Christ is All

by Scarlett Stough

How is your first impression of another Christian formed? What do you see that creates your favorable or unfavorable opinion of that person? Is it skin color or facial structure; beauty or height; clothing quality; manners or lack of them; their influential status; or maybe, even their denominational label?

Paul wrote, “Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all (Colossians 3:11.)”

Let me loosely paraphrase this instruction from the perspective of our world today:

Because we have become new people without prejudices based on intellect, education, national or ethnic origin, culture, or even a person’s past violent or immoral behavior, we do not look down on others. We don’t favor the powerful over the vulnerable since Christ is all that is important and Christ is in all who believe and are being renewed in the image of God. In fact, all men are created to be renewed in the image of God and should be treated with respect.

Does this sound too good to be true? Have we reached the state of spiritual maturity that comes close to this ideal community? Hardly, but then Paul admitted he had not reached that state either, but he kept on working towards it (Philippians 3:12-16).

Since Christ is all and is in all, we are obligated to treat one another well, forgiving those who slip up, who fall back temporarily into those old habits which annoy or hurt us. We are called to be peacemakers. Grudges, revenge, retaliation, and cold contempt do not have any right to exist among those in whom Christ now lives. We can confess and turn from those natural urges to the new way Christ makes possible.

Our assemblies ought to be full of “the word of Christ” being practiced and taught while we worship God, being grateful to him for his love and calling, and as we encourage one another. As we learn to behave as children of God, practicing faith and love, others are watching. What is their impression of us?

For the Scripture References and related Bible Study Guide, go to Bible Study Guide: Renewed in Knowledge.

Volume 11 Issue 3 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation | Book Review

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