In my Bible study this morning, I struggled to answer a question: What evidence is there today for the fact that Jesus is alive? My struggle has nothing to do with a crisis of faith because I believe in Jesus Christ by faith in His Word. Jesus is “the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through [Him]” (John 14:6). But I can’t seem to be able to put into words the evidence. For we are told to “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15). My immediate thought is that the evidence is in the lives that have been made new in Christ: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor. 5:17)
And that caused me to wonder if others can see the evidence of Christ in my life; not only His saving grace, His sanctification of my life as a gift of His righteousness, but also the power He has over everything and every circumstance. So I went in search of answers this morning in Colossians. “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” (2:6-8)
The world provides “solutions” to life’s problems building up our self-esteem (pride), building ourselves up by tearing others down, and spiritual philosophies that appear to be wise. After all “everyone” says so. But as Christ followers, we are to follow Him and allow Him to create us as new in Him. We are to remember: “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: ‘He catches the wise in their craftiness'”. (1 Cor. 3:19) Instead we are to follow the words that Paul gave the Colossians: “My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Col. 2:2-3)
Paul goes on to ask, given that we have faith in the Son, Jesus Christ, “Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: ‘Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!’? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” (Col. 2:20-23) This passage got me to thinking about how as flawed humans, even Christians, we so easily follow that which appears to be wise.
I don’t know about you, but I think sometimes that while I understand the Lord’s mercy, love and grace, I don’t understand His might and power. Because I think if I did, then I wouldn’t gravitate to thoughts and actions that lead me to live as if I have already been defeated. “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” (Col 3:1-4) When by faith we accept Christ as our Savior, we have been raised with Him in heaven. Spiritually, we are already there.
We need to stop listening to “others” who remind us of our defeats, our iniquities, and our failures. They are lies from the father of lies: “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 15:57) The devil doesn’t want us to remember who we are in Christ. “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3)
Today, I am praying this not only for other Christ followers, but also for myself. Won’t you join me? “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.” (Eph 1:17-23)