Our Resurrection Life, Now

Date: 4/16/2017
More audio from All Saints Church
Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: Easter
Organization: All Saints
Price: FREE

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. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. 5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. … 9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him — 11 a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.

Understand the Purpose of Colossians - is to encourage these believers in a relatively new church (which Paul has not visited) to continue with Christ and not be tempted into false religion/philosophies (ch. 2), since all the fulness of life is found in Christ: our union in His death, resurrection and ascension. These people are beset with the same kinds of challenges as we find in Acts chapter 15 (indeed throughout the NT), i.e., the Judaizers. The false religion of Judaism without Christ is exactly like Christianity without Christ. Without Christ, Judaism is just another philosophy. Without Christ Christianity is just another religion. This means that we must strive to keep our personal trust in Jesus the Lord at the center of our lives.

Rejoice in the Resurrection’s Application to Us Now - The “therefore” of 3:1 draws our attention back to the last verses of chapter 2 which discuss “the commandments and teachings of men” which only have an appearance of wisdom, but “are of no value against fleshly indulgence.” Paul calls them back to the foundational teaching of their identification with Christ (in baptism, Rom. 6:3-4) and through faith when we were spiritually united with Him in His death, resurrection, and now even ascension. He says we were “buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead” (2:12). This is the “indicative” of the Gospel: the work that God did in Christ so that we are “in Him” and thereby receive all of the “benefits of Christ” (such as union, justification, adoption, sanctification, etc.) What flows from this “indicative truth” is a whole list of imperatives (v5): Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. . . put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.”

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more