So you’ve decided to follow Jesus… but now what? Are there rules to follow, tasks to accomplish? What should a Christian’s life look like, practically speaking? In this passage from Colossians 3, we learn that a Christ-honoring life is not defined merely by avoiding wickedness, but by reflecting God’s own virtues in the way we interact with others.
“Since you were brought back to life with Christ, focus on the things that are above—where Christ holds the highest position. Keep your mind on things above, not on worldly things. You have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you, too, will appear with him in glory.
“Therefore, put to death whatever is worldly in you: your sexual sin, perversion, passion, lust, and greed (which is the same thing as worshiping wealth). It is because of these sins that God’s anger comes on those who refuse to obey him. You used to live that kind of sinful life. Also get rid of your anger, hot tempers, hatred, cursing, obscene language, and all similar sins. Don’t lie to each other. You’ve gotten rid of the person you used to be and the life you used to live, and you’ve become a new person. This new person is continually renewed in knowledge to be like its Creator. Where this happens, there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, uncivilized person, slave, or free person. Instead, Christ is everything and in everything.
“As holy people whom God has chosen and loved, be sympathetic, kind, humble, gentle, and patient. Put up with each other, and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Above all, be loving. This ties everything together perfectly. Also, let Christ’s peace control you. God has called you into this peace by bringing you into one body. Be thankful. Let Christ’s word with all its wisdom and richness live in you. Use psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to teach and instruct yourselves about God’s kindness. Sing to God in your hearts. Everything you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” — Colossians 3:1-17 (GW)
Questions to Ponder
- Have you left your “old self” behind for good? Do habits and impulses from that “old self” still tempt you—and if so, how do you respond when they do?
- What do you think the phrase “your life is hidden with Christ in God” means?
- Is the final paragraph in this passage a description of your life and attitude right now? What needs to happen in order for this joyful peace to become real in your life?