Dads can provoke their children to anger and discouragement by not teaching them the word of God at home and by being a demanding tyrant, a dictator who treats his family like personal slaves, who must cater to his every selfish whim or face his wrath.
Before the late 1700’s there was no such thing as Sunday School. Christian fathers taught their families the Bible. Then, a man in England wanted to teach the little boys who had to work every day in the factories as we sacrificed our children in the industrial revolution to a new type of Molech. He taught them to read and write on Sunday, their only day off. Eventually instruction became about the Bible and the Christian parent was let off the hook.
There, we can give our children to the government to educate and to our church to teach about God. It wasn’t long before daily devotions and family Bible reading were a thing of the past. The most fundamental social unit of soul winning and Godliness was wiped out by Christian practice, not by atheists.
Expecting the state to educate your child and the church only to teach them about God results in unbelief and apostasy just as having the government give its blessing to religion leads to nominal Christianity and unbelief, just like emotional manipulation leads to shallow or false conversions, and expecting anyone but the family to inculcate Biblical values leads to cold, dead, hypocrites pretending to aspire to a set of ethics and not experiencing a relationship with a living Saviour who is a part of their daily lives.
Fathers, look at your children and imagine what kind of Godly person you want them to be and then YOU be that person. Raise them in the NURTURE and ADMONITION of the Lord. DO NOT provoke them to anger and the resulting discouragement. It is not about you or your fears. It is about Jesus Christ.
22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:
This is easily applied to employers today practically although the context isn’t someone with whom you have a labor agreement with but someone who owns you. Our modern capitalistic relationship is not mentioned here where the laborer should be equal to the employer, as in while the employer provides capital, an investment, and an insured entity by which the laborer can earn money. The laborer offers in return something precious and not renewable, his or her time, and something that only he or she can provide, his or her labor.
Practically speaking we should realize that we are ultimately owned by Jesus Christ and that we should work for our employers not just as a show when they are around but as a person worthy of their trust and approval. See the example of Joseph and Daniel with regard to working for someone else, even an unbeliever.
23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
We need to think of Jesus Christ as our employer and our master, rather than the human being who signs our checks. Do everything as if we were doing it for God Himself. Remember, it is Christ we need to please.
24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
No matter how bad things get here or how unfair conditions might seem, you have an inheritance in Christ’s kingdom. That should outweigh all the temporal unfair advantages the unsaved seem to have over you.
25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
This would apply to the Christian at the judgment seat of Christ and also to the unsaved at the Great White Throne judgment, the difference being that the doctrine of the judgment seat of Christ teaches that we will not lose our salvation while the unsaved are already damned.