In our series "Christ is All You Need" wehave been working our way through hte book of Colossians.
Chapter 1 focused on the spremacy and preeminence of Christ, that He is above all and before all...being completely authoritative.
In Chapter 2 Paul dealt with false doctrine and its connection to worldly philosophy...emphasizing that Christ is fully God-fully man and that as born again beleivers, we have fullness or completeness in Christ.
Now, Paul turns from a doctrinal emphasis on teaching the about Christ, to the practical implications of what that looks like in the life of hte believer.
Our text this morning gives us 3 implications for knowing Christ rightly.
Stand with me in the honor of the reading of God's Word (Colossians 3:1-4
1. (v.1) Christ Centered Identity.
Paul is not talking about the future ressurection to come.
Note that he says we are raised up with Christ (past tense).
It's already happened, see, it is prefaced by a first class conditional...that word "if."
raised=waking up together with the help of another.
That is, we have been raised or woke up with the sole help of Christ...who has all authority (seated at the right hand of God).
So, the idea is that beleivers have woken up with Christ's help.
The emphasis is on the believers identity with Christ in His death, burial, and ressurection.
To be raised up also means ressurected.
Paul is not referring to the future ressurection...notice he says that we have been ressurected.
Thats because he is talking to beleivers.
In order for us to be ressurected in Christ, we must die to self, in dying to self, Christraises us in Him.
Are you risen with Christ?
Is your identity in Christ?
Because we have been granted new life in that we are raised with him, we should be motivated to "set our minds on the things above."
2. (v. 3) Christ Centered Focus.
Our ressurection with Christ ought to give us a new motivation to focus on Him.
In verse 2, Paul tells us to set our mind on the things above.
In other words, to change our minds...to change from a worldy perspective to a heavenly persective.
If you Google search to see how many conscious or semi conscious decisions the average adult makes a day you may be astounded to discover it to be as high as 35,000.
Yes, you heard it right, 35,000 decisions a day on average.
That is mind blowing for me.
So, as always I thought that maybe that figure was over exaggerated and the real number is way less…even as low as 100 per day.
Then I got to thinking; maybe some of those 100 decisions were really obvious.
For instance, wearing a different shirt or blouse because you saw a spot that didn’t come out in the wash, or skipping breakfast cause you were late for work.
There are many obvious decisions that we make daily, but I was thinking, what if there are 10/100 decisions that we make daily that really do matter.
What I mean by that is that they are a little more significant, effecting the outcome of the rest of our day, or somehow effecting our future, or…the future and/or direction of your family.
Well, as believers we make many decisions…I guess what I am wondering is how many of those decisions we are praying about FIRST.
It is also interesting to to discover that over 98% of the time someone makes a decision, they will not change thier mind...for any reason.
Now, that does not include the mornings when your wife tries on 13 outfits while she is getting ready for church...thats not changing your mind...thats her trying to make up her mind up, but when she finally does, she wont change it, and if she asks you how it looks after she has made up her mind, you had better say great, with a large degree of enthusiamsm.
So, we easily make 100's of decisions a day, of which we will refuse to change our mind once its made up...and I wonder, how many of those decisions do we pray about?
What does it mean to set our mind on the things above?
It means we allow Christ Word to influence our decisions
It means we allow Christ to influence our heart...our thoughts.
We set our minds on the things our hearts are set on...that's why is is so vitally important that we desire a close relationship with Christ.
If you do not desire to draw nearer to Christ, you are spiritually sick as a beleiver, and dead as a non-believer.
With a new ressurection persective on life, the we can begin to understand and allow eternal things to influence our temporal existence.
3-4) Christ Centered Life.
We live a Christ centered life when we die to self
We live a Christ centered life because we are positioned in Christ
We are hidden--that word in Greek krypto--"to conceal protectively"
(kekruptai) can also mean “concealed, unseen.”
This means that the believer’s life is unknown or not understood by the watching world