Monday, January 23, 2012

4 reasons to look to Jesus

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Colossians 3:1-4

This passage transitions to the practical sanctification in Colossians. If Christ is indeed my Lord and the head of the church, it follows that His people will live under His direction. And Colossians three describes the way we put to death earthly deeds (Col. 3:5-11) and put on a holy lifestyle instead (Col. 3:12-17). There are four reasons stated to do this.

First, we seek heavenly things BECAUSE OF OUR RESURRECTION. Right now in an identifying spiritual sense we have been raised to new life in Christ. Our baptism pictures this identification with a new life. And it is because of that resurrected life in Christ that we know that Jesus will provide the direction that we need. Resurrection is about new life. We won't find that new life in our old life. We will find it in the author of our new life -- Jesus Christ.

Secondly, we must seek this life IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. The contrast is between the things on earth, which represent all the sinful and wrong choices we have always made outside of Christ, and things that are "above". The word "above" points us to the resurrected and ascended Christ Who is at the right hand of the Father in heaven.

Thirdly, we REMEMBER OUR EXPIRATION. We have already died in a sense. We must consider ourselves dead to sin but alive in Christ. In order to live in resurrection, we must first die. And that is what we know in this passage. We died... past tense. We died to sinful choices because our life is now hidden in Christ. He reveals that new life in us.

The final thing is to ANTICIPATE OUR PERFECTION. The ultimate realization of our new life in Christ will be known fully when we live with Him in glory. The reason that I will heed His direction is that I know that my life is always headed toward my state of forever being found in Jesus. Nobody gets a pass on death. At some point we will all be with Jesus. And death to sin helps us defeat the worst that physical death may threaten us with. Hope holds that a generation will appear with Him in glory minus physical death. That is the imminent hope of every Christian generation. But that timing is God's to determine. But even death for any Christian in Christ becomes immediate new life with Him and His saints forever.

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