Summary: With the reality of the resurrected Christ; we see: 1) The Reminder, 2) The Responsibility, 3) The Resource 4)The Reason & 5) The Revelation
Today is resurrection Sunday: the day where we celebrate the most important and defining event in history: the resurrection of Christ from the dead. One of the most absurd actions in regards to this event is the common practice these days that you tend to find in the media (read the National Post: Saturday April, 3 2010. p. WP11)
• These are testimonies inconsistent with their claims of being `Christians``.
Consistency requires that believers live in conformity with the fact that they were raised with Christ, who is not only the Object of their faith (chapters 1 and 2) but also the Source of their life (chapters 3 and 4)
The false teachers at Colosse have attacked the supremacy and sufficiency of Jesus Christ. They have made him less than fully God and have attempted to seduce believers into thinking that genuine spirituality is to be found in obtaining more knowledge, keeping more rules, or having more experiences.
The Colossians were beset by the danger of relapsing into paganism with its gross sensuality, etc., as is clear from 2:23 and 3:5 ff. The wrong solution of their problem was refuted in chapters 1 and 2, especially the latter. It was indicated that there is no material cure for a spiritual ill, that neglect of the body will never heal the soul’s sickness but will aggravate it, that heaven-born individuals cannot gain satisfaction from earth-born remedies. Christ, alone, is the answer, Christ in all the fullness of his love and power. (Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953-2001). Vol. 6: New Testament commentary : Exposition of Colossians and Philemon. New Testament Commentary (136–139). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.).
In chapter 2, Paul told us the truth about Christ (he is fully God) and Christians (we are given fullness in him). Now we learn the truth about Christians and spirituality. Genuine spiritual experience begins with understanding our identification with Christ (Anders, M. (1999). Vol. 8: Galatians-Colossians. Holman New Testament Commentary; Holman Reference (326). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.).
What difference should it make that Christ is risen from the Dead? Paul calls the Colossians, and by extension, all believers to live a life in light of this fact. Because Christ is alive we can see the 1) The Reminder. (Colossians 3:1a), 2) The Responsibility (Colossians 3:1b, 2), 3) The Resource (Colossians 3:1c) 4) The Reason (Colossians 3:3) and finally: 5) The Revelation (Colossians 3:4)
1) The Reminder. (Colossians 3:1a)
Colossians 3:1a [3:1]If then you have been raised with Christ, (seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God). (ESV)
If denotes reality, as in 2:20, can also be translated “since.” Believers having been raised with Christ is not in doubt. The verb actually means “to be co-resurrected.” It is an accomplished fact. Believers spiritually are entered into Christ’s death and resurrection at the moment of their salvation. Galatians 2:20 says,
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (ESV)
• In that verse, the apostle shows the union of the believer with the Lord, so that they have a shared life.
Please turn to Romans 6
By saving faith, believers have entered into a new dimension. They possess divine and eternal life, which is not merely endless existence, but a heavenly quality of life brought to them by the indwelling Lord. They are thus alive in Christ to the realities of the divine realm.
Because Christ is alive, He has risen from the dead, Christians have an obligation to live consistently with this reality. Paul delineates the specifics of that obligation in Romans 6:11–19:
Romans 6:11-19 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. (ESV)