This coming Sunday I'll preach out of Colossians 3:1-4:
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.
In Col. 2:20 Paul wrote “If with Christ you died…” In 3:3 he adds "for you have died..."
In 3:1 he writes "If then you have been raised with Christ."
And in v. 4 he adds, "you will appear with him in glory."
All of this is "solidarity" language; it's "in Christ" language. Because a Jesus-follower is now in Christ we share in what Christ has done. Paul uses the term "in Christ" and its variations 216 times in his letters. Obviously, this is very important!
That Jesus-followers are "in Christ" implies a number of things. Here we see three:
1.We have been raised with Christ in the past (3:1).
2. We have died with Christ and are hidden with Christ in the present (3:3).
3.We will be revealed with Christ in the future (3:4).Commenting on these three things Sam Storms writes:
"Not to be connected or united to Christ by grace alone through faith alone ends all hope of: 1) a break with the past, 2) a power for the present, or 3) glory in the future. We have no independent life of our own. The only life that we now have is actually the life of Christ in us. Therefore, our interests must be identical with his. Our goals and aims and vision must be coextensive with his. All that is precious and dear to him should be to us as well. All that is alien and offensive to him should affect us in the same way." (Hope of Glory)
(I've asked our Redeemer people to write Col. 3:1-4 on a 3X5 card and carry it with them this week until we meet on Sunday morning.)