Study Guide: Pleromaized

Sunday April 8, 2012 | Greg Boyd

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

On Easter, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. While this resurrection points towards a beautiful future, there is also a need to live this resurrection in our daily lives. In this sermon, Greg talks about the resurrection and its implications for our lives.

Extended Summary:

At Easter, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Usually, these sermons point towards the future resurrection, when the whole earth will be made new. While amazing, this is not today’s message. This sermon will speak to how the resurrection applies to our lives today—which is equally amazing.

When we give ourselves completely to Jesus, he gives himself completely to us. By his grace, he takes on our sin, and we take on his righteousness. We are separated from our sin and the judgment of that sin. In exchange, we gain his righteousness, his love, joy, peace, and completeness. This is why there is no philosophy out there that compares. Everything we need, we find in Jesus.

Paul reminded the Colossians in this passage that they were buried in baptism with Christ. Baptism was symbolic of them dying to their old sinful nature. When they came up out of the water, they rose with Christ. While baptism was symbolic of the work on the cross, coming out of the water was symbolic of the resurrection. Being brought out of the water was not only symbolic of a life sometime in the future, but it was also symbolic of the life we live now.

Our completeness of life starts now. It won’t be perfectly manifest until the whole creation is redeemed, but that shouldn’t stop us from trying to live this life now. And while it doesn’t feel like your old sinful nature has been buried, you must listen to the truth that Paul is proclaiming in this passage. By not listening to this truth, we are susceptible to the same sin that Adam and Eve dealt with—thinking that God hasn’t given us everything we need. When we hunger for fullness in this life, we need to turn to Jesus to find that fullness.

There are three main truths that become evident when we live our life as complete in Christ. The first truth is that we are already complete in Christ. Satan, in one form or another, has strapped a nightmarish illusion to you that you are still empty. We need to wake up and grab a hold of Jesus whenever we feel that we may be empty. Remind yourself that Jesus’ fullness is your fullness. Stop looking around for fullness and start thinking about the ways in which Jesus makes you full.

The second truth is that your sinful nature is already dead in Christ. When he was buried, you were buried. Satan will still try to make you think that your old nature is alive and that sin still has power over you. Whenever you feel this way, remind yourself that when Jesus was buried, your old nature was buried with him. Nothing can make the grace of the cross reject you. When God looks at you, he sees his perfect son in whom you are made complete.

The third truth is that you already have resurrected life in Christ. Satan wants us to believe that we won’t be fully alive until we are in heaven, but this is not why Jesus died for us. He died so that we could have life the moment that we turn to him and follow. You don’t lack anything except the confidence that you don’t lack anything.

This world is fallen, and our physical bodies are fallen with it. So we age, get fat, and die. And we have to wait until the final resurrection for that to not be the case. But that must not stop us from realizing that our spirit is already raised from the dead. Our job is to manifest that truth in our everyday lives. We are to wake up and put on display the beautiful nature of this Kingdom.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What additional questions and comments did you have about the sermon and supporting texts?
  2. What makes it so difficult to believe that resurrection applies to our lives today?
  3. What do you see as the most beautiful part of this sermon?
  4. What are some practical ways in which we can live the resurrection today?
  5. When you did the exercise at the end of the sermon, what truth was revealed to you? How might you act out that truth?