Life In Christ

 

“__________ is my life.”

This is a statement or expression we use that helps characterize a person’s values, loves, priorities, and passions. This expression tells us what that person is all about. See Philippians 1:21; Colossians 3:3-4; 1 Corinthians 4:17. 

The new life in Christ infuses and encompasses every area and arena of my life. The abundant life Christ promised cannot be contained in just a private spiritual experience. It overflows into every area of your life — your private life, marriage, family, work, community.

When Christ is my Life, His peaceinfluences my attitudes and actions. See Colossians 3:15.

Christ’s entire life and ministry were characterized by peace and he offers you peace. See John 14:27; Philippians 4:6-7. When the peace of Christ governs how we interpret our experiences and respond to our challenges, two things will happen. First, our relationships with others will be healthier as we refuse to let minor things bother us. Second, we’ll have gratitude even in the midst of challenging circumstances. When our natural tendency is to complain about things that happen to us, we’ll “be thankful,” knowing that God is in control. Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

When Christ is my Life, I’ll be immersed in His Word. See Colossians 3:16-17.

The idea is that every aspect of our lives should be informed by and infused with the Word of Christ. So leverage opportunities to allow the word to take up residence in your heart and mind: daily devotions, small groups, preaching, teaching, podcasts, etc.

When Christ is my Life, His presence transforms my family. See Colossians 3:18-21.

Nothing is more difficult than living in a family where the virtues of compassion, kindness, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and professions of love (3:12–14) are tested daily.

Regarding the role of a wife’s submission to her husband, Jesus gives us the perfect example in his own life. Though he is equal in nature to the Father, He submitted to His Father’s will to accomplish God’s plan of redemption, humbling himself in obedience. This is the sort of humble submission wives are called to imitate. Remember, in Christ we all have equal dignity. Paul’s statement has nothing to do with inferiority. 

Husbands are to love their wives. Paul uses the word “agape” which is the kind of love that seeks the highest good of another even at the price of one’s own comfort, safety, and benefit. This love is no-strings attached, unconditional, self-sacrificial love.

For children, Jesus isn’t giving a command that he hasn’t lived out. As a child, He was the perfect example of submission and obedience to his earthly parents (Luke 2:510.

Fathers (and mothers) are to set standards, provide guidance, and discipline their children with patience, kindness, and love. Paul warns fathers not to “embitter” their children, crushing their spirits and causing them to become discouraged (3:21). He can do this by being overly critical or by disciplining too harshly or too often.

When Christ is my Life, I am a positive influence at work. See Colossians 3:22-4:1

We can best apply this instruction to our employee-employer relationship. As Christian employees, we have a responsibility for diligence, loyalty, punctuality, and responsibility. We should be the best employees on the organization. Additionally, we should be model employees in terms of our attitude, integrity, and having a positive influence in the workplace.

For employers, Paul offers a reminder that you are under the authority of a heavenly Master, just like everyone else. It is the Lord Jesus Christ to whom you also must give an account. We who serve in leadership roles must do so with two prevailing qualities: justice and fairness — this applies to expectations, decisions, evaluations, and wages.

When Christ is my Life, I live wisely and graciously before others. See Colossians 4:2-6.

Our works and our words can either draw a watching world closer to God or drive them farther away. We need to pay attention to our walk, and we need to conduct ourselves with wisdom toward those on the outside. Only God can see our hearts, so people will size us up and evaluate the quality of our faith through how we conduct ourselves.

We’re wrong to expect unbelievers to live like Christians, but they are right to expect Christians to live like Christ. Remember that they’re watching you. They’re listening to you. They’re curious about your faith and whether it’s real to you. If your commitment to Christ isn’t real to you, it won’t be worth considering for them. If it isn’t changing you, it won’t be challenging to them.

Remind yourself every day of the centrality of Christ in all areas and arenas of your life. Wherever, whatever, whenever, however . . . make Christ your Life.