Monday, June 15, 2015

States of Being

Today St. Paul describes not what we should do but how it should be done. The list of words is worth some reflections.  Paul says that we should act in the following:

agnotes- cleanness, purity
While it is not popular to talk about this concept. It is worth noting that he puts it first.  We should also avoid the danger of limiting it to the sexual realm. We should examine  our motives for example and check the purity of those.

gnosis- knowledge, science
Christianity is not a religion that is about blind faith. We should be constantly striving to deepen our understanding not only of the Bible, but of how our faith has developed over the centuries. Who  is going to listen to us if we don't know what we are talking about?

macrothumia-longsuffering, patient endurance
The "macro" is the hard part. We don't mind a little pain, but the idea that we are going to have to wait a long time to see results, or that we are going to have to put up with a situation for a long time is not something we are often ready to embrace

chestotes- gentleness, kindness
A  true sign of holiness is this gentleness of spirit.  This is not the same as "being a doormat." To be a doormat is a lack of respect for the life God has given you.

Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit dwells in us and we therefore must always act in the Holy Spirit

agape anhypochrites- unfeigned love
How much damage is done in Christian communities everywhere by the person whose outward appearance is full of love and piety, but is busy gossiping about everything and every body.

logos alethias- The Word of Truth
When we see this phrase we should not stop with the Bible. We should remember that is the gospels THE word is Jesus, the eternal word made flesh.

dynamis theu- the power of God
The power of God is not something to be reserved for the crisis. There should only ever be one power that motives any word or action of the Christian, the power of God.

Look closely and you will see all three persons of the Trinity God the Father, the Son who is the Word, and the Holy Spirit.

Each of these is preceded by the preposition "in" With these eight simple expression, St. Paul describes the state in which we are to live.

But he closes the instruction with one last very useful phrase
dia ton hoplon tes dikaiosynes - by the shield of righteousness

a hoplon was a rounded shield made of wood with a bronze outer coating used by Greek infantry. Usually worn on the left arm, St. Paul interesting says we should have it "on the right hand and the left."  This of course leaves no free hand for an offensive weapon.  There are times when he refers to the sword but not here.

As we prepare to go out into the world today. In what state of mind will we go. how will we be spiritually dressed?