If You Have

The Lord Jesus led me to read Colossians 3 (vv. 1-4 NASB)

Therefore, if you have been raised up with Christ…

That word “if” is a big word, although it often goes unnoticed. When we see this word “if” show up in scripture, we should take notice, for it implies uncertainty, the unknown, or that something is conditional.

Basically, by wording this sentence this way, in this first verse of Colossians, chapter 3, it is not assuming that everyone who reads this has, indeed, been raised up with Christ, i.e. that we have first been crucified with Christ in death to sin and then made alive in God through Christ, by the Spirit of God, through genuine faith in him. Often, too, when this word “if” is present, there follows some instruction which tells us how to know if we are truly born again of the Spirit of God, and how to know if we are not. And so it is in this third chapter, although I am not quoting the entire chapter here.

Basically, we must understand that Jesus Christ died on that cross that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. This is the essence of the gospel of our salvation, that Jesus died to free us from slavery (addiction) to sin, and to free us to be bondservants of him and of his righteousness. So, if we have died with Christ to sin, and if we have been resurrected with him to new life in Christ, then that should be reflected by how we live our lives.

Thus, we should be walking (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit of God and no longer according to our sinful flesh. What does this look like? Well, it doesn’t mean we will never sin again (1 Jn. 2:1-2), but it does mean that sin should no longer be our master, so that we obey its lustful desires. Things such as rage, immorality, greed, lies, adultery, gossip, slander, idolatry, and the like, should be put aside, i.e. they should be out of our lives. We should no longer make any of these our practice, including we should not be entertaining ourselves by such sins via what we watch on TV, for example.

Instead, since we have put on Christ, if we have done that, at which time we were created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness, then we should be walking (conducting our lives) in such a way that reflects Christ in our lives in all humility, kindness, and compassion, forgiving others as Jesus Christ has forgiven us. And, we should be thankful for all that God has done for us, not just in saving us out of bondage to sin, and for giving us new lives in Christ Jesus, but for all the many ways in which he has richly blessed us with so many spiritual blessings, and for all the many ways in which he daily provides for all of our needs.

…keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

As followers of Jesus Christ, and because we still live in these flesh bodies, and because we still live in this world, I think we need these reminders, from time to time, that we are to keep our minds focused on what is eternal rather than on what is temporal, i.e. of this world.

Yet, every day our physical eyes see what is going on all around us. Every day we experience things in this life, on the planet earth, both good things and bad things. We have houses to clean, yards to mow or snow to shovel, jobs to work, bills to pay, children to care for, and/or relationships to build, etc. So, by necessity, our minds must be focused, to some extent, on the things of our earthly lives. But, even these things should be viewed from an eternal perspective. When we do any of these things, we should do so as unto God, with joy in our hearts, being thankful, giving praise to God.

We should live our lives throughout our days on this earth continually with this eternal perspective in mind. We ought to be continually in an attitude of prayer to where our Lord can speak to us any time of day or night, and to where we can hear him speak. Then, we need to be receptive to his voice, and to obeying what he says. We should always have our hearts and ears open to the voice of the Spirit of God guiding and directing our paths.

This means we need to be in his Word each day, learning what it teaches us we must do, and how we should live, and growing in our walks of faith, and getting to know our Lord and his will for our lives. But, then we must adhere to his teachings, and allow him to conform us to his image by obeying what he shows us, either with regard to what we must put off, or with regard to what we must put on.

For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

For, if we truly have been born again of the Spirit of God, by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, we have died to sin and self and our lives are now safeguarded in Christ, who is now our life, and we have the hope of eternal life with God. But, they are not safeguarded in Christ by a mere confession of faith. For, if we continue to walk according to our flesh, the Bible teaches, we will die in our sins, even if we prayed a sinner’s prayer, or even if we did make a profession of Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives.

So, how do we know if we are in Christ Jesus, by faith in him? We should be conducting our lives according to the Spirit of God and we should no longer be captivated by the ways of this sinful world, to where we follow after the world and not after Christ. But, Christ Jesus should truly be our lives, i.e. our lives should be about him and his Word and his will and his ways, and we should walk in them, by the Spirit, and in his power and strength, and we should no longer live our lives according to our sinful flesh.

That Man / An Original Work / May 23, 2013

Based off John 3:22-36

An argument between some men
Erupted out of resentment.
They came to John and said,
“That man is baptizing everyone.
They’re going to Him.”

So, John replied, “A man can
Only receive what is given him.
You yourselves can testify that
I said, ‘I am not the Christ.
I’m sent before Him.’”

The bride belongs to the bridegroom.
His friends await and watch for Him.
They are full of joy when they hear
His voice speaking words to them.
That now is our joy!

Jesus, the One who comes from heav’n –
He testifies of forgiveness.
Yet, so many do not trust in
His words, and do not repent.
They will face judgment.

The one who trusts in Jesus Christ
Has certified that God is truth.
Jesus Christ speaks the words of God.
Those who put their faith in Him,
Eternal life gain!

Thursday, November 23, 2017, 6:06 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for all that you taught me today through your word. Help me always to implement these truths to my daily life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen!

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