Since Or If?
 "If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth."  Colossians 3:1-2 NAS Translation....."Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God's right hand in the place of honor and power.  Let heaven fill your thoughts."  Colossians 3:1 New Living Translation

This is not a controversy about translations of the Bible.  Both of these translations are saying the same thing, but it is how we understand what they're saying that makes all the difference.  This was brought home to me just the other day as I got together with a pastor friend for our weekly prayer time.  He brought up these verses saying the the Greek word used in the beginning could be translated as either "if" or "since."
He then made the point that how we understand them can make all the difference in the way we live in and for Him.  The word "if" leaves room in our hearts to question whether or not we are really living in the resurrection power of Christ.  The teaching of His Word is clear that all those who truly receive Him are now partakers of that power.  The witness of so many of those who profess to be His followers says something much different.  The possession of His resurrection Life should bring to us a hunger for even more of that Life.  That Life is to fill and empower our lives.  We're called to the high places with Him, but too often we stay grounded in the valleys and low places of this life.  We're always looking for the "better country" here, and never completely grasp that He is the better country.  That His Life is real life.

If we're living in the "if" translation, then it seems that there is always some nagging question or doubt as to the reality of the life He created us for and calls us to.  The things of this life on earth weight heaviest on us, and garner most, if not all of our energy and attention.  Heaven life, Kingdom life is a far off reality, and not really much of a reality to us at all.  We believe we will "live" there one day, but that day is not this day.
So we live in the lowlands, and His reality is not ours.  When Christ gave the blind man his sight, he at first told Him that he was seeing the people before him as "trees" but then he saw clearly.  For so many, our spiritual sight never gets past the tree stage.  We never really see things as He intends us too.  They remain spiritually blurred.

This is not so for those living in the "since" translation.  We not only know about His resurrection life, we're experiencing it, living it right now.  We tend to the affairs of this world, but always with a conscious awareness of His world.  A world that is now ours as well.  One day we will enter into all of its fullness, but we live in all the fullness of it that's possible right now.  It's the risen life of Christ.  The vertical life.  Far too many live a horizontal spiritual life.  All we see is what's happening around us, and so are immersed in the circumstances of that life.  We're focused on the need, the problem, the lack.  The vertical life sees past all that to the Source, the Father.  We face all the problems and dangers of this life with a sure confidence and real presence in and of Him.  We walk in His risen life, and so the "death power" of this world cannot keep us from all the fullness of His life here.  His resurrection life has conquered death, and so we live as "more than conquerors."  In Him.  Are you and I living such a life?

Since or If.  Which "translation" do we live in today?  Horizontal or Vertical?  Which spiritual reality is ours?  

Blessings,
Pastor O
 
  December 2017  
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