Right Hand of God
Posted by pastorrobin
Several times in scripture it says that Jesus is ‘seated at the right hand of God’. Our first thought is that means he is geographically sitting in a certain physical position. However, that is not the meaning or context of the passage. The original readers of the New Testament recognized this phrase not as a physical position but a …
position of authority
Check out this description from the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible:
Right, Right Hand.
Sense of “being straight”; terms used to describe that which is just or righteous (cf. Gn 18:25).
Figuratively speaking, God’s right hand is the means whereby victories are obtained for the people of God (Pss 17:7; 98:1); it is also an instrument of punishment for the ungodly (Hb 2:16). While the right hand of man is impotent to save (Jb 40:14), God’s right hand sustains his children in the hour of need (Ps 139:10). Furthermore, God promises to strengthen the right hand of the person he purposes to help (Is 41:13).
To be at the right hand of God is to occupy a place of the choicest blessings (Ps 16:11); it is the place where the Lord Jesus Christ now reigns in glory and intercedes for those he has redeemed (Rom 8:34).
To offer the right hand of fellowship is to extend the warmest and most accepting type of comradeship and is commonly practiced in the church (Gal 2:9). Giving the right hand as the sign of a pledge also has a biblical antecedent (2 Kgs 10:15).
Although the left hand is often linked to blessings (Prv 3:16), it may also be associated with treachery or other undesirable activity (Eccl 10:2).
Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (1860). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House.
This position of authority and power is where Jesus Christ “resides”. It was crucial to make this declaration to the people in the New Testament so that they clearly understood that Jesus was not just another man or prophet. On the contrary, he was ‘seated’ or ‘residing’ at a powerful right hand. And it wasn’t just anyone’s right hand, it was at the most powerful position in the world! Probably a better way to say it is that Jesus Christ was seated in the right hand of God!
Colossians 3:1 says that “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” This message is a message of direction and liberty for us. We are daily faced with the temptation to dwell on and focus on the earthly things of this current world. These things could be: pleasure, comfortableness, acceptance from peers, enough money, a future that is clearly defined, etc. The list goes on and on. Each of these things are temporary. If you have lived any amount of time, you have experience these for moments, days, weeks or maybe even months. Then, they drift away and we passionately pursue them. We think that if we can grasp them again, that we will be happy. The opposite is true. We waste energy and precious moments of our lives pursuing temporal or earthly things.
Colossians 3:2 says “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” This means that we are to make a conscious effort to focus our daily thoughts on ETERNAL things and not temporal ones. When you accomplish eternal activities, they are things that will never die. Even when you pass, your eternal activities outlive you. Eternal activities are things like: giving unselfishly, loving people that don’t love you, worshiping God, going the ‘second mile’ with people, denying your desires for those around you, responding in peace, etc. (Sermon on the Mount stuff)
If we have died to the old nature, then we will prioritize our schedule based on eternal/heavenly things. We will make conscious decisions that are consistent with our faith being in a Savior that is at the right hand of Authority and Power. We will not worry about all those screaming items on the temporal list, because we are so preoccupied with the eternal ones. As we focus on the eternal ones, our Savior sitting at the right hand of God will empower us with His Spirit to not only accomplish the eternal ones but He will also make sure we are taken care of on a temporal level.
About pastorrobinHello. I pastor PromiseLand Church in San Marcos, TX. I am married to Erica, and we have 3 kids: Kennady, Jude, and Avery. All little ones! Visit our church site at www.psmchurch.com
Posted on July 8, 2010, in Daily Word, My Book and tagged colossians 3:1, place of authority, promiseland church, right hand of God, right hand of the father, robin steele, san marcos, seated at right hand. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.
Pastor, this is wonderful stuff. God (The Father) does not have a physical body so therefore has no hands. It is not possible for a human mind to understand an infinite God with infinite capabilities, who exists outside of time and space yet inhabits every moment and particle of both. For this reason He created a human body to dwell within, giving humans a focal point of understanding. Jesus Christ is so completely human, yet within and through Him streams the infinite Spirit of creation. Your explanation of this seeming incongruity is right on the money. We need to grasp the fact that ALL power is given to Him in heaven and Earth. (Matt 28:18) Luke 22:69 records Jesus as saying: “Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.”
That part about dying is skipped over by many Christians today, but is foundational truth upon which we must build our spiritual lives. The Apostle Paul said he had to die daily (1Cr 15:31) and unless we do the same our Christianity is only words. Think about it, a dead man doesn’t care what you call him, how hard you hit him, how much money is in the bank, or anything else. He does not think at all. He is dead. So must we be if we expect the power of Almighty God to inhabit our being. We must be dead to our agenda, personal interest, or anything else that the flesh dictates is important. Instead we take on Christ’s agenda and He lives in us. The death of our self interest is only as fresh as our last contact with God in prayer. Without constant connection to God, we start to default back to our old nature and very soon the old man is right back in charge. You are so correct about Him supplying our temporal needs. (Matt 6:25-33)