Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all (Colossians 3:5-11).

As we get older, life changes and takes on new qualities. Whatever you used in the past to measure the significance of your life becomes less meaningful, less important. You begin realizing that your life is coming to its close. All the medicine, all the surgery, all the technical advances in our physical world cannot keep physical life from ending.

In the past you acknowledged the things God did and does. He created, He can renew, and He sustains what He renews. He created—He made physical existence possible. He renews—He can make it possible for anyone to begin again in Christ. He sustains—with His grace and mercy, He can make anyone His continually.

It is only as you get older that you are filled with a new sense of awe at the incredible things God does. As we become increasingly powerless, we see from different perspectives the awesome things God does. The “beginning again” of anyone—privileged or not, educated or not, free or not—is truly remarkable. Regardless of what a mess you made of your past, regardless of how poor your focus was, regardless of how stupid your past choices were, in Jesus Christ you can begin again—incredible!

What God did and does in Christ is so “mind blowing” it is beyond our comprehension. In Christ’s death, God paid the full price of our renewal. In Christ’s resurrection, God assured us that He is more powerful than physical death, that the end of the physical is not “the end.” The fact the He can take that which was created in His image, trashed and marred beyond recognition, and create again men and women who can reflect Him is beyond our imagination. The fact that He can sustain them in all their human weakness really reveals what faith is all about. (Do you trust God to do what He promised to do?)

And what does He want from us? He wants us to become what He remade us to be. Why? So we can reflect Him. The objective is to see us and glorify God because God made us what we are. Read Matthew 9:1-8 and pay special attention to verse 8. Then read Matthew 5:16. Consider 2 Corinthians 9:13.

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 29 November 2007

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