Today we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus. The Bible says that after the resurrection Jesus was seen by many witnesses for 40 days and then He ascended into Heaven and sat down at the right hand of the Father. Today is the Sunday after the 40th day from Easter.
Colossians 3 gives one of the practical implications of the ascension of Jesus: putting to death your sin. “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God… Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”
Put to death therefore, what is earthly in you… And this is actually the only way you can put to death sexual immorality, impurity, evil desires, or covetousness. You can only put them to death by the Ascension of Christ and by being raised with Christ. You can only seek the things that are above if you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God in Heaven.
If you haven’t died and your life is not yet hidden with Christ in God, you cannot seek the things that are above, and you cannot set your mind on things above. And you really must not mistake talking about theology, conservative politics, reading the Bible, going to church, or even saying prayers with actually seeking things that are above. Do remember who the people were who rejected Jesus? They were mostly religious people.
We live in a land full of religious people who don’t know Jesus, who have not died, whose lives are not hid with Christ in God, and therefore, they cannot set their minds on things above and therefore they cannot put to death the sins in their flesh.
Those who go through religious motions are hypocrites because they know that they cannot actually stop sinning. They talk about sin and grace, but they don’t actually know what those words mean. But those who have met Jesus, who have truly been born again know that Jesus has ascended into Heaven, and they know this because they have miraculously been able to put their sin to death.
Photo by Vincent Bombardier on Unsplash
Thanks for this encouragement to keep looking to Jesus and know truly my life is hid in Christ…that when I sin….not to doubt being born again …as #Screwtape would be delighted to see me screw up…and question my salvation when I sin