Everyone wants to live in a world full of kindness, forgiveness and peace. But few stop to think about what that world costs. The price is what makes it so valuable.
Colossians 3:12–15 (NIV)
13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
When love and the Spirit-enabled virtues are operative at the core of the church’s life, “peace” is the natural result. There are two aspects of peace: It is a gift from Christ (“of Christ” means both that it is his peace and that he is its source), but the believers must still submit to and work at it… This peace is three-dimensional—vertical (peace with God, as in 1:20: reconciliation achieved by “making peace through his blood”), horizontal (peace in the church, Eph 4:3: “the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace”), and internal (peace in the heart). In one sense all three dimensions are active here. As Christ sends his peace to rule the community, the church allows it to control its relationships, and the people experience this heartfelt peace concretely in their daily lives. Yet it is more than inner tranquility and corporate unity; peace is an eschatological gift, fulfilling the Old Testament promises (Ps 29:11; Isa 9:6–7; 52:7; 54:13) and providing a foretaste of the eternal peace that will be ours when the final kingdom has arrived. The church’s role with regard to this peace is clear: The believers are to “let it rule.” Christ’s blood has brought reconciliation and divine peace to his followers (1:20). In contrast, Rome prided itself on its Pax Romana (the “Roman peace”), but this was a façade for subjugation via the sword. Christ provides a lasting peace, but it is not automatic. Believers must make it operative by allowing it to “rule” their relationships—to permit it to guide and control their interactions. Interestingly, this verb is a form of the Greek word rendered “disqualify” in 2:18, where it is used negatively of the false teachers judging their followers. Paul is contrasting the two approaches: The Colossians must not let themselves be judged by others but should place themselves only under the lordship of Christ. The judgmental attitude of the false teachers will fracture the church and destroy its harmony; in contrast, Christ will unify the body and enable it to find peace. – Grant Osborne
In particular, notice how Paul draws the picture together, again and again, with reference to the Lord, the king, to Jesus himself. Jesus forgave you, so you must forgive; that’s what gives you the energy to use love as the belt, or perhaps the outer garment, which holds together and in place all the new clothes that you must put on (verse 14). King Jesus is to be the decider in all your deliberations, and his desire for peace among his people is the key factor (verse 15) – N.T. Wright
About the Lord’s Supper
Who should take part in communion at Goshen CRC?
[T]hose who are truly sorrowful for their sins, and yet trust that these are forgiven them for the sake of Christ; and that their remaining infirmities are covered by his passion and death; and who also earnestly desire to have their faith more and more strengthened, and their lives more holy; but hypocrites, and such as turn not to God with sincere hearts, eat and drink judgment to themselves.*
The Apostles’ Creed I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord— Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe a holy catholic** church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. AMEN.
* Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 81 also 1 Corinthians 11. We believe that this should describe every healthy Christian. If you have questions about this, or want to change to meet this description, please see a pastor or an elder, we’d love to help you grow closer to Jesus together.
** The word “catholic” comes from the Greek katholikos, which means universal, wide ranging, whole. Not to be confused with “Roman Catholic” or sometimes capitalized ‘Catholic’. As Christians we “commune” (e.g. we are part) of the larger body of Christ spread out geographically and throughout time. (A form of this creed was written in 390 AD)