Monday, August 02, 2010

The Ball is in Our Court

{Colossians 3:1-4; ESV}
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 
The apostle Paul is pulling together two very important ideas.  The first is that we have new life in Christ.  The Apostle writes; If then you have been raised with Christ. The resurrection of Jesus guarantees life to all those who have trusted in Him.  This is so essential to get: Christ’s death and resurrection makes it possible for us to be transformed.  It has nothing to do with what we have done.

The second idea is that Paul expects us to seek the things that are above and to set your minds on things that are above.  These are choices and actions that God expects us to make.  He has given us new life in Christ, but for us to experience that life there are certain things we must do.

I think Christian scholar Dallas Willard hits upon this truth when he wrote:
Everyone must be active in the process of their salvation and  transformation to Christlikeness. This is an inescapable fact.  But the initiative in the process is always God’s, and we would in fact do nothing without his initiative.  However, that initiative is not something we are waiting upon.  The ball is, as it were, in our court. God has invaded human history and reality.  Jesus Christ has died on our behalf, is risen, and is now supervising events on earth toward an end that he will certainly bring to pass, to the glory of God.  The issue  now concerns what we will do (The Renovation of the Heart, emphasis added, p. 82).
Think of it this way.  In the United States you have been given the opportunity to receive an education.  This opportunity has been provided to you through the taxpayers, through school districts, and through teachers; but for that education to really payoff there is work you must do, and the quality of your education is really an indication of the work that you have put into it.

We have new life in Christ, but the extent we experience that new life depends on our choices and actions. The ball is in your court, what are you going to do with it?

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