John T. Willis

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Put Off the Old Person; Put On the New Person--Colossians 3:5-11

Paul and Timothy emphasize that since the people of God are to seek the things above, to set their minds on things above (Colossians 3:1-2), they are to "put off" the old person and "put on" the new person. Colossians 3:5-11 contains several imperatives emphasizing the old person that one is to "put off." There is a transition to the new person that one is to "put on." The details of the new person appears in Colossians 3:12-17, which will be the emphasis of the following blog.

I. Colossians 3:5-8 describe in detail the old person which one must "put off." There are two verbs to emphasize this "putting off"--"Put to death" (verse 5; see Romans 6:11, 13; 8:10); "Get rid of" (verse 8). Each of these verbs stresses FIVE sins charactistic of the old person, which may be derived from the Iranian "pentaschema." This falls into two parts.
a. The first list of five sins includes:
1. Fornication--The Bible constantly warns against fornication, sexual activity out of marriage. See 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Corinthians 5:10-11; 6:9-10; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Ephesians 5:3; 1 Timothy 1:9-10.
2. Impurity--This underlines fornication, indicating moral impurity or immoral sexual conduct. See 1 Thessalonians 4:7; Galatians 5:19; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Romans 1:24; Ephesians 5:3, 5.
3. Passion--This is shameful passion, which leads to sexual excesses. See
1 Thessalonians 4:5; Romans 1:26.
4. Evil desire--This is the desire of the flesh. See Galatians 5:16, 24; Romans 1:24; 6:12; 7:7-8; 13:14.
5. Greed or Covetousness, which is idolatry--This means setting the heart on wealth. One cannot serve God and wealth--See Matthew 6:24; Luke 12:15; 16:13.
b. The second list of five sins includes:
1. Anger--This is angry passion felt and performed against other human beings. See Ephesians 4:31; Galatians 5:19-20.
2. Wrath--This is vehement rage, much like anger. See Ephesians 4:31; Proverbs 16:32.
3. Malice--This is a wicked disposition expressing itself in evil speech. See
1 Corinthians 5:8; 14:20; Romans 1:29; Ephesians 4:31.
4. Slander--This is conscious telling of falsehood. See Mark 7:22; Ephesians 4:31; 1 Timothy 6:4; 2 Timothy 3:2.
5. Abusive language--James 3:1-12 describes ways in which a person does this with the tongue.
+The consequences of these sins is God's wrath in the final judgment. Colossians 3:6-7. See 2 Corinthians 5:10.

II. In Colossians 3:9-11, Paul and Timothy make the transition from the way of life of the old person to the way of the new person.
a. Now, one must not lie to other people. Verse 9. Lying continues to be a pervasive sin in humanity. The Bible forbids this practice. See Galatians 1:20; Romans 9:1; 2 Corinthians 11:31; 1 Timothy 2:7.
b. Positively, one must now "put on" the new person in knowledge according to the image of its creator. Verse 10. Paul frequently uses this figure of putting on a new garment--see Ephesians 4:24; Romans 13:12, 14.
c. This "new" relationship eliminates all former relationships. The "new person" is neither Jew nor Greek, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian nor Scythians, slave nor free. NOW Christ IS all and IN all. Verse 11. Former divisions are abolished in the eyes of God. We human beings still "struggle" about these differences. We are wrong when we do this. We are all one in Christ through the power of God as the Holy Spirit gives us strength and insight. See Ephesians
4:11-16; Galatians 3:26-28; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27.

This great text is very important for Christian living. Read and pray about this text often. Reflect on these thoughts. This text can change our lives.

Share YOUR insights and ideas with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis

Friday, March 19, 2010

Leafy Sea Dragon

The Leafy Sea Dragon, Phycodurus eques, is a marine fish in the family Syngnathidae, and includes seahorses. It lives in the waters of Austrlia from Kangaroo Island on the Southern shoreline to Jurien Bay on the Western shoreline.

The name "Leafy Sea Dragon" comes from its appearance with long leaf-like protrusions all over the body. These protrusions are used for propulsion and serve as a camouflage. This amazing creature propels itself by a pectoral fin on the ridge of its neck and a dorsal fin on its back closer to the tail end. These fins are almost completely transparent and difficult to se as they uldulate minutely to move the "leafy sea dragon" sedately through the water, completing the illusion of floating seaweed.

The "Leafy Sea Dragon" is 8 to 10 inches long, and feeds on plankton, small crustaceans, shrimp, and small fish. This creatures has a long pipe-like snout that is uses to feed. This creature differs from the seahorse in appearance, form of locomotion, and its inability to coil or graps things with its tail. A related species is the "Weedy Sea Dragon," which is multi-colored and grows weed-like fins but is smaller than the "Leafy Sea Dragon." The "Leafy Sea Dragon" is the official marine emblem of the state of South Australia. A biennial Leaf Sea Dragon Festival is held by the District council of Yankalilla, South Australia.

As with seahorses, the male leafy sea dragon cares for the eggs. The female produces up to 250 bright pink eggs, then deposits them on to the male's tail through a long tube. The eggs then attach themselves to a brood patch, which supplies them with oxygen. It takes nine weeks for the eggs to begin to hatch, depending on water conditions. The eggs turn a ripe purple or orange over this period, after which the male pumps its tail until the infants emerge, a process which takes place over 24-48 hours. The male aids in the babies hatching by shaking his taile, and rubbing it against seaweed and rocks. Once born, the infant sea dragon is completely independent, eating small zooplankton until large enough to hut mysids. Only approximately 5% of the eggs survive. Leafy sea dragons take approximate 28 months to reach sexual maturity.

Many things threaten the leafy sea dragon: collectors arrest them; medical people use them for research; predators destroy them; storms wash them ashore; pollution and industrial runoff destroy them.

The Leafy Sea Dragon is another example of God's wonderful creations. Our God is obviously wise, diverse, artistic, creative, imaginative. God has created each of us in his own way for his own purposes. Rejoice in God's work. Be thankful for ALL God does for YOU daily.

Share YOUR thoughts with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis