WEDNESDAY, MAY 23
SCRIPTURE: COLOSSIANS 3
This chapter begins with an important positional statement. Paul is writing to those who have been raised with Christ. This is not a reference to a physical resurrection (although that is to come). It is instead a reference to a spiritual resurrection.
In verse 3, we are reminded that at salvation we died with Christ. Again this is not a physical death but a spiritual one. We died to ourselves when we were saved. Part of what happened when that death occurred is we were hidden in Christ. But notice it is our life that is hidden in Christ. There is a great paradox here. We “died” but our “life” is hidden in Christ. Among other things that should tell us that our “life” as a Christian is not our “life” at all. It is instead a life that is given to us and found only in Christ. In fact, verse 4 says Jesus is our life. So, as Christ followers we are hidden in Him.
But it doesn’t stop there. Verse 4 also reminds of us the promise of resurrection. When Jesus appears on this earth again, Christ followers will appear with Him.
All of this speaks to our position in Christ. We should always be mindful of the fact that our position in Christ always leads to our practice. Part of our practice as Christ followers is we should kill off some stuff that is characteristic of the unredeemed life (verse 5) and we are to put away some attitudes that are characteristic of the unredeemed life (verses 6-7). As Christ followers, none of us is immune from any of that. So we must consciously and consistently make decisions not to let those things be present in us.
Verse 9 sums this up. We are to put off the old self. But we must also put on the new self. Think of this in terms of clothes. Imagine wearing some filthy, tattered, ruined clothes. Imagine being offered new, clean, pristine clothes. No one would put the new clothes on over the old clothes. We would all take off the old clothes first. Because any analogy will eventually break down, don’t chase this too far. But remember that as Christ followers, we have a responsibility to take the old stuff out of our lives and replace it with the things of Jesus.
Part of what we are to put on is found in verses 12-17. As you look over that list, slow down a little in verse 15.
The peace of God is to rule in our hearts. That word rule is the source of our word umpire. In other words, we are to let the peace of God be our decision maker. If we do that stuff of the old life, our peace with God will be interrupted. If we do the things of the new life, our peace with God will be deepened. We should let that be the determining factor in what we do, how we act, what our attitudes are, etc.
Doing that has a most important impact on our most important relationships. In verses 18-19, it affects our marriage relationships. In verses 20-21, it impacts our parent/child relationships. In verse 22, it should influence our work relationships.
All of that culminates in verse 23 with an amazing statement. Whatever we do, we should do to the best of our ability as though we were doing it for Jesus and not for anyone else. Now that is an interesting motivation for our everyday lives.