by Jim Perdue

This content is part of a series.

When Your Life Has Been Changed (9 of 13)
Series: Jesus First
Jim Perdue
Colossians 3:1-4

We're studying the NT book of Colossians on Sunday mornings. We have learned so much through the simple reminder that Jesus must be first in everything. Paul has laid a strong doctrinal and theological foundation. Jesus is better than worldly philosophy and ''empty deceit.'' Jesus is greater than Jewish legalism that focuses on the external standards of righteousness but never really gets to the heart. Jesus is greater than mysticism or ritualism that only serves the purpose of an outward semblance of religion. Jesus must be first.

Today, we come to Colossians 3:1-4. Now, remember the context. Paul has just told them that legalism is not the way to go. Remember last week, legalism makes shallow people feel spiritual because they're winning a rigged game. The Jews were telling Colossian believers that they should observe the OT rituals and days and follow the OT dietary restrictions. Paul warns them about ''self-made religion.''

Now, Paul makes a significant transition in Colossians 3. He has established a theological foundation, and now he moves to practical application. If Jesus must be first in all things, what will that look like in my life? He answers that right here. READ TEXT

There's one phrase right here at the beginning of chapter 3 that I want us to focus on. This phrase sets the tone and theme for the rest of the passage. In fact, it sets the tone for the rest of the book. Here it is, ''If then you have been raised with Christ.''

The word since gives the truer meaning of the word. Our exalted position in Christ is not a hypothetical thing, or a goal for which we strive. It is an accomplished fact. In other words, since we've been saved and transformed, this is how we will live.

There are two creatures on earth that I find fascinating. One is the caterpillar and the other the chameleon. Chameleons have the amazing ability to alter their appe ...

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