Have you ever uttered the phrase, “my children are my life,” or “my spouse is my life,” my work, my music, etc. What are we truly saying? A part of us put something in the place of honor that does not deserve such esteem.
Read this with me…
“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. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:2-4
Let those words sit on your heart for a moment.
Feel the gravity of them as they sink into your soul.
Sermons have been spoken about the first part, “set your minds on things above,” and I am sure you’ve seen merchandise with the words stamped on the side. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of power in this verse. However, we will turn our attention to the “why” over the next few weeks. The reason, Paul writes here, Christ is your life.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines life as, “the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body; a principle or force that is considered to underlie the distinctive quality of animate being; an organismic state characterized by capacity for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction.”
Stop right there.
Vital and functional.
Did you pick up those words too? What makes a life vital and functional?
The blood running through our veins, the air we breathe, the water we need, the food we consume, are necessities that make our life vital and functional. Biologically, cell reproduction and organ function is the source of a vital and functional life, yet any biological function down to cell replication requires a source; oxygen, water, chemical reactions from the food we ingest, and blood cells to carry those life-giving nutrients.
I am sure most of you by now are wondering what does this have to do with Jesus, bear with me. First, let’s look at the words of Jesus, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life” (John 5:39-40).
Wait a minute, Jesus says that Scripture bears witness about Him, that in Him and through Him we have life. Shall we dig a little deeper?
I think we shall.
We know Greek is the original language of the New Testament, so to understand the message Paul and John were trying to convey, we need to know the Greek. Two words are vital to our understanding; the first word “life” in both Colossians and the Gospel of John are the same Greek word, zoe, defined as, “the condition of living or the state of being alive; especially healthiness, happiness, exuberance, energy, vitality, and the like;” the second word is translated bear witness, martyrousai; to offer first hand authentication in favor or in affirmation of someone. (Catch the word martyr?)
The Scriptures affirm, with first hand authentication, that Jesus is the only way to have a life that is truly vital and functional while on the earth. What does it look like exactly, I will provide a hint – it is all connected to what is required for humanity to be vital and functional. The truth is our very lives are deeply connected to Christ in such a way that without Him we are dust.
I am so passionate about this subject because it changed me from the inside. I hope and pray that by sharing this message with you, lives will begin to change too. In this turbulent world, we need to know that our lives are tangibly connected to the author and perfecter of our faith.
This five-part series, Jesus is Life, will walk with you through the Scriptures and how they testify to Jesus as the source and giver of all life.
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Next week’s topic; How long can you hold your breath?
Photo cred: joshtinpowers https://www.flickr.com/photos/49030844@N05/