Sunday, December 4, 2011

Alive in Christ (Colossians 3:1-4)

[3:1] If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. [2] Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. [3] For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. [4] When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4 ESV)

The key for followers of Jesus trying to live a life pleasing to God lies in knowing who they are; not in following a regimental system or list of prohibitions. Sure, there is always the struggle between who we are and who we used to be, but overcoming in that fight is not something we do but something that God does in us.

The mistake a lot of people make when reading this passage is to think that it is about some Gnostic knowledge that we must obtain. As if everything about the physical world is negative and we are supposed to spend eternity on a cloud somewhere playing a harp. (Why aren’t harps bad like other “earthy” instruments?) The “things above” are not otherworldly, they are things the way God intended them to be. The Kingdom of God is and will ultimately be an earthly kingdom, but on earth as God wants it to be.

As His followers we are a part of that kingdom. Instead of focusing on what it is no longer our nature to do, we concentrate on doing the things that we know we should be doing. We live as Christ would live because we are hidden in him. The more we seek to live like Christ, the more the Spirit empowers us to do so.

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