Colossians 3:10-11 says, “And have put on the new man, which is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.”
The book of Colossians contains a marvelous revelation of the all-inclusive Christ, and it is this all-inclusive Christ who is the unique constituent of the church as the new man (3:10-11). This book reveals seven major aspects of Christ: the portion of the saints (1:9-14), the image of God and the Firstborn both in creation and in resurrection (1:15-23), the mystery of God’s economy (1:24-29), the mystery of God (2:1-7), the body of all the shadows (2:8-23), the life of the saints (3:1-4), and the constituent of the new man (3:5-11). First, we see that the all-inclusive Christ is the God-allotted portion of the saints, typified by the good land. Last, we see that this Christ is the constituent of the new man, indicating that the enjoyment of the all-inclusive Christ issues in the new man, in which Christ is all and in all.
Colossians 3:4 says, “When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory.” Since Christ is our life, we need to learn to live Christ in order for Him to be the constituent of the new man in actuality. How can we live Christ practically? The secret is our union with Christ as revealed in Colossians. To have a living in union with Christ, we need to let the peace of Christ arbitrate in our hearts for the Body life (3:12-15), we need to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly for the expression of Christ in ethical relationships (3:16-4:1), and we need to be those praying with perseverance and walking in wisdom (4:2-6). Not only is Christ as our life the constituent of the new man, but He also deals with the problem of culture within us, which defrauds us from enjoying Christ and frustrates the church life. We must realize that living Christ is versus living out culture, and to deal with the problem of culture, we desperately need to experience Christ as our life.
As our life, He is the peace arbitrating in our hearts for the Body life. Instead of living out and being governed by our culture, we need to allow the peace of Christ, which is Christ Himself as peace, to arbitrate in our hearts. We also need to be filled with the word of Christ by letting it dwell in us richly. Instead of living according to our opinions, we can let the word of Christ replace them. Then rather than being full of our culture, we will be filled and saturated with Christ through His word. Lastly, we need to persevere in prayer, watching in it with thanksgiving. We should never depart from a praying spirit, for it is only by remaining in a praying condition that we can live Christ instead of our culture. By persevering in prayer, we enjoy being one spirit with the Lord, the death of Christ is applied to us, and His resurrection power is supplied to us. By these means we can cultivate a living in union with Christ as the constituent of the new man. The more Christ as peace arbitrates in our hearts, the more we allow the word of Christ to dwell in us richly, and the more we persevere in prayer, the more the Body will be built up with Christ as the constituent of the one new man.
(Most references in the Further Reading can also be viewed on www.ministrybooks.org.)