THE NEW IDENTITY IN CHRIST
Thursday, 27 December 2018
Colossians 3 : 1-11
“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” -Colossians 3:1
The Apostle Paul sets down guidelines for godly living in line with our identity in Christ in our reading today. What does it mean “… if you have been raised up with Christ…”? To be raised up with Christ, we should first have died with Christ. Through baptism we declare that the old sinful man in us is dead and buried with Christ and we have been raised up to newness of life in Christ (Romans 6:3-5 & Colossians 2:12). It is only by being one with Christ in His death that we can be united with Christ in His resurrection. This is the very essence of our Christian faith. Now indeed, “if we have been raised up with Christ,” we need to:
Seek Heavenly Realities (Col 3:1-2)
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt. 6:21). Is your heart focused on the eternal heavenly treasure or is your thought lost in the temporal wealth and pleasures that the world offers? “Seek first the kingdom of God!” (Matt 6:33) As one joined with Christ, our thoughts should be heavenly focused - desiring to have the mind of Christ, seeking a daily deeper relation with our Heavenly Father, living a holy life that pleases God. “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” (Phil. 4:8) Let us now seek things of heaven and “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:14)
Live in Our New Identity (Col 3:3-4)
Our past [death] present [resurrection] and future [eternal life] are all united with Christ. Our very identity as children of God is hidden with Christ in God. We have been justified, redeemed and sanctified and our daily living should reflect our new status in Christ. The very hope of sharing in the glory of Christ in His Second Coming should motivate us to abandon all sinfulness and live for God.
Put to Death the Old Self (Col 3:5-9)
The attributes of the old sinful man born of Adam listed in Colossians 3:5-9 shows our old fallen condition, before accepting Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives. Do we still hide some of those traits and indulge in the ways of the world? If you do, confess it today! Ask the Lord to cleanse you and strengthen you with His Holy Spirit to overcome every sinful habit.
Put on the New Self (Col 3:10-11)
In Christ, we are a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). This regenerated and renewed nature is created in the image of God, in righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:24). The new nature portrays a “heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” bound by love (Col. 3:12 & 14). As we put on the new self created in Christ Jesus and mature in the knowledge of our Creator, the Holy Spirit will continue to renew us, transforming us to be more like Him daily.
As we stand at the threshold of a new year, can we pause to evaluate our Christian walk in the year passing by? Have we at times been worldly-minded, straying from our identity in Christ Jesus? Have we put our priorities before the Master’s plan for us? Let us spend some time in prayer as we renew our identity in Christ!
Father God, forgive my backsliding. Strengthen me by thy Holy Spirit to put to death every sinful habit and to embrace the new nature that transforms me daily into the image of Your Son. In Jesus’ name. Amen
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