Concentrate on the reality which is found in Christ Problems that come if you concentrate on the shadows Blessings that

come if you concentrate on Christ The reality is what He does, mediates and represents

The more a Christian concentrates on Christ, the more he becomes free from worldly habits. It is more fruitful to seek God that trying to avoid worldly habits. Paul writes to Galatians: “…he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” (Gal 6:8) Instead of cleaning your life and keeping up a religious mask, you should rather seek Christ and His presence by praying, singing worship songs, attending Church and by talking about Him with your friends. Then Christ can start His work in you and all those bad things (shadows of the reality) in your life will be taken care and you will feel released from them. Keeping up religious mask and concentrating on the shadows of the reality leads to several problems in your life according to the passage we read in Colossians 2: If you concentrate on the shadows of the reality (Col 2:16-23) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. You start to judge other people (verse 16) see also Rom 2:1 Somebody might loose his faith (verse 18) see also Matt 18:6 You become pride (verse 18) see also 1Pet 5:5 Your mind becomes idle (vain, inactive, lazy) (verse 18) You loose connection to Christ (verse 19) see also You are just satisfying your flesh (verse 23 KJV)

If you concentrate on Christ (Col 2:16-23) 1. 2. Nobody can judge you (verse 16) see also Rom 8:1, 33-34 Nobody can disqualify your prize (verse 18) see also Rev 2-3
A) B) C) D) E) F) G) The right to eat from the tree of life (Rev 2:7) Will not be hurt at all by the second death (Rev 2:11) Will have manna and a white stone with a new name (Rev 2:17) Will rule over the nations (Rev 2:26-27) Will be dressed in white (Rev 3:5) Will be made a pillar in the temple and may stay there forever (Rev 3:12) Will be given the right to sit on Jesus’ throne with Him (Rev 3:21) You have died to the shadows and can focus on reality (verse 20)

3. 4.

You have been raised with Christ to live in reality not in Shadows, to set your mind on things above (verse 3:1-2)

Next we will have a look, what is this reality. What has Christ done and what he is and what has been done by him. Let’s study it from the Colossians chapters one and two. So, what is the reality you should focus on? What is Christ like and what has he done?

The reality is what He has done / is doing - Rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us… (verse 1:13) - Holds everything together (verse 1:17) - Firstborn from among the dead (verse 1:18) - Reconciled you through his death (verse 1:22) - Made you alive (verse 2:13) - Forgave our sins (verse 2:13) - Cancelled the written code against us and nailed it to the cross (verse 2:14) - Disarmed the devil and made a public spectacle of him (verse 2:15) The reality is what he represents - Our redemption (verse 1:14) - Our forgiveness of sins (verse 1:14) - The image of the invisible God (verse 1:15) - The firstborn over all creation (verse 1:15) - Before all things (verse 1:17) - The head of the body, the church (verse 1:18) - The beginning (verse 1:18) - Full riches of complete understanding of the mystery of God (verse 2:2) - The fullness of the Deity (verse 2:9) - The head of over every power and authority (verse 2:10) - The conqueror of the devil (verse 2:15) The reality is what he mediates - By him all things were created (verse 1:16) - Through him we are reconciled (verse 1:20 - By him we are given the fullness of Christ (verse 2:10) The reality weights more than shadows in God’s scale. Doing good things is more fruitful than trying to avoid bad things. Stop carrying the darkness out—bring the light in instead! If you focus on the reality (Christ), the shadows (good deeds) follow automatically. Shadows: Reality: Denials, asceticism, human traditions and principles, false humility, harsh treatment of body Christ

The desire to reach good (Christ-reality) should be bigger than the desire to avoid bad things (shadow). In Christian life more critical and important is the good that you do, than the fact that you can avoid bad temptations. Because when you focus on avoiding bad habits you only correct your life outside but focusing on Christ makes your spirit healthy and the shadow follows automatically: Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. ... since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Colossians 3:1-10 See also: 2Tim 2:22, Ps 119:11, Gal 5:16

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