Yes, I know it’s not New Year’s yet! Heck, it’s not even Christmas. However, here are some more thoughts from Colossians. A theme from this book is our new nature as Christians as opposed to our old nature before we were saved. When sin is driven out of our lives, it must be replaced with something. Paul developed this theme in four different ways:
- A tale of two kingdoms (1:12-14). The first kingdom is “the domain of darkness.” This is a land characterized by evil, blindness, and hiddenness, where we neither see God nor wish to be seen by Him. The king of this domain is the devil; he was our king, and his fate was ours as well. The second kingdom is “the kingdom of [the Father’s] beloved Son,” characterized by light. This kingdom is one of righteousness, vision, and openness. Our King is Jesus Christ, who is loved by God as His Son. His blessing is our blessing, and the present and future prosperity of His kingdom is our inheritance as well. We must remember how we came from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. God qualified us, delivered us, and transferred us to the new kingdom. This was all His work—to Him alone be all glory and honor for this marvelous act of grace!
- Dead or alive (2:13-14). Once, we were dead. We were living in our trespasses; we had not been circumcised from our flesh (the sinful nature which once dominated us and lay at the core of our being, see v. 11). We were dead to God, rejecting Him and His glory, preferring our own sins. Now, we are alive, together with Christ. Sin’s condemning power has ended. We have been made new, “raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead” (v. 12). We should take more time to rejoice in this—simply to enjoy being alive with our Savior, Jesus Christ!
- Heaven and earth (3:1-2). We have been resurrected with Christ. Therefore, our thoughts should be fixed on “things that are above”—things of heaven, where the will of God is being done. Our minds should be captivated by the victorious Christ, approved and loved by His Father. To delight in “things that are on earth”—the sins of the present domain of darkness—is to be satisfied in pathetic, wretched treasures. To glory in earthly things is to glory in a field of…well, cow pies (see Philippians 3:8). How much greater, how much richer, how eternal is our life, “hidden with Christ in God” (v. 3)! Jesus is our priceless treasure, our source of purest pleasure.
- Old man and new man (3:9-10). The old self—literally, the “old man”—is something we have rejected; it is to be replaced with the new man. We are new people when we become Christians! Moreover, the renewal doesn’t stop there. The new man is “being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” Those who are truly believers grow more like Christ, reflecting His glory, equipped by His knowledge to live a new life.