Colossians 3:1-4 - Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and 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.
Since I asked if I could deliver this morning’s message, I’ve obviously been praying and thinking about what I might share with you men this morning. Since this is Holy Saturday, we’re sort of “wedged in” between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. And so, it shouldn’t surprise you that one theme that kept coming to me over and over was the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The other idea that kept coming to mind was how to connect the resurrection of Christ with living the Christian life. And on this point, there’s no shortage of Scripture.
I believe that our Scripture this morning is the perfect combination of both. We could, as one author suggested, call this message, “Living the Risen Life.”
So let’s get started…
First of all, Paul says this in verse 1…
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ,
Right off the bat he tells us that we have been raised with Christ. He’s writing to the Church in Colossae, so he assumes that they’re already Christians. If you’ve trusted in Christ as your Lord and Savior, then something miraculous has happened. The Bible teaches us that just as Christ was raised from the dead, you also have been raised from the dead.
Before trusting in Christ and the work that he did on Good Friday, we were all dead in sin. That’s part of what it means to be fallen or sinful people.
Ephesians 2:1 – As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
But something extraordinary happened when we trusted in Christ. Since he was our representative or substitute on the Cross, we died with him. That’s one of the things that baptism represents. If you picture the baptism of a person when they go into the water, that’s not just a symbol that they’re being cleansed of sin. It’s also a picture of them dying with Christ. And then, when they come out of the water, it’s a picture of them rising with Christ to new life.
And that’s exactly what Paul means here. He’s telling us that we are new creatures in Christ. We have new life. We aren’t the same. We too are risen to new life.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Galatians 2:20a – I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
Well… so what? Why did Paul tell us that we are raised with Christ?
Well, here’s why. Paul tells us that because we’re raised with Christ, we therefore need to live a certain way. We need to “live the risen life.”
So, how do you do that?
That’s what we’ll take a look at next time.
Grace and Truth,
(This comes from a message I shared at my church’s Men’s Easter Breakfast, on Saturday, April 3, 2010.)