The Christ-Centered Life

June 16, 2016

Hello Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I pray that you are living today in the hope of the Gospel where sin’s condemning power has been destroyed¹. Moreover, if you are a believer, I hope you are reveling in the fact that you stand before God today in positional perfection being robed in the righteousness of Christ and judicially “justified” in God’s sight²! This awesome truth of the gospel is what provoked Paul to boast only in the Lord and not in the works of the flesh, because it is in Christ alone that we find the wisdom of God, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption³. Now, this is why Paul condemned counterfeit or false methods of salvation and/or sanctification, like legalism, mysticism, and asceticism, that sought to subdue sin through man-centered means, which actually feeds the flesh instead of fighting it⁴. The Puritan John Owen said it succinctly when he exclaimed, “Mortification (of sin) from self-strength, carried on by ways of self-intervention, unto the end of a self-righteousness, is the soul and substance of all false religions in the world.” Therefore, in light of our constant battle with indwelling sin, the command from God to kill it, and the upcoming sermons on this subject, I would like us to briefly consider the Christ-centered life.

The Christ-Centered Life

 Blue Cross Sky

Fighting sin, wrestling with temptation, and living a life that ultimately glorifies God is only found and fostered in and through a Christ-centered walk⁵! This means that everything you do is done in order to please Christ⁶, is done by the strength of Christ⁷, and is done for the ultimate glory of God through the final exaltation of Christ⁸! So what does a Christ-centered life look like biblically, or how does one live a Christ-centered life? Well Paul gives us a lucid picture of the life that has Christ as its citadel in Colossians where believers are commanded to model their lives after the life of Christ⁹, are to guard their lives by the peace of Christ¹⁰, are to permeate their lives with the Word of Christ¹¹, and to propagate their lives with the praise of Christ¹²! This is why Paul passionately proclaimed his ministry’s purpose was to exhort and by God’s grace establish everyone mature in Christ¹³. Moreover, Paul understood the centrality of Christ to everything that God was doing in his own life personally, and so he desired to know Christ by life and/or death, even abandoning all to pursue Christ and His glory¹⁴! The Christ-centered life is at the heart of Peter’s mission and ministry to those he served¹⁵. The Christ-centered life is God’s purpose in sovereignly saving sinners and His providential gift as He progressively conforms them into the image of His beloved Son¹⁶!

 

While this is all undeniably biblical and very encouraging to our battle with the flesh, it also at times seems confusing for some people and even overly simplistic and esoteric to others. So I want you to know that Paul will help us further in understanding the critical nature of having and living the Christocentric life as we examine on Sunday the three pillars of the Christ-centered life. Therefore, I look forward to worshipping with you this Sunday as we consider what it means and how to live theologically as we consider Colossians 3:1-4. I look forward to growing with you as we are better equipped through the Word of God in how to fight against the sins of our flesh to the glory of God. May God bless you and keep you and may His sustaining grace strengthen you as you strive to grow and serve for the glory of Christ!

In Christ Alone,

Pastor Matt

Scriptures:

¹ Rom 8:1; 1 Cor 15:54-57

² Rom 4:1-5:2; 5:17

³ 1 Cor 1:29-31

⁴ Col 2:16-23

⁵ 1 Cor 1:29-2:2; 4:16; 11:1; Eph 5:2

⁶ 2 Cor 5:9; Eph 5:22; 5:25; Col 3:23-24

⁷ Jn 15:1-5; Col 1:29; Phil 4:13

⁸ Mt 28:16-20; Jn 17:1-5; Rev 5:6-14; Phil 2:9-11; Heb 12:1-3; 2 Thess 1:11-12; 1 Pet 4:8-11; 2 Pet 3:18

⁹ 3:12-14

¹⁰ 3:14-15

¹¹ 3:16

¹² 3:17

¹³ Col 1:28

¹⁴ Phil 1:20-23; 3:7-14

¹⁵ Jn 21:15-19; 1Pet 1:3-21; 2:21-25; 4:11; 5:1-4; 5:10-11; 2 Pet 1:1-21; 3:18

¹⁶ Rom 8:28-30; Col 3:10

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