Speaking the Truth in Love

Risen with Jesus

See the source image The apostle Paul says that a Christian has been “buried with [Christ] in baptism” (Col. 2:12). In immersion, a believing sinner unites with the Lord in his death. Jesus died on a cross and was buried in a tomb of stone; our sinful flesh is crucified with him, and we are buried in a tomb of water.

But true union with the Lord necessarily implies a resurrection, too. And if we are risen, then our lives should show it. Paul says, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above” (Col. 3:1). A spiritually dead person seeks the things that are below. He loves the world, its values, and its goods. A risen person seeks God above all else. He loves God’s sacred word. He loves God’s special people. He submits to God’s holy will. He longs to live in God’s glorious presence.

Paul encourages us to put earthly things to death — “sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness” (Col. 3:5). A spiritually dead person revels in the pleasures of the flesh. Nothing is sweeter than the taste of forbidden fruit. But a risen person trusts that forbidden fruit is forbidden for a reason. Immoral pleasure is fleeting and ultimately destructive.

Paul goes on to say: “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices” (Col. 3:9). A spiritually dead person uses his tongue for selfish purpose. A lie seems to accomplish whatever he wants. It smooths over difficulties, gains the upper hand, and repays evil with evil. But a risen person uses his tongue to the advantage of others. The truth is always a blessing, even if it seems otherwise in the short term.

True union with Christ necessarily implies resurrection. Are you risen with Christ? Does your life show it?

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