Colossians: You Have the Upper Hand

Why does knowing that in Christ you died to the reign of sin give you an Upper Hand in your war against your personal remaining sin? Let's let Paul tell us from Colossians.

Colossians 2:11-13
Romans 5:14-6:12,8:3-4,6:16,8:8-9,8:12-13
1 Corinthians 1:14-17
2 Corinthians 5:14

...to recognize a broadly attested New Testament theological concept dubbed by James Dunn "conversion-initiation." The New Testament connects our coming to Christ (being converted and initiated into the new covenant community) to faith, to repentance, to the gift of the Spirit, and to water baptism, in various combinations. Any of these, in a kind of metonymy, could be used to connote the whole experience – implying, of course, in each instant, the presence of all of the others. Water baptism, then, as a critical New Testament rite intimately connected to our conversion experience, could be used as shorthand for the whole experience. But it is also striking that it is just in the two most important Pauline passages about our being buried "with Christ" that baptism is brought into the picture in this way (when it is not frequently referred to elsewhere in Paul in this fashion). This may indeed suggest additionally, that early Christians associated the waters of baptism with Christ's burial. Douglas J. MooThe Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon

Sermon discussion questions for parents to use with their children:

  • What does it mean that the believer was crucified, buried and risen with Christ?

  • When did this happen to the believer?

  • How does this change our relationship with sin as a power and a reign?

  • What are the practical implications of this in my battle with remaining sin?

  • What am I supposed to reckon?