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The New Life in Christ

(Colossians 3:1-17)

Lesson 12 -- third quarter 2000
August 20, 2000

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2000, Christian Light Publications

New reactions.
New values.

We know that the new life in Christ is for some future heavenly time. We also know that this new life is for this life, for today, for right now. And one of the issues that we must deal with constantly in our present lives is that of reactions. Today's passage brings out some of old reactions, then calls us to new "in Christ" reactions.

Verse five tells us to kill any evil moral reactions that may plague us. And in our decadent age, we face repeated opportunities to sin morally. So we must make the conscious choice to mortify (put to death) moral lust and sin in any form it may take.

Verse eight commands us to be rid of evil relational reactions. Be they attitudes or speech, we must choose to discard unused any such reactions that come to our minds or tongues. Our relationships with other people must be utterly devoid of these.

Verses twelve through fourteen give us plenty of new reactions from which to choose for whatever situations we may face, moral or relational.

Though I am a Christian man, I still find about me plenty of reasons to lust. At the point of tempting, I must choose again my previous commitment: I will be holy. I will love as God loves; I will not indulge the lusts of my lower nature. This is not to deny an attraction for that which is not mine; it is to refuse to cater to that attraction.

Even Christians struggle with a reluctance or even an unwillingness to respond to some people with mercy, kindness, forgiveness and those other "in Christ" reactions. I don't think we need to play games with ourselves; for example, denying the obvious: She makes me very upset. Rather, having experienced that reaction, we must choose to put it off in favor of the "in Christ" attitudes.

As we continue to work against our old natures, and as we continue our surrenders to Christ, we will happily find that our wrong reactions come less and less frequently. Why? Because Jesus is gradually molding our lives into the likeness of His own, and that includes our attitudes toward people and situations.

Another area of our lives impacted by our new life "in Christ" is that of our values. Just what really is important to you, my friend? In our natural state, most of us affix value and importance depending on what something or someone may have to contribute to us. Our values naturally tend to be selfish and inclined toward the material.

For what do you live? What matters most to you? Why do you do the things you do? What goals do you have? Your answers to such questions do much to reveal your true values.

Verses one and two call us to a set of "above" values. "Seek those things which are above" and "set your affection on things above." In other words, live for Jesus. Set out to accomplish what He wants done. Pursue the spiritual and don't be driven by the material. If you are risen with Christ, that is.

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