1.) If you then were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God.
2.) Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
3.) For you died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
4.) When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
HAPPY EASTER! I miss being with you on this most holy of days for the church. My hope is that it will be for you a great family day as much as is possible.
Our text this morning comes from Paul’s letter to the church at Colosse. Paul did not found this church, nor had he ever visited it. It was actually founded by Epaphras with help from Timothy; but Paul was good friends with Epaphras, and we know that he considered Timothy a son. You will see Epaphras mentioned in other letters where he had provided for or helped Paul with something. As a matter of fact, this letter is an answer to a letter delivered by Epaphras to Paul as he was awaiting trial in Rome.
Paul was writing in response to a problem of a form of Gnosticism that was rearing its ugly head in Colosse. This city was located in the Lycus River valley in central Asia Minor, modern day Turkey. Along with its sister cities, Laodicea and Hierapolis, Colosse had a very large Jewish population, many of whom had been taken there by the Babylonians. This population had been there so long that even under the rule of the Greeks and the Romans, they were able to pay the temple tax back in Jerusalem, and it was considered tax exempt by the ruling authorities. Many of the Jews from this area would travel to Jerusalem for the Passover and the other two major Jewish feasts. The Gospel was probably heard by pilgrims from this area on the day of Pentecost.
The form of Gnosticism encountered in Colosse was different than that confronted in the Greek churches. Where the Greek form was all about the attainment of knowledge, this form in Colosse was thoroughly Jewish. There was belief in God and belief in Jesus, but that wasn’t enough. The thought process was that one must seek enlightenment – by earning it! One earned it by working to achieve different levels. It was like an early game of Dungeons and Dragons or most role-playing games today, where after mastering one level there is always another higher level to attain. For Colosse Gnostics, some levels required the help of angels, some levels required a fight with angels, and yet in other levels there was actual worship of angels. The whole goal was to make it to the throne room of God, to earn a way into God’s presence.
Right off the bat we can see what the issue was. It totally ignored the cross. It totally ignored the finished work of Christ. It totally ignored the finished work of the Father, which was the resurrection and the ascension of the Son. The finished work of Jesus was concluded on the cross. He shed His blood for our redemption, and He gave His life for our forgiveness. But God’s finished work occurred when He raised Jesus from the grave and sat Him at His right hand. The blood and the death opened the doors for salvation, but the resurrection and the ascension made it a done deal.
The resurrection of Christ and the restoration of life proves that the debt of sin has been completely paid. It means justification for the believer. We are not just forgiven – we are justified in the eyes of God! As humans, we can forgive a person for something terrible they have done to us, but that doesn’t mean we want to be around them. Yet when a person is justified, they are not only forgiven but also wanted. The ascension proves that the work of the cross is complete because Jesus is now sitting at the Father’s right hand.
Jesus is also our High Priest. Before the cross, in the Tabernacle and subsequently in the Temple, there was a table with the show bread on it; but there were no chairs. No chairs in the court of the holy or the Holy of Holies. This meant that the priests’ work was never done. They did not have a place to sit because they did not have time to sit. Since the resurrection and ascension, the Father sat Jesus at His right hand. Jesus sitting means that the work of salvation is done.
Paul sharing with us in Colossians says, “If you are baptized in Christ, then you died with Christ, then you were raised with Christ.” This means that through professing and possessing our faith in Christ and His finished work, through our baptism, we die His death and we are resurrected in His life. As professing and possessing Christians, He is living His life through us. Therefore, since our life is from Him, we should seek the things that are from Him, the things that are from above. We should seek the things of Christ where He is, which is in heaven at the right hand of the Father.
Paul then tells us to set our minds on the things above. The Greek for “mind on” translates to “be devoted to”. We are to devote ourselves to the living out the life and the treasures from above. To devote ourselves to God’s word, God’s gift of the Holy Spirit, God’s gifts which come from the Spirit. To devote ourselves to doing His will, following His direction, allowing Him to do His work through us instead of hoping He will add His name to what we want to do. We are to devote ourselves to following His will and walking in His power, to being citizens of heaven and strangers in this world.
Paul says that since we died and were raised with Christ our eternal life is sure, our eternal salvation is sure. There are no doubts, for it is hidden with Christ in God. Remember, Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
(Matthew6:19-21). Our treasure – our eternal salvation, our eternal life – is sure because it is in heaven with Christ IN God the Father. It is where our true citizenship resides.
The promise continues when Paul proclaims that our salvation is so sure that when Jesus comes again, when He appears, we will appear with Him. The word “appears” in the Greek translates as “to manifest oneself openly.” Therefore, when Jesus returns, He won’t be hard to find. The world will see Him, and not only see Him but see him in all His glory! The Greek for “glory” means “eternal exalted state.” So, Jesus will be seen and made manifest openly to all in His eternal exalted glory. But not only will the world see Jesus, it will also see us – openly sharing with Him and in His eternal exalted state.
Paul is asking, “Why? Why are you falling for this false doctrine? Why do you think that you have to jump through all these hoops and levels and seek or fight or worship angels to present yourself to the throne room of God? Jesus has already done it for you!” As Bob Hartman writes, “The provision has been made, the foundation has been laid, He paid the ransom due, tore the temple veil in two, and opened up the way for me and you. IT IS FINISHED!”
We may not be like some of the people in Colosse, but there are those who think that grace is not enough. They come up with new ideas, new concepts to earn our way: Pray this way, and you’ll get God’s attention. Read so many chapters a day in your Bible, and God will have to take notice. Do this job or that mission. Believe this way versus that other way. It is as if Jesus was not and is not enough.
The GOOD NEWS is, Jesus is MORE THAN ENOUGH! This morning we celebrate His resurrection. HE IS RISEN! Death no longer has any power over Him. Since as believers we are baptized in His name, we have died and risen with Him. Death no longer has any power over us. Our salvation is sure because the One who holds our eternal life in His hands is sitting at the right hand of God Almighty. All that we should want, need, desire, and be devoted to is sitting at the right hand of God. And all we have to do is say, “Hey, Daddy! Hey, Lord!”
Now may the presence of our resurrected and ascended Lord Jesus Christ, the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, and the unconditional love of our Heavenly Father resurrect your faith to greater faith. Amen
Be sure to continue to read Psalm 91 in the first person and claim it each day.
33 replies on “Easter Sunday”
Thanks a lot for providing individuals with a very terrific possiblity to read articles and blog posts from here. It really is very awesome and also full of a lot of fun for me personally and my office peers to search your website nearly three times in a week to read through the newest tips you have got. And lastly, we are certainly amazed with the dazzling opinions you serve. Selected 4 ideas in this article are without a doubt the most impressive we have had.
Thank you a lot for providing individuals with an exceptionally nice chance to check tips from this site. It’s usually so useful plus stuffed with a good time for me and my office friends to search your web site at the very least 3 times weekly to find out the new items you will have. And definitely, I’m just usually motivated with the great tricks served by you. Some two points in this posting are rather the very best we have all ever had.
I precisely wished to say thanks yet again. I am not sure the things that I would have followed without these tips and hints documented by you about such situation. This was the challenging concern in my view, nevertheless considering a new professional avenue you resolved it took me to leap with contentment. Extremely happy for this information and thus wish you find out what an amazing job you’re accomplishing educating other individuals through the use of a site. I am sure you have never come across any of us.
Thanks for your whole labor on this website. Kate enjoys making time for internet research and it’s easy to understand why. My partner and i know all relating to the lively manner you provide reliable tips and tricks by means of your web site and as well as invigorate participation from other people on the subject matter so my child is really starting to learn so much. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the new year. You are doing a pretty cool job.
Thank you for all your valuable labor on this site. Kate take interest in engaging in research and it is obvious why. A lot of people notice all concerning the powerful medium you produce informative guidelines on the web blog and as well as invigorate response from the others on this idea so my girl has always been discovering a whole lot. Take advantage of the rest of the year. You’re conducting a good job.
I’m also commenting to let you know of the remarkable discovery my girl experienced using the blog. She figured out plenty of issues, which include how it is like to have a great teaching style to make other people completely have an understanding of some advanced matters. You actually surpassed people’s desires. Many thanks for providing the beneficial, dependable, edifying and unique tips about your topic to Jane.
Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I’ve truly enjoyed browsing your weblog posts. In any case I will be subscribing in your feed and I’m hoping you write once more very soon!|
Wonderful site. Lots of helpful info here. I’m sending it to a few buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thank you to your effort!|
bookmarked!!, I really like your site!|
I know this web site presents quality based content and extra data, is there any other website which offers these things in quality?|
I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this site. I’m hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts by you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own blog now ;)|
I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I’m quite sure I’ll learn lots of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!|
Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!|
Thanks a lot for giving everyone an extraordinarily brilliant chance to check tips from this web site. It really is so useful plus packed with a good time for me personally and my office mates to search your web site at a minimum three times every week to learn the newest secrets you have got. And definitely, I’m also actually fascinated with all the remarkable tricks served by you. Selected 4 points in this post are rather the most efficient we’ve had.
Remarkable! Its in fact awesome piece of writing, I have got much clear idea concerning from this post.|
I intended to draft you this bit of note to help say thanks again on your nice guidelines you have discussed at this time. It was incredibly open-handed with people like you to allow openly what exactly some people could possibly have offered as an e book to make some money on their own, mostly given that you could possibly have done it in the event you considered necessary. Those secrets likewise served to become a easy way to fully grasp that the rest have the identical zeal really like my personal own to find out somewhat more when considering this issue. Certainly there are millions of more pleasurable occasions in the future for people who look over your site.
My husband and i were fulfilled when Michael managed to deal with his inquiry from the ideas he got from your own site. It is now and again perplexing just to happen to be giving out hints that many people may have been selling. Therefore we realize we need the blog owner to give thanks to for that. The illustrations you’ve made, the easy site navigation, the friendships you can assist to foster – it’s all astonishing, and it’s assisting our son and our family feel that the idea is excellent, and that is highly essential. Many thanks for the whole lot!
I’m also commenting to let you be aware of of the really good experience our daughter developed checking your web page. She learned a lot of details, including what it’s like to possess a wonderful teaching character to get other folks completely fully grasp certain tortuous matters. You really surpassed visitors’ expectations. Thank you for supplying such precious, dependable, explanatory and in addition easy thoughts on that topic to Julie.
I’m writing to let you know of the wonderful encounter my friend’s princess experienced browsing your webblog. She figured out several things, most notably how it is like to have a great helping character to make others without problems learn certain extremely tough topics. You truly did more than my desires. Thank you for supplying these warm and helpful, dependable, revealing not to mention easy thoughts on this topic to Gloria.
I really wanted to compose a message to say thanks to you for some of the great techniques you are giving out at this website. My considerable internet investigation has finally been recognized with pleasant know-how to go over with my pals. I ‘d express that many of us site visitors actually are quite endowed to dwell in a good community with many outstanding individuals with interesting guidelines. I feel really lucky to have seen your web page and look forward to so many more brilliant minutes reading here. Thank you once more for everything.
If you want to take a good deal from this piece of writing then you have to apply such techniques to your won blog.|
Hey there, You’ve done an incredible job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I am sure they’ll be benefited from this website.|
I would like to express my admiration for your kind-heartedness in support of women who have the need for help with in this subject. Your real dedication to getting the message across appeared to be especially valuable and has in every case enabled most people much like me to realize their desired goals. Your amazing warm and helpful facts indicates a whole lot a person like me and a whole lot more to my fellow workers. Best wishes; from all of us.
I must show my gratitude for your kind-heartedness in support of visitors who really want guidance on the matter. Your special commitment to passing the message around had been astonishingly interesting and has always permitted associates just like me to arrive at their aims. Your amazing warm and helpful recommendations indicates so much to me and additionally to my office workers. Many thanks; from all of us.
I just wanted to type a quick message to thank you for these pleasant tactics you are writing at this site. My long internet investigation has at the end been paid with reasonable facts and strategies to share with my family members. I would assert that most of us site visitors are really endowed to exist in a good community with many marvellous individuals with interesting suggestions. I feel very grateful to have used your web site and look forward to some more pleasurable moments reading here. Thanks a lot once again for all the details.
Hi to every body, it’s my first visit of this webpage; this web site includes remarkable and actually fine information in favor of readers.|
Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! However, how could we communicate?|
Very nice blog post. I certainly appreciate this site. Keep it up!|
It’s really a great and helpful piece of info. I’m happy that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.|
Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up plus the rest of the website is really good.|
Your style is unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this site.|