Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Christ Is All and Is In All

"Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all." Colossians 3:9-11

- Do not lie to each other. "Instead, speak the truth in love...Each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body." (Ephesians 4:15a, 25)
- Put off your old self with its practices by identification with Christ in His death. We're called to renounce our old sinful ways and fleshly desires. "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:22-24)
- Put on the new self and new character/virtues (verses 12 to 14). "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17) When one is in Christ and becomes a new creation, his/her old way of thinking and living has gone. His/her mind is renewed by God's Word & the Holy Spirit, and his/her heart is transformed as he/she knows God more and more. It all starts with surrendering one's life completely to Christ. "And we all, who with unveiled faces reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." (2 Corinthians 3:18) Since we're now a new creation, we must live in a newness of born-again life in accordance with the rules of Christ's kingdom, putting on Christ. "So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:26-28) To ponder: Does our behavior match our beliefs? Does our character correspond with our confession?
- Christ loves all people, died for all, and welcomes all who come to Him. In Christ, all distinctions and differences are transcended; the ground is level at the foot of the cross. Christ transcends all barriers and unifies His followers from all cultures, nationalities, social status, and backgrounds. We are one in Christ. One Body. Christ alone is all that matters!

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