Hi. Welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host of the daily challenges. Today is Tuesday, the day we study the Bible together. This week, as part of our series on the identity of Jesus, we’re going to study what a new life in Christ looks like, which is a nice way to follow last week’s topic about being made new in Christ. Paul wrote a letter to a church in the city of Colossae, and here’s how he described the transformation evident in a Christian life.
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. (Colossians 3:1-4 ESV)
There are several ways Paul ants to get his message across.
He uses resurrection language – if you believe Jesus’ promise to raise you from the dead, here’s what comes next: a new purpose, a new way of life…in fact, a new life! You don’t need to wait until death to be raised and live again – you have already been raised! You’ve turned to face a new direction, now get walking!
Seek and focus your mind on heavenly things, not earthly things.
He also uses the imagery of being hidden in Christ. It’s like the old life is now covered over –and now when people look at us they don’t see sin and death, but Jesus Christ.
All of these images are to help us see how decisive a moment it is when someone decides to follow Jesus. It’s meant to kick off a lifelong transformation, not to simply be a memory or magical moment that changes nothing.
You were going this way, now you’ve heard my call to turn around…and here’s what the other direction looks like. A transformed way of life, coming from this inner transformation. The language will become even more decisive in the part we read tomorrow – put the old direction to death, now the new way is a new life for a new person – you were once lost and confused without even knowing it, but God called you, opened your eyes to your messed up goals, and is actively replacing them with “things above”. Let the old way die.
It’s tempting to reduce Christian faith to a moment in time. A baptism, confirmation, or decision, an inheritance from our faithful grandmother. But those moments never mean someone has arrived, perfected, they are simply those moments a person was interrupted by God’s Spirit, realized they were heading the wrong direction, and begin to walk in Jesus’ direction, in order to be perfected. Beginning of God’s transformative work in us, not the end.
This is why, after this introduction Paul lists a number of life changes that result from this.
Question: What do you think looks different about a Christian life?