Okay, so this is the first installment of a regular post I will be making on this blog called The Morning After. The purpose of this regular post is to reflect back upon what I was able to teach on Sunday and what I am learning through it. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to start a new series on the book of Colossians in our Foundations ABF which I have called It's All About Jesus.
I have been studying this book for a few months and so I am really excited about teaching what I am learning. I am always amazed when people say that Jesus is not that important or popular. Think about this: more people talk about Him than any other person in history. I never hear people when they are angry saying "Napolean" or "Constantine", but "Jesus" is a popular name to say in disgust. From the time that Jesus was on this earth until today, people have been confused on who He was or what He was doing (or done).
As I begin this series on the book of Colossians, where Paul tries to set forth the truth about Jesus to a confused church, it was good once again to reflect back upon how Paul was changed by Jesus. On that road that led to Damascus, Paul was changed from a person who hated Jesus, despised his followers, and wanted to persecute them. He was changed into the man who loved Jesus, loved his followers, and was persecuted for it. I was never the person that hated Jesus, but I hope I am changing like Paul. I hope I am not the same person I was a year ago.
Paul wrote to a group of people as he described them in Colossians 1:2 as being "saints and faithful brethren" who were "IN CHRIST." This is a term that we often use in our Christianese language. As I studied this, I was impacted on what this means (actually a good introductory to what it means to be centered on Jesus in all things).
First, to be in Christ means my position has changed. When I came to faith in Jesus, I was transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of the Son (Col 1:13). God looks on me differently now because of Jesus.
Second, to be in Christ means my loyalty has changed. Because my position changed from team darkness to team Jesus, my loyalty changed as well. If I am a member with Christ, then why would I want to try to help the other team win?
Third, to be in Christ means my confidence has changed. I am now convinced that once I have been put on team Jesus, I will never be kicked off. There is nothing that can separte me from Him (Rom 8:38-39)
Fourth, to be in Christ means my relationships have changed. When I became a member of team Jesus, I gained a new family, the church! I cannot say that I love Jesus and not love his followers (1 John 4:20). Now that does not mean that the followers of Jesus are always loveable (more to come on that next week).
Fifth, to be in Christ means my behavior is changing. I have had to think, what would it mean if I was to really live that I am part of team Jesus. It would mean my attitudes, my thoughts, my actions would start to change. That is what I am excited about learning through this book of Colossians. I am very excited about learning to live life as if Jesus is at the center of everything I do.
Are you? I would love to hear your thoughts. If you were not in our ABF, you can listen to it or read my notes HERE.