The Life You Once Lived

Colossians 3:1-4 NIV

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

Before Jesus was raised from the dead, he had to first die. And in his death he put our sin to death. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us (2 Co 5:15, 21).

So, when we come to faith in Jesus Christ, of the Spirit of God, we first die with him to sin. Our old self, which was ruled by the flesh, is put off when we are crucified with Christ. And then we are raised with him to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; Col 2:11-15).

But we don’t just die with Christ to sin, but we are raised with Christ to newness of life in him, which is to be lived to Christ and to his righteousness. Now we are to no longer walk (conduct our lives) according to our flesh, but we are to walk (in lifestyle) according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God (1 Pet 2:24; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2).

And this is what this is talking about here. For, when we believe in Jesus with God-given faith, persuaded of God to believe in Jesus, our lives change. We do a spiritual U-turn. We were living in sin, now we live to God and to his righteousness. We were under the control of the flesh and Satan, and now we are under the control of God’s Spirit (Acts 26:17-18; Eph 4:17-24).

Where we were focused on the things of this life and this world, now we are focusing our lives on Christ and his kingdom. Where our minds were set on earthly things, now they are set on what is eternal and what is of God and of his righteousness and holiness.

While we still live in this world, we do have to focus some attention on our lives in this world, such as we have jobs to do, places to live, food to provide and to eat, transportation to provide, families to support and care for, laundry to do, dishes to wash, and bills to pay, etc.

But those things are not to be our gods. We are not to live for those things. They are not to be what our hearts and passion and desires are set on to where we give our lives over to them and worship them rather than give our lives in surrender to Jesus Christ and worship him with our lives.

Who or what owns us? That really is the question. For, the Bible teaches that we are slaves to the one we obey. If we obey sin, it ends in death. But if we obey obedience, it leads to righteousness and it ends in eternal life with God (Rom 6:16-23).

If Jesus is truly our Lord, he is our owner-master, and he is the one to determine our life course, not us. Jesus shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God so that we would now be God’s possession and that we would now glorify God with our lives (1 Co 6:19-20).

Colossians 3:5-10 NIV

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”

Although coming to faith in Jesus Christ means we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, we must continue to daily be dying with Christ to sin and by the Spirit be putting to death the misdeeds of the body (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 8:1-17).

And that is why we have so many instructions in the New Testament to the church telling them that they must continue putting to death whatever belongs to their earthly nature. And it is why we have so many warnings to the church, too, that if they don’t continue living to Christ and dying to sin, but they go on living in sin, that they will not inherit eternal life with God.

As Christians, we aren’t supposed to live like we did before we believed in Jesus. So, if you are claiming Jesus as your Lord and Savior, but you are living in sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry, then know the Scriptures teach that you will face the wrath of God, not go to be with God when you die (Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Col 3:5-7).

So, this is why we must put off all these evil practices (and more), not just so that we escape hell and so we go to heaven when we die, but because a life which is of Christ is crucified to the flesh, so that we can live for God and for his righteousness in his power and strength. This should be our desire!

I Would Be Like Jesus

James Rowe / Bentley Ackley

Earthly pleasures vainly call me
I would be like Jesus;
Nothing worldly shall enthrall me
I would be like Jesus:

He has broken every fetter
I would be like Jesus;
That my soul may serve Him better
I would be like Jesus:

All the way from earth to glory
I would be like Jesus;
Telling o’er and o’er the story
I would be like Jesus:

That in Heaven He may meet me
I would be like Jesus;
That His words “Well done” may greet me,
I would be like Jesus:

Be like Jesus this my song
In the home and in the throng;
Be like Jesus all day long!
I would be like Jesus.

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