Spiritual Realities and Earthly Practicalities – 27

Today, I’m marveling at the fact of my union with Christ. More specifically, I’m struck that my union with Christ in his death and resurrection has life-changing implications for my daily life.

Throughout his letter to the Colossians, Paul hones in on this truth. In chapter 2 verses 8-15, Paul gloriously describes our union with Christ at length, especially as it is symbolized in baptism (2:12). This is part of the reason, of course, why Paul warned the Colossians to, “See to it that no takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit” (2:8); or to put it another way, why he encouraged them to”walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith” (2:6-7).

But the truth of the believer’s union with Christ has further practical implications. It means we don’t submit to human precepts or what ‘appears’ wise as it regards our pursuit of holiness (2:20-23). It means that we set our minds on heavenly things, the spiritual reality of our union with Christ and all the benefits of that union (3:1-4). Notice in these verses how Paul’s exhortations are predicated upon our union with Christ in death (2:20) and resurrection (3:1). In fact, from this posture (i.e. of setting our minds on heavenly things) flows our obedience to all Paul’s instructions in 3:5-4:6.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Too heavenly minded for any earthly good.” This is often raised as a derogatory attack on some Christians. And while I can sympathize with the intent of the statement, I would suggest it doesn’t reflect biblical values or teaching. In fact, it runs quite contrary to what Paul is saying here.

What is so magnificent is not only that this is so, namely, that all who believe in Christ are united to him in death and resurrection; but that this truth transforms your life. It is the seed of sanctification, the foundation of following Jesus. Without this truth, Christians would be no different than moralizing, self-help gurus.

True life-change comes when you baptize yourself in the truths of the gospel, of your union with Christ in death and resurrection; when you wash and soak your soul in the grace of God in Christ. Truly, when we get a grip of these spiritual realities, we shall find that they are of immense earthly practicality.


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