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 mind 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 life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4
Welcome, New Believers! I'm really excited for today's post because we're finally talking about what it means to live your daily life as a Christian. Being a member of the "Big 'C' Church" means a lot more than just showing up for service on Sunday morning or small groups on Wednesday nights. If you've grown up in the Church like I did, then you've probably heard that statement a million times, but what on earth does it mean? I think it starts with a realization that you have a new view of yourself and the world because your spiritual citizenship has changed. You're now a citizen of the Kingdom of God and know yourself to be redeemed for eternity, death no longer has any power over you, even though you know your earthly life will come to an end. Now your primary job as a member of the Kingdom is to spread the Good News which is the Gospel! How do you do this? It starts in the way that you live your life...
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator. Colossians 3:5-10
We talked about yesterday as we studied the roles of leadership in the Church that the requirements for such a leader began with how that person governed themself, then how they governed their home, and finally how they governed the church in their care. For the members of the church, it is similar, Colossians first addresses that you must govern yourself the evil desires that come from the core of your being from sexual immorality to covetousness. Then it goes on to address how you treat others from anger to obscene speech. It never fails to amaze me how many classmates guessed I was a Christian after a five-minute conversation with me because I wasn't using profanity and the absolute shock they would have when I eventually slipped up and used a bad word. How we speak and how we live is perhaps the greatest witness we have to the World that we no longer belong to it! This new citizenship is offered to all and any may accept it, it's a beautiful thing to know that in the Kingdom all the sectionalism that tries so hard to divide us on earth will be no more. God doesn't require that you're a specific race, gender, political party, or fandom to get into His Kingdom. Instead, He tells us we're all sinners and the only way we get redemption is through His Son. Once we're redeemed through Christ, those boxes don't mean anything anymore, we will all be gathered to Him in eternity!
Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Colossians 3:11
Where does your mission for the Kingdom to spread the news begin? In your homes! When I was young my parents told me that one of the reasons we have a family is to have people in our lives who would hold us accountable to God's Word in our everyday life. No one knows you better than those who live with you! Whether they are Christians yet or not, they have an awareness of the standard Christians are held to and they see the difference the Gospel does or does not make in our lives. If you're preaching the Good News but still living as if you were dead in your sin then your words will ring false, but there is testimony after testimony of those who come to Christ and the transformation in their life rocks their whole family and the people they work with because they cannot avoid the new person that stands before them.
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humilty, 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. 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 3:12-17
We are to treat people as Christ treated us although we did not deserve it and we are to love them, especially because Christ loved us. Through the trials we'll face in this life we are to let Christ rule our hearts in His peace. We are to be together as a Church united in His Word and united in worship. Whether you're a doctor or a janitor you are to do everything in the name of Jesus giving thanks to God!
Paul finishes the book of Colossians with how Christians are to live in their families and a few further instructions for the church in Colossae that are good for us to keep in mind as well. I encourage you to go and study this wonderful letter for yourself. We will certainly be going over more of it later.
If you have any other questions about your role in the Church, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. For this topic especially you should find a mentor in the faith who can help personally walk you through many of these issues as you grow into a mature believer and seek to live your life for Christ. This is one journey you were never meant to take alone!