Papyrus 46, 2 or 3 generations from Jesus. Near perfect condition for 1,900 years later.
Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord!
It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.
2 Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision,
we who serve God by his Spirit,
who boast in Christ Jesus,
and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence.
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law,
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss
because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,
for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow,
attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal,
but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.
But one thing I do:
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.
18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.
20 But our citizenship is in heaven.
And we eagerly await a Savior from there,
the Lord Jesus Christ,
21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control,
will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ,
set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears,
then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these:
anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
9 Do not lie to each other,
since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free,
but Christ is all, and is in all.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with
compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
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.
16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,
7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Jesus Christ has power that enables Him to bring everything under His control.
When people confront Colossal things - time has to be taken to register the reaction.
All things are possible to those who believe - Jesus made Abraham righteous just for believing God.
And yet and yet when we consider our parallel readings we are told - not to hang on for the miraculous.
Abraham counted on the Righteousness of God. And believed his citizenship was Heaven living in a tent under Oak Trees. Abraham was willing to live out what God called him to do.
God is with us always. In the odd places He will go where needed - profound gratitude is felt. Lives change.
In faith, in the Gospel Jesus would go where ever He wanted. Locked rooms, walking on water, Jesus could even suddenly disappear. God took a physical body - the body of Jesus - died - and make Spirit saying, "Don't touch me I have not yet ascended." (A Spirit). And God remakes a physical body again. Jesus takes this miracle to do the Prophet Micah's reminder:
We struggle with this passage as human beings - God puts Himself through death - sacrifice - to bridge our gaps. At great cost. And the triumphant Jesus did not dash into the Temple to proclaim Himself to the Holy of Holies. Jesus was humble, showing Thomas His wounds and private. Jesus made breakfast. And Jesus appeared to 500. Not really the wide highway, even in victory, Jesus was choosing the meaningful path. 500 believers to carry the Light of Jesus to the Nation of Israel and too the world. This is how far the Light of God can travel in Love.
Lord God, help me today to be one of the number of God - You call Child of God in Jesus the Lord. Know me fully and all of my thoughts and aspirations. Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †