Colossians 3:1-3 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. (NLT)
My son came home with his report card and a ’spirit stick’. A little fabric patch to add to the key chain attached to his backpack. Spirit sticks are usually a label of encouragement like ‘A Honor Roll’ or ‘Great Citizenship’. This particular spirit stick said, ’Knightly Reader’, since the school mascot is a knight. When I saw it I was quietly puzzled. We didn’t have a reading log to record 20min of reading each night. How did they know if he was reading nightly? To me it represented grace. A label placed on kids, expecting they would grow into the title.
As believers in the gospel of Christ, so many titles are imparted onto us, by grace. With them come the expectation and anticipation that we shall grow into them. God’s the One who grows us. As we willingly trust, He does what He set out to do. By His Spirit, He trains us in righteousness. We believe Christ came and paid for our sin, and by this same grace we get to have everlasting relationship with Him. Eventually, we be like Him, for we will see Him face to face. (1 John 3:2) God is faithful, He will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:24)
As believers we are:
- Children of God (John 1:12, 1 John 3:1-2) Sometimes we don’t act like it, but our Father who loves us disciplines us for our good, and trains us in righteousness.
- Accepted (Romans 15:7)
- A dwelling place of the fullness of God (Colossians 2:9-10)
- One with God in Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17)
- Set free from the slavery of sin (Romans 6:5-7)
- Part of Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:17)
- A chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)
- Equal with all brothers and sisters in Christ (Galatians 3:27-28)
- Blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:3)
- A new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
and many more.
Today’s verse especially reminds us not to see our circumstances with physical eyes, but to see the spiritual reality. Raised to life. Hidden in Christ. We are not to be worried or occupied with things of this present fallen world. We fix our eyes on Jesus. Following Him in faith. Resting in His righteousness. In the same chapter we are instructed to live up into this reality by putting off our old nature, and the habits of sin that entangle us. (Colossians 3:5, Hebrews 12:1-3)
As a young Christian and a child of 11yrs, my faith was grand. I was ready to be new, and excited to no longer sin. I quickly became discouraged when I noticed I continued to sin. But something was new. My desire to follow Jesus. My motive to do good. And my passion to see others come to Christ.
That’s when I learned it didn’t all happen instantly. The Bible calls it a process of sanctification. (Acts 26:18) I was new, fresh as a newborn baby. A baby in Christ, ready to grow to reflect more fully Christ as one of His image-bearers. This may sound blasphemous, and hold connotations of wanting to be in God’s place. And indeed could be taken the wrong way. But we were made in God’s image, (Genesis 1:26-28) and fell due to sin (Genesis 3:23-24). Christ came to restore us, and dwell in us to reflect His glory. (John 14:23)
Colossians 3:20 says: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
This transforming verse enables us to live in Christ each moment as we think about it, and let this truth soak into our heart. We get to be conscious of what God is doing in us, and fully surrender to His will each moment.
Like my son, who doesn’t actually read nightly, he was given a label for the purpose of growing up into it. We also have a new identity in Christ. Let’s press into our Creator, who is recreating us to be more and more like Himself. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Lord, Praise Your Name, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.
Father, we bear the Name of Your Son, the Christ. Shape us and mould us by the Bible, prayer and Your Spirit who indwells us. Enable us to fix our eyes on You, and spend every thought in communion with You. ~Amen.
Some Verses About Sanctification:
1 Thessalonians 4:3, 1 Thessalonians 5:23
2 Thessalonians 2:13
2 Timothy 2:21
Colossians 2:11, Colossians 3:5
Hebrews 9:14, Hebrews 10:14
Philippians 1:6, Philippians 2:13
2 Peter 1:2-4
Timothy 4:7-10, 2 Timothy 3:16