Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I am hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3)

As you may recall, we are taking a blog-journey along a pathway that is leading us into a deeper understanding of our new identity in Christ and with it, increased freedom.  The first leg of our journey took us into truths about our acceptance in Christ.  We are now more than halfway through the portion of our trip that is grounding us in our security in Christ.  And soon we will embark on our travels to grasp our significance in Christ.

Each Scripture provides another stepping stone in this journey of moving us closer to the heart of God for us in Christ Jesus.  If you have just recently joined us on this journey, welcome!  I encourage you to go back down the path and catch up with past blogs.  Don't worry; we'll wait up for you!

In our last blog, we investigated the truth that our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20).  We talked about heaven being our destiny and that it is normal and healthy to be homesick for heaven!

Today's Scripture, however, adds to our understanding of our true homeland and we see that heaven is not only our destiny but our current reality!

Now, I know what you're thinking.  "Rich has finally gone off the deep end.  He's now so heavenly minded that he's lost his earthly mind!"  Well, that would actually not be so bad a thing, as you'll see in a moment, but let's first look at today's Bible verse in context.  And may the Holy Spirit illumine our hearts so that we can understand how today's truth applies to us as I sit here at my computer writing this week's blog and you sit at yours watching it...with my feet and yours firmly planted on earth!

"Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Keep thinking about things above, not things on the earth, for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ (who is your life) appears, then you too will be revealed in glory with him."  (Colossians 3:1-4)

Now, there's a lot of really important stuff tucked in there, but let me try and sum it up.  Looking at Romans 6:1-11 will help.  Those verses tell us that when Jesus died on the cross, the old sin-loving you and me died there with Him.  And when He was buried, that old self was buried with Him.  And when He rose from the dead, we rose with Him into newness of life in Christ.  Well, in case you hadn't noticed, Jesus isn't living (in bodily form) on planet earth anymore.  He is in heaven and since we are part of His body...Jesus being the Head of the body...when Jesus ascended to the right hand of God, we went with Him!

So not only is our future destiny in heaven, but according to Scripture, our current reality is in Christ!  God has us sheltered from all the junk the world, our own flesh and the devil himself can fling at us while we are temporarily residing on this planet.  Who we are, our spirits/souls are so safe...hidden with Christ in God...that nothing can ever separate us from God's love.  Nothing can ever take us away from Christ.  Nothing can ever yank us out of Christ.  We are alive and safe in God's arms in Christ.

Do I fully understand this great truth?  Absolutely not.  Do I believe it is true?  Absolutely!  Do I always live in accordance with it?  I wish!

You see, if we truly saw ourselves as present and not just future residents in heaven, it would dramatically affect the way we live, because Christ Himself is our life.  We would think more about the things of God.  We would set our hearts and our affections on the things of God.  We would live more like God.  Let's read on in Colossians 3:5-10 (and you can also get the same idea in summary form by also reading Romans 6:11-14):

"So put to death whatever in your nature belongs to the earth: sexual immorality, impurity, shameful passion, evil desire, and greed which is idolatry.  Because of these things the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience.  You too lived your lives in this way at one time, when you used to live among them.  But now, put off all such things as anger, rage, malice, slander, abusive language from your mouth.  Do not lie to one another since you have put off the old man with its practices and have been clothed with the new man that is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the one who created it."

You and I are new people...heaven-people!  The old earth-man is dead; the new heaven-man is alive, safe and secure with God in Christ.  Let's keep that old man and its ways buried and let's see the new man radiate with the life and goodness and holiness of God while we walk out the rest of our days here on earth.

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