A Place for the God-hungry addresses honesty in preaching
“3. Present the opposing view as if very intelligent, good people believe this. In other words, don’t make fun of the opposing view or talk as if those who hold such a view are obviously not intelligent, thoughtful, or spiritual. When presenting an opposing view, present the strongest argument for that view, not the weakest. In other words, you may not agree with the view but you can respect those who happen to hold that view.”
While Alan Knox talks about trying harder
“Throughout the book of Colossians, Paul first exhorts his readers to trust Christ (only), and then describes what a life in Christ would look like. If we take this out of order, we turn the gospel into a exhortation to try harder. However, Paul’s instructions were not 'try harder,' but 'trust Christ.'”
And, I couldn't have asked for a better segue, as Joel talks about rules, sorta
“Therefore, 'right living,' according to life in Christ, is never a matter of going back to law or rules or our own sense of morality. Laws and rules might sometimes cause temporary outward changes of behavior, but in the long run they cannot truly deal with the issues of the flesh. That’s why we had to die to the law in order to be joined together with the One and only source of real life and godliness. Right living, then, comes not from external rules and laws, but rather internally, from the very life of Christ who indwells us. Through Him, God gave us a new heart and a new spirit. He made us into a new creation. He caused us to become partakers of the divine nature (His very nature).
“...Note that living by the Spirit doesn’t involve 'steps' to godliness or morality, or 'steps' to overcoming sinful behavior. This isn't a 'how to' or a set of 'principles for godly living.' What this is about is the power of a resurrected life (we have been 'raised together' and 'made alive together with Christ'). This is about God, who is 'at work in us' (Phil 2:13) and who is faithful to complete the work that He began (Phil 1:6). This is about God's grace at work in us.
“...So how do we overcome the addictions and indulgences of the flesh? Again, it’s not a set of rules or principles and it’s really not a 'how to.' It’s a Who. It’s a Person. It’s the work of God in us. It’s giving up the old life of trying to overcome flesh with self-effort (fleshly effort) and walking in the miraculous life of the living God who richly indwells us. Which will we choose? Fleshly right vs. wrong – or supernatural and miraculous co-resurrected life with Christ!”