I Am Living Three Lives

Title: I Am Living Three Lives

Bible Book: Colossians 3

Author: J. Mike Minnix

Subject: Joy; Christian Living


I Am Living Three Lives

J. Mike Minnix

Colossians 3

When I was a boy growing up in North Carolina, there was a television program that came on once a week and was a must see for our family. It was entitled, “I Led Three Lives.” It was based upon a true story involving a double agent-spy for the United States. The spy led foreign enemies to think he was spying for them. Actually, he was spying for the USA. In the meantime, he had a regular job and family, and was not supposed to tell his wife anything about his spy work. Thus, he was leading three lives - a secret life his family knew nothing about, life as a spy for the USA, and a life making a foreign nation think he was sying for them. It was an adventure every week as the story followed the dangerous tight rope the spy had to tread.

You might find it interesting to know that the Christian is actually living three lives. We see this plainly in Colossians, chapter 3. I want you to look at it with me today because this will help us to know who we are and how we are supposed to live. To see the three lives that the Christian is living, we need to read some selected verses. Let's begin by looking at 'life' number one.

I. I Am Living A HIDDEN Life – My POSITION in Christ

Look with me at Colossians 3:1-4 ...

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."

Note that Paul states the Christian has a life that is "hidden" in Christ. We don't often think of the life we have in Christ as being a hidden life, yet that is exactly what it is called in this text. Just how is the Christian life a hidden?

A. A Fixed Life

We can’t loose our Christian life because Jesus has it and keeps it secure. Our salvation is hidden in the risen Savior. It is not a salvation I have – it is a salvation that Jesus has and keeps fore me.

  1. My Christian life is not hidden in salvation; my salvation is hidden in HIM - in Jesus Christ!
  2. My life is not in a church, but in the Lord of the Church!
  3. My life is not hidden in rituals, but rather is safeguarded in the Redeemer.
  4. My life is in Christ. It is so deep in Him that it is hidden.

The eternal life a Christian knows is like a treasure which no one can steal or take away. It is a life fixed forever. In fact, the text before us suggests a double-lined protection. My life is WITH Christ and IN God. What thief will ever break into that secure vault? None!

B. A Focused Life

Since my life is in Him and He is in heaven, my focus is to be upward. My nature is to look upward because my nature was changed when Christ saved me and gave me His life. Since Christ is in heaven, my affection should be focused there and not on things on things on the earth. How important this is for us to remember.

As Christians, we live in this world but we are not of this world. This world is passing but what I have in Christ is fixed. Therefore, I must focus on that which is most important and that which is lasting - all of us who are Christians are to keep our minds on things above. I am not to be so heavenly minded that I am of no earthly good,  but above all I am not to be so earthly minded that I am of no heavenly good.

So many people are confused today. They don't know who they are, what life is about, and some don't even know their own gender. If you are in Christ, you know who you are, what He has done for you, and you follow Him in your daily life. This grants us peace and purpose as we live.

That this is not all. Note that my hidden life in Christ is a ...

C. A Future Life

Part of the life I have is yet to come. My destiny cannot be seen now for it is hidden in Christ. Heaven is my home even though I have never been there. Most people think of home as the place where they have lived and to which they long to return. But, the Christian longs for heaven, even though the believer has never been there. Why? We long for heaven because Jesus is there and our life is hidden there. I marvel at the thought of the gates of purest pearl. I image in wonder at the thought of walking down streets of gold. My heart leaps to think of the music of the angels in glory. But what really thrills my heart about heaven is Jesus. The songwriter wrote about wanting to see the majesty of heaven but then climaxed with these words: “I want to see my Savior first of all.”

We have a life hidden in Jesus. The future is always bright for a believer. Times of hardship can hold no pain or sorrow that is able to diminish our prospects. No collapse of the economy, no war on foreign fields, no illness of mammoth proportion can do anything but cause us to look up with greater anticipation. Why? Because our life is hidden in Christ.

Look at 1 Peter 1:3-5, ...

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time."

What a future we have in Jesus. If you are not a Christian, don't miss heaven for the world. This world is not worth it.

Now, think of the second life we have in Christ.

II. I Am Living A HOLY Life – My PERFORMANCE through Christ

Look with me at Colossians 3:3-11 ...

3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. 5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. 8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 1 1where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.

Paul clearly states that we have died to the old life and that we are living a new life. In essence, we are living a holy life in this world through His strength and power that Goid placed in us when we were redeemed. We are not living holy lives in order to be accepted by God – we are to live holy lives because we are accepted by God. We are told in this passage to mortify, destroy, or bury the old ways of life in order to live properly the new life we have in Christ.

A. Sensual Sins

Verses 5 and 6 speak about sins that affect our senses. These should be put to death – mortified – buried. Why? They should be mortified, destroyed, put to death, because we are living a new life in Christ. Sensual sins lead us to act in ways that are destructive, self-serving, and evil. They never please the One who saved us.

B. Speaking Sins

Verses 7 through 10a reveal that we must live a life which buries sins of speech. We should avoid the sinful language of anger, slander, and lying. Our tongues are to be dedicated to God. We should bury conversation which is not wholesome and holy. Certainly our tongues are redeemed to honor Jesus, praise Him and to make Him known to the world. Flithy language, hateful language, and rude language are foreign languages in the kingdom of God.

C. Selfish Sins

Verses 10b through 15a tell us how we are to remove selfishness, envy, class warfare and pride. Love and peace are to rule in our hearts.

Now understand something important – the old life will try to resurface. We are to mortify it. We are to put it to death. We are to come again and again to Christ and rededicate ourselves to the new life we have in Him. To follow Jesus is to reject the selfish life that the world tempts us to live.

So, I'm living a hidden life, and I'm living a holy life - all because Jesus redeemed me from my sin and gave me His nature and the promise of an eternal home with Him forever.

Now, look with me at the third life the Christian lives ...

III. I Am Living A HAPPY Life – My PRAISE For Christ

Colossians 3:15b-17 ...

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

We are to live a thankful life. Our life is to be filled with thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is not a season that comes about once a year for the Christian, it is to be a way of life that takes place each day. Thanksgiving is not a holiday for the believer, it is an everyday occurrence.

A. It Must Be Internal

Did you notice in our text that His life and word is to rule in our hearts. We are to have His Word and His song in our hearts daily. If you are not a thankful Christian, it may be the result of not hidding His Word in your heart and mind. The Word of God will make you thankful and cause you to break into songs of praise.

B. It Must Be External

Thanksgiving cannot remain silent – neither can genuine faith. It breaks out in spite of hindrances. In some parts of the world Christians are forbidden to worship publicly or to witness to others concerning their faith. Often they end up in prison or worse. These Christians don't want to defy the government under which they live, but they find it impossible not to externally express what they have internally experienced. Christ is us is the hope of glory, and we can't keep quiet about it.

Part of life is antimation - movement and expression. You cannot hide it. Try to act dead. We can see you breathing. We can watch your face and see your eyes move. A feather can touch your face and your lips will quiver. You cannot hide life. A Christian is alive in Christ and cannot nor should not attempt to hide it.

If your Christian life in Christ is not isn’t showing, maybe you don't actually have it! Today is a good day to open your heart to receive the wonderful forgiveness, grace and eternal life Jesus is offering you.

C. It Will Be Eternal

Giving Jesus praise and thanks here on earth is just a warm-up for heaven. We will praise Him forever there. The open, joyful, happy life for Christ is only possible when we are living a happy life in Jesus. Praise is the natural state of those in the presence of God. Since Christ is in us, we have the motivation to praise Him daily. Go ahead, lift Him up as a rehearsal for what heaven will be like!


The photograph we may never forget is that of the Vietnamese girl running from the flames of a Napalm bomb in the Vietnam War. Her clothes burned off and her skin blackened and burned, she was running and screaming in pain. Her name is Kim Phuc, which means “Golden Happiness.” The photographers, who took the picture rushed to her, wrapped her body in a rain slicker, gave her water and took her to a hospital in their jeep. Seeing that she was dying there, they used their influence to have her transferred to a better hospital in Saigon.

After 14 months and 17 surgeries, she returned to her home hiding her scars under her clothing. Later she was forced to be the “poster girl” for the Communist government, the “show girl” for the evils of what the communist called the United States aggression. She did so to protect her family from government abuse.

Her experience made her dedicate herself to the study of medicine. While studying in a public library, she read the New Testament for the first time. She attended a Baptist Church with a family member, and she began to pray to find a Christian friend. Walking into the church worship area, she noticed a lady sitting alone. This was to be her special friend. After receiving Jesus Christ as her Savior, she said, “It was the fire of the bomb that burned my body, the skill of the doctors to mend my skin, but it took the power of God to heal my heart."

The story gets better. She went to medical school in Cuba, met her husband there and defected to Canada. Though doctors had told her she should never bear children, she has two beautiful children and a movie has been made about her life.

Here’s the highlight! Kim spoke at the Vietnam memorial in Washington, D.C. in 1996. To hundreds of veterans and uniformed soldiers she said, “I have suffered both from physical and emotional pain. Sometimes I thought I could not live, but God saved my life and give me faith and hope. If I could talk face to face with the pilot who dropped the bomb, I would tell him we cannot change history, but we should try to promote peace.” The pilot was present, they met in private, she embraced him in her scarred arms as he said, “I am sorry.” She replied, “It’s okay, I forgive!”

That is what Jesus has done for us. He forgave us. He embraces us with the scars our sins caused upon Him at the cross. What a Savior we have!

We must rejoice today – if indeed we are saved. We have a hidden life, a buried past and glorious future. Let us show our thanks with our worship, with our work and with our walk in this world for Him. And if you have never received Him as Lord and Savior, now is the time to repent from your sins, and accept Jesus by faith. You can join those of us who have done so and live three lives.

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