March 18

Colossians 3:3 
For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God

A pastor visited me a few years ago, and he was in real turmoil. "I've been struggling to live a victorious Christian life for 20 years. I know what my problem is. Colossians 3:3 says: "For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.' I've been struggling all these years because I haven't died like this verse says. How do I die, Neil?"

"Dying is not your problem," I said. "Read the verse again, just a little slower."

"For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.' I know, Neil. That's my problem. I haven't died."

"Read it once again," I pressed, "just a little bit slower."

"For you have died--" and suddenly a light switched on in his understanding. "Hey, that's past tense, isn't it?"

"Absolutely. Your problem isn't dying; you're already dead. You died at salvation. No wonder you've been struggling as a Christian. You've been trying to do something that's already been done, and that's impossible. The death Paul talks about in Colossians 3:3 isn't something God expects you to do; it's something He expects you to know, accept and believe. You can't do anything to become what you already are."

Thanks to the incredible redemptive work of Christ in your life, your old self has been replaced by a new self, governed by a new nature, which was not there before (2 Corinthians 5:17). Your old self was destroyed in the death of Christ and your new self sprang to life in the resurrection of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:20-22). The new life which characterizes your new self is nothing less than the life of Jesus Christ implanted in you (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:4).

Prayer: Lord, I'm so grateful that I don't have to work for new life. You have already paid the price, done the job, and handed me the prize.

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