Word of Encouragement

We as Christians walk with God now in union and communion with Jesus Christ by faith. The Bible teaches us that even though we still live here in this world, we are really already translated, raised, taken and resurrected to live with God.

 

Notice this truth in Colossians 3:1-4:

 

ESV Colossians 3:1-4: If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

 

This teaches us people of God that no matter how short your life may be, no matter how insignificant you think you and your life may be, you are united to Jesus Christ by faith and already you have died with Christ and been raised up with him! Your life is greatly significant and you can be one who is defined in Christ as one who walks with God and enjoy sweet communion with this great God!

 

Colossians 3:1-4 teaches that believers “have been raised with Christ” now (v. 1a), and that because of this we are to live in communion with God “seeking the things that are above” (v. 1b).

 

So secure is our present existence in union with Jesus that our lives are “hidden with Christ in God” and that Christ is our life (vv. 3-4a). Although we remain here, our union with Christ is so very **INTIMATE** that we live in Him and move in Him and have our very being in Him- -we are His holy temple, the special people in which He dwells by His Spirit.

 

Can it be said of you that you “walk with God”?

 

Do you realize more of your union with God through communion with God? We should understand the distinction in our relationship to God between our union with Him and our communion with Him. Do you make this important distinction?

 

Our union with God in Jesus Christ by faith can never be broken. Our union will never fluctuate; no one, nothing can snatch us out of Jesus’ grip, and nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (John 10:28ff; Romans 8:31-39). If God is for us, who can be against us?

 

But our communion with Christ because of our union must be developed; we grow into our communion just like getting to know a friend better or a parent if we are adopted into a family. In our communion with God, He is always near and promises that if we draw near to Him, he will draw near to us to commune with us (James 4:4ff).

 

We should understand that it is not that God withdraws from us who are in union with Jesus, but that we have a tendency to withdraw from him and not walk with him as we are called to do in Jesus Christ. God doesn’t move away from us, but we do and we often wander away from God from our hearts, although we are in union with him.

 

In other words, while living already translated in Jesus Christ, we can live as if we are still part of this world and not seek communion with Him as we should.

 

As we realize what Christ has done for us and how he has pleased God on our behalf, and we know how we are saved from our sinful condition, so we learn to develop our communion with the Triune God.

 

Let us remember these things as part of developing our communion with God.

 

Meditate on these things this week (especially in light of today’s sermon), and by God’s grace and Spirit, you will find that you will please God more in your obedience (not in order to be saved, but as a manifestation of your gratitude for salvation), and you will find more joy in your journey here (see John 15:11):

 

ESV John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

 

 

***Developing our Communion with God:  Remind yourself daily…***

 

(1)   Remind yourself of the distinction between union with Christ that is unbreakable and will not fluctuate, and the communion with God that must be sought and developed.

 

(2)   Remind yourself daily that you were not seeking God, but this glorious and self-existent and wonderful God who you had lived sinning against, sought you out and initiated a relationship with you in Jesus Christ for the sake that you might know Him better.

 

(3)   Remind yourself of the interaction that should be happening in your life as you grow in the knowledge of the Triune God. Our communion with God is interactive: God works in us by His Spirit, we respond with joyful obedience; God speaks to us through His Word, we respond with thankful gratitude and walking according to His commandments; God tell us how much He loves us, we love him back by living for him and seeking to please Him.

 

(4)   Remind yourself that because God is your Father, you are a child of the living God and heir to all that Christ is heir to, and that God will lead and guide you and even chastise you because you are a dear child whom he loves and he knows better than any earthly parent what you most need.

 

(5)   Remind yourself that because Jesus is your Savior, you have a Shepherd who will never leave you nor forsake you but guard and guide you to the promised land of eternity. Because Jesus is your Savior, you have a loving Husband-Bridegroom, who has given his life for you, and has betrothed himself to you, so be faithful to you Heavenly Husband. Because Jesus is your Savior, you have a great and mighty King who is with you and will strengthen, help and uphold you in your day to day struggles. Because Jesus is your Savior, you have a dear friend who has laid down his life for you and lives to make you joyful (see John 15:11-15). Jesus calls us friends, will you not seek him, this Heavenly friend who only longs to rejoice over you and to be with you. Won’t you just be with Jesus sometimes, leaning confidently on his bosom, letting him know that you love him?!

 

(6)   Remind yourself that because the Spirit of God is with you, you may have as much of Christ as you seek in Him! The Spirit loves to talk about Jesus, minister Jesus and lead us into all the truths of Scripture about Jesus! We have the Spirit to war against our sinful flesh; we have the Spirit to comfort and console us, and to help us to pray. Won’t you seek His power to enable you to die more and more to sin, to realize the union you have with Christ and the communion with him you need to develop. Won’t you seek Him for the power to desire Him more?

 

(7)   Remind yourself to delight yourself in the LORD daily (Psa. 37:4)! The Bible says “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Is the LORD **THE** desire of your heart?! You can have more of Him the Bible says- -you can walk closer in communion with him. Can you say with the Psalmist: “Who have I in heaven but you, and what on earth do I desire but you?” (Psalm 73:23ff). You can have this kind of response to your union with Jesus and grow in your communion. Remember that what enlists a person’s affections, rules the person. This means that if God is what gets you excited, then God will rule over you. If someone or something else is loved or delighted more in and gets you excited than God, this/these things will rule you. There is no way to live for God if your affections are not given over to him and this is the urgent practical need of communion with him!

 

(8)   Remind yourself to please God in Jesus Christ in response to the Gospel message that you have died and already been seated with Christ in the Heavenlies. You no longer need the things of this world. Seek the things of Christ that are above, and beware of prosperity that tempts you to have a weak relationship with such a glorious God!

 

(9)   Remind yourself daily that God is a consuming fire and worthy to be reverenced, feared and worshipped according to His Word. Although He has been gracious in Christ, may we never presume upon His grace and the blood of Jesus, thinking that if we do, we will not be judged with great and painful consequences! Remind yourself that although God has stooped to be gracious in Christ, He is still the living God and you are to approach Him in Christ with fear and trembling (Heb. 12:25-29). May we seek never to grieve our God because of our sins- -may we never live as those who are trusting in Christ’s precious blood and living blatantly sinfully thinking that Christ’s blood can be excuses for sin and freedom to live as we please!

 

(10)                       Remind yourself daily to develop your prayer life as never before now that you know that you have already been raised, translated, and resurrected with Christ. Because your life has been hidden with Christ in God, develop your relationship with God by talking to Him all the time. Talk to God through prayer in the precious Name of Jesus in formal prayer times in your closet, on the way to work, during difficult circumstances and times during your day, and as often as you possibly can. Pray for yourself, pray for others, delight yourself in talking to the Triune God who has saved you in Jesus!

 

We all can walk with God in union and communion with Jesus Christ by faith. All who are listed in Hebrews 11 are simple sinners like you and me who had both good and bad times in their lives. What set them apart from the rest of the world was their faith in God and His promises. They believed that God existed and that God rewards those who seek him.

 

Do you believe in God? Do you believe God? Do you believe God rewards those who seek Him?

 

Look to Jesus Christ and see your life!

 

Then go and live a life worth living—one that is pleasing to God as you more effectively and accurately walk with God as His child.

 

In Christ’s love,

 

Pastor Biggs

08/07/11

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