Disciple Up #160
Colossians, Pt. 6: Keep Looking Up, Col. 3:1-11
By Louie Marsh, 5-20-2020
Intro. This is a major turning point in the book, Paul now turns to practical matters having laid the doctrinal foundational – something he does regularly in his writings.
- I) GETTING SET (vs. 1-2)
1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:1-2 (ESV)
- A) Raised with Christ 1
1, raised = “co-raised” in Greek
2, Through Christ we are in the new, resurrection, life.
3, This sets the tone for our entire life.
- B) Setting our Minds & Hearts 1-2
1, “set your hearts” = seek with a direct reference to the orientation of the will.
a, It’s in the present tense showing a continual effort is needed.
2, “Set your minds”= a stronger word, means using all our thoughts and will.
3, We must continually set ourselves with everything within us!
- C) On Christ Above
1, “Where Christ is” spells out the place and character of above.
2) The Christian and “positivity”
a, I’m concerned because the church today is doing what’s done before, borrowing from the world.
1, In our day, everywhere you go, you constantly hear about how vital it is to have a positive attitude! It’s an idol before the world worships daily!
b, I’m NOT saying we should have negative attitudes – God forbid!
c, I AM saying that for the Christian there is a reason for being positive. We should look upwards because that’s where Christ is!
3) And for the Christian the very idea of what’s positive is different from the what the world thinks! Malcolm Murreridge quote –
a, “It is a curious fact that today…one is called a pessimist if one ventures to express a certain contempt for the things of this world and dares to entertain the truly extraordinary hopes…that buoyed up the first Christians…I wonder whether, in the history of all the civilizations that have ever been, a more insanely optimistic notion has ever been entertained than that you and I, mortal, puny creatures, may yet aspire, with God’s Grace and Christ’s help, to be reborn into what St. Paul calls the glorious liberty of the Children of God.” Jesus Rediscovered, 1969, pgs 76-77
- II) CHRIST OUR LIFE (vs. 3-4)
3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:3-4 (ESV)
- A) Two Reasons to Keep Looking Up
1, We’ve died to the world
a, died = separated
b, We’ve died a spiritual death – through baptism
2, Our New Life is hidden in Christ
a, Perfect tense – it’s hidden and will remain that way!
- B) Hidden in Christ
1, Hidden from the world – because it’s spiritual
2, Hidden even from ourselves –
a, “The world knows neither Christ nor Christians, and Christians do not even fully know themselves.” – J. A. Bengel
b, Col. 2:3 – none of us fully understands this resurrection life.
c, That’s why we must continually set ourselves on the hidden life above.
- C) Christ Our Life (vs. 4)
1, When He appears – the secret’s out!
2, Christ is our spiritual life (zoe)
a, The closer you get to Him the more alive you are.
b, The farther away from Him you get – the less alive you are.
3, We will share His glory!!
a, Is that Grace or what??
III) OUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE OLD NATURE (vs. 5-11)
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Colossians 3:5-11 (ESV)
- A) Putting Old Things to Death 5-6
1, We’re not to kill the old nature – it’s already dead! (Col. 3:3; Rom. 6:1-12)
2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:2-4 (ESV)
a, Written in aorist tense = “a decisive initial act which introduces a settled attitude.”
B, Dead = “separated” in Scripture – not nonexistent.
2, We are to kill the things that belong to it.
a, Like our old behavior patterns.
3, Notice that this list of acts moves from the outward to the inward
a, “Sexual immorality” = porneia in Gk. Used of adultery, fornication, prostitution, and every unlawful act. It’s the word from which we get pornography.
b, The first four words in this list all deal with sexual issues, and show us God wants, but seldom gets, purity from His people.
c, Greed is Idolatry – another great sin of our nation.
- B) Putting Off and On 6-10
1, Paul uses this clothing metaphor to show our changed nature
22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24 (ESV)
2, THIS IS A KEY CONCEPT!
a, Don’t just stop doing something bad!
b, But substitute something good for the bad!
c, Vacuum and straw illustration.
3, New Nature is constantly renewed
a, Through Knowledge – which is why we study the Word.
b, To transform us into the image of God.
- C) ALL ABOARD! (vs. 11)
1, No prejudice in Christ!! – Gal. 3:28
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28 (ESV)
a, no male/female, cultural or racial walls!
2, The New Creation is equally open to all.
3, So whoever you are, whatever you are, we urge you to come to Christ!
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