20 April 2014
Almighty God, through Your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ, You overcame death and opened for us the gate of everlasting life. We humbly pray that we may live before You in righteousness and purity forever; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and rules with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. – Collect for Easter Sunrise, Lutheran Service Book, © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis.
Jesus lives! The promise for you is this – “Because I live” Jesus reminds us, “you will live also!” –John 14:19 You have been given a wonderful promise of new life. Not just in a physical, earthly way. But in a higher, heavenly way. The life you live in Christ is to be lived at the highest level.
1. We have died to sin. “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” –Colossians 3:3
A. Your sinful nature was buried with Christ in baptism. “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” –Romans 6:3-4
1. Since we are not yet rid of sin in our bodies, we continue to feel the effect of sin.
a. We may become preoccupied with things earthly – making money, acquiring things, getting ahead. These in themselves are not bad. They only become stumbling blocks for us if they become our chief priority.
b. Our minds may dwell on evil rather than on good – and envying, lusting, and coveting.
c. We sometimes forget that evil thoughts, as the ancient collect for the 2nd Sunday in Lent puts it, “assaults and hurts the soul.”
2. Yet we can consider ourselves dead to sin. “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” –Romans 6:11
B. Christ’s power is available to us to put down sin in our bodies.
1 The same power that He displayed in His resurrection, He now uses fully at the Father’s right hand. As the living, ascended Lord, He gives us power to live on a higher level.
2 We do not have to set our minds “on things that are on earth.” (v.2) Nor do we have to occupy our minds with what is sensual and mean. Rather we can think on those things that age good, right, noble, and true. Yes, our thoughts are important. Terribly important. “As a man thinks within himself, so he is.” –Proverbs 23:7
2. We have been raised with Christ.
A. We were made spiritually alive in our baptism.
1. We live through faith in the forgiveness of sins. Christ’s resurrection guarantees this. “Having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the circumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,” –Colossians 2:12-13
2. We are now sensitive to God’s towards toward us.
B. Our life is hid with Christ. “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” –Colossians 3:3
1. Christ is withdrawn from the world of sense, yet He is with us always
2. It is a mystery that we can be in Christ and He in us. Yet this is now your reality.
3. Christ in us draws us to Himself and enables us to think His own thoughts. “Do not be conformed to this world, [a] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what the will of God is, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
C. Our life will be manifested when Christ appears. “When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” –Colossians 3:4
1. Our living Lord will come again. Then we shall be like Him in glory.
2. Our life in Christ will have perfect bodily expression. But someone will ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?’ What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.” -1 Corinthians 15:35,42,43
Life in Christ makes for heavenly-minded living. Continue to live with your sight heavenward.