The Person Transformed By Christ


      Paul wrote the letter to the Colossians from a Roman prison about A.D. 62. It is not known who started the church at Colossae but Paul had a deep interest in these brethren. In this letter Paul gives a powerful look at the person trans­formed by the power of Christ.


      The person transformed by the power of Christ is risen with Christ. Paul said, "If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God." (Colossians 3:1.) This is the same thought Paul had addressed in Colossians 2:12 where he said, "buried with Him in bap­tism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead." These brethren had been baptized into Christ. They had been buried and raised with Him in baptism. At baptism they were united with Christ. Thus being united with Christ they should seek to live a life pleasing to Him.


      The person transformed by the power of Christ will seek Heaven. The mind of the transformed person will be set on heaven. Paul said, "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." (Colossians 3:2.) Those who have been baptized  into Christ should seek heaven. Their thoughts and their actions are fo­cused in a heavenly direction. They live daily with heaven on their minds. Their desire is for that place where, "...God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:4.) They have both the heart and the actions of those longing for heaven.


      The person transformed by the power of Christ is dead to the old life. When a person becomes a Christian they die to self and sin. Paul said, "For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." (Colossians 3:3.) In becom­ing a Christian you die and give your life over to Christ. The Christian lives because Christ lives in Him. "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20.)


      The person transformed by the power of Christ has a new life. Literally, the Christian has given up the life of sin to have "new life." This new life is life in Christ. "When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory." (Colossians 3:4.) Living the life of Christ causes us to look to that day when the Lord will appear again. He is coming again! "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:3.) "And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like man­ner as you saw Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:10-11.)


      The person transformed by the power of Christ must put to death sins of the flesh. Paul said, "Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry." (Colossians 3:5.) As Christians we must put to death "the body of the sins of the flesh." (Colossians 2:11.) Illicit sexual relation­ships have no place in the life of a Christian. To avoid sexual sins we must also avoid "evil de­sires." Christians must be pure both inwardly and outwardly. Also covetousness has no place in the life of a transformed person. "For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live." (Romans 8:13.)


      The person transformed by the power of Christ avoids the wrath of God. God's wrath will be poured out on those who practice the sins of Colossians 3:5. These people are called children of disobedience. "Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience." (Colossians 3:6.) God's wrath will be poured out against every sinful act of men. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteous­ness of men, who suppress the truth in unright­eousness." (Romans 1:18.) "Eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness -- indignation and wrath." (Romans 2:7-8.) But the transformed person avoids this wrath.


      The person transformed by the power of Christ had before lived a life of sin. Paul said before becoming a Christian these people both walked and lived in sin. He said, "in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them." (Colossians 3:7.) "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived...And such were some of you..." (II Corinthians 6:9-11.) Moral wick­edness is always a serious problem of all those living without Christ. The Colossians had walked and lived in fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desires and covetousness. These people are not alone in their walking and living in sin.


      The person transformed by the power of Christ puts off anger and hatred. Paul started the discussion in Colossians 3:5 concerning certain things Christians must rid their lives of. Now he says, "but now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth." (Colossians 3:8.) The list in Colossians 3:5 focused on sex­ual sins. Now he turns his attention to anger and hatred. Certain actions have no place in the life of a Christian. As Christians we must learn to control our tongues and tempers.


      The person transformed by the power of Christ must tell the truth. How could it have been said with more simplicity? "Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds." (Colossians 3:9.) It is impossi­ble for lying and the Christian character to coex­ist.


      The person transformed by the power of Christ must put on the new man. The Colos­sians had put off the old man and now they must put on the new man. "That you may walk wor­thy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruit­ful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God." (Colossians 1:10.) Chris­tians must walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4.) They have learned better and now they must live better. Now that Christians know, they should continually seek God's fellowship.


            To become a transformed person hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 17:30), confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized into Christ (Galatians 3:27). After baptism continue to seek that heavenly home.


By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037