If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4 (NASB)

There are many common mistakes when it comes to the concept of being a Christian. Some think it is nothing more than an affirmation. For some, it is a matter of adopting a vocabulary. For some, adopting a set of “dos and don’ts.” For some, adopting a personal routine. For some, adopting a specific cause. For some, adopting a specific church. For some, adopting a view of God.

The problem: all those fail to fulfill the New Testament concept of Christian. They all are important, but they all are partial. Those things, or any combination of them, are only a partial concept of the New Testament view of the meaning of being Christian.

Being Christian means something important dies. Paul, who wrote Colossians, said in Galatians 5:24 that death was a crucifixion. That means it was deliberate, as was Jesus’ death. It also means it was relatively slow. This death was not an accident that “just happened,” but was a deliberate act that the person knew was happening. He/she understood that the life of Jesus’ resurrection could not infuse the person unless this death occurred.

What death? The death to self—the death to the way one lived, acted, thought, and was motivated prior to meeting Jesus. Jesus literally would define who he/she was, how he/she thought, how he/she saw others, how he/she acted, how he/she used life, his/her involvements, his/her use of abilities, his/her motives, and how he/she defined and viewed right and wrong.

That is quite a death! It is a total remake job! It continues from birth into Jesus Christ until physical death in Jesus Christ! It obviously is a serious, life-changing commitment that is not for sissies! This death is evident in a person’s trust and behavior!

Do you have the courage, with the help of God’s grace, to be a Christian?

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 25 April 2010

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