All people who follow Christ are made new in Him. In Christ, the old has all passed away, and the new has come. Paul teaches the Church in Colossae that all those united in Christ not only cast off who they once were, but they also gain a new identity, which is in accordance with the knowledge of the image of Christ. In other words, all in Christ are made to be more and more like the God to Whom they draw nearer. They are transformed by the renewing of their mind to be more like the Great Redeemer. Because they are renewed in Christ, God’s people take on a new identity in Him. No longer do they primarily see themselves from the lens of their cultural background, geographical location, or social status. Christ’s people see themselves first and foremost as associated with Christ and all others who are His.
This new identity informs us as Christians in how we are to live. We are to live like the One with Whom we associate ourselves. We are to live by Christ’s example. Because we have been chosen out of compassion, we are to be compassionate. Because we have been set apart for His purpose, we are to remain set apart for Him. Because we have been so loved by our Savior, we must love as He does. In the way that we have been forgiven of our sin, we must also forgive others who wrong us. We are called to be One with Christ because of His drawing near to us. All that the Messiah has first shown to us we are to embody. This is how we are to live: by the example and of our Lord and Savior Jesus.