"Much of what is true about you in heaven is already true of you NOW."
That statement remains as vivid in my mind as it did the moment the Holy Spirit inspired it during a study of Colossians 3. As you'll read below, it has much to do with the Christian's "hiddenness" in Christ.
Lemme back up.
In this past weekend's message, I gave our Church-peeps the Colossians 3 challenge and encouraged them to:
- Read the entire chapter (Colossians 3)
- Write down 5 things they learned (that they didn't previously know)
- Write down 5 question the passage raised (that they'll ponder on all week), and to
- Put to action any instructions the Holy Spirit impresses upon their hearts as they read and interact with the chapter.
Below are 5 things I learned as I studied Colossians 3:1-25:
Lesson 1: Christ "seated" is in verse 1 a BIG deal. Christ being seated means He’s completed His task (paying for the penalty our our sin/conquering Satan + death) and there is now no contest for His throne [sorta like that moment at the end of the day when you're done with all your tasks and you sit/settle into your couch - ALL DONE!]. Christ seated on the throne means He is cool, calm, collected and in charge of the whole universe (seen and unseen), and not a single event will take place in my life at any given moment that He is not fully in charge of and in complete control of.
Lesson 2: In verse 3, my life is “hidden in Christ”, and then in verse 4, “When Christ who is MY LIFE appears,” apparently I also will appear with Him. So, Christ not only safely guards ALL that God has appointed me to have, but all that I am destined to become is also securely watched over by Him! So, while I am destined to have FULL access to the person I will become on the day Jesus returns, I can rest in the knowledge that He is unfolding my destiny in my life even now (Romans 8:28-30).
Lesson 3: The list of sins in verse 5 (that Paul says Christians are to "out to death" all have a bent toward sexual sin, which incidentally, Paul says is “idolatry.” Idolatry is the worship of idols or the elevation of something above the worship of God. Therefore, when the pursuit of physical pleasure (any form of sexual ) ranks higher than your pursuit of honoring God, I've essentially become an idol worshipper. Not cool!
Lesson 4: When inclined to nurse a grudge, consider my betrayal of Christ and the great lengths to which God went (through Christ) to reconcile me to Himself. Verse 13, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Lesson 5: FOR WIVES (v.18): A wife’s submission to her husband’s leadership in marriage is not something to be coerced, it is something she freely offers. If you have to insist that your wife submits to your leadership, then you've more than likely failed in your task to love her as Christ loves His Church. FOR HUSBANDS (v.19): Jesus gave everything He had for us (including His life). So, husbands, this isn’t just about our willingness to put our lives on the line if she’s in danger. Giving everything we have for her especially means we must truly desire what is best for her AND must work toward that goal for her regardless of the cost to us.
Next up, 5 questions about colossians 3 Imma think through this week:
Question 1: 2 Corinthians 13:5, Galatians 2:20, and Ephesians 3:17 all agree that Jesus Christ lives “in” the heart of each Christian. Colossians 3:2, however, says Christ is seated at the right hand of God. So, where is Jesus? In my heart or in heaven?
Question 2: What are the “things that are above” (v.1) that I should be seeking? Is Christ Himself the thing I should be seeking or are there other “things above” I should be pursuing?
Question 3: If my life is “hidden with Christ in God” (v.3) and if someday upon His appearance, I “will appear with Him in glory” (v.4), then why does life here on earth sometimes suck so bad?
Question 4: How does one “put to death” earthly desires (verse 5 + 8) when the appeal and pull of sin is sometimes so great?
Question 5: How do I let the “peace of Christ rule” in my heart when my circumstances are sometimes chaotic? Is this something that actively I do or is it something that I simply need to acknowledge has been done already, then it supernaturally gets done?
Did YOU read through Colossians 3?
What 5 things did you learn and what 5 questions are you thinking through this week?
Bonus Feature: Because you've read this far, here's a sneak peek at a Bible Study series I'm working on. GENESIS: IN THE BEGINNING
Husband. Dad. Pastor. Nigerian American. Storyteller. Aspiring Prayer Warrior. Steak Lover. Follower of Jesus Christ reminding you that God the Father still loves you.