Summary: #8 in series. He is our life, but we need to realize that truth.
Colossians 3:1-4 – This is the Life
Today we are once again on our journey through the book of Colossians. This morning we are looking at chapter 3, verses 1-4. This passage will also serve as a foundation for one of the purposes of Centreville Baptist Church. Last week I unveiled what I feel is God’s direction for our church, based on scripture, where we should be going, what we should be doing, the reasons we are here. These purposes of the church spell the word GRACE.
Centreville Baptist Church exists to glorify God, to reach out to others, to aspire to live like Jesus, to commit to serve, and to encourage one another. Over the next 4 weeks we’ll continue to learn about God’s purposes and plan for us here.
As for today, let’s read Colossians 3:1-4.
The meaning of this passage is fairly obvious, even just looking at it once. Four verses, four mentions about Christ, and the fact that we are connected to Him. Just look.
V3 says that we died. Well, obviously not physically. But symbolically. Jesus died, and in a sense, so did we. When we came to Jesus, we identified ourselves with Him. When we trusted Him, we associated ourselves with the cross on which He perished. In a sense, we died when Jesus did.
V1 says that we have been raised to new life with Him as well. This is a pretty necessary step to salvation. When you asked Jesus to forgive you, that’s like dying when He did. And when you asked Jesus to come into your heart, that’s like being raised to new life with Him, resurrected to be new and different and better than you were before.
V4 says that we will appear with Him. Eternity with Him. Salvation in the here and now, and salvation in the future.
And the other verses provide interesting images as well. V3 says that our life is hidden with Christ. It’s like we are a treasure, being kept safe. And v4 comes right out and says that He Himself is our life. Our soul, our breath, our ambitions, our desires, our sustenance, our reason for being… that’s Jesus. Our destiny is found in Him.
Our identity, our character … it’s tied up with Jesus. Who we are and what we do is connected to who Jesus is and what he did.
And what should be our response to this amazing truth? I’d like to show you a video of an interview with NT Wright, an English theologian. He was asked the question, What do you want your grandkids to know about Jesus?
Rev. Wright said that Jesus is central and irreplaceable. He is what the Bible is about. Jesus is absolutely in the middle.
So, let’s think about this. For the believer, Jesus is our life. We died with Him, we have been raised with Him, we’ll reign with Him, and our destiny is found in Him. But, honestly, do we live like that? Really? Do we live as if He is our reason for being? No. In fact, there is often a large disconnect between who we are and how we live. These verses tell us to set our minds on things above, where Christ is. We’re told to set our hearts on things above, not on earthly things. Where we set our affections and our thoughts should reflect our relationship with Jesus.
But our minds and our hearts are often not on eternal things, on important things, on godly things. We long for things that do not line up with our true identities. We settle for ambitions and passions that are unimportant and trivial. Hobbies, interests and activities are fine, but they distract us from essentials.
Christ is mentioned 4 times in 4 verses. Clearly, He deserves a high ranking place in our hearts. But too often, we give Him the leftovers, the remainders, what’s left of the day, what’s left of the money.
I want to bring you back to a message I preached several weeks ago, from Colossians 1. The verse is perhaps the most important verse in the whole book because it sums up so well who Jesus is and who we are. That verse, v18, says that Jesus deserves to have the pre-eminence. Pre-eminence. It means the supremacy, the superiority, in comparability, the authority, the excellence, the prominence. It’s about Jesus being more important than anything in all creation.
And I taught you a word: Christocentric. It means that Jesus is at the centre of everything we do. That doesn’t mean that a person just stays at church all day long. Of course not. It means that whether you’re working or playing, you’re doing it for Him.
Lord, help me in my job today to help others see you. Help me not to be short-tempered or judgemental. Fill me with Your love and grace so that I show others the same. Lord, give me the right words to say at the right time, and help me know when is the right time.