Raised With Christ, Part II: Our Lives Are Hidden With Christ in God
If I were to sum up Colossians 3:1-17, I would say that Paul is calling us to be transformed in our flesh to who/what we already are in Christ. We ARE the righteousness of God in Christ, but our flesh does not often reflect that reality.
Session 2 focused on Colossians 3:1-4. A few things in particular struck me about this session (I do hope to post the audio when it’s available but I am not sure when that will be).
Ø It was helpful to hear the phrase “things above” defined. The question is, to what “things” is Paul referring? The key phrase in that verse is “where Christ is.” In this passage, Paul is ultimately calling us to focus on anything that enables us to see and savor Jesus Christ more deeply…all the time. In everything we do, we ought to ask ourselves, “Does _____ help me to treasure Christ more deeply?” Anything that requires us to take our minds off of Christ should NOT be pursued. If we are forced to compartmentalize our faith, we must rethink our priorities. We’re called to live by the truth that “Christ is all, and in all” (Colossians 3:11). I was convicted that to the extent I overlook this truth, I dishonor Christ.
Ø Paul says “for you have died”. I hardly thought much about that phrase before. Paul DOESN’T mean that we have died in our flesh. Our flesh still has a powerful grip on our lives. Paul means that insofar as we are in Christ, we have died to the world, because Christ is holy. This means that because of Christ, we do not have to be ruled by sin anymore. We are free in Christ to be completely unresponsive to temptation, just as people are unresponsive to physical stimuli. Our lives ARE “hidden with Christ in God”; this passage simply calls us to reflect that reality in our flesh, by His grace. It’s not easy, but Christ is sufficient for these things.
So I was encouraged and convicted in this session. I was encouraged that Christ has triumphed over sin and Satan in every way that I fail daily, and that my identity is secure in HIM. I was convicted to press on in Christ to keep my mind ALWAYS on things above. I want my priorities to more deeply reflect the reality that “Christ is all, and in all.”
And “when Christ who is [my] life appears, then [I] also will appear with Him in glory”! (Colossians 3:4).