When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:4)
Your old clunker has had it—so you drive the smoke-mobile into the car lot. You trade it in, but the dealer just shines it up and gives it back to you instead of the new one! It might look better, but it is the same old car. Jesus told a parable about the folly of trying to fix an old garment with a new patch (
Mark 4:21). Jesus never intended to patch up our old rags,
but to exchange them for a new robe! Christianity is not so much a changed life,
but an exchanged life!
Paul writes in
Colossians 3 about THE
POWER OF THE EXCHANGED LIFE (v.1a). We
are raised with Christ. The power that
brought Christ from the tomb now brings us out of spiritual death and into
resurrection life. That power now
enables us to meet and overcome every challenge in life. Today you can exchange human weakness for
Then, there is THE POSITION OF THE EXCHANGED LIFE (v.1b). We are seated with Christ. So we seek after heavenly things, because we’re seated in heavenly places. There Jesus reigns as Lord and in union with Him we are masters of every situation. There is nothing over our head that is under His feet!
Next, Paul points to THE PURPOSE OF THE EXCHANGED LIFE (v.2). We are like-minded with Christ. J.B. Williams translates, “Practice occupying your minds….” The purpose and passionate pursuit of Christ was to do the will of His Heavenly Father. He occupied His mind with eternal matters. We have the mind of Christ, so glorifying the Father becomes our mission.
Further, we find THE PRINCIPLES OF THE EXCHANGED LIFE (v.3a,5-9). We are crucified with Christ. Paul develops this doctrine in
Romans 6 in great detail. Being crucified with Christ means we are dead
to sin. We are to pronounce a death
sentence upon sinful attitudes and actions. We can feed these passions or
starve them to death. This was part of
the old carnal life, but not of the new Christ life.
See also THE PERMANENCE OF THE EXCHANGED LIFE (v.3b). We are secure in Christ. The Devil has to go through the Father and Son where he encounters a believer indwelt by the Spirit. By the time Satan reaches us, his intended evil has become God’s intended good. That’s security! Confidence in our foundation moves us to proceed with construction of the new life.
We have THE PROMISE OF THE EXCHANGED LIFE (v.4). We are returning with Christ. Christ has promised to come for His bride. At the rapture, the dead in Christ will rise and living saints will be transformed—caught up to heaven. After the seven years of tribulation ends, we return with Him to reign. The godly, growing Christian looks for the heavenly city.
Next, we discover THE POTENTIALS OF THE EXCHANGED LIFE (v.10). We are regenerated in Christ. God made Adam in His image and that was marred by sin. Now we are a new creation in the image of Christ. We have the potential to be all that God created man to be.
Finally, we observe THE PEOPLE OF THE EXCHANGED LIFE (v.11). We are one in Christ. Fellowship with Him is the basis of our fellowship as believers. There is no room for division.
Christ is all in all! He is our life and we can’t live without Him! May Jesus be Jesus in me!