by Tony Nester

This content is part of a series.

Your Life Is Hidden With Christ (12 of 18)
Tony Nester
Colossians 3:1-4

Have you heard of a new kind of stealing called
"identity theft"? It affects some 500,000 victims a
year. Instead of stealing some tangible object from
your home, the thief gains access to your records and
steals your identity.

When Kay Sharma, a 50-year-old physician from
Pittsburgh, went to get a new social security card she
was informed that she had another address in New York.
"My credit was shot," Sharma said. Whoever lived at
the New York address had taken out a loan, bought a
house and virtually cleaned out Sharma's bank
accounts. "I'll be surprised if I survive through
this," Sharma said. (1).

In today's scripture from Colossians, the Apostle Paul
is concerned about another kind of theft - the
stealing away of our spiritual identity. It's not
just money, jewels, and credit card numbers that can
be stolen away from us. We can lose our sense of who
we really are ... who we're meant to be ... who we will
finally become by the grace of God.

The church at Colossae was full of new Christians.
They had made a promising start in their new life in
Christ. Then came the "false teachers" that we talked
about last Sunday. These so-called spiritual experts
had managed to persuade some members of the church
that they weren't qualified to experience the fullness
of spiritual truth. . These "experts" promoted a
legalism with new rules, new rituals, and new

The Apostle Paul saw these "experts" as spiritual
thieves who were stealing from believers the identity
they had been given in Christ. Paul knew that the
further these new Christians traveled down the path of
legalism the farther away they would be from the
promises of God. So Paul holds up before them their
true identity. Listen for the Word of God.

(Colossians 3:1-4 NRSV) "So if you have been raised
with Christ, seek the t ...

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