Colossians 3:1-4:1 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Set Your Hearts on Things Above
Comments for Study 3

Colossians 3:1-4:1
Memory Verse: 3:1

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I. Take Off Your Old Self (1-11)

>1. What should govern the thoughts of those in Jesus? (1-2)

* Colossians 3:1-2 "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."

* "Since" -Paul has finished the doctrinal section of this letter and is now moving to the practical application of the doctrine. This structure is typical in Paul's letters. The Holy Spirit used Paul's logical structure of writing.

* "you have been raised with Christ" -We are a new creation in Jesus' resurrection, the point Paul made in the previous chapter.

* "set your hearts on things above" -Our love, or affection, our focus is to be on the kingdom of God. The focus is to no longer be in this world, but our future and the present reality in the kingdom of God. Other translations has this "seek those things which are above." Jesus said, "Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be open to you." (Luke 11:9; Duet. 4:29; Jer. 29:12-13) Jesus teaches desire this way, "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." (Matt. 13:44-46)

* "where Christ is seated at the right hand of God" -Jesus, in his physical resurrected glorious body is seated at the right hand of God. The right hand is the seat of power, authority, glory, and heart's affection of the King. God the Father is the Ruler and Jesus is his right hand Son of Man. Jesus is to be the center of our affection, our hearts. He is our very great reward. (Gen. 15:1)

* "not on earthy things" -The comfortable life, wealth, possessions, power, adoration, selfish ambition and self gratification. We are not to seek out a musician, singer, song writer, novelist, artist, actor, or athlete. We are not to seek out a preacher, teacher, shepherd, father, evangelist, or whatever title a spiritual leader may have. If angels refused to be worshiped, then surely men should not seek to draw attention to themselves. We should always be like John the Baptist and point to Jesus saying, "Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world." (John 1:29) I have had some people that I have witnessed to tell me, "I use to go to church, but then I saw what some of the people were doing, even the pastor and decided not to attend anymore." I tell them, "Don't focus of people, focus on God. Your should look to Jesus and see what he did, is doing, and will do; not on those who are called by his name."

>How can we know about these things? (Rom. 16:25-27; Eph. 3:8-9; Phil. 4:8)

* Romans 16:25-27 "Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him-- to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen."

* Ephesians 3:8-9 "Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things."

* Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."

* The Holy Spirit teaches us as we study the Bible. The Holy Spirit reminds us of Jesus in our every day life. We are reminded of Bible verses if we have kept them in our hearts. Psalms 17:4 states, "As for the deeds of men-- by the word of your lips I have kept myself from the ways of the violent."

* "Real study of the Word of God will get you through to the living Christ." (J. Vernon McGee, Thru The Bible Commentary)

* "You must not only seek heaven, you must think heaven." (J. B. Lightfoot, 1875)

>2. How are we hidden? (3)

* Colossians 3:3 "For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God."

* "For you died" -Our old sinful nature, our old sinful self died. The old spirit is dead. The tendency to sin died with it.

* "your life" -We rose with Jesus. Our life is in his life. We have a new spirit in Christ. Jesus told Nicodemus, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again... I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." (John 3:3, 5-8)

* "is now hidden with Christ in God" -We are in Christ. If we were to look at a picture of ourselves before we knew Christ and compare it to after we knew Christ we would not see a difference except that we aged some. If I look in a mirror and then accept Christ, and then look in a mirror again I would look the same. (I actually did this when I accepted Jesus as Savior and absolute Lord of my life in 1982 just after Senior High School graduation.) Yet, I am not the same. My life is hidden with Christ in God. My new self can't be seen with human eyes, and yet it is very true. my life is hidden with Christ in God.

* Galatians 4:26 states the place our new self exists with Christ in God, our new home, "But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother."

>When will we not be hidden? (4, 10; Rom. 6:5; and 1 John 3:2)

* Colossians 3:4 "When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."

* Colossians 3:10 "and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator."

* Romans 6:5 "If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection."

* 1 John 3:2 "Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is."

* When Jesus comes to take us home a trumpet will sound and the dead with rise in new resurrection bodies and we who are still alive will be changed. I believe the time in imminent.

* "is being renewed" -the creation of our new self is continuing as we live in this world.

* "in the image of its Creator" -We are being made like Jesus, our creator. Jesus created us through the Holy Spirit when we accepted his death for atonement for our sins and his resurrection as a true event in the past for him and the future for us.

* "In the sense in which Christ is our life, a Christian even now 'realizes' the consummation of his union with Christ. But when Christ comes again, the Christian will be with him not merely in a corporate sense but in individually fulfilled glory (Rom 8:18; and 2 Cor. 3:18). This is the 'futurist' aspect of Paul's eschatological teaching." (The Wycliffe Bible Commentary)

>3. What should we put away?

* Colossians 3:5 "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry."

* Colossians 3:7-10 "You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, 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."

* "Put to death" -We need to take action. We need to stop these things. In my lifetime I have seen these things that we are to stop, the culture of the world now celebrates. The world today praises and honors people who do these abominations. We are to stop ourselves from doing these things. We are to resist the flow of the world.

* A.W. Tozar wrote, "Perhaps most needed in modern materialistic American Christendom is a vow to own nothing and a prayer to be delivered from things and from ambition." Since Tozer's death this practice can be spread to much of the modern world.

* "Far from negating God's love, his wrath confirms it. For without justice mercy loses its meaning." (Tasker, The Biblical Doctrine of the Wrath of God)

* "put on" -Like putting on a new garment we need to put on new habits.

>Why?

* Colossians 3:6 "Because of these, the wrath of God is coming."

* Matthew 24:10-13 records Jesus teaching his disciples, "At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."

* The wrath of God is during the tribulation. This is a seven year period when the men who do evil will be judged. Revelation and other places speak of the dreadfulness of this time.

* God's wrath is real and important. The wrath of God leads to fear of God. Fear of God leads to wisdom and knowledge. As previously stated in this letter, Jesus contains all wisdom and knowledge. (2:3)

>What does verse 11 have to say about our new self?

* Colossians 3:11 "Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all."

* "Christ is all" -We are a part of Christ. We are united with him. Jesus is the glue that binds believers together. Ephesians 5:30-32, "for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church."

* "is in all" -Christ is in all his people through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Since Jesus is in all, we are a part of his body.

* This is not socialistic rhetoric, nor can it be used for socialistic propaganda. This is not a uniformity of status in the present world order, but a change in attitude by which the stigma of being different is loved away. It is "a unity in diversity, a unity which transcends differences and works within them, but never a unity which ignores or denies differences or necessarily seeks to erase them." (E.E. Ellis, Segregation and the Kingdom of God)

* Jesus is all that matters.

II. Clothe Yourself With... (12-17)

>4. What does it mean that we are God's children? (12a)

* Colossians 3:12a "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved"

* "Therefore" -Paul states what we generally should do, and then gets very practical with specific application of the doctrine previously stated in chapter two.

* "as God's chosen people" -Israel was God's chosen people. (Duet. 4:37) Now the church is also God's chosen people. (1 Peter 2:9) Paul called himself chosen and anyone who comes to faith are chosen by God. Yet here Paul is speaking corporately here. We are God's chosen people. Being chosen does not exclude us from living a life that pleases God. We are chosen so that we can have the ability to do what is right and resist what is wrong.

* "holy" -Stated earlier in this letter.

* "dearly loved" -God loves us to the point of sending his one and only Son to save us through death on the cross. (John 3:16)

>How should God's children live?

* Colossians 3:12b "clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."

* "clothe yourselves" -The child of God has the ability to take off the sinful nature and put on the new nature. We are to stop the old habits and adopt new habits. This voluntary act is up to us. Do you want to do it? Why do it? Because our heavenly Father promises us a great reward for those who live a life that is pleasing to him. Also, the sinful nature leads to all kinds of problems in this life. Once we sin there are consequences in this life as well as on judgement day.

* These are some of the fruits of the Spirit. (Gal. 5:22)

>5. Why would God's children need to bearing with each other?

* Colossians 3:13 "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."

* "Bear with each other" -The Greek word for bear can also be translated suffer, forbear, and endure. The impression is that sometimes unity is not easy. The body of Christ is made up of people from different backgrounds, culture, race, age, and nation. Thus there are many differences. When I went to Africa, Europe, and Asia I saw many differences than my North America upbringing. Even with such differences we have a common bond in Christ. The differences can sometimes be hard to bear. Especially with those within our own local congregation. Sometimes we personally suffer through the differences.

* "forgive whatever" -No exception.

* "grievances" -Meaning cause of blame, complaint, and quarrel.

* Jesus said all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.

>How can we do this? (13b; Matt. 6:12)

* Colossians 3:13b "Forgive as the Lord forgave you."

* Matthew 6:12 "Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors."

* Jesus spoke an excellent parable about a servant of a king that was forgiven much debt by the king. Later the servant saw a poor man who owed him one cent. The poor man couldn't pay back the one cent so the servant had him put in jail until he could repay. Jesus said Christians like this will be beaten with many blows at the Bema seat. (Matt. 18:21-35)

* Love is all important in forgiving. A believer in Jesus who cannot forgive is not submitting himself to the Holy Spirit. God will test his children and this is one way he will test us.

>What is the greatest virtue we should live by?

* Colossians 3:14 "And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."

* "over all" -continuing the metaphor of clothing, love is the upper garment that we put on.

* God is love. (1 John 4:16)

* Love is a word used a lot these days. Thus, there are more than one meanings. The first would be a chemical physical love which is a mechanism of sex which is short lived and not love at all really. The next is a sentimental emotional love which is involves something for the self. The greatest is the love that God has for us; selfless self sacrificing love. Jesus said, "Greater love has no one that this, that he lay down his life for his friends." That is how God wants his children to love each other.

* Jesus told a great and now famous parable to illustrate love. We call it the good Samaritan parable. (Luke 10:25-37)

* Often it is hardest to love those closest to us. Understanding, knowing, and practicing love is a lifetime pursuit.

>Why?

* "which binds them all together in perfect unity"

* Love is the thread, the glue, the bolt, and rivet. If the thread of a garment is pulled out the pieces of cloth falls off the body. If a rivet in a pressure cooker would lose or be missing the pot and that within would blow apart. The point is clear, without love we are nothing.

* 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 states the importance of love. "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing."

>6. What should rule our hearts?

* Colossians 3:15 "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful."

* "Let" -This is a choice. We can choose peace or reject it. We have to decide continually. Are you at peace with God now? Does his peace rule you now? If not repent and come to him in humble prayer.

* "peace of Christ" -We are not at war with God. Before we repented we were at war with God in the members of our body. Now a peace of heart that surpasses understanding is available to us if we remain united with Jesus.

* "rule in your hearts" -Rule our hearts is control our hearts. Anger and hate can control a person. Peace of Christ can control us too.

* The attitude of peace that Christ alone gives - in place of the attitude of bitterness and quarrelsomeness. This attitude is to rule us like an umpire in all believer relationships.

* "And be thankful" -If we love and live in peace but are bitter about it, what good is it. A parent can force a child to apologize, but he can't force him to mean it and be thankful that he could apologize.

* "I'm sorry," and "I'm wrong," are the two hardest words lovers can say to each other. Yet they are as important, if not more important as, "I love you."

>How can this happen?

* Colossians 3:16a "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom"

* "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly" -We must continually have the word of Jesus in us. To do this we must read, study, and memorize it.

* Jesus said, "Give us today our daily bread," and, "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the Father." Jesus said, "I am the bread of life," and Jesus is the word of God in the flesh. Jesus said, "Eat my flesh." We are to daily go to the word of God praying for the Holy Spirit to use it to give us life's spiritual bread.

* "richly" -Meaning of very high quality.

* "dwell" -Stay continually, abide in, live in.

* "teach" -Bible study is learning from each other. We can sit down at a table, in a lecture hall, over the phone, radio or television, listen to a message in a church or recorded, reading a book, or read these web pages; all of these are a mode of teaching.

* "admonish" -Admonish is to reprove gentle but earnestly and to remind of something forgotten, disregarded, or ignored.

>7. How should we praise the Lord in song?

* Colossians 3:16b "as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God."

* This verse starts out with "the word of Christ." Therefore, hymns and spiritual songs should contain the world of God.

* "psalms" -A psalm was originally a song accompanied by a stringed instrument. (1 Cor. 14:15. The idea of accompaniment passed away in usage, and the psalm, in New Testament times was a Old Testament psalm, or a composition having that character.

* "hymn" -A hymn is a song of praise, distinctly Christian.

* "spiritual song" -A spiritual song is the general term for a son of any kind. This also includes sacred poems.

* "gratitude" -Meaning grace and thanksgiving to God.

* "in your hearts to God" -When we sing our hearts must be turned to God. He is the reason we sing and play musical instruments.

* They are not restricted to singing nor to public worship. They are to be used in mutual Christian teaching and admonition. Ephesians 5:19-20 is a parallel passage. "Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

* I am so grateful for God giving us these things coming from a family where music was an important part of the family I have a great appreciation of them.

>8. What does it mean to do things in the name of the Lord? (17)

* Colossians 3:17 "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

* "whatever you do" -Elsewhere the scriptures makes a point that all we do should be in the name of the Lord Jesus.

* "whether in word or deed" -Preaching the gospel or practicing the fruits of it.

* "do it all in the name " -"In the name" means;
    1) the object or purpose of,
    2) union or communion with,
    3) in the sphere of,
    4) equivalent to his person.

* "of the Lord Jesus" -Jesus is our Lord and we are acting as his ambassadors in this world. An ambassador is a diplomatic offical, messanger, and representative of the highest rank appointed and accredited as representative in residence in and to this world from our Lord and his kingdom for a specific length of time.

III. Households (3:18-4:1)

>9. Why could it be hard to submit to someone?

* Colossians 3:18 "Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord."

* "submit" -Submit means yield and surrender one's will to another's will. Obey is never used in Scripture in regard to wives. Peter gives a reason for this. He wrote, "Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives... submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear." (1 Peter 3:1-2, 5b-8)

* "as it is fitting in the Lord" -Meaning well pleasing to the Lord as we would be in submitting to the Lord.

* Order in the home is meant, not to puff up a browbeating husband.

* The question sometimes is asked, "What should a wife do if the husband is unsaved or a backslider?" There are several examples; for example Tamar and Esther. No one, wife or husband is to do anything against the ways of the Lord if another tells them to. For example, the apostles did not submit to their Jewish religious leaders when they were ordered to stop preaching Jesus' name. The same would be true if the husband is a drunk and beats his wife; leave him, pray for him, and do all to avoid divorce. "As is fitting to the Lord" is added and is very important here.

>What example of love should husbands live by?

* Colossians 3:19 "Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them."

* "love your wives" -What kind of love? Ephesians 5:25-28 "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself."

* "do not be harsh with them" -Harsh here is both physically and verbally. New and young husbands (and some older one's too) do not realize how much hurt and joy their words can bring to their wives. I shutter to think of all the wrongs words I've said to my wife and all the words I should have said to her. Controlling the tongue takes love and wisdom. A kind word and a compliment goes a long way in making a wife beautiful. Won't you have much joy if Jesus were to say to you when you enter heaven with a big grin, "Well done my faithful and beautiful much loved one!" even though you burnt the dinner.

>What goes against the thought and action of obeying?

* Colossians 3:20 "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord."

* "obey" -Wives are to submit. Children are to obey.

* "your parents" -In modern culture many parents have turned raising their children over to others; schools, nannies, neighbors, and family members. Parents are to raise children. Children are to obey parents.

* "in everything" -no exception. What if the parent is unsaved or a backslider? See the note on wives above.

* "for this pleases the Lord" -This is the only one Paul add this.

* Exodus 20:12 states, "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you."

* The direction for children does not end when the child leaves the house. It last until the parent is dead. The modern act of forgetting and not taking care of our elderly parents is detestable to the Lord. Strangers cannot take care of parents as children and strangers cannot take care of children as parents.

>What does it mean to embitter someone?

* Colossians 3:21 "Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged."

* "embitter" -Embitter means to arouse bitter feelings, exasperate, and provoke to anger.

* A father that constantly criticizes or ignores a child will embitter them. A father should encourage and compliment his children, all of them though not all the time. If a father pays more attention to one over the others, or ignores only one of several it will also embitter a child. A father should be imbalanced in his words; in favor of compliments over rebukes and this done evenly with all children. A father that makes an effort to have a personal relationship with his children does well. A father that always instructs and never apologizes will embitter a child. A father that compares one child to another will embitter the children. A father should discipline and correct evenly and fairly and in a way so that the children understand the rules. The rules should be agreed upon as well as the punishment and these should not be broken, and yet a father can do this to teach the meaning of mercy and grace.

>10. How can slavery be applied to today's world?

* Colossians 3:22-25 "Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism."

* Colossians 4:1 "Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven."

* "Slaves" -Much of the Roman world consisted of slaves. Estimates for the prevalence of slavery in the Roman Empire vary. Some historians estimate that approximately 30% of the population of the Empire in the 1st century was enslaved. The Roman economy was certainly heavily dependent on slavery. The institution of slavery in ancient Rome reduced those held to a condition of less than persons under their legal system. Stripped of many rights, including the ability to marry, slaves were the property of their owners. Over time, the rights of slaves increased, to include the ability to file grievances against a master. After manumission a freed slave was known as a freedman and any future children of a freedman would be born with full citizenship. Slave uprisings such as that of the late 70s B.C. were harshly dealt with.

* The modern world still has slaves, though in many countries slavery is illegal. Modern slaves are treated terribly.

* Many people work for a wage so low that it could be considered a type of slavery, though they may have the right to quit their employment.

>What can workers and managers learn?

* A Christian manager and worker should work as though he is doing so for the Lord. We should always remember that we will stand before the mercy seat (aka bema seat) to give an account of our actions even though we are forgiven our sins.

>11. Why should we follow these rules?

* Colossians 3:25 "Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism."

* The mercy seat, (aka Bema seat) is real and only for those who have believed and confessed the name of Jesus.

>When will we receive a reward?

* God established three feasts in the seventh month of the Jewish calendar to show us our future. The Feast of Trumpets starts at the first sight of the new moon on the 1st day of the month. Yom Kippur is on the 10th day. Shmini Atzeret is on the 15th day. They mark events of the Millennium.
    Yom Kippur means Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement and The Feast of Trumpets are connected. They are called the High Holy Days. The Feast of Trumpets is the first of the High Holidays, followed by ten holy days, and ends on the Day of Atonement.
    The High Holidays are also called Yamim Noraim, meaning "Days of Awe"; and Asseret Yemei Teshuva, meaning “Ten Days of Repentance.” The High Holidays are specifically set aside to focus on the wonder and fear of the Lord and on repentance. (Ex. 30:10, Lev. 16:1-34, 23:27-32, 25:1-55, Num. 29:7-11)
    In Ezekiel 40:1 there is a general reference that the High Holidays are the "beginning of the year.” Exodus 23:16 and 34:22 also seem to indicate this. Why call the seventh of twelve months the first day of the year? The end of the Feast of Trumpets and the beginning of the Day of Atonement is the first day of the year because it marks the beginning of Jesus' reign on earth.
    Yom means "day" in Hebrew. When the first English translators came upon the word kippur they discovered there was no English equivalent. So they created the word “atonement” by joining at, one, and “met”. The Day of Atonement marks the time when Jesus' bride and those who made it through the seven years of wrath will be gathered before Jesus' throne in Jerusalem at the great banquet feast of the Lamb. There will be great celebration and joy for several days.
    Kippur comes from a root Hebrew word that means "to cover or hide"; a secondary meaning is "to obliterate (sin)" and hence "to expiate". There is a link to the Hebrew word "kapporet" meaning "the mercury seat". 2 Corinthians 5:10 and Romans 14:10 tell us that believers will be brought into examination before the Son of God, the King and their Bridegroom. The New Testament uses the Greek word Bema for this judgment seat. Bema means a raised platform which had a seat on it. Sale-Harrison wrote in the book The Judgment Seat of Christ, “In the Grecian games in Athens, the old arena contained a raised platform on which the president or umpire of the arena sat. From here he rewarded all the contestants; and here he rewarded all winners. It was never used as a judicial bench.” Paul used the Athens' games as an example of his goal to gain a prize and a crown. (1 Cor. 9:24-27, and 2 Tim. 2:5, 4:6-8, Phil. 4:1, and 1 Th. 2:19)
    Thus, Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is when each of Jesus' loved ones meets him face-to-face. We will see him with our own eyes and he will judge our deeds done in this life. As we approach his radiant glory, glory of staggering proportions, his light will burn away all that is not pleasing. As we approach him all that will be left in us is the good deeds we did in this life.
    The Day of Atonement is described by Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians. “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.” (1 Cor. 3:11-15)
    What does gold, silver and costly stones represent? What will survive? Later in his first letter to the Corinthians Paul tells us, “And now these remain faith, hope and love.” (1 Cor. 13:13a) When Jesus' loved ones come before their King and Bridegroom his glory will burn away all that was not done with faith, hope, and love. All that will remain is what was done with faith in Jesus, hope in his kingdom, and love for him and others. This day marks the day when Jesus will give rewards to his bride according to what they did during their first lives. (Rev. 22:12, 5:10, 4:2, 1:5-6, and 2 Cor. 5:10, and 1 Cor. 6:2, Dan. 7:22, 12:1-13, Luke 19:11-27, Matt. 25:14-30, Jam. 1:12, and 1 Pet. 5:4, etc.)

* The above is taken from the manuscript The Believer's Future - Hope That Inspires.

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