A Total Christ - by Walter Lang
Main Page - http://www.creationism.org/lang/ - Free to Copy for Educational Purposes
Day Twenty-Four -- Colossians 2:9, 10
A Total Christ and a New Man
In the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes we find a hidden conflict in words. The sections in which the preacher speaks in the first person, the "I" section, represents the skeptic Solomon who finds vanity in everything. In the "He" section in Ecclesiastes the teacher (the better part of Solomon) answers. These two opposing sides of Solomon answer back and forth throughout the 12 chapters of Ecclesiastes. Something similar is found in Col. 3:9, 10 and in Eph. 4:24. Ephesians and Colossians are companion books and were perhaps written during the same imprisonment of the apostle Paul. Some say this imprisonment was in Ephesus, but most scholars think it was Paul's first imprisonment in Rome. Paul describes the conflict between the old man/new man. He asks the Colossian Christians, in the power of the total Christ, to put away the old man with his evil lust and put on the new man which is renewed in the image of God.
Image of God
What is the "image of God"? Dr. Frank Marsh, writing in Life, Man, and Time, suggests this has something to do with human physical appearance, or man's ability to think. But, here in Colossians, we learn it means that Adam was created having perfect knowledge. In Eph. 4:24 it means perfect holiness. According to these two passages, it means man was created with perfect knowledge and perfect holiness. This image of God was lost when Adam and Eve committed their first sin, but it was restored through the total Christ. In the book of Colossians it is stressed that Christ has perfect knowledge and, through His inspired Word, He restores it to us. But, first, Christ has perfect holiness for us, according to the Ephesians passage. The admonition is to put off the old man with his evil lusts and put on the new man which is perfect in holiness and knowledge in Christ.
A good example is given in the book of Job. God called Job the greatest man in the world (Job 1:8; 2:3), yet Job committed sins which led Elihu to warn him that unless he repented of his accusations of injustice against God, not even the great ransom could save him (Job 36:18). Every Christian must daily drown the "old man" and let the "new man" come forth. No one is immune.
How to Struggle
Paul tells the Ephesian Christians to do this by struggling against lying, by speaking truth, by avoiding anger, by refraining from stealing and by guarding against corrupt communication. Paul warns the Colossian Christians against anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy and encourages them toward meekness, longsuffering, and being charitable.
Prayer: That we might have strength through the total Christ to drown
the "old man" with his sinful lusts and let the "new man" (perfect in holiness
and knowledge) dominate our lives.