Double Security In An Insecure World: Colossians Series #17
Life is what you are alive to. Mention cars and many teenage boys come alive. Mention boyfriends and all the teenage girls come alive. Mention money and the stock market and a lot of people come alive. Life indeed is what you are alive to. That is certainly true in the Christian life.
When you come to the Lord Jesus Christ, your life takes on a new perspective and it gains a new center. Paul put it this way in Philippians 1:21, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Life, for the believer, is Jesus Christ. You come alive in the Lord Jesus Christ and life is what you are alive to.
Ptolemy taught that the earth was the center of the universe. For 1300 years, that’s what people believed. Then Copernicus came along and said, “oh, no, earth is not the center of the universe, the sun is the center of the universe.” At that point, the universe took on a brand-new center. This universe now has a new perspective when you change the center, the meaning, and the purpose of it all. Life is what you are alive to, and when you come to Jesus Christ the Bible teaches that you are now alive to Him.
In chapter one of Colossians, Paul set before us the absolute sufficiency of Christ. In chapter two, he sets before us the deficiency of cults. Now, in chapters 3 and 4 he will present to us the efficiency of the Christian life and it all centers around the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Colossians 3:1-5, we are studying what our life is as a Christian. There’s a little preposition in this verse—with. That preposition kind of guides us through what the Christian life is all about. In verse 1— “risen with Christ.” In verse 3— “Your life is hid with Christ.” In verse 4— “You shall also appear with him.” Life revolves around Jesus for a Christian. Life has meaning and purpose around the Lord Jesus Christ.
I. We Have An Empowered Life
In Colossians 3:1-2, we read, “Since you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
Our Resurrection Is A Scriptural Fact
It is a spiritual fact that those who have come to Jesus and received Him as their Savior are now risen with Christ. They now have a resurrection life.
In Colossians 2:20, we read, “You are dead with Christ.” In Colossians 2:12, we are taught that we are “buried with him.” In Colossians 3:1, “we are risen with Christ.” See the picture? We are dead with Christ, buried with Christ, and risen with Christ. This is a simple message of the saving Gospel.
It is also a testimony of what has happened to us. We were spiritually identified with Jesus so 2,000 years ago when Christ died, we died. When Christ was buried, we were buried. When Christ was made alive, we were made alive. We have a resurrection life in the Lord Jesus Christ.
What we need is not a reformation. What we need is not a set of rules to help you live right. What we need is a resurrection.
I think about the experience when Jesus went to Bethany. There was a man there named Lazarus who had died. Jesus stood before the tomb of Lazarus. What did Lazarus need? A set of regulations or rules to help him know how to live? No. That’s not what Lazarus needed. Lazarus needed life. So, the Lord Jesus Christ, the living Savior stood before that tomb of Lazarus and He said, “Lazarus, come forth.”
Isn’t it wonderful to know that in the Lord Jesus, we who were dead in sin have been given a brand-new life? Life is what you are alive to. Life in Christ is a resurrected life. This a spiritual fact according to Scriptures.
Our Resurrection Is A Supernatural Force
Not only is it a spiritual fact, but it is also a practical force in your life. That’s why you have two commands in these first two verses. The first command is “seek those things which are above. The second command in verse 2 is “set your affection on things above. That is, seek heaven and think heaven. He is saying that now that you have come to Christ you have an amazing new perspective. You look at things differently. You look at things from a heavenly point of view. The word “seek” is very strong. It carries the idea of strong pursuit. It’s like an Olympic athlete pursuing a gold medal. The word, “set your affections,” is another strong word. It means “to direct your mind to; put your attention on.” Get your total outlook on life directed toward heaven.
If you begin to live thinking of heaven, if you begin to live seeking heavenly values and outlooks, you will be doing and thinking those things that Jesus would have you do and think. “Set your affection on things above.”
There are two ways, two outlooks, to live your life. You can live from an earthly point of view or you can live your life from a heavenly point of view. You can look at things from an earthly perspective or you can look at things from a heavenly perspective. There are multitudes of people in the world and all they ever see is this earth. They look at everything from an earthly point of view.
In the Book of Revelation, there is a little phrase “those that dwell on the earth.” The expression just really means “earth dwellers.” It means people who have made up their minds that the only world there is or ever will be is this world so they live everything from an earthly point of view. Here’s how Paul puts it in Philippians 3:19, “They mind earthly things.” They never think about looking up. It never dawns on them to get heaven on their minds. They never think that there might be another outlook on life. So, they go through life living from an earthly perspective. I think this is why most people never really find the things that matter in life. I believe it is why they never really find peace, satisfaction, and fulfillment in life.
What are people truly looking for? There are three things that all people are looking for. They want to have things; they are interested in possessions. They are interested in being happy, having fun, pleasure. They want to feel like they have some personal worth and significance. They are interested in position–where they stand. People go through this earth, all through their lives, and they try to search for things to be fulfilled. However, there is nothing in this world that will ultimately satisfy that desire. They go through life wanting to be happy and they look everywhere trying to find happiness and love and never really find it. They want to feel like they are worth something and they never find any feeling of self-worth and importance in this life. They are looking for these things in the wrong direction.
A farmer is on the farm and it’s time to feed his hogs. He gets a few ears of corn and calls the hogs. They come running to the fence where the farmer sits with his ears of corn. He drops a few kernels of corn on the ground and that hog just roots around and eats them up. But the farmer has the rest of the corn in his hands up above. That hog just continues rooting in the ground. It never occurs to the hog that the corn is up above.
“Every good and perfect gift cometh from above, from the father of lights in whom there is no shadow of variableness, neither shadow of turning.” Don’t spend all of your life looking at life from an earthly point of view. Now that you have come to Christ, your treasures are above. The things that really matter in life are treasures in heaven. If you want pleasure Psalm 16:11 says this: “At thy right hand there are pleasures forever more.” That’s real happiness. It’s found in Christ who is at the right hand of the Father. If you want to have significance, meaning, and purpose, the Bible says that now you can rejoice that your names are written in heaven. Life is what you are alive to.
II. We Have An Enthroned Life
In Colossians 3:3 we read, “For you are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God.” What is Paul saying? It says that you as a Christian, have now a protected life. Your life is hidden. The tenses of the verbs are very important in teaching Scripture truth. The two verbs I have used previously—set your affection on things above, seek those things that are above. Those are present tense. That means every day of your life make heaven your ambition. Every day of your life make your decisions from heaven’s point of view. Now this verb–your life is hidden— is a verb that carries the idea of something that happened in the past and it is still true. It means that when you come to Jesus you commit your life to Him. Your life, your soul, your very existence, your eternity is now in the impregnable vault of heaven. You are now and forever hidden with Christ in God.
We Have Personal Safety
I think of the word, safety. We are a safety-conscious generation. We have alarm systems for our homes. The whole idea is security. Security against death. People take steps to give them a long life so they won’t die. They want to be secure from death. That’s why we want doctors, hospitals, and medical technology around us.
We want protection from all kinds of things. In all actuality, this world has very little protection. This earth is not all that secure. I’ve never been in one and may I never be, but they tell me when an earthquake comes you know this earth is not a real secure place to be.
I have been in a tornado and multiple hurricanes. I am still trying to get over them! It will do something for you when tornadoes, hurricanes, or earthquakes come and when volcanoes erupt. We learn just how insecure this earth is.
But your life is hidden with Christ in God. You have placed your soul in the heavenly vault. The Bible says, “I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” When you give your life to the Lord Jesus Christ, you have protection and safety.
You are hidden with Christ in God. Notice the terminology. That’s double security. It’s just like you had a treasure and you put that treasure in a box and sealed it. Then you took that box and put it in a barrel and sealed it. Your treasure now has double security. If anybody gets to your treasure, they have to get through the barrel first. But that’s not the end of it. To get to your treasure, they have to get into the box. As a believer, you have double security. You are hidden with Christ in God.
In John 10:28-29, we read, “I give unto them eternal life.” Temporary life? Conditional life? No. Eternal. That means forever. Jesus gives us eternal life. “And they shall never perish. Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” When you come to Christ, the Bible says you are in Jesus’ hand. That’s protection. Look at verse 29, “My father which gave them me is greater than all and no man is able to pluck them out of my father’s hand.” Your life is hidden with Christ in God. That is safety.
Though many foes beset your soul and feeble be your armor. Your life is hidden with Christ in God far from all alarm.
We Have Powerful Sufficiency
It not only means safety, but it means absolute sufficiency. In Colossians 3:3, we have learned that our life is hid with Christ in God. Now, look back at Colossians 2;3: “Christ in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Put those two together. If in Christ are hid all the treasures and if we are with Christ that means that you and I are where all the treasures are. That means if you and I know Christ as our Savior, then we have access to hidden resources.
When Jesus was talking to the woman at the well and the disciples had gone into town, Jesus talked to her and told her about the water of life and He led her to eternal salvation. About that time, here comes Peter and John and the crowd with the bags of food. They said, “Here, Lord, here’s something to eat.” Jesus looked up at them and said, “I have meat to eat that you know not of.” Peter expressed that he did not understand where He had gotten food. Jesus was saying that He had hidden resources. He has access to resources this world doesn’t know anything about.
Your life is hidden with Christ in God. The treasures are hidden in Christ. That means you have resources that are not available to folks who don’t know Jesus. Christians go through the same things non-Christians do. I’m not going to tell you that if you come to Christ all your troubles are over. It’s not true. Christians have tragedies just like non-Christians do. Christians battle diseases just like non-Christians do. Christians have heartaches with their children just like non-Christians do. Jesus said the rain falls on the just and the unjust.
Here’s the good news. If you know Christ as your Savior, when the troubles come and the difficulties arise and the tragedies occur, you have access to some hidden resources that other folks don’t. I know some Christians and it seems, to me, like they go from one tragedy and one heartache to another. Yet, some of these dear sweet Christians, instead of caving in and being crushed by the difficulties, they seem to handle it with grace, joy, victory, and strength. Do you know why they can do that? It’s because their life is hidden with Christ in God and that’s where the treasures, the resources of strength are. Isn’t that good news? Doesn’t that make you want to shout, “Praise the Lord!”?
Back in the days when England and Scotland were having hostilities the English built castles on their border to protect them. Now, some of those castles are still there today. They found out the difference between the two. Some of those castles had to pipe in water from a well on the outside. If those castles had an outside source of water, then the enemy could just stop up the wells and cut off the resources. But other castles had hidden springs on the inside so that the enemy was not able to get to them. Regardless of what the enemy did on the outside they had hidden springs of water on the inside. That’s the difference Jesus makes in our life. Not only are you in Christ, but we have Christ in us the hope of glory! You have the resources of Jesus Christ available to you every day of your life.
III. We Have An Exalted Life
In Colossians 3:4 we read, “When Christ who is our life shall appear then shall you also appear with Him in glory.” One of these days Jesus is coming again. Do you believe it? I do. This old world doesn’t see Jesus right now. This world has its eyes on everything else under the sun, everything imaginable. This world blots out the vision of the Lord Jesus. But the Bible says that one of these days He shall appear and when he shall appear every eye shall see him.
Sometimes the return of the Lord is pictured as a coming—the personal presence of Christ. Sometimes it’s pictured as a revelation—a removing of the veil. In this passage, it is pictured as an appearing—the invisible becomes visible. That’s the believer’s hope. The Christ in our life shall appear. The invisible shall become visible. I think that’s why Christians have such anticipation in their hearts. The coming of the Lord draws near. That’s why Christians are looking for His appearing. That’s why they are doing what II Timothy 4:8 says: they are loving His appearing. That’s why they are doing what Titus 3:13 says: they are living for His appearing.
When I was growing up, my Dad managed large department stores. He would arrange small jobs for my twin brother and me. He taught me the value of work. And looking back, I believe our Dad just wanted his sons to be around him to get to know who he was and what he did. Over the years, I have learned so many powerful and practical lessons.
After the store had closed for the day, I would also have the opportunity to play in the toy department. Those were “the good old days.” I remember when I play with a good-sized magnet. A magnet is not fun unless you have some things that the magnet can attract or pull to it. I remember getting some small nails and scattering them on the floor. If the magnet was too far away, the nails would not move. However, as the magnet got closer, I could see the nails stir or move and then watch the magnet pull them up through the air to it.
I believe it is going to be like this with the coming of the Lord. As we are on the eve of the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s children get excited. God’s children begin to anticipate it. God’s children witness as never before and talk about the things of Jesus Christ and the things of heaven as never before. Then one of these days He shall appear and we are out of here. Glory to God!
We read, “when Christ our life shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory.” You are going to have an appearing, too. This old world thinks there’s not much to you. This world is going to find out who the real people are. This old world thinks they are the movers and the shakers. Some of the power brokers in your city think they are in charge. There are some widows who have a prayer rug at their house, who get on their knees and talk to the Lord every day, and have more power in this world in terms of eternal things and things that matter than any power broker in your city.
We’ll appear with Him in glory. What is your life? Paul said, “For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.” If you just wrote down your life in one sentence: Life to me is______. How would you complete the sentence? If there is anything there except Christ, then dying is loss. But if you can truthfully say, “For me to live is Christ. Christ is my life.” If you can truly say, “Jesus is all the world to me. My life, my joy, my all. He is my strength from day to day, without Him I would fall.” If you can truthfully say Jesus is my life, then to die is to gain, and you have a heavenly reward to look forward to!Back To Blog