WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
- Key Verse
- 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 3:3-4)
- READ THE CHAPTER
As Christ-followers, our lives belong to Jesus. We are no longer our own, and our identity is tied up with Him. Therefore, everything that comes out of us, our speech, actions, attitudes, and relationships, should all exude a life surrendered to Him.
"Who do you think you are?" Normally, when someone poses this question, their tone indicates that they aren't really interested in your answer. In Colossians 3, however, Paul wants to know. Or rather, he wants you to know.
This passage tells us that our life is "hidden with Christ in God." Let's think about that. Me, my life, who I am, is hidden with Christ in God. I am no longer Noah, who puts his foot in his mouth. Or, Noah, who fears confrontation. Or, Noah, [insert shortcoming/insecurity of the day]. Now, I'm Noah, a part of Christ in God!
Why does this matter? Because what you think about yourself determines what you do and why you do it. Many of Paul's letters follow this format: first, he spells out the wonder and mystery of the gospel, then he digs into the responsibility of the believer. This progression is critical! Nothing we do can make us holy, but everything we do should be a "thank you" to God for His incomprehensible grace.
The rest of chapter 3 deals with the daily conduct of a believer (verses 5-11), taking off the old (sexual impurity, greed, anger, abusive speech) and putting on the new (compassion, kindness, humility, patience, forbearance, love) (verses 12-25). These verses answer the question "what does the Christian faith look like in action?" But, the motive for these actions should always and only be a response to what God has done for us.
I grew up going to church and learned early on how to do everything right, at least on the surface, but somehow I missed this. I thought I was a basically good person given free will; therefore, my moral choices were an obligation to maintain that status. I eventually became bitter and tired, like the older brother from the story of the Prodigal Son (see Luke 15). I looked at my good works and thought that God owed me something.
Here, we see that God initiates and gives us a new identity. Then, moved by gratitude, our speech, acts, and relationships alter to align with what He's already done.
1. Are your actions a response to God's grace, or are they to elicit a gracious response from Him?
2. Be honest. Who do you think you are?
3. Look at the Scriptures. Who does GOD say you are? Here are some places to start: Colossians 3:3-4, Isaiah 43:1, Romans 8:29-30, Ephesians 2:4-6.
4. How do your speech, attitudes, and relationships reflect what God says in the Scriptures in Question 3 about those who belong to Him?
WEEKLY FAMILY ACTIVITY
August 20-24 (Colossians 2- 1 Thessalonians 2)
Read Colossians 3:12-17.
• What does Paul say you should clothe yourself with in verse 12?
• How would your life look different if you put on all of these each morning?
• Verse 12 (NLT) says we should "[m]ake allowance" for each other's faults, what does this mean to you?
• What's the most important "piece of clothing" you should put on?
• What does verse 14 tell us to always do?
• What does it mean to counsel others with the words of Christ?
• What do you have to be doing to be able to share Christ's words with someone else?
• Do you live your life in a way that represents Christ to others?
• How could you be living differently so Christ is reflected more clearly to others through you?
Activity: Get out some markers and paper. Ask each person to write one of the words from verse 12 on separate pieces of paper. Now look at the word in a mirror. What did you notice about the word? Now write the word on another piece of paper so that when you look at it in the mirror, you will be able to read it correctly. Was it hard to write the word differently so you could read it in the mirror? Did it take practice? Following Christ and reflecting Him to others is not always easy. It takes practice and commitment to really know His Word and to reflect Him to others.