18. Partake – The Christian Disciple has a New Identity
Colossians 3vv1-4: If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things that are above, where Jesus is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Jesus, in God. When Jesus, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Photo courtesy of Terri
About four years ago, I slipped into a coma as a consequence of a brain bleed on a Saturday evening. After that I had terrible memory problems for a while. If left on my own, I would forget things like eating lunch. I would forget to brush my teeth unless reminded strongly! Normal everyday things, I would simply forget to do!! That is the same for all Christian disciples and their spiritual life. If we listen carefully, the Holy Spirit is constantly reminding us of our status before God. He reminds us of our new identity as God’s children! Those four verses from Colossians that I read at the start tell us that as Christian disciples, we have a new identity, and Paul here give us five facts about that new identity.
I must add here that these five things are not hypothesis, symbolism or theory. They are existent facts about all Christian disciples. We are not marked as Christian disciples because we go to Church regularly, though it’s a good idea if we do. We are not marked as Christian disciples because we were baptized, though I hope that we are. We are marked as Christian disciples, not because of any outwardly visible mark, but because of these 5 facts. So what are these 5 facts?
Photo courtesy of Terri
1. We died with Jesus (3a). Jesus not only died for us, but we died with Him. Jesus not only died for sin, but also died unto sin to break its power. As Christian disciples we died with Jesus. Ergo, we can conquer our old sinful nature if we choose to. Our new identity is Jesus and we have died with Him.
2. We are raised with Jesus (1a). Just as we died with Jesus, we are also raised with Him. We are raised with Him and we rule with him, seated at the right hand of the Father. Your new identity is Jesus and you have been raised with Him.
3. We live with Jesus (4a). As Christian disciples, Jesus is our life and our eternal life, is Jesus. We are dead to sin, yet alive to Jesus. Our new identity is Jesus and we live with Him.
4. We are hidden with Jesus (3b). For those of you who like a good mystery, here is one for you. We are hidden with Him!! We no longer belong to this world, but we belong to Jesus. We are hidden with Him in heaven. That is not to say we are to neglect our earthly duties and responsibilities, but rather that our motives and strengths are to come from Jesus. Our new identity is Jesus and we are hidden with Him.
5. We will be glorified with Jesus (4b). When Jesus comes again, we will see Him face to face, and He will take us home. So, we will not be hidden with Jesus perpetually because when Jesus is revealed in glory, we too shall be revealed in glory. We already have in part some of this glory, but one day the full extent of this glorification will be revealed.
Photo courtesy of Lynda
These five events… These five facts cover all three tenses in time – past, present and future… In the past, we died and were raised with Jesus. In the present, we live with Jesus and we are hidden with Him. In the future, when He comes again, we will be glorified with Him. His death covered all sins – past, present and future sins.
Because we share in Jesus’ death, resurrection and future glorification, we are to stop sinning and to stop thinking about ways in which to sin. Our minds are to be with Jesus, focusing on ways in which to serve Him. Don’t sin is the message, and yet we continue to do so…
Every time we succumb to temptation and commit sin, we forget who we are in Christ. I forget my new identity as a child of the Living God. You forget that you have died and been raised with Jesus. You forget that you live in Him and that you are hidden in Him. I forget that one day He is coming again and that I, as his disciple will be glorified with Him. So when faced with temptation, tell your old nature that it is dead and that you have a new nature which you seek to serve and a new Master to obey! Talk to yourself – it’s a sign of maturity!!
Photo courtesy of June
For more to think about please do read for your self, Colossians 3vv1-16. Ask yourself the following questions, writing them down if you can, and see how you respond or react to them. Then why not share your answers with your spouse or a close friend, so that you can pray over any issues together.
Q1 – What makes me forget who I am as a Christian disciple?
Q2 – What are the things Paul lists as things all Christian disciples should do in verses 12-16
Q3 – What practical steps can you take to put them into action?
As ever, if you have any comments to make on this, please do contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you and if these are making any difference at all to your continual Christian discipleship! Thank you.