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Raised with Christ

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Slide 1: Title
We wanted you to see the story of the Bible. The timeless story recorded in scripture of God reaching down to us. That’s what the Bible is, not a record of men creating a God or even seeking God, but a record of a God who loves us so much he couldn’t let us sit in the darkness and die, he had to reach down and to us and provide a way home. Happy Easter.
On Friday we took time to remember Jesus on the cross, on Saturday we mourned as his body was in the tomb, and on Sunday we celebrate that Jesus rose from the dead in victory over sin and death, and through his victory, we can be saved and healed and set free and have victory ourselves in this life and the next.
Are you alive with Christ, sharing in his victory?
Church. Bibles.
On Friday we took time to remember Jesus’ bloodshed on the cross, and now we celebrate that Jesus raises from the dead in victory over sin and death, and that
Let’s pray together - honey glazed ham and tie-dye hard boiled eggs.
If it’s your first time here, we’re glad you came. If it’s your second time here, we’re glad you came back. If you’re a regular - hello. This is what church normally looks like for us. Simple, low to no pressure. We worship Jesus by delighting in him through song, and through prayer, and through fellowship, and through giving, and also through teaching the Bible, which is what we’re going to do now.
Last week we celebrated with heaven 18 people going public with their faith in baptism, and we pray they will mature in their faith and stay the course. For those of you who were here and are seasoned Christians, you know the story isn’t over, right? It’s just begun. Last week was the beginning of a new life of growing closer to God day-by-day-by-day. The best life imaginable, but a life with ups and downs and pains and sorrows nonetheless.
Do me a favor, seasoned Christian. When you see one of these people, take them under your wing. Build an intentional relationship with them. The fancy word is discipleship, but basically it’s just sharing the journey and helping them seek God. Randy Evans tells me in the 70s they called it ‘bringing ‘em along.’ I wasn’t around back then, but I believe him. I may look green and I may be slower than you, but I try to pay attention. Lots of people people get saved and baptized and then sit stagnant for 20 years and never grow. It takes men and women who are mature in their faith to bring ‘em along. Let’s be those kinds of Christians.
If you brought a Bible, great! Pull it out. If not, you can grab a free one from the tool crib up on the dock to take home. And as always, most of the scriptures will be on the screen. Basically, it’s important for me that you know I’m not making anything up, I’m simply doing my best with God’s help to teach you the Bible. .
Let’s pray together and get into the message.
On Friday we took time to remember Jesus’ bloodshed on the cross, and now we celebrate that Jesus raises from the dead in victory over sin and death, and that
Did you know Easter is the most important day on the Christian calendar? It’s true.
The resurrection is paramount to our faith. It’s the central and foundational truth the gospel stands on.
It’s not just important, though. Not in the way other Christian holidays are important. Jesus’ resurrection is the singular Christian doctrine that elevates Christianity above all other world religions. It is the very foundation the gospel stands on. If Jesus does not rise from the dead, he’s nothing more than an ancient guru, and everything we do pointless.
The Bible actually says our preaching and our faith would be useless and if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are the be more pitied than anyone in the world.
All the baptisms would have been meaningless, all our singing would be in vain, all our reading of the Bible would be empty words and old outdated lies and philosophies. Zero power over sin. No victory over pain. No life worth living. Pointless.
All the baptisms would have been meaningless, all our singing would be in vain, all our reading of the Bible would be empty words and old outdated lies and philosophies. Zero power over sin. No victory over pain. No life worth living. Pointless.
Ever been to a church where the pastor admits it could all be pointless?
The resurrection is paramount to our faith, but I don’t believe because the resurrection has been proven. I believe by faith and God opens my heart to more and more and more.
All the baptisms would have been meaningless, all our singing would be in vain, all our reading of the Bible would be empty words and old outdated lies and philosophies. Zero power over sin. No victory over pain. No life worth living.
All the skeptics and nonbelievers and Chreasters in the room are thinking -yeah, preach it brother. Now, if you’re in that camp this morning, to you I say, welcome. Bring your questions, bring your doubts. Bring your challenges. Bring you conversations. Seek God and let him show himself to you.
The resurrection is paramount to our faith. It’s the central and foundational truth the gospel stands on.
I have no fear, because not only has the resurrection of Jesus Christ has been examined more carefully than the evidence for any other fact in history, and never disproven, but I don’t believe by facts, I believe by faith. And I invite you to as well.
The good news of Easter is, “Jesus is alive!”
In Peter’s first sermon, the sermon on the day of Pentecost, when 3,000 men were saved and baptized, Peter proclaims it like this:
Slide 2:
Acts 2:24 NIV
But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
Peter shows us the triumph of God, who raised Jesus from the dead. When the Jewish mob intended evil, God used it for ultimate good.
As Jesus experienced the agony of death, by taking on the entire world’s sin, since he is life, and the only one righteous, perfect, spotless and sinless, and who did not deserve the wages of sin, Jesus could not be defeated by death. It was impossible for death to hold him in it’s grip.
God raised him from the dead to victory over sin and death.
Today, we celebrate that truth and the life we live should be a life in response to his victory because if we are saved, we have victory too.
And the life we live should be a life in response to his victory over sin and death and pain and suffering.
Troubles come in life, and sharing in Christ’s victory and remembering that we were resurrected along with him is the antidote for the pain and suffering we face in this life.
Acts 2:24 ESV
God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.
Red Lobster - Tetley / Long Island Iced Tea Story
When we read the label or hear a title we think we know what to expect? Don’t we?
Sometimes people carry titles and claim identities but you can’t see it in their life. Have you ever met someone like this? A person who had a title, but didn’t live up to it?
Say, “I’m a mechanic.” But they don’t even understand righty-tighty lefty-loosy?
Or, “I’m a doctor.” But they think cronic plaque psoriasis is a gum disease.
The resurrection is paramount to our faith, but I don’t believe because the resurrection has been proven. I believe by faith and God opens my heart to more and more and more.
There are many Christians in this world who have identified with Jesus in salvation and baptism, but whose lives don’t resemble that at all.
My prayer for you is that you identify fully and work towards godly character.
So what do we do. I’m saved by faith, I’ve been baptized.
It’s important to remember first and foremost that God did the work. You said yes to when he opened your heart.
If you’re here this morning and you are saved. If you believe in faith, have repented of your sins and have confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, you have been raised with Christ. Your sins were on the cross. His victory was your victory. His life was your life and is your life.
So, if God did all the work, what do I do? Let’s look at the balls-in-our-court if I’m going to carry around the title I now Identified with.
In his letter to the Colossians, the apostle Paul spends the first two chapters encouraging the church to remain faithful amongst dangerous, deceptive teachings. Which usually is any teaching that either removes the deity of Christ, or takes the attention off the resurrection of Christ by adding or removing requirements of salvation by grace through faith.
In the book of Colossians, Paul spends the first two chapters disproving false teachers to re-clarify the good news. They’ve been misleading the church and Paul comes in to clean it back up.
His encouragement is that if you have identified with Christ in salvation and baptism, you are alive in him, your sins are cancelled, nailed to the cross. You are alive!
Slide 3, 4, 5, 6:
Colossians 2:6–14 NLT
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature. For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.
Colossians 2:6–14 NLT
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature. For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.
Colossians 2:6-14
Colossians 2:6-12
Slide: 7: Title
Christianity is a supernatural faith. We believe Jesus was 100% man and 100% God.
When you come to Christ, you believe the resurrection by faith as God opens your heart, you repent of your sins, confess Jesus as Lord and Savior and you are now alive! Jesus has been raised from the dead and you are supernaturally united with him.
So if we’re alive and sharing with him in victory, are we living like it? Are we living in light of the cross? Are we living in response to the resurrection? Or are we still holding on tightly to our old lives and allowing the lies to creep into your mind
Have you ever expected one thing but gotten something completely different?
Red Lobster - Tetley / Long Island Iced Tea Story
When we read the label or hear a title we think we know what to expect? Don’t we?
Sometimes people carry titles and claim identities but you can’t see it in their life. Have you ever met someone like this? A person who had a title, but didn’t live up to it?
Say, “I’m a mechanic.” But they don’t even understand righty-tighty lefty-loosy?
Or, “I’m a doctor.” But they think cronic plaque psoriasis is a gum disease.
There are many Christians in this world who have identified with Jesus in salvation and baptism, but whose lives don’t resemble that at all.
My prayer for you is that you identify fully and work towards godly character.
So what do we do. I’m saved by faith, I’ve been baptized.
It’s important to remember first and foremost that God did the work. You said yes to when he opened your heart.
So, if God did all the work, what do I do? Let’s look at the balls-in-our-court if I’m going to carry around the title I now Identified with.
After defending the faith and warning us that while we are alive, the world will still throw muck at us and try to pull us away into false, empty religions and philosophies, Paul follows it with this:
He follows it all with this:
As a believer you are raised to new life with Christ and this Easter, I’d like to remind you of that and celebrate that along with you.
Slide 8:
Colossians 3:1–2 ESV
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
This is one of the coolest pictures in the Bible. That we as believers are joined with Christ in his resurrection and victory and new life.
There are a few different looks of resurrection in the Bible.
First, of course, there is the literal, physical resurrection of someone who has died. Jesus literally, physically raised his good friend Lazarus from the dead. If you don’t know the story, Lazarus was three days dead, smelly, gross, and Jesus wept for him, and then resurrected him. Jesus of course, also physically raised from the dead. He could eat and drink with his followers after he died and rose.
Then there are two types of spiritual resurrection.
Future for the believer: Paul often writes about being raised with Christ as a future event. It’s an anticipation that when Christ returns, every believer will be raised from the dead and will receive a glorified human body, incorruptible and immortal in heaven. if you’d like to read about that.
Past for the believer, or when we believe, which is what this verse tells us: We have been raised with Christ, showing that we share in His resurrection and are alive to God, and empowered to live in ways that please God.
By stating that believers have been raised with Christ, Paul affirms that we share in His resurrection and are alive to God, and empowered to live in ways that please God. Now, by God’s power and our will, we can live how God wants us to live.
Now that we are new creations, by God’s power and our will, we can live how God wants us to live.
Slide 9: Title
That’s the most important resurrection connection for us to remember in the power we have today. That my sins were on the cross and I’m raised to new life with Christ.
What does Paul tell us to do here?
The phrase “Set your minds...” is very important. You know why? Because it’s a decision to make a change or not to make a change. It’s an action we take or don’t take.
We often tell each other, especially our teenagers, you can do anything you…what...”set your mind to.”
If you don’t set your mind to it, it will never happen. List of goals - never achieved. Life targets, never reached. I could set my mind on something good and beneficial for society and myself, or I could set it on something destructive and tearing down to society. Or I can do nothing.
Let’s look at a passage in
It’s a choice to set it. Set is always an action.
When we set our minds we’re deciding what will dominate our thoughts instead of letting someone or something else decide.
I don’t know about you, but when I get my mind set on something, it dominates my life. Running (It consumed my life until I achieved the marathon goal).
If we are alive in Christ we should set our minds on two things: Heaven and Christ.
That chosen attitude and approach to life becomes that antidote for the pain and suffering we experience in this life.
Slide 2, 3, 4, 5:
That’s where our life is found and where our victory is found.
When we set our minds we’re deciding what will dominate our thoughts.
I don’t know about you, but when I get my mind set on something, it dominates my life. Running (It consumed my life until I achieved the marathon goal).
Romans 6:3–6 ESV
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
Seeking God and his priorities become my priorities. Setting my sights and my family goals and personal goals and career goals through the lens of heaven changes how I live my life.
Romans 6:6–11 ESV
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:3–11 ESV
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Slide 6: Title
Romans 6:6-11
Now, there are a few different looks of resurrection in the Bible. First, of course, there is the literal, physical resurrection of someone who has died. Jesus literally, physically raised his good friend Lazarus from the dead. If you don’t know the story, Lazarus was three days dead, smelly, gross, and Jesus wept for him, and then resurrected him. Jesus of course, also physically raised from the dead. He could eat and drink with his followers after he died and rose.
Then there are two types of spiritual resurrection. First, like he does in what we just read, Paul often writes about being raised with Christ as a future event. It’s an anticipation that when Christ returns, every believer will be raised from the dead and will receive a glorified human body, incorruptible and immortal in heaven. if you’d like to read about that.
The second type of spiritual resurrection is here in Colossians, another of Paul’s letters.
Slide 7:
Colossians 2:12 ESV
having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.
This is past tense. By stating that believers have been raised with Christ, he affirms we share in the resurrection and are alive with God and empowered to live in ways pleasing to God.
This is past tense. By stating that believers have been raised with Christ, he affirms we share in the resurrection and are alive with God and empowered to live in ways pleasing to God.
This is past tense. By stating that believers have been raised with Christ, he affirms we share in the resurrection and are alive with God and empowered to live in ways pleasing to God.
When saved and baptized, like we got to do last week, we are participating in the Easter story and unite with Christ.
Our old sinful self is crucified on the cross with him and we’re now set free from sin. Raised to a new life, a new self. We do this once and can now carry the title Christian.
My sin was on the cross. I’ve accepted that by confessing my sins to Christ and making him my Lord and Savior, and now I am united with him. I’m a follower of Christ. A disciple. A Christian. Now it’s time to live a life pleasing to God and a life worthy of the title and a life worthy of your unity with Christ. Not because he’ll love you more if you do or less if you don’t, but because you want to.
Let me tell you something about you and me. Whether you are a Christian or not, whether you nod your head during my messages because you beleive every word in the Bible (please do that), or you think we’re all a bunch of wackos , you have expectations of how a Christian lives.
Those expectations could be dead wrong, but you have them. And so do I.
Before I began pastoring, there’s one bit of advice I wish I’d have gotten and that is: Don’t get discouraged when people dissapoint you, expect it, and pray for more grace.
Let’s pray together and get to it.
Colossians 3:1 ESV
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Colossians 3:1 ESV
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Colossians 3:1–2 ESV
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
As we celebrate Jesus Christ risen from the dead, and recognize that those who are saved are raised to new life in Christ, my question for you to consider is: Are you living your new life or
So if you’re saved. Christ did the work of saving you. What you did was say yes to him. You have been raised to new life and you’re a new creation. You are signed, sealed, delivered. Washed by the blood of Jesus. Now comes the fun part. The story isn’t over, it’s just begun. It’s the beginning of a new life of growing closer to God day-by-day-by-day-by-day. God walks with us, but if we aren’t willing to work in response to our salvation, we can be stagnant for a long time.
The question I have for you to consider is this: Am I living my new life, or am I holding tightly to my old life?
So let’s pray together and get to it. Then you can head home to dive into a honey-glazed ham and tie-dye hard-boiled eggs.
Let’s pray together and get to it. Then you can head home to dive into a honey-glazed ham and tie-dye hard-boiled eggs.
Slide 8: Title
Have you ever expected one thing but gotten something completely different?
Red Lobster - Tetley / Long Island Iced Tea Story
I was working a Sunday lunch one weekend and I took the orders of two older couples who were clearly on their way home from church. The one lady was in the mood for tea. At RL they serve Tetley Tea. It’s just the brand of iced tea they serve, but for some reason some people know that and order it that way. This lady was having trouble thinking of the word Tetley, so instead of just asking for ‘iced tea,’ she goes, “Oh, I know! A Long Island Iced Tea!” Alcoholic beverage. Against my better judgement, I brought it out without questioning her. That was my job. She took a quick sip and said, “Whoa! I haven’t tasted that in years!”
In hindsight it should have been obvious that this elderly woman having lunch with church friends wasn’t ready to start drinking at noon.
She expected a cold, crisp, refreshing iced tea, and instead got a wake up call. I just hope her husband drove home.
When we read the label or hear a title we think we know what to expect? Don’t we?
Sometimes people carry titles and claim identities but you can’t see it in their life. Have you ever met someone like this? A person who had a title, but didn’t live up to it?
Say, “I’m a mechanic.” But they don’t even understand righty-tighty lefty-loosy?
Or, “I’m a doctor.” But they think cronic plaque psoriasis is a gum disease.
There are many Christians in this world who have identified with Jesus in salvation and baptism, but whose lives don’t resemble that at all.
My prayer for you is that you identify fully and work towards godly character.
So what do we do. I’m saved by faith, I’ve been baptized.
Easter is the most important day on the Christian calendar, because if Jesus doesn’t rise from the dead everything else we do pointless. Easter is paramount to our faith. The Bible actually tells us that if Christ has not been raised our preaching and our faith are useless ().
All the baptisms would have been meaningless, all our singing would be in vain, all our reading of the Bible would be empty words and old outdated lies and philosophies. Zero power over sin. In fact, the Bible also says if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are the be more pitied than anyone in the world.
But Christ in fact has been raised from the dead - and by that in God’s power so have we if we are saved - our old self is gone, our new self has risen.
It’s important to remember first and foremost that God did the work. You said yes to when he opened your heart.
As it says in
Slide 4:
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
When we are born again we believe it, not because we can prove it or touch it or put our hands into Jesus’ side - but by faith. Faith is that conviction we have to believe something we can’t see. If you are struggling to find faith this morning, a simple prayer for you is, “Lord, help my unbelief.” God grants us more faith. I pray for it all the time.
We believe it, not because we can prove it or touch it or put our hands into Jesus’ side, but by faith. If you are struggling to find faith this morning, a simple prayer for you is, “Lord, help my unbelief.”
Faith is how we are saved and water baptism is a picture of that:
Slide 5:
I’m holding a that pitcher of iced tea and I really want to pour it into your glass, and I’m just waiting for you to turn that glass over and accept some delicious iced tea. I may want to give you some so bad I’m pouring it on the upside down glass and it’s splashing everywhere. God wants to pour his love into our hearts, it might be splashing everywhere and he’s just waiting for you to turn your glass over.
Grab your Bibles - It’s important to me you know I’m not making anything up, but pulling it from the Bible -
| Pray
Slide 4:
Colossians 2:12 ESV
having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.
Are you alive with Christ this Easter? Are you living as God calls you to live, in a way pleasing to him? That’s the first and most important commandment. To love the Lord, your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. To delight in who God is.
When a person is saved, it is then that they identify with Jesus’ resurrection, because it is in that moment they are accepting the truth that Jesus took their sins with him to the cross. It is not through our baptism that we are saved. It is not through good works that we are saved, that’s in response. It is not through our parents faith that we are saved.
No. It says you were raised with him through faith in the powerful work of God. That’s your faith. No one else’s.
So, if God did all the work, what do I do? Let’s look at the balls-in-our-court if I’m going to carry around the title I now Identified with.
In the book of Colossians, Paul spends the first two chapters disproving false teachers to re-clarify the good news. They’ve been misleading the church and Paul comes in to clean it back up.
It’s really a Mount Everest of defense of the faith, as he appeals to us.
He wants us to know the goal of salvation by faith is to trust in Christ and then live to please God.
The means to salvation by faith is to confess, submit and commit ourselves to Christ’s control.
Bible?
The power of salvation by faith is the Holy Spirit’s work.
The control willfully handed over by salvation through faith is Christ in us and us in Christ.
The result of salvation by faith is joy, thankfulness, love, guidance, service, forgiveness.
We now have freedom from rules and new life in Christ.
The follow up in chapter 3 is that if we want to grow and live a full and effective Christian life the proper focus is Christ and heaven.
Slide 9:
Invitation to new life. Christ has risen. Do you want to be raised to new life with Christ? Are you ready to put your trust in a God who can resurrect the dead, and resurrect a cold, dead heart to new life?
Last weekend we
Red Lobster - Tetley / Long Island Iced Tea Story
Colossians 3:1–2 ESV
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
The death and resu
Every Easter, Christians all over the world celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave.
Colossians 3:1-2
Every Easter, Christians all over the world celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave. Today,
By stating that believers have been raised with Christ, Paul affirms that we share in His resurrection and are alive to God, and empowered to live in ways that please God. Now, by God’s power and our will, we can live how God wants us to live.
Today I’d like to look at a few verses from the New Testament letter of Colossians.
Are you living as those made alive in Christ?
By stating that believers have been raised with Christ, Paul affirms that we share in His resurrection and are alive to God, and empowered to live in ways that please God.
Colossians 2:6–7 ESV
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
Colossians 2:6 ESV
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,
Colossians 2:
Colossians 2:12 ESV
having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.
Colossians 3:1 ESV
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
To think about the things of heaven means to look at life from God’s perspective and to seek what he desires.
Colossians 3:1–4 ESV
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Pray.
When we read the label or hear a title we think we know what to expect? Don’t we?
To think about the things of heaven means to look at life from God’s perspective and to seek what he desires.
The phrase “Set your minds...” is very important. You know why? Because it’s a decision to make a change or not to make a change. It’s an action we take or don’t take.
By stating that believers have been raised with Christ, Paul affirms that we share in His resurrection and are alive to God, and empowered to live in ways that please God.
Sometimes people carry titles and claim identities but you can’t see it in their life. Have you ever met someone like this? A person who had a title, but didn’t live up to it?
We often tell each other, especially our teenagers, you can do anything you…what...”set your mind to.”
If you don’t set your mind to it, it will never happen. The teenagers mind is more than happy to sit and watch youtube videos.
When I decided to
Say, “I’m a mechanic.” But they don’t even understand righty-tighty lefty-loosy?
It’s a choice to set it. Set is always an action. I can set this Bible over there. If I don’t, the book is happy so set where it is.
Or, “I’m a doctor.” But they think cronic plaque psoriasis is a gum disease.
We are to set our minds on the things above, heaven, and on Christ, our savior.
Fill your thoughts with the things of God and his priorities will dominate your life.
That chosen attitude and approach to life becomes the antidote for the pain and suffering we experience in this life. Troubles are coming and we need an antidote.
To do this is to think about the things of heaven and look at life from God’s perspective and to seek what he desires. It’s setting out sights on the realities of heaven and striving to put heaven’s priorities into daily practice.
Fill your thoughts with the things of God and his priorities will dominate your life.
I don’t know about you, but when I get my mind set on something, it dominates my life. Beekeeping (Kinsley had to ask me to talk about something different.) Running (It consummed my life until I acheived the marathon goal).
Okay, but Guy, what’s that look like on the ground in the Christian life? I’m glad you asked. Paul, continues to write, he doesn’t tell us to do something without telling us what he means and how to do it.
Even as a follower of Christ we can so often find ourselves stuck in a cycle of sin. I personally have done years of research in this area. Going to church on Sunday and practicing a habitual sin before the day is out. It’s a challenge, and a decision.
God doesn’t love me less, God hasn’t saved me less, rather he increases the grace I need each time I fall.
Paul gives us a list of behaviors in the following verses that are the results of setting our minds on the things of heaven - these are signs of love.
But first, briefly, he gives us some specific sins that these Christians needed to eradicate in their life. Yes, Christians. Here’s what he says to do.
He gives us three lists. The first two are sins and the third are signs of love.
Slide 7: Title
I don’t want to focus here, but to get to where we want to be, we need to know where not to be. Sometimes you’ve got to drive through some mud to get to your final destination. He says:
First list of sins: Put to death (this means it’s made real in the way you live day by day) put to death sins of sexual attitude and behavior such as sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed. These types of sins a particularly destructive because they can destroy individuals, families, and churches.
These are earthly things lurking within us - we shouldn’t have anything to do with theses perversions.
Second list of sins: Rid yourselves (literally means take off, as in taking off clothes as a metaphor fore removing practices that interfere with our walk with the Lord) Rid yourselves the sins of speech - anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, dirty language - These are relationship breakers.
So often we find ourselves focusing our attention and our minds on those types of things. We spend all our mind power on how can I get away with this sin, or am I being too bad, or is this a gray area? But it’s not about that.
Those are your old nature, and as a Christian you’re a new creation.
Instead, when we set our minds on the things above and are identifying with Christ’s resurrection, our new self rises to the surface.
It’s allowing him to be the Lord and guide the way we live. And that leads us to the third list, the signs of love.
If you took off your clothes in the last metaphor, you’ve got to put something back on. Please don’t rid yourself of everything then go running around.
“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ...” put on, clothe yourself (again, these are steps we take) clothe yourself with mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness.
These are relationship builders, which we are to express as members of Christ’s body.
There are many Christians in this world who have identified with Jesus in salvation and baptism, but whose lives don’t resemble that at all.
These are ways we imitate Chris and find peace and guidance in our life while living a Jesus Christ’s representative.
I want you to ask yourself. In light of the cross and in response to the resurrection and your salvation:
Have you set your mind on the godly character you’re striving towards? Or are you still over here playing in the mud?
My prayer for you is that you identify fully and work towards godly character.
What kind of follower of Christ are you this Easter?
So what do we do. I’m saved by faith, I’ve been baptized.
Whether you’ve been a Christian for decades, or God saved you and I baptized you just last week, I want for you what Christ wants for you. To grow into the fullness of your relationship with him.
As a Christian you’re representing Christ at all times. Whatever you do or say either make him look good, or makes you look bad. Are you willing to make changes in your life to represent Christ well and honor him?
It’s important to remember first and foremost that God did the work. You said yes to when he opened your heart.
So that others may see him in you this year?
So, if God did all the work, what do I do? Let’s look at the balls-in-our-court if I’m going to carry around the title I now Identified with.
I’d hate for you to be walking around with the title Christian, when in reality you’re empty inside.
In the book of Colossians, Paul spends the first two chapters disproving false teachers to re-clarify the good news. They’ve been misleading the church and Paul comes in to clean it back up.
Grandpa Shumaker’s Bible - A legacy of character.
You and I have been raised to new life with Christ. Let’s get to living that new life.
Let’s pray
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