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Holiness Is to Have a Christlike Character

Have a Christ-Renewed Mind

In perhaps more contemporary terms it is a question of whose uniform we are wearing. Uniforms display not only what we are called to do but also to whom we belong and whose management we are under. Are we wearing the old and shabby uniform of Adam or the renewed designer clothes of Christ? Te context suggests that the “self ” spoken of here refers not so much to the personal, inner, motivating power of sin as to our corporate identity. As Douglas Moo explains, “Te contrast of the ‘old self ’ and ‘new self ’ alludes to one of Paul’s most fundamental theological conceptions: the contrast between a realm in opposition to God, rooted in Adam’s sin and characterized by sin and death, and the new realm, rooted in Christ’s death and resurrection and characterized by righteousness of life.” Te corporate dimension surfaces clearly in verse 11, and is a crucial, if neglected, dimension of the meaning of holiness

In perhaps more contemporary terms it is a question of whose uniform we are wearing. Uniforms display not only what we are called to do but also to whom we belong and whose management we are under. Are we wearing the old and shabby uniform of Adam or the renewed designer clothes of Christ? Te context suggests that the “self ” spoken of here refers not so much to the personal, inner, motivating power of sin as to our corporate identity. As Douglas Moo explains, “Te contrast of the ‘old self ’ and ‘new self ’ alludes to one of Paul’s most fundamental theological conceptions: the contrast between a realm in opposition to God, rooted in Adam’s sin and characterized by sin and death, and the new realm, rooted in Christ’s death and resurrection and characterized by righteousness of life.” Te corporate dimension surfaces clearly in verse 11, and is a crucial, if neglected, dimension of the meaning of holiness

Paul provides the Colossians with two lists of characteristics that are incomepotable with living a life in Christ. Te first starts with actions and leads to atattitudes: “sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry” (Col 3:5). Te second goes in the reverse direction, starting with atattitudes and leading to actions: “anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language” (Col 3:8) and lying (Col 3:9). Tees attitudes and actions, he said, were to be “put to death” (Col 3:5) as surely as a crucified man was put to death, and got rid of (Col 3:8) as surely as last week’s rubbish is removed by the trash collectors. He gives several reasons why we take such decisive action, including the avoidance of the “wrath of God” that is coming (Col 3:6). But the deeper reason is not a pragmatic one—in order to avoid punishment—but a more worthy one. We divest ourselves of these qualities because they are incompatible with our identity as Christians. Using language that by common consent picks up the image of baptism, where candidates would disrobe to be baptized and clothe themselves in new garments afer emerging from the water, Paul reminds them that in becoming followers of Christ, they have “taken of [the] old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which.

In perhaps more contemporary terms it is a question of whose uniform we are wearing. Uniforms display not only what we are called to do but also to whom we belong and whose management we are under. Are we wearing the old and shabby uniform of Adam or the renewed designer clothes of Christ? Te context suggests that the “self ” spoken of here refers not so much to the personal, inner, motivating power of sin as to our corporate identity. As Douglas Moo explains, “Te contrast of the ‘old self ’ and ‘new self ’ alludes to one of Paul’s most fundamental theological conceptions: the contrast between a realm in opposition to God, rooted in Adam’s sin and characterized by sin and death, and the new realm, rooted in Christ’s death and resurrection and characterized by righteousness of life.” Te corporate dimension surfaces clearly in verse 11, and is a crucial, if neglected, dimansion of the meaning of holiness.

Last word

On this occasion Paul does not say that we are being renewed in the image of our Creator but that we are being “renewed in knowledge in the image of [our] Creator” (Col 3:10). Why does he insert the words “in knowledge,” which seem to interrupt what might be the more natural fowl of his words? Te account of the fall in Genesis 2:17 draws attention to the importance of the mind in causing humanity’s downfall; consequently, it is vital that that which played such a crucial role in causing the problem should be addressed in the giving of the solution. Adam and Eve were told by God, “You must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil” (Gen 2:17). While it is difficult to unpack the meaning of the tree’s mysterious title in full, it is evident that this was a tree that would provide Adam and Eve with knowledge beyond what was good for them as human beings. Its fruit would lead them to know everything as God knows it and so to become independent from their Creator, dispensing with the need for him, and leading them to live autonomous and self-sufficient lives.

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