- Chad Werkhoven
Colossians 3:1-4 - Already but Not Yet
You're already fully saved even though you do not yet fully realize all the benefits of it.
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Read Colossians 3:1-4
1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 45
Q. How does Christ’s resurrection
A. First, by his resurrection
he has overcome death,
so that he might make us share
in the righteousness
he won for us by his death.
Second, by his power we too
are already now resurrected to a new life.
Third, Christ’s resurrection
is a guarantee of our glorious resurrection.
The NIV has an excellent translation of the opening words of Colossians 3. Whereas other translations render it "if you have been raised with Christ...," the NIV brings out the emphatic and forceful nature of the Greek grammar that Paul uses with the words "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ."
In other words, if you confess and believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, you don't need to wonder if the victory He won applies to you. Since you believe, you have been raised with Christ.
Paul draws out the logical ramifications of your salvation. Since you've been raised with Christ, your life is different from non believers. Physically everything stays the same for now (which is why it's often so easy to forget you're different), but mentally and spiritually, you're living in an entirely different world than other people, so it only makes sense that your heart and mind be focused on things above, not on earthly things.
Notice the timeline that's set out in v3-4:
You died (in that you were included in Christ when He died)
Your life is now hidden with Christ in God
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
How much needless worry, stress, and anxiety are you experiencing because it's so easy to forget this gospel timeline? So many people reduce their salvation to something that will happen in the future, after they die. They just see God standing there at the finish line, cheering you on the way parents encourage a young child in a race, but yet either unable or unwilling to interfere with the problems you are facing right now.
But today be reminded that "you too are already now resurrected to a new life." Yet you live in tension: we often say that we are already fully resurrected, but we do not yet fully realize all of the benefits that come from our salvation. What that means is that even though your life is most certainly hidden in Christ at this very moment, you are still subject to the temptations and consequences of sin, both the sins you commit yourself and those others around you commit.
So you're not exempt from the the problems of this world, but you can begin to see them in the light of Christ. This is the key to peace in this life: set your heart and mind on things above, not on earthly things.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Father God, who has our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ sitting at His right hand.
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will be reminded often that salvation is not just a future benefit, so that you will keep your heart and mind set on things above already now.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Matthew 14