Housewife Theologian

The Gospel Interrupting the Ordinary

The New Cosmos Inaugurated

Written By: Aimee Byrd - Jan• 23•14

I’ve been spending some time lately in the beginning of Colossians, where Paul is sharing what he has been praying for this church. I decided to write it out as a personal prayer to God for my family, church, and for some groups of women that I will be speaking to in the upcoming season and have found it very helpful. So it was even more enlightening for me to read some highlights that G.K. Beale points out about this section of Scripture in his book, The Temple and the Church’s Mission.

In this particular chapter, Beale is demonstrating how the church is described as a new temple in the epistles of Paul. He makes a very important point that the “Spirit himself is the beginning evidence of the new creation, wherein is resurrection existence and the abode of the cosmic temple…The Spirit is not merely an anticipation or promise of these realities but is the beginning form of them…the Spirit is the beginning evidence that the latter-day promises have begun to be realized in Christ and his people” (258). After giving ample evidences of this from 2 Corinthians and Ephesians, Beale moves on to Paul’s letter to the Colossians. Here he further reveals the fulfillment of the Gen. 1:28Cultural Mandate in Christ, the “eschatological Adam,” and all those in Christ, the church. Check out this parallel:


Genesis 1:28

increase [auxanō] and multiply and fill the earth…and rule over all the earth’.


Colossians 1:610

‘in all the world also it['the word of truth, the gospel'] is bearing fruit and increasing [auxanō]‘ (v.6); ‘in every good work bearing fruit and increasing [auxanō]…’ (v.10). (264)


Read the rest of this article over at Reformation21.

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  1. Tim says:

    I love that part of the excerpt that reads “we have been sent out with a benediction.” God has spoken a good word over us, and the Word himself is in us by the Spirit of Christ.

  2. Be careful with the ‘cultural mandate’ idea. Is it really biblical? Or is accepting the existence of some kind of ‘cultural mandate’ the first step on the road to believing that Christians are called to ‘redeem the culture’ for King Jesus? This theology of glory is antithetical to realizing that Christians really are exiles in this world.

    • Aimee Byrd says:

      Rhonda, I encourage you to read the all the biblical evidence for this in Beale’s book. But I do understand your concern. I do not hold to a transformationalist position. Rather, this model shows Christ growing his spiritual/redemptive kingdom through his church (not transforming the culture). We look forward to the new heavens and the new earth for a holy culture.

What do you think?