Summary: The Supremacy and Sufficiency of Christ, part 12 Living in Light of The Resurrection Colossians 3:1-11 David Taylor April 5, 2015
The Supremacy and Sufficiency of Christ, part 12
Living in Light of The Resurrection
Every Easter the church celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave two thousand years ago. Today we do so by considering, “Living in Light of the Resurrection.” I remember a conversation with a man who thought that Christianity was a crutch, a way dealing with life when you can not deal with it on your own. Yet all of us look for ways to deal with life because we cannot deal with life on our own, a crutch if you will. For instance, we get jobs because we need to support ourselves, we get married because we do not want to live life alone, and we take medicine when we are ill. Then we look for ways to deal with the stress of that job or we look for ways to deal with the struggles of married life! Or maybe you are looking for ways to deal with your anger or bitterness or your some addiction like food or alcohol. For those of us that recognize we have a limp and need a crutch, the resurrection of Christ offers us a new life, a new priority, and a new reality.
Big Idea – The Resurrection calls us to embrace a New Life, a New Priority and a New Reality.
The Resurrection Calls us To Embrace a New Life (vs. 1)
Paul starts this passage describing Christians as being 'raised with Christ.' This is common language in the New Testament describing salvation. The power of God that resurrected Jesus Christ from the grave is the same power that makes spiritually dead people alive. Faith creates such a close bond with Christ that what happened to him happens to us so that we are raised to new life. The source of all spiritual life is based upon what he has done for us. Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, paid for our sin on the cross, and rose from the grave three days later. If you have put your faith in Christ, you have been raised to new life; if you put your faith in Christ today, you will be raised to new life. Many here can attest to this experience. As a result of being raised with Christ, the resurrection also calls us to embrace a new priority.
The Resurrection Calls us to Embrace a New Priority (vs. 1-2)
“If you have been raised with Christ, then seek the things that are above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth.” In other words, if you have put your faith in Christ, then make Christ the new priority in your life. How do we make Christ a priority? He tells us to 'seek the things that are above, where Christ is.' 'Seek' describes an orientation of life, as in 'seek first the kingdom of God.' He is telling us to exercise our wills, doing something. When he says to seek or later, set your mind on the things that are above, he does not mean ignore daily life. Rather, the life of faith is a life oriented around Christ and what Christ values in contrast to those things here that distract us away from Christ or even opposes Christ. In other words, putting your faith in Christ is the beginning not the end of our seeking Christ. Faith in Christ is a lifelong pursuit of our relationship with Christ. We are to seek the things above because that is 'where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.' God is not some nebulous being but a King who is ruling from his heavenly throne with Jesus Christ. The only way to God is through his Son Jesus Christ. So to embrace Christ as our new priority, requires that we seek him. You seek him by 'setting your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth.' You seek him with daily choices to make him the priority of your lives. You do this choosing to focus or refocus your attention and desires on Christ and what he values. He calls you to seek him by setting your minds on him because there are a myriad of distractions that seek to divert your attention and your affections away from Christ. What is distracting you from Christ? What are you doing daily to seek him and set your mind on him? Living in light of the resurrection means embracing a new life, embracing him as a new priority, and last, embracing a new reality.
The Resurrections Calls us to Embrace a New Reality (vs. 3-4)
We have seen that because we have been raised with Christ, experienced salvation, we are to embrace Christ as the new priority of life. The flip side of being raised with Christ is that we have also died (with Christ), a death to the old ways of life. This death makes a decisive break with the power of sin as the controlling factor in our lives. The result is that 'your life is now hidden with Christ in God.' Why do we hide things? To protect them. That is the idea here, we are safe and secure with Christ. No one can snatch us out of his hand and nothing can separate us from the love of God. This is the reality, we have died and our lives are hidden with Christ, our true identity is seen only by faith but will one day be revealed when Christ appears. The bible describes two comings of Christ. Christ came the first time with the love of God with the offer of salvation. He will come the second time with the wrath of God to those who have spurned his love. That is neither petty nor spiteful. We are described as God's enemies and hostile towards him and in his patience he is holding back his judgment against humanity but that will come to an end. Do not presume on God's patience; it is meant to lead you to repentance. But for those who have died and been raised with Christ there is a glorious future when he comes, we will appear with him in glory. Glory means that sin will be forever eradicated from us and we will be morally pure, sickness will be forever eradicated from us and we will have transformed bodies, and mortality will be eradicated from us and we will be clothed with immortality and live for eternity on the new earth which will that will also be transformed. The Resurrection calls us to embrace a New Life, a New Priority, and a New Reality.