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Seven Sanctifying Thoughts About Your Life

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:

  1. 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)
  2. We were raised with Christ (Col 3:1: “you have been raised with Christ”—cf. Col 2:12, 13; Eph 2:6)
  3. 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)
  4. 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)
  5. 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)
  6. 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)
  7. 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)

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Excerpts

Communion Presupposes Union

Communion presupposes union. By nature we are strangers, yea, enemies to God; but we are reconciled, brought nigh, and become his children, by faith in Christ Jesus. We can have no true knowledge of God, desire towards him, access unto him, or gracious communications from him, but in and through the Son of his love.

He is the medium of this inestimable privilege: for he is the way, the only way, of intercourse between heaven and earth; the sinner’s way to God, and God’s way of mercy to the sinner. If any pretend to know God, and to have communion with him, otherwise than by the knowledge of Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent, and by faith in his name, it is a proof that they neither know God nor themselves.

God, if considered as abstracted from the revelation of himself in the person of Jesus, is a consuming fire; if they should look upon us without respect to his covenant of mercy established in the Mediator, we could expect nothing from him but indignation and wrath. But when his Holy Spirit enables us to receive the record which he has given of his Son, we are delivered and secured from condemnation; we are accepted in the Beloved; we are united to him in whom all the fullness of the Godhead substantially dwells, and all the riches of divine wisdom, power, and love, are treasured up.

—John Newton
The Works of John Newton, 1:306

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We Must Hate Our Own Sin

In true conversion the soul is changed to be of the same mind with Christ, that as he is affected, so the soul of such a one is affected; and as he loathes all ill, so upon this ground there must be a loathing of whatsoever is evil. But a carnal man is like a wolf driven from the sheep, that yet retains his wolfish nature; so these men that are driven from their sins only out of terror of conscience, they are affrighted with sin, but they do not hate it; therefore a loathing of evil is required as well as the leaving of it. If we would make it evident that our conversion is sound, we must loathe and hate sin from the heart.

—Richard Sibbes
The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, 7:223.

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Quotes

Blessed Communion

That blessed communion which is between Christ and believers is reciprocal in nature; we do not only partake of what is his, but he partakes of what is ours.

He hath fellowship with us in all our wants, sorrows, miseries and afflictions; and we have communion with him in his righteousness, grace, sonship and glory.

He takes part of our misery, and we take part of his blessedness; our sufferings are his sufferings.

O, what an honour is it to thee, poor wretch, to whom a great many would not turn aside to ask how are you doing; to have a King, yea, the Prince of all the kings of the earth, to pity, relieve, sympathize, groan and bleed with thee, to sit by thee in all thy troubles, and give thee his cordials; to say thy troubles are my troubles, and thy afflictions are my afflictions: whatever toucheth thee, toucheth me also. O what name shall we give unto such grace as this is!

—John Flavel
Adapted from The Works of John Flavel, 2:151.

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Source of Life, Sum of Excellence, Fullness of Joy

To be in Christ is the source of the Christian’s life; to be like Christ is the sum of his excellence; to be with Christ is the fullness of his joy.

—Charles Hodge,
A Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, 317.