Life in Christ (Colossians 2:6-15)

January 29, 2023 | Brandon Cooper


The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.

All right, thanks, Kyle promised Go ahead, grab your Bibles open to Colossians chapter two. That is where we will be. He’s taken care of a good chunk of the teaching this morning. But we’ll walk through it again plus a few more verses as you’re turning their to classes chapter two. Let’s imagine for a moment that a young man sets out and sets up shop in a new city and he has a dream, his aspiration is to be the greatest cheesemaker that the city has ever seen. And so he now owns the finest cows and the finest sheep and he’s got, you know, the dampest cave, or whatever it is, you need to make a cheese. So he’s there and his fame grows quickly, but he soon realizes that he is a pilgrim in a perilous place. Because there is a powerful local cheese lobby that is no fan of him. So they begin to threaten and intimidate him and actually even begin to attack him. And his shop, he finds that his windows are smashed his sheep missing and his breed brittle, which had never happened before. So he’s got two choices. At this point in the face of these attacks, he can join the brigands. And maybe that means bribing them, or compromising and you know, lowering the quality of his cheese so that He’s no different than the others. Or maybe he even joins a rival gang and so that they’ve just got these all out cheese wars or something like that, so he could join the brigands. Or he could hold fast against the evil forces that are working against him to kind of say, I will not be moved, I will not be changed from who I am. And so what does he do? He digs in, he builds up so he’s got, you know, now he’s got an electric fence around his sheath. He’s got security cameras, and although he’s a pipsqueak, much like myself, his big brother is former Mossad. And so I mean, this guy who’s his new head of security makes, you know, Jack Ryan, look up to son Jack Bauer, look clumsy and Jack Sparrow look fearful with this guy as your head of security blessing to our the cheese makers, indeed. I just did all that so I can make that one joke. Other than the cheese. This is very much the Christian life. We are pilgrims in a perilous place. And our lives, our lives are threatened by hostile forces that would see us undone so that we are often bruised and bullied and seeking ways to cope. And what will we do compromise? Cave? Join these hostile forces or dig in and build up? How do we not just survive but thrive as pilgrims in a perilous place increasing in strength. That’s what we need to see this morning as we look at Colossians two. So let’s start with verses six to eight, which are really the the main idea this gives us the what and the why of the rest of the passage. So let’s look at Colossians two, six and eight and get the main point from there. Kyle’s already a part of this for us. So then, just as you received Christ, Jesus says, Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him strengthened in the faith, as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness. See to the no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition, and the elemental spiritual forces of this world, rather than on Christ. What do we notice first, it begins with so then these are the kinds of transitions we pay close attention to in our Bible study so that we know where Paul is going, whoever the writer is, where they are going. So then means that this follows directly from what he just said, verses four and five. In particular, these are hinge verses that we had at the end of last week where he talked about the danger of deceptive teaching, and the joy that it gives Paul when his disciples are firm in the faith. So what’s the transition that he’s moving from the danger to the protection that we now have? Here’s how to counter it. In other words, you are a pilgrim in a perilous place. Yes, but there is help available. What does that help? So just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, he’s looking back to the moment when we first believed and experienced grace, but he says it doesn’t end there. To receive Jesus as Lord is not a one off decision. And you just get to go back to your old life. No, this is a transfer of allegiance. That’s what the word Lord would suggest. Anyway, imagine back in medieval times is a a knight pledging his fealty to a king. That’s not like for the Saturday event, and then I’m out of here. No, the knight is pledging for the rest of his life to serve and protect that King. So it is with us, we would, as Paul say, continue to live in him. We live like we belong to Jesus, that we are united to him by faith. In fact, our union is so strong that we could even be said to be members of His Body as we saw last week. Now imagine again our night who’s pledged fealty to a king, if that night then fights with the rebels against the king. He’s gonna be in trouble. That’s how people end up with their heads removed and all of that. What a perfect illustration of sin, though. Isn’t that exactly what sin is for us as Christians, we have pledged fealty to Christ our Lord and then immediately join the rebellion against How could that be? We’ll continue to look at that. But for now, let’s look at what it looks like to do the opposite to live or walk in Christ continuously. Paul tells us what it looks like these four pieces. We’ve got them here on the table in front of me, for participles that come after this main verb is again, the kinds of things we want to notice in our study. What exactly is he saying here? Right, what are the four participles will be fast because again, Kyle just did them first being rooted. This is an agricultural metaphor, plants putting down deep roots, because when they’ve got deep roots, that’s a pretty good sign that there’s going to be health and growth. So these are courtesy of my wife, she’s got the green thumb with the indoor plants. These are actually both from cuttings from a plant in my office that I just bought at Home Depot. That’s much easier than doing it this way. My wife gets really excited when she can see the roots in these little jars. That means Alright, this one’s gonna work this Wednesday, she could plant this one no problem. That’s what we should be as well. Psalms says this to a Psalm one, verse three, that person, the person who delights in the Lord’s instruction and meditates on it regularly. That person has like a tree planted by streams of water trees that are planted by streams of water put down deep roots, because they’re tapping into that water source right there. And then what happens, growth and health yields its fruit and season is leaf does not wither. So by our abiding, remaining in Christ attached to the vine, our prayer, our study, we sat down deep roots, and are unshakable as a result. The opposite of this, of course, is the Tumbleweed you’ve all seen the Tumbleweed in westerns, right? It means there’s a gunfight coming soon. Tumbleweed real thing. The problem with a tumbleweed is that it puts down just a single root. And so all it takes is a little bit of a dry spell. That route just withers and it’s easy to pop out and the weeds tumble, they’re not rooted, they’re blown about instead, we want to be like trees planted by streams water, so being rooted first second, being built up and moved from agriculture to architecture. He does that a lot by way First Corinthians three he says the thing is same thing you are God’s field, you are God’s building. So in Paul’s mind, these two just go together, you need that solid foundation that Kyle talked about that can support a growing structure, so that we have a skyscraper faith, story after story added pointing people upward toward God. They see our good deeds and glorify not us, but our Father in heaven. And then being strengthened. This is the athletic metaphor, exercise strength training, this is what we need, if we are going to endure in the Christian walk which takes some endurance of course, and then achieve you know what an athlete wants to progress wants to be able to hit home runs or whatever it is. You got to get strong to do it so that we can achieve what God has given us to achieve being rooted being built up being strengthened and then overflowing. Did you notice what happened there? We shifted from the passive to the active tense. I know it’s grammar. Some of you are looking at me like come on now. I don’t even know what that means. You have to know grammar. That is not just the high school English teacher in me saying that. I know that because Kyle was a high school PE teacher and he’s never gotten up here and said you need to know dodgeball. You need to know grammar because we are a people of the book again. These
are the things we pay attention to in our steady, passive. These are the things that God does for us. He routes us he builds us up He strengthens us. That’s all his Grace, and then we respond. It just flows out of us. From there. God pours His grace into us, and we respond in grateful love, and worship and obedience. And here’s why this all matters that it’s because of verse eight, because danger threatens Big Cheese is coming for us. So Paul says, See to it. That is, be alert, be sober minded, be proactive. Why? Because there’s danger around see what the no one takes you captive. So you’re enjoying a nice sale on the lake when all of a sudden swashbuckling, scallywags attack, and take you captive and hold you ransom. The problem here is that we’ve got the danger of being taken captive, not by pirates, but by an empty and deceptive philosophy. That is something that sounds smart, but isn’t really because it has no basis in reality, especially what we know to be true about God, and Jesus and what Jesus has done for us. And that really is the issue here. It’s a says, who question, did you notice that Paul says, This is according to human tradition, it depends on human tradition about these elemental spiritual forces. So human tradition, not divine revelation, and forget about these elemental forces, kind of a weird phrase, it’s actually the Greek word for alphabet. So it’s the ABCs of how the world works, our basic understanding of the world, which at this time, would, would be that there are these forces that we need to placate and control in order to survive, again, paying off bribes to Big Cheese kind of feel, think of what the world would have been like back then. And what this would mean, so a drought at that one could wipe out a nation and Eclipse could topple an empire, because it was taken as a bad omen. And people are of course, dropping like flies from unknown diseases. I mean, germ theory is not coming for, you know, hundreds of years still, is there any hope in a hostile world like that? No wonder we pat ourselves on the back for being much, much smarter today. And then we’ve got germ theory, at least, but we’re still subject to forces, aren’t we? That are well outside our control, we may be able to label diseases a little bit better. Now. The death rate is still 100%, though, one glaring exception. So we’ve transferred where the hostile forces are, maybe now we blame our genes and our heredity, our family of origin. Maybe we’ve jettisoned demons, and we talked about disorders. But that doesn’t change the fact that there are problems going on in people’s minds. So you can see the temptation to survive to thrive. In a world like this, we got to, we got to figure out how to placate these forces. Paul’s point is okay, sure, I get that. But why not throw your lot in with the one who made all of that? Why not throw your lot in with the one who made the soul? Who determined your genes who placed you in your family of origin, who created the world and any of the forces in it? That’s the main idea. In light of this danger that’s here, this danger will be taken captive by an empty philosophy, live and grow. That’s interesting. Kyle and I came up with the word grow separately, but it’s the only one that captures kind of all three metaphors, plants grow, a building grows, our muscles grow, so live and grow in Christ alone, in Christ alone. But why? Why Jesus and not horoscopes or crystals or mindfulness or gene therapy or, you know, counseling to deal with your family of origin, not that I have anything against counseling, by the way, it has its time and place. But here are three reasons why we go to Jesus first, we’ll take them one at a time. First one from verses nine and 10. So live and grow in Christ alone, because he was, let’s read verses nine and 10. Four in Christ, all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form. And in Christ you have been brought to fullness, he is the head over every power and authority. So we know that Paul is giving us reasons to trust Jesus, the live and grow in him and him alone, because that little word for Okay here are your reasons for in Jesus, the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form. There is not a word in that sentence, by the way, that isn’t like a knife in the back of the heretics like this is a highly polemical everything that he’s saying here would be a little bit like debating with an atheist say about naturalism and Darwinism and stuff like that. And you just kept talking about creation. We’re like, well, yes, but he doesn’t accept it as creation. That’s the whole argument here. That’s what Paul is doing as well, because he says, the fullness of deity. That is it’s not bits of deity that are sprinkled around all of these different forces, everybody gets 1%, or something like that. No, it’s because Jesus is fully divine, he is enough. But then this fullness of deity dwells in bodily form. And this is attacking an early form of what’s known as Gnosticism. And agnosticism, the idea is that the material world is bad. The creation is bad matter is bad. And so what are we trying to do? We’re trying to almost escape the material to enter the spiritual. And here Paul is saying, no, no, no, the spiritual became material. That’s the wonder of it all. I mean, this is why Paul has emphasized Christ’s role in creation. Already we saw last week in particular, so not bad, it was made by a very good God, of course, but then it gets even better, Paul says, because the divine has entered the world, the fullness of deity became flesh. And so the goal of the Christian life then is not to escape the material world, but to image Christ to the material world, and to see God’s Kingdom Come here on Earth. And then it gets even better. Not only does the divine fullness dwell in Jesus, but his fullness fills us up as well. Now, we got to be a little bit careful here, that does not mean the fullness of deity dwells within us. It’s just, we are filled full with his fullness. So this is a little bit like I’m taking three of mine to another vacation in a little while here. And we will be at the Pacific. And we could wade into the Pacific with our water bottles, and very quickly fill up the water bottle with the Pacific. But it’s a drop in the ocean, literally. In this case, I mean, the Pacific might as well be infinite, it’s so much bigger than we are. So the cup is filled full, but not with the fullness of the Pacific. So what is with us in Christ? The key though, is that only His fullness can fill us. Why is that key? Because what happens in sin is that we are seeking to fill the empty spaces within us by turning to these fleshly lusts and desire. So it’s a little bit like pick the sin of gluttony, like you’ve got an empty stomach, and you’re trying to fill it full with a dozen donuts or something like that. That’s what we do with sin. As opposed to letting Christ fill us with his force, the feast on the riches of His gospel, glory, we’re gonna find that’s much more satisfying than a dozen doughnuts and with none of the health problems that come with it, be filled. Paul tells us in Ephesians, five be filled with His Spirit. So if that’s who he is, that’s what he does. Why would we look elsewhere? Why would we look to powers and authorities when we could look to their Lord, we live and grow in Christ alone. Why? Because he transcends. He transcends He is above and beyond all the counterfeit competition. Jesus is more than sufficient in him, and him alone is the fullness we seek. I don’t think our slide would but transcends was your fill in the blank if you missed it. Second, blank then verses 11 and 12. Let’s keep reading Him. In Him. You
were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, which you were also raised with Him through your faith and the working of God who raised him from the dead. So in him, we’re filled, but in Him we are also changed. Then Paul gets at this with the contrast between physical and spiritual circumcision. So what’s Paul’s point? Let’s take in an example here, if you were sick, chronic pain of some sort, you went to the doctor There, she recommends surgery, she performs the surgery and you get better. There’s no more chronic pain, you would think the doctor, the doctor did this, the doctor made me better. So human effort works. But suppose you’ve got this chronic pain, you go to the doctor and the doctor says, There’s nothing I can do. There’s no help here. And then miraculously, you wake up the next morning, all the pain is gone, you go back and you get another scan. And they’re like, yeah, the underlying problem, I don’t even know what happened, you would thank God. Because you would know only God could do that. That’s Paul’s point. When it comes to the spirit, only God can heal. Doctors are very helpful when it comes to helping heal the body for sure. Although even then, of course, that’s God’s healing. But when it comes to the spirit, only God, only God can do it. It is all of grace. And so his point here exactly as a human can remove a bit of flesh. But only God can remake, regenerate our fleshly nature transform us. So, again, why would we look to human remedies that, whether that’s a remedy that takes God into consideration or not, you know, we could turn to self help, I don’t need God, I’m gonna go my own way. Let’s see what humanity has to offer. Or we could turn to self righteousness and dependent our good works. Why would you look to human remedies? Why not look to Christ in whom that grace and that power is found? We’re all sin addicts, right? That’s pretty straightforward. So what’s let’s take a page from the addiction playbook, then what are steps one and two of the 12 steps? Admit I’m powerless. I can’t do it, and acknowledge the need for a higher power. Well, that’s just confession and grace. That’s all it is. And that, by the way, is exactly what baptism symbolizes just why Paul turns to baptism. Next, it’s also why we baptize believers at this church, people who have experienced that transformation because it’s a picture of what happens the old self is buried with Christ in baptism, and then raised to new life in him. This is remarkable. Phillips Brooks says it like this. I think it’s it’s powerful word who speaks here, the great Easter truth is not that we are to live newly after death. That’s not the great thing. By the way. That’s a really great thing. I think he undersells it here. It’s not that we’re to live newly after death, but that we are to be new here, not so much that we are to live forever. Again, not a bad thing. That’s a really good thing as that we are to and may live nobly. Now. We get a turn on life today. That’s an important truth. Remember, because I don’t if you’re at all like me, it’s sometimes a little bit easier to believe in physical resurrection at the end of time than it is to believe that we can be changed here and now. Because that one’s far off. And this one, I live day to day, and the change seems to be so slow, sin lingers, but the proof that God can and will change us, is the resurrection of Christ. Because God raised Him from the dead, we know that he will raise us to newness of life as well. Baptism is that great reminder that this is not a future salvation, but a past and a present salvation as well. We have died to sin, we have been raised to new life already. This is why Martin Luther was famous for fighting temptation by saying to himself into those hostile forces around him, I am baptized, I am baptized. That’s the point. It’s not that baptism meant that he was now invincible or something like that. It was a visible reminder of the invisible reality within him and he knew he needed to call that to mind and we do to elsewhere. Paul walks through that process, exactly. Romans chapter six. He says, like, you know, you know, exactly these truths. You’ve been buried with Christ. You’ve been raised to new life, you know that. So? Count that true of yourself. Like reckon yourself dead to sin, and alive to God and then offer every part of yourself as an instrument of righteousness and no longer is an instrument of wickedness. We’re not to sin any longer. And we can do that. Because the self ruled by the flesh, the sinful nature was put off when Jesus changed us. What Paul saying here is you are new. So live new It would be a little bit like if someone who had been paralyzed and waist down and accident or something like that, in a wheelchair for a number of years is then miraculously healed. Only God can do that. Legs are strengthened though atrophy of the muscles or anything like that, and then just got right back into the wheelchair and just sat there. Like, no, no, you can walk, walk, live, new live the new life that you have. So when temptation comes, we meet it the same way Luther did, I’m baptized, I’m baffled. By the way. If you’re here and you believe in Christ, you’ve not been baptized. That would be step one, okay. I am baptized, I have died, I have been raised, I do not need to sin when temptation comes. So when you know that your favorite candy is there in the cupboard, and your mom said you could have a piece after dinner, and it’s before dinner, but your mom’s upstairs. Or when this test was a whole lot harder than you thought it was gonna be, and you are not doing well on it. And then you happen notice you can see the test next to you. And that’s the kid who always does well on her tests. Or when those hormones are raging as they sometimes do. I am baptized, I am transformed, I am new in Christ. Adults, you can fill in your own examples there. But that’s the point live and grow in Christ alone, because he and he alone transforms. Last point, then verses 13 to 15. Let’s read it. When you were dead in your sins, and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins have been canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness which stood against us and condemned us, he has taken it away nailing to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross when you were dead. That’s how we enter the world. We are born spiritually dead. That is why we need to be born again, as Jesus told Nicodemus and John chapter three, and that will require grace, not effort, because the dead can’t do anything to make themselves better. The sick, maybe maybe you could change your lifestyle or something like that and get healthy, but the dead No, you’re going to need an external and divine power. And that’s what happens. What does Paul say next, when you were dead? God, God made you alive in Christ. And that same power that raised Jesus from the dead now lives in us, so that we are raised to that newness of life. But there’s a problem, isn’t there? What about our guilt? The wages of sin is death. Did God raise us just to execute us? It’d be a really weird strategy, first of all, no, he didn’t. What does Paul say? He says he forgave us literally graced us having canceled the debt that we owe the wages that we’ve earned by our sin. Every one of us has a great spiritual I owe you hanging from our neck like the albatross, and CO urges Rime of the Ancient Mariner. So there’s this great IOU hanging from us. And what happens next is a bunch of scary guys and black SUVs pull up in front of your house, and they are there to collect the debt. And you are being dragged off. And it’s a really dramatic moment in the movie, your wife and your kids and you’re going and just then your neighbor walks out. Really nice guy, and says, How much does he owe? I’ll cover it. And he just writes the check. Right then and there. Jesus is that neighbor.
Except it had to be Jesus, your neighbor, nice guy as he is, could not do this for you because you owed an infinite debt because you’ve offended an infinite God. And therefore an infinite payment is required, which means a better be an infinite being who makes that payment from His infinite riches of grace. Only Jesus could do that. If your neighbor paid that debt for you, you get to go back, you know, spouse and kids and stuff. What are you doing to the neighbor? You probably fall at his feet. wrap your arms around his knees. Thank you, thank you, thank you like I’m mowing your lawn, rest of your life for my life. Not because I’m trying to pay you back but just because I got to do something to overflow in thanksgiving. That’s us. Luke chapter seven. Jesus is talking to Simon the Pharisee with a sinful woman at his feet and he says to Simon whoever has been forgiven little loves little. But look at her. She loves much why because she knows how much she was forgiven, you have been forgiven and infinite debt. So you should love infinitely and overflow without thanksgiving and worship. This debt stood against us and condemned US. This is getting not legal and financial but psychological here at this point, we are all wearing a scarlet a for our spiritual adultery with all the guilt and shame that comes with it first because it’s very public shame. And so this will pull somebody here it’s a little bit like Edgar Allan Poe’s Tell Tale Heart. You guys remember that short story. So he murders his landlord, not a good idea, kids and buries him underneath the floor. Also not a good idea, kids. But there is a problem. The evidence even if it’s buried under the floorboards, the evidence, and the psychological guilt remain, so that he’s hearing in his head. The heart still beating underneath the floorboards even though it’s not happening. That’s us. That’s what Paul’s talking about here that stood against us and condemned US, but not anymore. Because Jesus takes it away. He has erased it. So the evidence is gone. And he’s nailed it to the cross paying the penalty so that the guilt is gone as well. Which means the cross behind me is a visible reminder of our guilt. Yes, absolutely. He had to die on the cross because I was guilty, and I could not pay that penalty myself. So it’s a visible reminder of our guilt, except that the cross is empty. The cross is empty. There’s no Jesus on the cross because he was raised as the first fruits of our resurrection. And the cross is empty, because there’s no list. There’s not a bunch of sticky notes with your sin and my sin hanging to it because he wiped it clean. He erased it, the guilt is gone. That’s all pretty good. Like you all should have been Amen in there. Again, it’s okay, we’re still working on this. I get that. All right. It gets better, because then he puts our enemies to shame. He leads them in what would be a Roman military triumph. So the Romans were known for defeating everybody all the time. And then they would throw a big party with a parade, some things never changed, right? Except that in these parades, they would actually have all of the captive army march in it, and the general of the army that King would get, you know, executed literally tossed off a cliff at the end of it. So this was this public celebration of victory over our enemies. And that’s what we have. And Jesus, we’re celebrating his victory over the very same powers and authorities that the Colossians we’re being tempted to serve. How dumb is that? Why appease false powers who have been publicly shamed already by the one true God? Let’s go back to our cheesemaker for a moment. So here the cheesemaker is not rescued by his former Mossad, Big Brother, he is rescued by the one who owns the cattle on 1000 hills, lot of cheese, right? And then that guy routes, the enemies, all of these other rival gangs and things like that. Do you think that cheesemakers can be like? Well, I should still probably pay the bribe? No, that’s dumb. You know, that’s done. That makes no sense. Except that’s what we do. Every time we think that we have to, or can fix this on our own. You would never do that. I know. But I’ve done this. Sometimes we are trying to do what Christ already did for us. It was finished upon that cross not Jesus got a pretty good start on the cross, you better take it from here people as not the gospel message. So why is it so tempting because it is very much the view of this world. The world tells us, you want to solve problems, you need to look inside yourself. And let’s bring in some nice collage and mysticism as well. Like look inside yourself, get all mystical ish, you know, spiritual, but not religious kind of thing. If you do that you can sort yourself out, find the right path and follow it well enough. I would dispute all of that, of course. But even if that were true, what a burden that places on you. Because if you don’t follow that path, only one person to blame. You look inside yourself for the solutions, the solutions don’t come that is your fault. And now what hope do you have that’s the view of the world that is not the view of the Bible. The Christian Gospel says and I’m quoting Alistair beg here, he says, look inside and you will find only that which disappoints you and confronts you with your own ineptitude, and inability to fix even the simplest of things that really matter. Do you have to live about 25 years to be 100% certain of that truth. There are all sorts of things we’ve tried to fix in our lives that have not yet changed frequently, we just break things and make them even worse. The problem is inside of you. It’s your fault. And so the answer must come from outside. So it is the most wonderful news that Jesus has come in order to fix your problem. And fixed it he has. We’ve already seen it right? He erased the penalty of sin. And he’s broken the power of sin, leading those powers in a triumphal victory parade even so all that remains is the presence of sin. And what do we do? Well, we attack that ferociously, like your immune system going after a disease like your dad or Mama Bear, going after an intruder threatening the kids. Those pirates are back, you attack it, the presence of sin that remains in your life, you attack it, because the war is already won, and the one who one lives in you, and empowers you to overcome. That’s the last point we live in, grow in Christ alone. Because he transcends he transforms. And lastly, he triumphs. He has triumphed, your victory is guaranteed, even if you stumble in a skirmish here or there. And this message remains the only message of hope to those who are trapped in frustration and despair in the face of an unchanged life. Again, like addicts, and those who have shipwrecked their lives by making terrible decisions, but that’s true of all of us. We’re all sin addicts, and we all have at least made enough mistakes that it’s kind of shipped Reki at this point. This is the good news and the quote FF Bruce here, Christ crucified and risen is Lord of all, all the forces of the universe are subject to him. Therefore to be united to him is to be liberated from their Thrall them to enjoy perfect freedom to overcome the powers of evil through participation in his victory. And I’d love this next part. He says the redemption that is in Christ Jesus is a cosmic redemption. It’s healing virtue streams out to the farthest bounds of creation. But it is a personal and particular redemption to the conqueror, who is enthroned at God’s right hand supreme above the universe and filling it with his presence is at the same time enthroned a king in each believers heart. And think of what we’ve learned in this passage, these few short verses. were filled with His fullness, transformed, spiritually DEAD AND BURIED to sin, raised to new life forgiven and free. Are you in Christ Jesus, by grace through faith? Because if so, this is who you are. This is who you are. All those descriptions are true of you so live like it. So live like it. live and grow in Christ alone, in Christ who transcends and transforms and triumphs, live and grow in Christ alone, rooted and built up and strengthened and overflowing with love and worship, and obedience. Let’s pray. Father, these are wondrous truths. Indeed, any of those descriptors could apply to us, that we who were born into sin and death spiritually, should be called forgiven. Free, resurrected to new life now.
Able to celebrate your victory in us in the world. You have paid our debts, you have taken away our guilt and shame. In light of that, what can we do but fall at your feet? In Thanksgiving, that overflows in love and worship and obedience. Would you help us Lord, by the strength of your spirit by the resurrection power that is active within us if we belong to Christ? Would you help us to live as who we are in Christ, to the praise of your glory, amen.

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