What is the “new normal” for life in light of the resurrection of Jesus? What are the implications for the person who believes it to be true? In Revelation 21:5, the resurrected Christ says, I am making everything new! That everything is everything. Jesus has come to bring cosmic renewal to all that he has made.
In Colossians 3, the apostle Paul draws out some of the most central things that are a part of this amazing renewal that Jesus promises. He begins by saying this: Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. He then says that the following two areas are at the center of Jesus’ renewal agenda.
In verses 5-11, Paul calls on those who belong to Jesus to put to death the things of the old order and live in light of the new order. Here is a list of things that are passing away and should be put to death in the life of anyone who names Jesus as their King:
- Sexual immorality
- Evil desires
- Greed, which is idolatry
- Filthy language
- Divisions among people groups and classes
There is something heartening in Paul needing to tell Christians to put away these types of behaviors and attitudes. Why? Because we are far from perfect. We continue to fight against the reality that all things have not been made new, yet! Including you and me. This should keep us very humble.
Here are the things Paul says should be replacing the list above:
What a contrast! Jesus has come to change you and me so that we live very different lives personally and with one another. This can feel overwhelming because the second list of virtues does not come naturally to any of us. In fact, you might feel like it’s not even worth trying. That is why we must see one more thing in this passage.
Paul grounds all calls to change in the fundamental reality of the resurrection. Look at these promises and the resources that are yours as you continue to grow in grace:
- Colossians 3:1 -- Since, then, you have been raised with Christ,
- Colossians 3:12 -- Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved
- Colossians 3:13 -- Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
- Colossians 3:15 -- Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.
- Colossians 3:16 -- Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.
- Colossians 3:16 -- Gratitude for God’s grace.
Personal and Community renewal is the new normal in light of Jesus’ resurrection. Let’s pray together with one voice, “May your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven!” Make all things new!
Copyright © 2018 Timothy S. Lane