Salvation means a lot more than a sweep of God’s hand, a royal command from His mouth, and then eternal fire insurance. Our salvation turns upon our very union with the Son of God–the closest possible identification with His death and resurrection. His accomplishments have affected us to the point that we have died with Him and have been raised with Him. The prior connection that we had with the things of the earth has been severed and we are now living in the things above. As the apostle Paul assures us, Christ is our life.
A Greenhouse of Grace
But we are expected to interact with that eternal reality on a daily basis. This comes by following the mandate to put to death the things of the earth that are in us, and to put on the “new self”– virtues which are being renewed in the image of Christ. But before anyone imagines this as a lonely exercise, pay attention to the larger context of Colossians 3. Because, within the church, many other members are also “putting on the new” as well. In fact, within this corporate setting of other believers, we are empowered and encouraged to live out the new virtues. It is there that the Word of Christ dwells in us richly, not simply to promote greater knowledge, but peace and joy in myriad quality relationships between usall. The New Testament church life provides a greenhouse for the grace of forgiveness and harmony that could only end as Paul described: “singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” ( 3:16).
Verses (English Standard Version)
Col 3:1 – If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 – Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.
8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; butChrist is all, and in all. 12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.