Today we’re sharing an excerpt from Gloria Furman’s new study on Colossians, Raised Together. Order your copy or see a free sample today at LifeWay.com/RaisedTogether. You can also pick up a copy at your local LifeWay Store. We’ve also included some fun, free downloads at the end of this post to celebrate this new study!
We’re so excited to announce the release of Gloria Furman’s new study on Colossians, Raised Together! Want to learn more about this new study? Watch the short video below:
Now, here’s a short excerpt from the Bible study itself:
We have died with Christ, been raised with Christ, have had our lives hidden with Christ in God, and will appear with Him in glory one day. That is our identity: we are in Christ. There is nothing more important about who we are than this—our being in Him. And all of this has happened to us “together” as members of Christ’s body—His bride, the church.
The great togetherness of our Christian lives is going to be on full display in these following commands. Our moral character not only impacts us, but everyone around us. We do not live in a vacuum, but we exist in the context of the people around us.
Therefore, put to death what belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, God’s wrath is coming upon the disobedient, and you once walked in these things when you were living in them. But now, put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator. In Christ there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all. – Colossians 3:5-11
Because we are learning what life is like as part of God’s new creation, we need to understand how our sin impacts the people around us. One way to fight temptation to sin is to imagine the ways that sin would affect the people in your life. Imagine yourself being caught in that sin. Imagine yourself confessing that sin to the people you love. How are they affected? What are the long-term effects on your life and theirs? How would your personal assurance of your participation in the new creation be affected after you willfully indulged in that sin?
Dealing with sin is deadly serious business, because it required the death of the perfect Son of God to atone for it, and sin means to kill us and cover the faces of those who are resurrected with shame.
Paul does not mince his words here. He says: “Put to death therefore” (v. 5). Why so drastic? Why is the apostle so adamant about killing sin? Believers in Christ should put these sins to death, because “with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world” (Col. 2:20). They are no longer still alive in the world and subject to such regulations and shadows.
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Why live as though you have not died to those things? Why walk like a zombie instead of in the newness of life in Christ? It makes no sense.
Also, there’s Colossians 3:6, which says, “On account of these the wrath of God is coming.” The idolatrous worship advocated by the false teachers is exposed as useless and damning. Only true worship—made possible by Christ and through Christ—is acceptable to our holy God. Remember that Paul has already said that his ministry encompasses both teaching and warning (Col. 1:28).
We set our minds not to navel-gazing, dizzying rounds of fruitless introspection, or earthly things that pass away because they are perishable and temporary, but we set our minds on things that are above. We’ve been raised together with Christ. Our lives are now hidden with Christ in God. We “have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (Col. 3:10).
And last, but not least, here are some fun, free downloads to celebrate this new study! Click the images or links below to download!