Ruth: 1:20-21; The doctrine of bitterness, part 10 - the spiritual life is the only life vs. selfish ambition.

Class Outline:

Title: Ruth: 1:20-21; The doctrine of bitterness, part 10 - the spiritual life is the only life vs. selfish ambition.  


Verses 1-4 are who you are and what life you have been given.


COL 3:1 If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.


COL 3:2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.


COL 3:3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.


COL 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.


It is not enough to say that the life is shared with Christ, the life "is Christ." Your future is set in being revealed with Christ in ultimate glory.


JOH 17:20 "I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;


JOH 17:21 that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me.


JOH 17:22 "And the glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them; that they may be one, just as We are one;


JOH 17:23 I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me.


JOH 17:24 "Father, I desire that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me; for Thou didst love Me before the foundation of the world.


JOH 17:25 "O righteous Father, although the world has not known Thee, yet I have known Thee; and these have known that Thou didst send Me;


JOH 17:26 and I have made Thy name known to them, and will make it known; that the love wherewith Thou didst love Me may be in them, and I in them."


If Christ is our life and our future, then His interests must be our interests if we are to have any at all.


Everyone has interests. They are the things that we value and pursue. They are intricately linked with our own self-view and our world view. Those who love the world system have different interests than those who love Christ. The same is true for those who love self. In both cases of self-love and world-love there will always be a varying measure of want, and the finite, ungodly nature of self and world will be unable to fulfill that want, and so eventually, bitterness will rise within the soul and then manifest itself in more sin.


Since this is so… verses 5-11 are about what you should “put off.”


Vv. 5-11: "put off." When you find bitterness in your soul, or any other sin, you are to "put it to death," "put it aside," as you "put on the new self."


COL 3:5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion [pathos - pathology (disease)], evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.


Paul did not write “consider”, rather he wrote, “put to death now.”


The aorist active says: "By a once and for all act, put to death your members."


COL 3:6 For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come,


COL 3:7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.


COL 3:8 But now you also, put them all aside [aorist middle imperative]: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.


COL 3:9 Do not lie to one another [stop lying to one another], since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,


COL 3:10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him


COL 3:11 — a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.


Let's see the sister passage to this:


EPH 4:17 This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles [ethnos: heathen or unbeliever] also walk, in the futility of their mind,


EPH 4:18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;


EPH 4:19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.


EPH 4:20 But you did not learn Christ in this way,


EPH 4:21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,


EPH 4:22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,


EPH 4:23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind [by the truth],


EPH 4:24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.


Both "lay aside" (v. 22) and "put on" (v. 24) are infinitives. They are the constant background of our born-again existence, i.e. this has been done and it continues to be done, and so fit into the background.


If we see our lives like a painting or a book, and if we know that the background of that painting or book is a certain, unchangeable situation, then your character can be either in place or out of place.


EPH 4:25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.


The fact that we are members of one another is another unchangeable fact of our existence. It is a part of the background of our lives. Life won't make any sense for us, nor will it be enjoyable and fruitful if we do not fit into or match the unchangeable background which God has set.


When it does, we put off and put on.


Vv. 5-11 refer to the "put off".

Vv. 12-17 refer to the "put on".

Vv. 3:18-4:1 refer to "be subject".


COL 3:12 And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;


COL 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.


Joseph Thayer comments on the use of the verb "put on" both here and in verse 10 (put on the new self) says:


"put on" - "to become so possessed of the mind of Christ as in thought, feeling, and action to resemble Him and, as it were, reproduce the life He lived." [Thayer]