Monday, July 24, 2023

2023.07.24 Hopewell @Home ▫ Colossians 3:1–11

Read Colossians 3:1–11

Questions from the Scripture text: What has happened to believers with Christ (Colossians 3:1)? What should they seek? Why—Who is there? What else are we to do with “things above” (Colossians 3:2)? Upon what are we not to set our minds? What has happened to believers in Colossians 3:3? With Whom is their life hidden? Where is their life hidden? Who will appear (Colossians 3:4)? Who also will appear with Him? In what condition? What are we to do with our worldly aspects—that part of us that will end with this world (Colossians 3:5)? Which specific, worldly (sinful) aspects of us (that we are to put to death) does he mention? What is happening because of these things (Colossians 3:6)? What two ways does Colossians 3:7 describe how they used to act upon their inward sin? What six other things do Colossians 3:8-9 identify as things that believers need to put off? What have believers put off (Colossians 3:9b)? What have they put on (Colossians 3:10)? In what is the new man renewed? According to whose image is the new man renewed? What factors/aspects are not part of the newness of the new man (Colossians 3:11)?

How do you live, when heaven is your new culture of origin? Colossians 3:1–11 looks forward to the devotional in the upcoming midweek meeting. In these eleven verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that those who belong to heaven put to death whatever desires, and put off whatever behaviors, don’t belong in heaven. 

God has saved us by Christ. In our place, Jesus has lived the perfectly obedient life that we could not. In our place, Jesus has died under the wrath and curse of God that we deserve but could never satisfy.

But God has not only saved us by Christ. He has saved us in Christ. When we believe in Jesus, we are joined to Him. Colossians 3:3 tells us that we died in Christ’s death. But it also says that our life is hidden with Christ in God—so that if you trust in Jesus Christ, the way to read Colossians 3:1 is not so much “if then you were raised with Christ,” but rather, “because you have been raised with Christ." Christ didn’t just give His life for us, but as Colossians 3:4 says, Christ is our life.

And God has saved us for Christ. We live on earth, but the purpose of our earthly life is the glory of Christ by Whom and for Whom we have been saved. He is seated at the right hand of God, and His is all the glory. Colossians 3:11 tells us that Christ is all and in all. And what is part of the glory of Christ at His appearing? Our appearing with Him—also glorious.

Christ will take those who were full of the things in the lists of Colossians 3:5 and Colossians 3:8—we formerly walked in them (Colossians 3:6)! And, He will have made us entirely the opposite. He has “renewed us in knowledge according to the image of [Christ].” What will be the great distinguishing characteristic about us on that day? Not our ethnicity, or ceremonial markings, or culture, or socio-economic status—but that we have been transformed from wickedness into the spitting moral images of Jesus Christ.

So, as we consider Him where He is right now, and how we have been saved to bring Him glory, that gives us marching orders for the rest of our lives. Christians often want to know about the particular future events of our lives. But Deuteronomy 29:29 calls those “secret things.” Whatever else we are called to, we are called to put to death the list in Colossians 3:5, to put off the list in Colossians 3:8, to follow Jesus in obedience to all the commands of His Word—what Deuteronomy 29:29 calls “the revealed things.”

Why? Because we have been saved not just by Christ and in Christ. We have been saved for Christ. We were resurrected in Him so that we might bring Him glory by putting sin to death. Even the law was unable to do that in us, but Christ is doing that. We both please Him and honor Him, as we put to death the deeds of the body!

How does God’s method of killing sin point to your only hope? Who is that hope? What hope does He give?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we thank You for uniting us to the Lord Jesus, Who has risen from the dead and ascended to take His seat in heaven. Grant that, by Your Spirit, the priorities of heaven would be our priorities on earth, we ask in Christ, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP110B “The Lord Has Spoken” or TPH447 “Christ, of All My Hopes the Ground”

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