Summary: Certainly your function in a system (your job) is a part of who you are, but is it the essential or most important part? Paul defines us based on our relationship with Jesus.
Colossians 2:9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Who are you?
When someone asks who you are, or what you do, how do you answer? Do you automatically think of your job, your function within a structure? “I’m a homemaker”. “I’m an engineer”. “I’m a designer”. “I’m an architect”. “I’m a teacher”. “I’m a mom”. “I run a business”.
Ok. So, that’s what you do. Is that who you are? Is that your identity? Certainly your function in a system is a part of who you are, but is it the essential or most important part?
Paul defines us based on our relationship with Jesus.
Paul also includes in our definition the things that we were-condemned, oppressed by powers and authorities and our own flesh, defeated, indebted to God and humanity, sinners, dead, incomplete. Let’s be honest. Aren’t all of these elements still part of our humanity? Yet Paul speaks of each of these elements as in the past.
In the 2016 film, Arrival, the main character learns an alien’s language, that learning rewires her brain and she is able to experience time differently, seeing the past as if it were the future and visa-versa (sorry if that’s a spoiler for you). I find that idea provocative, partly because it is biblical. The Bible constantly gives us insight into our future, and treats us as if we were part of that future already. Our destiny is to be in the presence of God forever. In His presence we will be complete, whole, sinless, untemptable, incorruptible, all knowing, victorious, humble, wise, and completely loving in all circumstances (1 Corinthians 13; 1 John 3, Revelation 4). We don’t see all those things completely fulfilled in our lives at this time, but as long and as much as we are in Christ, we see the fulfillment and present manifestation of all of these future certainties. We experience the presence of the future.
Many of us may not have been circumcised, either because circumcision isn’t possible for ladies, or because we were born in a nation that doesn’t require such for all infants. Yet in Christ our flesh is cut away, and no longer dominates our lives. If you’re reading this, you have not yet died. Yet in Christ we are all dead, our flesh nailed to His cross, our lives renewed in His resurrection. Jesus’ identity, His fullness, His power, His character are all infused into us-as we are absorbed into Him. This might raise a question-are we lost when we lose ourselves in Jesus? The emphatic answer is NO! Just the opposite, we find ourselves in Him.
When I lose myself in Jesus I lose nothing worth holding on to, the monkey dies, but I gain everything worth being and having, the best me is born in Him.
Prayer for Today
Today let me die to myself, and live in Christ. In all my thoughts and actions, teach me to reflect Jesus’ goodness, love, wisdom, grace and character.
In His name