“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 minds 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.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you…”
~ Colossians 3:1-5a
C.S. Lewis was once quoted as saying: “Die before you die. There is no chance after.”
Lewis, here, refers to us as Christians dying to ourselves and to sin, and thus living unto Christ in our lives. What’s easy to recognize is that sin is never just a personal problem. It affects everyone around us, which is one reason why Paul’s encouragement in Colossians 3 is to “seek the things that are above” and to “put to death therefore what is earthly in you.” The goal of killing sin is to glorify God, then to grow in our own sanctification, and lastly so that we can live and grow with others in our church family.
As we grow in our sanctification, however, we will make mistakes. We are all in process until the day when we throw off this flesh and are done with sin. Until then, the encouragement from the Holy Spirit in Colossians is to bear with one another. To do that, we have to be honest with one another (Col. 3:9-10) about our struggles and forgive one another when we fail. I cannot stress how important this is in the life of the church, and it’s practice will separate healthy churches from dying churches. This is how we love one another. This is how Christ can and should be glorified in His body.
In light of this truth, we must remember Colossians 3:12-14: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness 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 MUST ALSO FORGIVE. And above all these PUT ON LOVE, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
We must put to death sin and its destruction in our lives. Then, we will be able to live out what the Lord has purposed for us to do.
Pastor Chris <><