Raised with Christ – Part 1
We saw in Colossians 3:1-11 that when we come to Christ, some amazing changes take place in our lives. When we believe the gospel, we are raised with Christ (See Ephesians 2:4-6). As a result, our whole life changes direction. We are called to keep setting our hearts and minds on the things that are above where Christ is. Christ must now be the one who matters above everything else. We are his new creation. So Paul now spells out for the Colossians, and for us, some of the characteristics that should be evident in the lives of believers.
- How does Paul describe those who believe in Christ? (v 12a). How does knowing this help us live God’s way?
- In Colossians 3:5 we were called to put to death our old self with its practices. What are we now to put on to replace those things that belong to our old way of life? (v 12b)
- Which of these five virtues do you find the most difficult to ‘put on’? Ask God to help you change into ‘his clothing’.
We are called to become more and more in practice, what God has already declared us to be: holy and blameless in his sight (Ephesians 1:4). What a great witness it is to the saving power of God, when outsiders see Christians from diverse backgrounds, living together in unity. So let’s strive to show compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience to one another.
- Why should we forgive the grievances we may have against someone else?
- Read 1 Peter 2:24. What did it cost Jesus to forgive us? By comparison, what does it cost us to forgive others?
- How does loving others make a difference? (v 14)
Maybe you have found – as I have – that talking about forgiveness is so much easier than actually doing it! That is why we must keep remembering that Jesus is our supreme example. He sacrificed his whole life so that we might be forgiven. Let’s ask God to change our hearts so that we show his love in every aspect of lives.
- What two characteristics are to be especially evident as believers meet, worship and fellowship together? (v 15)
- How is the message of Christ (or the word of God) to feature in these gatherings? (v 16a) What else forms an important part of Christian meetings? (v 16b)
- What should characterise everything we do as believers? (v 17)
The “peace of Christ” is often spoken about as a way of determining what God wants us to do. Yes, God does graciously give his peace at times when we are struggling with difficult decisions. However, in this context, Paul is saying that believers are to live at peace with one another, because they are ‘one body’. Those who have been brought together by the peace-making work of Christ on the cross, should demonstrate that same love and peace towards each other (Colossians 1:20). We should always seek to bring honour and glory to the name of Jesus.
Something to think and pray about
Re-read Colossians 3:12-17. Consider the fruit that comes from living as God’s chosen people – holy and dearly loved. Pray that the Spirit would constantly work in your life, so that you grow more and more like Jesus.
Let’s enjoy a variety of Christian songs of praise and thanksgiving
Grace (CityAlight); Christ our Hope in Life and Death (Getty, Boswell, Papa); All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name (Perronet); Amazing Grace (Newton, Tomlin); O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing (Wesley); Psalm 1 (Fitzsimmons).