If Then Flip
Daily Reading: This morning, we’re reading Colossians 3. Start there, then read this devotion that will tie in with what you’ve read.
If then. We use this sentence structure a lot. “If you eat your vegetables, then you can have desert.” “If you work your hours, then you’ll get a paycheck.” “If you take out the trash, then I will refrain from knocking a knot on your head.” We typically mean, “If you do this, then you’ll receive that.” We often assume God mostly deals with us in “if thens” don’t we? If you behave, then I’ll accept you. If you do good, then I’ll bless you. Don’t get me wrong, there are “if then” promises in the Bible. Yet in Christ, our relationship with God is a reversed “if then.” Take a look at Colossians 3:
“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.”
– Colossians 3:1–5 ESV
We would almost expect it to say, “If then you seek the things that are above, you will be raised with Christ.” But the beauty of the gospel is that Christ pursues us first. He comes to earth, goes to the cross, then in victory comes and opens our eyes to see his glory. All this while we are “dead in our trespasses and sins.” You know, if being “raised” is what we need, just how many “ifs” would we be able to pull off to earn the reward? Instead, “you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
Here’s the beauty of the gospel. Your salvation is a free gift of grace. We come to Christ simply by trusting his finished work. He raises us up from the dead and THEN gives us a new way of life. So if you have received this way by faith, then seek the wonderful life he gives and put to death the old way. He has loved you and bought you and earnestly desires to give you his kingdom. Now embrace the kingdom by seeking the ways of the King who bought you.