Friday, November 16, 2012

When the Heart and Will Get on Board

Children running and dancing during worship at Redeemer

This coming Sunday at Redeemer it is my joy to preach out of Colossians 3:1-4. Call these verses the key to Christian living; the key to a life of set-apartness for Christ (= holiness).

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Yes, there are God-given rules, to which your average religious person adds a bazillion more regulations and prohibitions. But rules and human fleshly willpower (Richard Foster has called this "will worship," i.e. worship of the human will) do not produce righteousness. What can? N.T. Wright comments on this.

“Learn to think about the things that are above, not the things that belong to the present world of change and decay. In fact, learning to think, rather than merely going with the flow of the world on one hand, or blindly obeying what look like stringent regulations on the other, is part of the key to it all.
One aspect of Christian maturity, and certainly one of the road signs on the road to Christian holiness, is that the mind must grasp the truth: ‘you died, and your life has been hidden with the king, in God!” Once the mind has grasped it, the heart and will start to come on board. And once that happens the way lies open to joyful Christian holiness. Don’t settle for short cuts.”
- N.T. Wright, Paul for Everyone: Colossians, 176