The Lord is in our midst. As a church family, the Lord truly is knitting together a small core, a tight-knit Body amongst us. Yet, the key in Christ is not only to receive Him but so grow in Him, to be found mature in Christ.
Like in the city of Colossae, we find a group of disciples who are being led by and grown up from a group of leaders who are one of them (Col 4:12). Epaphras, the key leader in Colossae, labored and is laboring among his home town to see the next generation of leaders raised up and released into maturity. Paul – Epaphras’ father in the Lord – writes to encourage this church he has never actually visited but carries deeply in his heart. His message is simple: Jesus we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ (Col 1:28).
The Lord has made it clear in our midst as it was clear in the Colossians: it’s time to grow up. Maturity in Christ is the aim. In order to truly see a Body of households of faith established, every man, every woman, and every child is being called up into our Head, Jesus, together.
3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.
11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,