Being a Christian should dominate our life because it is our life. If we went all the way through school and studied only one book it would have gotten old pretty quickly. Yet we constantly learn from the Bible. God’s Word is a well. The only limitation is our willingness to let the bucket go deeper into the well. When we die we’ll leave this world still learning from the Word.
I like the straightforwardness of the book of Colossians. We’re brought into the book with a deep understanding of what salvation is. In Chapter 2 we learn about the safeguards against counterfeit Christianity. Chapter 3 talks about our position in the Lord. He brought us out of a horrible pit. We’re risen with Christ and because we are there are things we should and should not do. It could be summarized many ways but I see two sides—the rising and the fallen. Not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” will go to heaven. The Bible tells us that. Not everyone who says they are a Christian is. When a person says things like they believe in God but can do whatever they want I seriously doubt they are risen with Christ.
We have to put the old person down every day. We’re taught in First Timothy 4 that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. Some think gain is godliness but that’s not the gage. We’ve got two recent examples of suffering; they didn’t lose faith. When it comes we cannot. If we have a hard time living for the Lord in good times what will we do in the bad ones? Our physical health doesn’t equate to spiritual health. I want to be known as being on the rising side.
We need to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. We cannot level off or slow down. If we slow up praying and reading the Bible the devil will get us confused. If we don’t keep the weeds out, they’ll take over the garden. Moses saw the golden calf and called out who is on the Lord’s side. The call is coming out today. We have a responsibility to the Lord.
Colossians 3: 1If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
The first 16 verses wrap it up. Everything we do, how we live our Christian life is here. Life can get confusing. Everything we see is geared to turn us around. Our news source should be God’s Word. Every day we live we should move in the direction away from the world and toward heaven. Our Savior died and allowed his body to be put in a tomb. It didn’t stop there. He arose. It took his death, burial and resurrection. We ask him to deaden the sin in our heart and cleanse us. When we got saved and arose from prayer it was as a new person. A new baby moves because it is alive. The world needs to see us move for the Lord. When Jesus rose he kept on moving. He was seen by many. Now he’s with the Father ready to save.
There are things that can hold us down. Seek things above. Seek God first and lay hold on things of the kingdom of God. Set affections on things above and not on this earth. Otherwise we’ll find ourselves on the fallen side not the rising side. Do you love the Bible as you used to? Do you talk to the Lord as you should? If we seldom pick up our Bible something is wrong. We must set our desires on what God wants because of verse 3. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Don’t be so connected to the world that you can’t get loose from it. Our happiness and peace should not depend on things of the world or our possessions. I might not be able to do lots of things but I can serve the Lord. There are all sorts of help for us. God will not accept the excuse that we can’t because he has provided all we need. Our hope is not in the president; it’s in God. Our life doesn’t depend on how things go. God will take care of us if we serve him.
What do we do?
5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
We’re called to be morticians. Everything that bears resemblance to sin has to be mortified—put to death. We are going to sin. Confess it. Put it down. Go on. Count yourself on the rising side not the fallen. Jesus wants us to be a new person and live that new life.
11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
These things are hard to do. Why? The old man tries to come out of the ground. Keep him buried. Don’t give him life. Can we do this? We can, not of ourselves, but in the Lord.
15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Is this impossible? No. It would be if God didn’t help. Jesus told us he’s with us to the end. Even at our weakest Jesus is right there. He has made us better than we used to be. When we fail, don’t linger there. Don’t wait until you fall to ask for help. Catch yourself as you go and call out to God. We have no excuse. We can’t blame God or others if we fail. God has provided all we need. The book of Jude tells us he is able to keep us from falling and present us blameless to God. We have every reason to stay on the rising side.
Give God honor. Glorify his name. Follow him. Accept his help every step of the way. He’s always there to bear us up. Make sure our actions show Jesus first.