A New You in ’22: Having the right mindset
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In this blogpost, we’ll be looking at Colossians 3:1-17. It has a lot to tell us about who we are in Christ and Christian living.
Set your minds on things above
"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[a] life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." (Colossians 3:1-4)
Here Paul tells us that if we’ve been raised with Christ, we are to seek things and set our minds upon things that are above. That’s because we have also died with Christ. In Christ, we’ve died to our former worldly lives and have been raised to a new life in Christ.
As believers, we’re to cede control of everything to Christ. This is not automatic; rather, it is an ongoing process. But if we seek first God’s kingdom (Matt. 6:33), we will have that right mindset. But this is not the end of the story of who we are in Christ, as ours is an eternal story. We are secure in Christ both now, in this world, and for all eternity.
Put to death what is earthly
"Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:[b] sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.[c] In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self[d] with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave,[e] free; but Christ is all, and in all." (Colossians 3:5-11)
In this section, Paul spells out in detail what we’ve died to. No more need be said.
Who we are in Christ
"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive." (Colossians 3:12-13)
Now having died with Christ to our former worldly selves, here is a little glimpse of who were are in Christ, the polar opposite of our life prior.
What Christian living looks like
"And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." (Colossians 3:14-17)
Who would find fault with characteristics such as: compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, bearing with one another, forgiveness? But as lovely as these characteristics of our life in Christ are, there is one characteristic of the Christian life that is above all, and that characteristic is love.
As a Christian, it’s not a matter of finding peace; peace has found us through Christ. This is because the indwelling of the word of Christ—the Gospel—has a powerful effect. In fact, the word that’s translated here as “richly” has the connotation of abundance, extravagance. The word of Christ should extravagantly, abundantly, permeate everything a Christian does, controlling every thought, word, and deed in a believer’s life.
Some final thoughts
The Good News—the Gospel—is that while we were still in our own mucky, messed-up lives headed to nowhere, God sent Jesus to rescue us from ourselves and to bring us into a relationship with Him for now and for eternity. So we can quit striving, quit trying to find peace, because the Prince of Peace has already found us, inviting us to live abundantly, extravagantly. Not a bad gig at all.
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Copyright 2022. Sandra A. Eggers. Sharing is encouraged; however, please give credit where credit is due. Thank you.