Our Real Life is Protected in Christ

Have you ever thought of your life being hidden in Christ or protected by Him? Paul tells us in Colossians 3:3-4 that our new life that comes through faith in Jesus is hidden with Him. This real life, our new nature, is guarded by Christ. “For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory”.

This idea of our life in Christ being protected by God was written about many times in the New Testament when the Apostles explained the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Holy Spirit seals and guarantees our new life and inheritance in Him. 2 Timothy 2:14 “By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.” The indwelling Spirit of God testifies with our Spirit so we are assured that He is with us and that we have a new life in Him. Romans 8:16 “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,” Ephesians 1:13-15 also explains this relationship between our new life in Christ and the Holy Spirit. “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” We can think of this protection of the Holy Spirit as hiding our new or real life in Christ. Paul wanted to give encouragement to the believers at Colossae. They were struggling with warring ideas and ideologies and this assurance of their life in Christ being protected by the Holy Spirt and hidden by Christ would have been very welcome. I can identify with that also, as I find Paul’s assurances bring hope and comfort to me in a world that is filled with doubt, uncertainty and chaos.

The idea in verse 4 that Christ will return and all truth will be revealed, would have been of great comfort to these believers, also. We, too, can gain comfort from knowing Christ will return and will be victorious over Satan. Christ’s return is a sure thing. In Matthew 24:35-37 Jesus spoke of His return. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my ,words will not pass away. “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” Later the Apostles spoke of Jesus’ return in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” When Jesus does return many things will take place but we do know that Jesus will rule and all will bow before Him. Philippians 2:9-11 “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” As an added bonus, because of our faith in Jesus we will share in the glory as we stand amazed. Romans 8:17 “and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” and Ephesians 2:6 “and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,”

Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have a life with Christ that is assured, protected and expectant as I await His return! Praise God! Thank you Jesus!

Linda

Straight talk by Paul (points us to Christ like behavior)

In this last section of Ephesians 4 Paul gets down to serious talk about sins that he has seen or heard of among the believers.  He mentions lying or speaking untruthfully with each other.  Anger that is not righteous but rooted in resentment, hostility or jealousy.  Also some had been thieves prior to becoming believers, and Paul tells them they must work and be useful so they will have things to share with those in need.  He mentions gossip or unwholesome talk, saying things that bring others down instead of building  them up.  He straight out tells them to get rid of bitterness, rage, anger fighting, backbiting, slander, and any and all kinds of malice.   All of these things are undesirable and incompatible with a life given to Christ.

Several verses jumped out at me in this section, Ephesians 4:26, 30 and 32.  26 “Be angry ephesians 4 26and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,”  This verse is frequently said, “don’t go to bed angry”.   Anger that is rooted in sin is filled with resentment, jealousy, bitterness and even hatred.  Paul is saying, anger is a valid emotion but do not let it be for the wrong reasons.  Jesus was angry with the money changers buying and selling in the temple and threw them out (Matthew 21:12).  He was angry with the Pharisees for wanting to trap him and keep a man from being healed on the Sabbath (Mark 3:5).  Both of these were cases of righteous anger.  They were not rooted in self but in wrongs done towards God.  When we harbor or coddle our anger, it will fester and grow.  Paul is telling us to not let that happen as the results will be harmful to us and to those around us.

30 “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”   What does it mean to grieve the Holy Spirit?   As a believer, Jesus’ Holy Spirit lives within us.  When we deliberately sin- steal, lie, cheat, act with wrong motives in anger, harbor bitterness, etc, it grieves the Holy Spirit that is within us.  God hates sin and doing sinful acts gives His Spirit grief, or makes His Spirit sad over our sin.  Paul reminds us that when we received Christ,  we were sealed by God’s Holy Spirit forever.  That is a wonderful privilege and honor,  and we should love Jesus enough to desire to not deliberately sin against Him.

32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”  I love this verse as Paul lays it out directly for us as to what kinds of actions should characterize a believer.  These will bring delight to our Savior.  They should be our response to His marvelous forgiveness and grace.

Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead,  we are made for righteous actions and thoughts towards ourselves and others which bring joy to God. 

ephesians 4 32Focus today on right living, good thoughts and actions towards others, putting away all bitterness, jealousy, anger …..  Don’t let  yourself fall into anger over your current circumstances,  but look for the good and seek to see how you can ‘be Jesus’ to each one you speak with today.

Linda

 

Full text in the New Living Translation:

25″ So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own,  guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”