Colossians 3:12-14 – Living As the Church In Light of the Resurrection

No man can breathe into another’s nostrils the breath of life. But Christ can and does breathe His life into us; and this true miracle of a communication of spiritual life takes place in every man who humbly trusts himself to Him.

This life from Christ is a resurrection life. Consider that our union to Christ produces a moral and spiritual change analogous to His resurrection. After all, it is the moral and not the mystical side which is the main thing in Paul’s use of this thought. He would insist that all true Christianity operates a death to the old self, to sin, and to the whole present order of things, and endows a man with new tastes, desires, and capacities, like a resurrection to a new being. Many a man in this day, long familiar with Christian teaching, has found himself made over again in mature life, when his heart has grasped Christ. Drunkards, profligates, outcasts, have found it life from the dead; and even where there has not been such complete visible revolution as in them, there has been such deep-seated central alteration that it is no exaggeration to call it resurrection. The plain fact is that real Christianity in a man will produce in him a radical moral change. If our religion does not do that in us, it is nothing. Ceremonial and doctrine are but means to an end-making us better men. The highest purpose of Christ’s work, for which He both “died and rose and revived,” is to change us into the likeness of His own beauty of perfect purity. That risen life is no mere exaggeration of mystical rhetoric, but an imperative demand of the highest morality, and the plain issue of it is: “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body.” Do I say that I am a Christian? The test by which my claim must be tried is the likeness of my life here to Him who has died unto sift, and liveth unto God.

This new pattern and new motive, both in one, make the true novelty and specific difference of Christian morality. “As I have loved you,” makes the commandment “love one another” a new commandment. And all that is difficult in obedience becomes easier by the power of that motive. Imitation of one whom we love is instinctive. Obedience to one whom we love is delightful. The far off ideal becomes near and real in the person of our best friend. Bound to him by obligations so immense, and a forgiveness so costly and complete, we shall joyfully yield to “the cords of love” which draw us after Him. We have each to choose what shall be the pattern for us. The world takes Caesar, the hero; the Christian takes Christ, in whose meekness is power, and whose gentle long suffering has been victor in a sterner conflict than any battle of the warrior with garments rolled in blood.

Alexander Maclaren

Read Colossians 3:12-17. When you think about the reality of what Christ has done for the “chosen of God” (v. 12) who “have been raised with Christ” (v. 1), how does this impact how you live your daily lives in community with the church? How can a more constant focus on the resurrection impact this area of your life?

Hallelujah, What A Savior by Aaron Ivey

Posted on: April 13, 2017 - 10:00PM

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