COLOSSIANS 3:1-17 (NIV – UK)
Living as those made alive in Christ
1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
A RADICALLY DIFFERENT LIFE
What does the Christian life look like? What difference does Jesus make in our lives? Here Paul presents a glorious image of how radically different life in Jesus should be.
Paul begins by exhorting: ‘set your hearts on things above’ (v. 1). When we are united with Jesus, we take a step into his Kingdom – we have one foot in heaven, where he is. And it is the things of that world that we should be looking to – the things of holiness, things of purity, things of God.
Paul gives some examples of the things we should naturally move away from when we live life with Jesus (v. 5-10). He then gives some examples of things we should naturally move towards when we live with Jesus (v. 12-15).
It is his final words here that are truly delightful: ‘Let the message of Christ dwell in you richly’ (v. 16). This is a holistic change of life – where the heartbeat of our very being becomes Jesus Christ and him alone – talking about Jesus together, singing psalms and hymns with gratitude in our hearts (v. 16). Jesus in our waking and sleeping, in our inhaling and exhaling – living and breathing Jesus – that is a radically different life. And the foundation of every single thing we do must be this: that we ‘do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him’ (v. 17).
Question: What difference has Jesus made in your life?