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April Synchroblog: Living the Resurrected Life

Posted by on Apr 13, 2011 in discipleship, synchroblog | 8 comments

April Synchroblog: Living the Resurrected Life

This post is part of a Synchroblog for the month of April. The Synchroblog is called “Do You Live Under a Rock?

The purpose this synchroblog is to consider the importance of the resurrection to the church today. But, to be honest, the title of the synchroblog was a little confusing to me: “Do you live under a rock?”

So, instead of thinking about the title, I used the description as a guide:

As Christians we say we believe in the resurrection but sometimes it seems like we are living under a rock instead of living a resurrected life. As Easter approaches take some time to reflect on what it means to live out the resurrection. Does the resurrection make a difference in the here and now? Have you seen evidence of the resurrection in the land of the living? Would/Could resurrection life change anything/everything in the world/your community? What does it mean to practice resurrection?

In particular, I decided to focus on this part of the description: “Would/Could resurrection life change anything/everything in the world/your community?” Since I tend to write about the church, I want to consider community ramifications of living the resurrected life today.

To begin with I want to state without qualification: I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God; that he is completely human; that he lived, died, was buried, and actually, physically rose from the dead. For me, the resurrection is not a metaphor or a theological concept. It is a real, historical event that happened about 2000 years ago. Plus, I believe that the resurrected Jesus continues to live today through the lives of God’s children as his Spirit indwells them.

Thus the church community – that is, the inter-relational fellowship between brothers and sisters in Christ – depends directly upon living the resurrected life. Or, to put it another way, the only way that we find fellowship with one another is if the resurrected Jesus Christ lives his life through us.

Our community just finished a study of Colossians. One of things we noticed is the importance of Jesus’ resurrection and his ongoing presence to the community life of the church. For example, considers these statements that Paul makes only in the book of Colossians:

1. The presence of Christ is hope for us. (Colossians 1:27)

2. If Christ is Lord (he’s a risen Lord), then it will affect the way we life. (Colossians 2:6)

3. The fullness of deity dwells in him, and he fills us. (Colossians 2:9-10)

4. Since we are raised with Christ, we can think thoughts that come from Christ. (Colossians 3:1-2)

Throughout the book of Colossians, Paul first exhorts his readers to trust Christ (only), and then describes what a life in Christ would look like. If we take this out of order, we turn the gospel into a exhortation to try harder. However, Paul’s instructions were not “try harder,” but “trust Christ.”

This is best illustrated in the sentence that begins a long teaching section (Colossians 2:6-4:6): “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.” It is only when Christ is Lord, that we have the ability to walk in him – or, to use the language of this synchroblog, we are able to live the resurrected life.

So, what is the answer to the problem of not living the resurrected life? What if our thoughts are fixed on physical, “earthly” things instead of spiritual, “heavenly” things? What if we are not “putting off” things like anger, malice, and slander, or what if we are not “putting on” thinks like kindness, humility, and meekness? What if our community is filled with division instead of peace? What if we do not care if we teach and admonish one another? What is the answer to these problems?

The answer is to turn back to the only one who can live the resurrected life through us. If these issues are showing up in our life, they are not indicators that we need to try harder. Instead, they are indicators that we are not properly submitting to our Lord.

So, the resurrected life would change everything in our community. It would change our relationships with God, with one another, and with the world around us. Our lives would make a difference – a dramatic difference – to the people around us.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Check out the other great posts for this month’s synchroblog:

Phil Wyman at Square No More – Apocalyptic fervor spurs benevolent giving
Marta Layton at Marta’s Mathoms – Getting Out From Behind The Rock
Mike Victorino at Simply A Night Owl – Crawling Out From Under A Rock
John Paul Todd at E4Unity - Still Asleep In the Light
Patrick Oden at Ravens – A Resurrection
Brambonius at Brambonius’ blog in english - hiding the Resurrection life like a candle under a bucket?
George Elerick at The Love Revolution – (for)getting the resurrection
Liz Dyer at Grace Rules – I Will Answer That Question In A Minute, But First, I Want To Talk About Jesus
Jeff Goins at Jeff Goins Writer – Resurrection
Tammy Carter at Blessing the Beloved – Rock and a Hard Place
Kathy Escobar at the carnival in my head – little miracles
Christen Hansel at Greener Grass – Resurrection Rhythm
Alan Knox at the assembling of the church – Living The Resurrected Life
Christine Sine at Godspace – Palm Sunday Is Coming But What Does It Mean
Matt Stone at Glocal Christianity – Living The Resurrection
Steve Hayes at Khanya – Descent into Hell and penal substitution
Bill Sahlman at Creative Reflections – Do We Live Under a Rock of Belief?


8 Comments

Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 4-13-2011

    Alan – Easier said than done :>) but a worthy goal!

  2. 4-13-2011

    Liz,

    Yes, easier said than done. But we can “try.” :)

    -Alan

  3. 4-14-2011

    thanks for this, alan. i love colossians. way back when my kids were little we had NIV kids club tapes and my favorite was colossians. sometimes now i belt out one of the songs for people just to make them laugh. the words in this letter are very powerful, though, and this one comes to mind. “therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” when we offer these things to others, we practice resurrection.

  4. 4-14-2011

    Kathy,

    Exactly! And, if we find that we are not responding to others with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, then the main problem is in how we are relating to Jesus Christ.

    -Alan

  5. 4-21-2011

    Alan-

    It was delightful to discover a fellow-Baptist through the Synchroblog this month. Your post on the living the resurrected life was so good, I decided to link it as the “post for the day” at E4Unity blog. Since I’m traveling for the Easter week-end it probably will be there until next week.
    I was very interested in your PhD on ecclesiology so I’m following you on Twitter so I can keep up w/you. The SBC is in desperate need for some fresh sources in that field. My own emphasis goes far beyond the SBC but certainly begins there and our need to rediscover the unity of the Church.

    Your insights should touch us all in the right place-right where we live. As both Kathy and Liz have commented. Thanks again.

    John Paul Todd

  6. 4-21-2011

    John,

    Thanks for the comment. I’d love to hear more about your background and interest in the church.

    -Alan

  7. 1-28-2013

    “Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born again. ”
    “How can anyone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
    Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” ~ Jesus

    Jesus indicates that we must be “born of the Spirit”, this was a hard teaching,this could be perceived as a hard teaching. Yet we have a recorded example, one of stark differences, one of not only historical importance, one of personal, and intimate significance for you, and me.

    We all are acquainted with the Saul/Paul record, where a religious zealot, became a beloved brother. This did not happen but in only one way, a “birth from above”, a resurrected life, a “new creation”. This event is for you and me, we are in most every case just like Saul/Paul. Saul walked in the flesh, Paul walked in the Spirit. God isn’t a respected of persons. Therefore this radical transformation depicted in Acts, is just as valid today as then. (Jesus the same yesterday, today, tomorrow).

    The key is so simple it’s often overlooked, ‘in’ is everything. Brothers and sisters we are ‘in’ Christ, therefore Gal.2:20 applies, Eph. 1&2 describe us, the small yet profoundly important ‘in’ shows that our lives are found ‘in’ Christ. His resurrected Life within us makes this radical transformation not only possible, it’s a reality.

    May we embrace this ‘inness’ may we treasure this Treasure within us, and may we walk ‘in’ Him.

    “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” ~ Paul

  8. 1-30-2013

    Jim,

    You are correct. Being “in Christ” is everything – and everything else flows from that relationship and presence.

    -Alan

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