When you come to faith in Jesus Christ, you become a new person. You are changed from the inside out. Your outlook on life changes. You begin to have desires to honor the Lord with everything you do. You have a desire to stop doing things that dishonor Him, things that hurt you and/or hurt others.
1. You have been changed from spiritual death to spiritual life. The Bible says in Colossians 3:1 that if you have been raised with the Messiah, then you have a new heart. This new heart comes becomes of the spiritual change that has taken place in your life. This is what “raised by the Messiah” means. When you were spiritually dead in your sins and you realized that Jesus’ death and resurrection provided you the way to spiritual life, you put your trust in Him for salvation. When you trusted in Him, He spiritually raised you to new life.
So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. (Colossians 3:1)
So my question to you is this: Is Jesus your Savior and Lord? Many of you who are reading this will say, “Yes! Jesus is my Savior and Lord.” If you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is your Savior and Lord, then you are declaring that you have been changed from spiritual death to spiritual life, that you have a new heart in Christ. However, if you are not certain of this most vital eternal truth, would you please take a moment to read HERE about how you can know that you have eternal life? It’s that important.
2. You have been changed from an earthly focus to a heavenly focus. We live in the real world of earth. We need food to survive, we need shelter and rest, we go to work each day, we have friendships and relationships with people, we crave coffee or tea or whatever. When you are changed from an earthly focus to a heavenly focus, we are not saying that you forget about everything that is material, the things that you can see, hear, smell, taste and touch. What we are saying is that we will have a greater concern for eternal things than we do earthly things. And, we are saying that we will pray and work so that things on earth are the way they are in heaven, the perfect place where Jesus eternally reigns as Lord, where people relate to Him and to each other perfectly, where there is perfect health and joy and adventure for all eternity.
Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. (Colossians 3:2)
My question to you on this point is this: How are you setting your mind on heavenly things?
- Are you devoting time each day to Bible reading and prayer?
- Are you connected to other believers in a small group on a regular basis?
- Do you read books and view media that builds up your faith or things that tear it down?
- Do you pause throughout the day to think deeply about the events occurring in our world, thinking about what God’s Word says about them and how to respond?
- Do you think about all of your words, actions and attitudes, and ask God to help you to set your mind on a Christ-honoring way of thinking, which will then lead to Christ-honoring actions?
3. You have been changed from an old nature to a new nature. And because you are a new person, you have the capacity to put to death on a daily basis those attitudes, actions and sins that plagued you in the past. You are not bound to them anymore. You are brand new in Christ!
For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. When the Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:3-4)
My question to you is this: How are you daily putting to death your old nature so that your life can glorify Christ in every way? According to Colossians 3:5-11, there are at least twelve areas of your life to do a little self-examination. Ask God to give you the strength daily to overcome them.
5 Therefore, put to death what belongs to your worldly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, God’s wrath comes on the disobedient, 7 and you once walked in these things when you were living in them. 8 But now you must also put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator. 11 In Christ there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all. (Colossians 3:5-11)
- Twelve areas to examine:
- sexual immorality (v5)
- impurity (v5)
- lust (v5)
- evil desire (v5)
- greed, which is idolatry (v5)
- anger (v8)
- wrath (v8)
- malice (v8)
- slander (v8)
- filthy language (v8)
- lying (v9)
- prejudice (v11)
So what’s the secret to overcoming these areas? Is it to focus on them? No. The answer is seen in Colossians 3:1-2. Seek God with all your heart, and set your mind on heavenly things. When you do those two things, you will notice that your old nature will not be able to dominate your life. Your daily life will reveal the new person that you are, and your life will glorify Christ!
1 So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. 4 When the Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)