And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, – Colossians 1:21-22
As I am travelling to the Mississippi gulf coast, I was surprised to see that almost all of the houses here are elevated 10-20 feet above the ground using sturdy concrete or wooden piers. It seems overboard to have them elevated that high because the houses can be as far as a mile away from the beach, and it doesn’t seem that high tide will ever get to them. Apparently, these were built based on Base Flood Elevation set by FEMA in the wake of hurricane Katrina in 2005. Even if the water ever reaches that level, this standard will keep the houses above the water level and safe from the flood.
Christianity has made the impossible possible. It has transformed the society where it was acceptable to watch slaves kill each other or mauled by lions. Christianity has elevated women’s honor and the dignity of people with physical disabilities. It has elevated the standard of human rights across the globe. However, as those problems become a thing of the past, the world has forgotten about them and introduces new sets of problems that were trivial in the past. It seems the standard to be above reproach continues to rise just like the water level at the gulf coast during severe hurricane season.
How can we continue to live above reproach when the world’s standard has been elevated by Christianity throughout history? Paul gave us these prescription in Colossians 3 which I summarized as follow:
- Set your minds on things that are above (Colossians 3:1-4)
- Put to death what is earthly in you. E.g. sexual immorality, impurity, evil desire. (Colossians 3:5-11)
- Put on the New Self. e.g. compassionate heart, humility, meekness, patience. (Colossians 3:12-17)
God has enabled us to do this because we are a new creation in Him and we can do all things in Him.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:17