Colossians 3, Part 1: Dead

by Christopher Paré

I’ve been struggling a lot lately with the way things are in both my personal spiritual life, and what I have been observing in the church.  This morning I was reading Colossians 3 and the words began to jump off the page.  This chapter is loaded with immediately applicable truth.  It is incredibly difficult to live out, but is applicable nonetheless.  Rather than rambling on for eternity, I’ve decided to break my thoughts into a four part series.  We’ll begin with the first four verses

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.

 Go back and read it again.

“If then you have been raised with Christ…”  That’s us right?  You know, Christians.  We’re the ones that have claimed his resurrection and the hope that it brings.  The thing is that we are all consumed with the things of this world.  We do some seeking of the things of God.  Some of us even do it very well.  We worship, pray, fellowship, and serve, but we do all of these things alongside of our earthly lives.   We’re constantly distracted by entertainment, stress, pleasing other people, food, and everything else under the sun where nothing is ever new.  The call of the passage is to seek the things that are above in spite of the things on earth, not along side of them.  We’re called to look above to where Christ is seated.  That’s where our gaze is to ever be, but we don’t.  We think about the latest trends, gadgets, series, movies, and music.  We think about our 401k’s and investment options.  We think about vacations, weekends, and activities.  We expect constant financial blessing that aligns with what the worldly standard declares that we need.  We expect it in the name of freedom under the cross of Christ as though Calvary was our free ticket to an all you can take buffet of stuff.

Paul says that we have died. D-I-E-D.  He expounds on this idea further in Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.   And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

 Our life is hidden with Christ in God.  That means that we shouldn’t be seen.  For me, Christopher David Paré should be up above dwelling within the very being of my God and King, while this fleshly tent is inhabited by the fulness of God through the Holy Spirit, but in order for that to happen I have to really die.  Which begs the question,

 Have we really died?

 All the stuff.  All our cares, hopes, ideals, plans.  Our bodies, minds and souls.  Have we relinquished them to the Cross?

 if Paul’s admonishment isn’t enough, Christ himself made the call.

 “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.  (Luke 9:22-24) 

Dying is not an option when it comes to discipleship in Christ.  We die, Christ lives in us, He receives all the glory, and then we receive our lives in glory at the end of the age.

This all sounds horrible to our sinful, egocentric minds, but it really amounts to unmatched freedom.  Think about it.  If we die and allow our lives to be transported and held in the depths of God, then the transition into the Kingdom of Heaven will be seamless at the end of the age because nothing will have changed.  We will receive our glorified bodies to dwell in, but our person will remain where it has been since we first died.  The cares of this world will mean nothing to us because our residency is in heaven NOW and Heaven will dwell on Earth because Christ will be living in us by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Not down the road, but immediately.

If only we would die…