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United in Christ's Resurrection

By William Henry Griffith Thomas

      "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God"

      (Col. 3:1).

      The apostle first calls attention to his readers having been "raised together with Christ" (ASV). The English word "if" is employed here in its sense of "since"--"in view of," and the verb is in the indicative mood, so that Paul is clearly assuming this resurrection as a fact, admissive of no doubt. That is to say, these Christians were raised spiritually when Christ was raised physically; and this identification was the foundation of their spiritual position. The resurrection is variously presented in the New Testament as at once a proof, a pattern, a power, a promise, and a pledge. It is the proof of our acceptance of Christ's death and of our acceptance with Him (Rom. 4:24-25): it is to be the pattern of our holy life (Rom. 6:4); it is also the power for Christian character and service (Eph. 1:18-20); it contains the promise of our own physical resurrection (1 Thess. 4:14); and it is the pledge of our life hereafter (John 14:19). In the present passage our resurrection is associated with Christ's because we are united with Him in such a way that, whatever He did, we are regarded by God the Father as having done also (2:12; Rom. 6:8).

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