28 July 2023
We have been sharing about loving God and holiness – how this would keep us away from sin and self-life -without it, sin and self-life would keep us away from loving God and holiness.
The Apostle Paul wrote some practical details regarding how we should live as born again Christians who are now made alive in Christ – this is highlighted in Colossians 3.
Firstly, we must have the right perspective:
Since we have been raised with Christ, we are to set our hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God; we are to set our minds on things above, not on earthly things. Why so?
Because we have died and our life is now hidden with Christ in God; and when Christ who is our life, appears then we also will appear with Him in glory (Col. 3:1-3).
We ought to be fully committed to the reality that we are “citizens of heaven” and “adopted children of God”. We are no longer ‘dead in sin’ and condemned sinners in the sight of God – for if we are born again and raised with Christ, we have died to the ‘life in Adam’ and now we are ‘in Christ’ and ‘Christ lives in us” (Gal. 2:20).
So why is it that we continue to set our hearts and minds on things on earth? Do we not know for sure that “everything in the world – the cravings of sinful people, the lust of their eyes and their boasting about what they have and do – comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (1John 2:16-17). We must know for certain that the world is temporary and would pass away – what is eternal and lasting is in God, and what God offers in His life. If we continue to live as ‘children of Adam’, we will be disillusioned and will not find true satisfaction and meaning. We must live according to our new perspective and our new life in Christ. Setting our hearts and minds on things above imply living here on earth as citizens of heaven, with the sure hope of the eternal future in Christ, and preparing ourselves for our eternal glory in the Lord Jesus. Although the ‘kingdom of God’ is ‘already’ and ‘not yet’, we know that God’s promise would surely come to pass – in the light of this, we need not ‘lose heart’ by the apparent setbacks here on earth, for like Paul, we know that “our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Cor.3:17).
Secondly, we need to “put to death whatever belongs to our earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry” (v5).
Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. We used to walk in that manner in our life in Adam, but we must now get rid of such things as these: “anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from our lips; we are not to lie to each other since we have taken off the old self with its practices” (vs8-9).
Positively, we know that “we have put on the new self (new man), which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of the Creator” (vs 10-11).
So, in appreciating this new reality, “as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, we are clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. We are to bear with each other and forgive one another; forgive as the Lord forgave us. Above all, we are to put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (vs12-14).
And that is to be expected, for God is love, and we love because He first loved us.