Summary: Connection with christ -from death to life is a sermon about christian living reminding christians the need to remain connected with christ our source of power and authority. Colossians 3:1-4
In a team game called cricket, the position of a captain matters greatly which is the reason selectors or the cricket boards of teams always take their time in appointing captains for their teams. The captain is the leader of the team on and off the field of play. He is the link, the catalyst and the leader who gives the team direction, tactics,drive, motivation and sometimes,the team power source. In a word he is the connection. Remove the captain and the team may become dysfunctional and ultimately flounders. Basically, the connection is broken.
Many years ago, I bought myself a car which my children dubbed ’a banger’,although I bought this car to regain my freedom from car thieves who visited my previous car on three occasions, it however served me very well and fit for purpose. I packed it with total freedom anywhere I liked even without locking it. One day I came out of the local post office and my banger won’t start. I called the Automobile Association mechanics and he told me the fuel line was broken. The connection was broken and the car won’t run.
The same could be said for my electric shaver which I thought for days had gone unserviceable. Then at the weekend my wife was cleaning the washroom and discovered I had mistakenly plugged the charger and not the shaver. Unplugged, the electrical appliance has no power, again the connection is not established and so the shaver won’t work.
As Christians our connection to power and authority is through our Lord Jesus Christ. Removed, severed, unplugged and our connection is not established and therefore we can not effectively operate.
Paul was well aware of this as he advices the church in colosse "So if 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 is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory" Col 3:1-4
The book of Colossians is one of the four prison letters of Paul(Ephesians, Phillipians,Colossians and philemon,EPCOP)written while he was in prison in Rome while awaiting trial before the emperor Nero around A.D.60. It has been called a book of connections written to advice converts of the need to combat errors in the colossian church and to show that belivers need to continue their connection in Christ in whom all their needs are met. Paul never visited Colosse, this was a church founded by Paul’s converts such as Epaphras and possibly Onesimus and others. The Church at Colosse had been infiltrated by heretical teachers, it suffers from religious relativism with some believers attempting to combine elements of Roman paganism and secular moral philosophical thinking with the christian doctrine. This spiritual malaise came to Paul’s notice and he was having none of it amongst his christian brothers and sisters. He wrote to remind Colossian Christians of their root in Christ and charges them to re-connect with Christ Jesus by seeking the things above. He told them to remember that they have been raised with Christ. He also in verse 3 reminds them that they have died, and their life is hidden with Chrsit in God.
There’s a lesson here for us, as Christians we need to realise we cannot afford to sit and look while fellow Christians suffer dangerous spiritual attack and invassion, Paul set the example of Christian and pastoral leadership here. The Church today needs to remain connected to Christ in whom all truth is embodied to rebuff the advances of the devil. Let us take note Paul twice used the word ’have’ in reminding the colossians, "you have been raised..." 3:1 and also "for you have died" 3:3 emphasising the past occurence of thier experience in Christ. They are therefore bounded with Christ and hidden as a treasure with Christ in God. As Christians we need to realise our power source is ultimate and superior and as author Neil Anderson says in his book, The Bondage Breaker,(Harvest House Pub,2000, Oregon) "we are to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ; that is,if it isn’t true, don’t believe it" It means we are to test every word we say or is said to us before we belive it, as the things we believe soon translate itself in to our minds and affect what we do.
Today many of us suffer from religious relativism and heretical teachings like the Colossian Church. Many pastors are preaching a dilution of Christ doctrine and self propagating ideologies. The media tagged ’Jesus Christ Incoporation’ that is going on in America today is spreading itself all over the world. Propagating the gospel is good, that is our great mission Matt 28:16, however, using the name of Jesus to selfishly enrich oneself materially is opposed to the Pauline charge of setting our minds on things above Colossians 3:1. The Shepherd of a flock flying in a private jet would scare and scatter the sheep on approaching them. Indeed such shepherd live a life away from the realms of the sheep and consequently cannot lead or protect the flock from the invassion of wolves, for he himself is bounded.