Summary: Because you are raised in Christ, you are...
Pentecost 10 If…then
Col 3:1-11, Eccl. 1:2,12-14 2:18-26, Luke 12:13-21
† In the Name of the Lord Jesus †
Grace and peace are gifts to you, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ!
Basic@ Programming - Conditional Stattements
If you have been raised with Christ
See prior chapter for link with baptism
Back in the 1980’s, if you were interested in computers, it wasn’t quite as easy as it is now. There were no Windows, just black screens with white, gold or green dots. There weren’t internet explorers, and the internet crawled along at about 1 letter every other second! And you didn’t head to the store to buy a new program. Most of the time, you sat down, and wrote the thing yourself!
It was kind of fun, a cross between mathematical logic, and learning a foreign language. Okay, it was only “fun” for geeks, but hey, most of those geeks that didn’t become pastors made a lot more money than the highest paid athletes. The challenge was to place the commands and directions in just the right order, so that the computer could process the orders and accomplish what you wanted them to do. Usually, you would spend a month writing the program, thousands of lines of directions, only to realize that you missed on, back in the first line!
One of the favorite tools, of those who programmed in Basic or Pascal, was what was called the conditional directive, or more commonly referred to as the “if, then” statement. Here’s an example, you could ask for something to be input, say one’s age. And then, based on the value of the input string, your could print a response. Like “If” someone typed in 42 – “then” program could print out (clickclackclickclack) – my, how young…. “If” you put in 16, “then” it could print out – WARNING WARNING NEW DRIVER ON THE LOOSE! Or if you put in a number over 65, then…. Hmmmm, maybe I shouldn’t go there…
The conditional directive is also used in other languages, as we see the standard If/then combination, or variations of it, where a certain action should result in another reaction. That is the nature of the passage we are looking at in Paul’s epistle today, it starts with the if, If you have been raised with Christ, and then sets down the description of what happens next. Over the course of 11 verses, there are four sub-clauses, the “then” statements. And finally, one end statement…
So let’s start with line 10 If…
The “if” statement is the same for each of the clauses, and for each of us. It really is a simple thing, ‘if you are raised with Christ’, the text says. SO that is the condition, if it is met, then we know the “then” statement can, and indeed, does apply. SO the question, I place to each of you today is, have you been raised with Christ?
Here is the answer, from last week’s sermon passage,
11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, Colossians 2:11-13 (ESV)
So, if you were baptized, buried with him in baptism, you have been raised with him, and you have the ability to answer – and we are! You have been raised with our Lord Jesus, by the powerful working of the Father! So, when an if statement happens to be mentioned, asking if you were raise with Christ, you might want to say, Yes, We are!
100 If Raised with Christ,
Then Seek (pursue) things above!
Then Think (have this mind, dwell) on things above
If then you were raised with Christ, (and we are!), the first “then statement is repeated twice,
seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
So let’s look at the first half – to seek, or pursue, the things above, where Christ is. That is the appropriate challenge, and indeed the appropriate behavior for one who has been redeemed, counted justified, bought by the blood of Christ, and baptized by the Holy Spirit. Renewed, Restored, Resurrected!
Similarly, setting our minds on things that are above is proper, focusing on the love of God, and those things that strengthen our faith. Think of Phillipians 2, where Paul says, have this mind in your, which is yours in Christ Jesus, and then proceeds to describe how Jesus served, and then all of creation would bow and proclaim He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.