The Bible is great at succinctly saying profound things. One of my favorites is in Colossians 3:
“For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.“
Pruning it down to three words helps us see the impact better:
Ye are dead.
I love that! If we truly grasped this simple truth, our lives would remarkably change. Here are some points about being dead and in Christ:
1) Most people misunderstand all the “dead” talk in the NT. Most think it is some sort of mind game, a spiritual position with no real practical impact. This is not good.
2) Being dead is real, but we also must make it real. Paul talks about “Reckon yourselves to be dead” as we have to make it true in reality. “Mortify the deeds” of your body, or “mortify your members” of your body, means to Kill Off. It’s the same thing as when Jesus said to cut off the offending hand, foot, or eye. Ye are dead. Act like it!
3) We are dead in Christ, but our bodies are very much alive. Living the spiritual deadness to sin, the flesh, and the world is something we make our bodies do now. Present your bodies a living sacrifice.
4) The imagery is wonderfully helpful. If you are dead, your life on earth is over. We set our affections on things above. We are citizens of heaven. This is no mind game; this is a call to live your eternal life now.
5) This is so annoyingly practical most skip it. If you are dead, then go the extra mile, give your shirt with the coat, lend and not ask for it back, don’t live for approval of people, don’t live for money, don’t live for things on this earth, it might even cost you family relationships. But you’re dead, what did you think was going to happen?
6) Most will deny what I just said in point 5, “That’s not practical. He can’t really expect us to live like that.” He does and no, it isn’t practical! It’s called living by faith, which to the flesh mind looks impractical, stupid, and a waste.
7) Those who deny the real, practical applications of point 5 will worry their way through life, wondering why they don’t have peace, amazed God doesn’t answer their prayers, and wondering why they don’t have any fruit. The more miserable they get, the more they deny the very teaching that can answer their problems.
8) You cannot be dead and still live the “American Dream.” This is the false teaching of the Prosperity Gospel–Jesus saves you so you can live your best life now. This is so far from Gospel truth it literally is not funny. You cannot serve God and mammon. No soldier of Jesus Christ concerns himself with affairs of this life. Ye are dead.
9) Since most would rather have stuff, mammon, riches, and the American Dream, the Gospel goes unbelieved, even while many claim to believe it. The road to destruction is broad and many there be who go on it.
10) You are dead. Your life is over. It is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me. This will look like something! Be not mistaken! Be not deceived! If your life is not increasingly looking like Christ’s, you are not on the narrow road leading to life. To many this sounds like works righteousness, legalism, and the antithesis of grace. But this only goes to show how few, even in the church, are on the narrow road.
You are dead.
Live like it.