With Christ

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:2-3)

The apostle Paul, looking forward to the time when we shall “ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17), wrote: “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you” (Philippians 1:23-24).

The fact is, however, that we can be “with Christ” even while still abiding in the flesh, as Paul himself emphasized. This is the great principle called positional truth. “Positionally,” we are already “with Christ,” for that is where God sees us and how He relates to us. He has “raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6).

Before we could be raised up with Christ, however, we first had to die with Him. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20). God even saw us as buried with Christ when He was buried, and this is the great truth symbolized in our baptism. “We are buried with him by baptism into death” (Romans 6:4).

“Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more” (Romans 6:8-9). He died for us, so our deserved death became His substitutionary death, and His victorious resurrection becomes our own unmerited deliverance from death in eternal resurrection life. This is our position now, and our assured everlasting possession then, for we are with Christ, who “dieth no more.”

This truth is not only a wonderful doctrine, but as we see in our text, a focus for our thoughts, and real incentive for godly living. HMM

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