Monday, September 30, 2013

The Authority of Citizenship

"May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." Colossians 1:11-14 ESV

We are pulled out from under a power or domain of oppression and ushered into a kingdom filled with patience, joy and thankfulness. Grace involves the belonging of citizenship.

The word for domain here is Exousia (G1849) and it speaks of an authority. It is the same word used here:

"He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him." Colossians 2:15 ESV

Authorities govern social laws or rules. They impose isolation using darkness. It could be anything from racial segregation to cliques in a high school parking lot. Some people may seem to be on top but really everyone involved is under it.

"For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body - Jews or Greeks, slaves or free - and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. ... But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. ... If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it." 1 Corinthians 12:13-14, 18-20, 26-27 ESV

Grace removes every reason for isolation. Now everyone involved really is involved. No one is forced to be under anyone else. In honor we exalt each other in love.

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35 ESV

That is the love that people will see and be amazed at.

"By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another." 1 John 3:10-11 ESV

This equality in honor is the practice of righteousness spoken of here. Only grace can produce it in relationships. Religion will impose one social bondage or another. Secularism will exalt a kind of equality without power. Grace is Godliness. It has all the authority of citizenship.

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