Sunday, September 17, 2023

Identify: Raised

By Clifton Angel
    In defense of Christ, Paul wrote to the church at Colossae:
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us
meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints
in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of
darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom
of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption
through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn
of every creature: For by him were all things created,
that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and
invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or
principalities, or powers: all things were created by
him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by
him all things consist. And he is the head of the
body, the church: who is the beginning, the first-
born from the dead; that in all things he might have
the preeminence (Colossians 1:12–18).
Later in the same letter, Paul wrote:
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all
principality and power ... Buried with him in bap-
tism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the
faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him
from the dead (2:10, 12).
Christ could not be raised without first being buried.
    We cannot be raised from our sins without first being buried in baptism. But, having been raised from the waters of baptism, let us continue in Paul's Colossians letter:
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things
which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right
hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not
on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life
is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our
life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him
in glory (3:1–4).
    Being risen with Christ means He is now our life. For this reason, Paul wrote to the churches of Galatia:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not
I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now
live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God,
who loved me, and gave himself for me (Gal 2:20).
And to the church at Philippi, he penned:
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Phil 1:21).
    As we think about who we are and what defines us, do we consistently think of Jesus Christ? Christians, HE is our identity! Friends, is He your identity?

- Clifton Angel preaches for the Coldwater Church of Christ in Coldwater, MS. He may be contacted through that congregation's website:

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