Union with Christ must be a regular part of our thinking, if we are to grow in treasuring Christ and becoming more like Him. Who we are in Christ has not yet appeared, but is to rule our thoughts now. The power of the gospel for sanctification involves an entirely new way of seeing Christ and our life.
Colossians 3:1-4 gives us seven sanctifying thoughts about our life that prove to be valuable in overcoming the indulgence of the flesh (Col 2:23) and putting sin to death (Col 3:5).
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
— Colossians 3:1–4
As Christians we are to think of ourselves entirely in relation to Christ:
- We died with Christ (Col 3:3: “For you have died … with Christ”—cf. Col 2:20; Gal 2:20; Rom 6:2, 6-7; 2 Cor 5:17)
- We were raised with Christ (Col 3:1: “you have been raised with Christ”—cf. Col 2:12, 13; Eph 2:6)
- We are hidden with Christ (Col 3:3: “your life is hidden with Christ“—cf. 1 Jn 3:1-3; 2 Cor 4:16-18)
- We will be revealed with Christ (Col 3:4: “you also will appear with him“—cf. 1 Jn 3:1-3; Rom 8:19-23)
- We are secure in God with Christ (Col 3:3: “your life is hidden with Christ in God“—cf. Eph 3:9; Jn 1:18; 10:30; 17:21; 1 Cor 3:23)
- We will be glorified with Christ (Col 3:4: “you also will appear with him in glory“—cf. Col 1:27; Rom 8:17-18; 2 Cor 3:18; Phil 3:20-21; 2 Th 1:10; 1 Pet 1:13; 1 Jn 3:2)
- Christ is our life (Col 3:4: “Christ who is your life“—cf. Gal 2:20; Phil 1:21; 1 Jn 5:12, 20; Jn 11:25-26; 14:6; 15:4; 2 Cor 4:10; 1 Jn 2:5-6; )
(see full sermon)