Colossians 3:1-4 ESV
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
If, Then What?
Whenever a sentence or a phrase begins with the word “if,” pay close attention. The word “if” is used to introduce a conditional clause, such as “on the condition that..” Or “in the event that..”
And if something is conditional, it is subject to particular requirements or stipulations, such as our salvation is conditional on us being crucified with Christ in death to sin and on us being reborn of the Spirit to walk in newness of life in Christ, and on us walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, and on us walking in obedience to the Lord and not in deliberate and habitual sin, and on us continuing in Christ until the very end.
[Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 3:5-10; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Matt 7:21-23; Jn 8:31-32; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 11:17-24; 1 Co 15:2; Col 1:21-23; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6,14-15; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 2 Pet 2:20-22; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10]
So, when this says, “If then you have been raised with Christ,” it is not assuming that the readers are all those who have been raised with Christ, but if they have, then this is what they are supposed to do. But then it explains somewhat the meaning of “raised with Christ,” for it follows after first having died with Christ to sin. Now their lives are hidden in Christ, i.e. Christ is their lives. Their source for life is now God and not the flesh.
In other words, when Jesus died on that cross he put our sins to death with him that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. But then God the Father raised him from the dead in victory over sin, death, hell and Satan, so that we can now live in victory over the same. So, by faith in Jesus Christ we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
Set Your Minds On
So, if you have died with Christ to sin, and if you have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, and if Christ is now your life, and your life no longer revolves around your sinful flesh, then seek the things that are of God and of his eternal kingdom and not the things of this sinful world. Don’t be running after all the pleasures of this world and of the flesh but seek and follow after the ways of God and of his righteousness.
And then let the light of Christ in your life shine before other humans so that they will desire what you have and so they will want to know the fulness of God in their lives and have salvation from sin and new purpose and direction for their lives. Be the Lord’s representatives to the world around you and on social media, and don’t join in with the ungodly in all their frivolity so that no one sees Christ in you because all you show them is the flesh.
Live your lives for God and for his eternal kingdom. Yes, live in this world, and yes, interact with the people of this world, but don’t be worldly. We don’t win people to Jesus if we live no differently from the ungodly. Yes, don’t be snooty and act superior but don’t become worldly to relate to the people of the world. God called us to be his holy people, set apart (unlike, different) from the world so we would be conformed to his likeness.
Colossians 3:5-10 ESV
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”
There are many people today, at least here in America, who are professing faith in Jesus Christ or who are calling themselves Christians who are living no differently from those who make no profession of faith in Jesus. They watch all the same TV shows and movies, listen to all the same music, play all the same games, have all the same conversations, and live very similar to if not exactly like those who make no claims to faith in Jesus Christ.
Other than the fact that they claim to be Christians, and they go to an institutional church gathering once a week, their lives do not reflect Christ, but they reflect the world. They hardly ever mention the name of Jesus unless they are asked to pray for a meal or unless they are in a “church” setting where talking about Jesus is acceptable conversation. But they know all the latest in the way of movies, actors, games and TV shows which reflect the world, and their conversations mainly revolve around those things.
Many of them, too, are still living in sinful addiction. Many of them are addicted to pornography or to other forms of sexual immorality and impurity. They are idolaters who live for sinful passion and evil desire, many of whom plot out on their beds how they plan to sin against God and spouse and others. And yet they show up at “church” each Sunday and put on a show of righteousness and godliness and they talk the walk there.
But since they are professing faith in Jesus Christ, perhaps in an environment of others who believe in Jesus and who hold to the principles of holiness and righteousness, they will often keep their sinful practices a secret and they will lie to cover them up and will pretend that they are doing well when they are not. For they want to make a good impression in front of others. They want others to think well of them. So they fake it.
But the truth of the gospel is not that Jesus died just to forgive us our sins so that we can go to heaven when we die. The truth of the gospel is that Jesus died to free us from our addiction to sin so that we could walk in his holiness and righteousness in obedience to his commands (New Covenant). And the truth is that if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin that we will not inherit eternal life with God, but we will face God’s wrath, instead.
An Original Work / November 21, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures
My people have forsaken Me,
Their Savior, who died on a tree;
Made idols, and they worshipped them;
So empty, they will ne’er fulfill.
Lord, You are the hope of Your chosen ones.
Those who turn away from You will be shamed;
The Spring of Living Water left behind.
Living Water satisfies.
The thirsty, let them come and drink;
Believe in Jesus as their King;
The gift of Jesus given them,
So they will never thirst again.
Indeed, the Living Water flows within.
It springs up like a fountain cleansing sin.
Eternal life in heaven promised them.
Living Water glorifies.
Oh people, won’t you come to Him?
Obey Him and repent of sin.
Let Jesus come and live within.
Surrender all your life to Him.
My people, won’t you turn your hearts to Me?
Forsake your idols and then you’ll be free.
Won’t you come now to Me on bended knee?
Living Water sanctifies.