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Treasure Seekers

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class=MsoNormal align=right style='text-align:right'>1) 2-17-08…PM…SBC“Treasure Seeking”

Colossians 3:1-4

Introduction:

Ø      Colosse formed a triangle with two other cities of the Lycus Valley, Hierapolis and Laodicea, both of which are mentioned in the New Testament.[1]

Ø      This prominence derived especially from its wool-working and cloth-dying industries; [2]

Ø      As early as the fifth century b.c., Colosse was known as a prosperous city; but by the beginning of the Christian era it was eclipsed by its two neighbors, Laodicea and Hierapolis. Thereafter its reputation declined to that of a small town.[3]

Ø      With Paul now under house arrest in Rome (4:3, 10, 18; Acts 28:30–31), Epaphras visited him and told him of heresies plaguing the Colossians. [4]

Ø      Paul wrote this letter to warn them against those false teachings that on the one hand obscured the majesty and glory of Christ (1:15; 2:8) and on the other hand introduced man-made regulations (2:16–23).[5]

Ø      The false teaching was a mixture of ceremonial Judaism (2:16) and pagan rituals (2:18) that opposed the simplicity and freedom of the gospel and vital union with Christ the risen Lord (2:19; 3:1). [6]

Ø      Paul has laid forth a lot of theology in Chapters 1-2

-          in chapter 1 he discusses the Supremacy of Christ

-          in chapter two he dealt with Union in Christ and refuted the false teachings

Transition:       Paul instructs his readers in Ch 3-4 of the practical living that is to accompany right theology (Ch1-2).


Proposition:   Our identification with Christ must lead us to live above the world we live in


Paul’s instruction is…

1) Seek the


Grammar:                    Εἰ                                   Cause:  “If you have been raised with Christ”

                                                                                    Effect:  “Then you will seek the things which are above”

Paul is saying…

“If”, and let’s say for the sake of the argument that you have been raise with Christ, “then…..”

- the point of the argument is based on the assumption of the reality of being raised with Christ

-          the response of the Colossians would likely be, “If we have been raised with Christ?  Of course we have been raised with Christ!”

·         it is not the first part of the sentence that is in doubt, it is the second part

·         Of course we have been raised with Christ!” – Paul says, “Ok, then are you seeking things above?”

·         Paul is not using this construction to make the Colossian believers question their salvation, but simply to assume the truth that believer’s should be seeking things that are above

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

            A- The verb seek implies persevering effort; “Be constantly seeking,” is not incorrect.[7]  (Present-Imperative)

Luke 12:48 Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. [8]

1-      This is a  holy “demand” of God who requires:

§         much from the ones to whom much is given (Luke 12:48)

§         and who expects fruit from the tree (Luke. 13:6 f.),

§         faithfulness from the steward (1 C. 4:2)

§         worship in spirit and in truth by the righteous (John. 4:23). [9]

B- The emphasis, though, is not on the seeking but on the object being sought.[10]

1-      Seeking to obtain is a common activity, but seeking to obtain the right treasures is not nearly so common, and therefore requires emphasis.[11]

2-      Preoccupation with the eternal realities that are ours in Christ (ch2) is to be the pattern of the believer’s life.[12]

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. [13]

            C- Paul desires that the Colossians’ preoccupation with heaven govern their earthly responses.[14]

1-      To be preoccupied with heaven is to be preoccupied with the One who reigns there and His purposes, plans, provisions, and power.[15]

2-      It is also to view the things, people, and events of this world through His eyes and with an eternal perspective.[16]

3-      As the context indicates, the apostle has reference to such realities as tenderheartedness, kindness, lowliness, meekness, longsuffering, patience, the forgiving spirit, and above all love (3:12 ff.).[17]

See Treasure Seeking Handout – section #1

Ø      When believers focus on the realities of heaven, they can then truly enjoy the world their heavenly Father has created[18]

Ø      The believer’s whole disposition should orient itself toward heaven, where Christ is, just as a compass needle orients itself toward the north.[19]

Transition:  Not only are we to seek the right treasure, but we are also commanded to

2) Set your mind on the right treasure            v2

 

                  A- φρονεῖτε – (conceptual word)       ponder on, be intent on, keep thinking about [20]

1-      The activity represented by this word involves the will, affections, and conscience.[21]

2-      Peter’s warning, which seeks to restrain Jesus from taking the path of suffering, is very sharply rejected in the Lord’s saying, Mk. 8:33 (Get behind me…)  Peter can grasp only human thoughts that are focused on earthly life and well-being. [22]

3-      The term implies more than a way of thinking; it includes values and loves as well[23]

B- This command called the Colossians to focus on matters related to the rule of Christ in the world.[24]

1-      Since he is the sovereign one, his concerns should occupy the Christian. [25]

2-      What concerned Christ when He was on this earth?

 

C- The Two-fold perspective of the believer

1-      They lived in two domains: the fallen order and the redeemed order, [26]

2-      While being a part of the fallen order, they were not to let that environment occupy their thoughts and minds. [27]

3-      Their values were to be different. Creation will pass away; the things of God will remain[28]

4-      In practice, this meant that the believers could not succumb to teachings which limited the focus of Christianity to this earth and its rituals.[29]

5-      The task of the Colossian church was to call people to Christ and away from earthly things. It was to call people to life[30]

Transition – Paul finished this section with the reasons why the Colossians were to…

3) Savor the future glory         v3-4

 

            A-  Paul presented three reasons Christians should seek things above.[31]

1-      The three reasons are: the resurrection with Christ (3:1), the new life source (3:3–4), and the future manifestation of glory (3:4).[32]

B- The question may well be asked: If I died with Christ, how do I continue to live? [33]

1-      Paul’s answer was that Christians’ lives are “hidden with Christ in God.”[34]


Ø      Although some may understand the point of this statement to be the safety of believers, Paul used it to refer to the source of believers’ lives. The new life source, that which sustains Christians, is Christ.[35]


2-      The life Christ provides encourages believers to seek the things identified with that life.[36]

C- The believer’s life, which is hidden in Christ, will be revealed.[37]

1-      The Christian’s life is hidden now, but it will be obvious to all when Christ is manifest to them. The second coming of Christ will be a time of glory (doxa).[38]

2-      Believers will appear in glory with Christ.[39]

3-      Christians will share in Christ’s glory, and Christians will contribute to his glory.[40]

4-      When Christ is revealed, the source of Christians’ lives will become apparent to all persons.[41]

D- The instructions Paul issued made sense only in light of this hope—the manifestation of Christ’s glory[42]

Ø      Have you been raised with Christ?     Are you setting your compass on heavenly things?

Ø      What in this world preoccupies you more than:

-          reading you Bible        (Exercise)

-          prayer                          (sleeping)

-          witnessing                   (business)

Ø      Let’s post our lists in our homes to be reminded of what to seek after

Ø      Let our lives be governed by heavenly standards


----

[1]Ronald F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, R. K. Harrison and Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Rev. Ed. of: Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary.; Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1995).

[2]Paul J. Achtemeier, Publishers Harper & Row and Society of Biblical Literature, Harper's Bible Dictionary, Includes Index., 1st ed. (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985), 175.

[3]Ronald F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, R. K. Harrison and Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Rev. Ed. of: Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary.; Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1995).

[4]H. L. Willmington, Willmington's Bible Handbook (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers, 1997), 715.

[5]H. L. Willmington, Willmington's Bible Handbook (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers, 1997), 715.

[6]H. L. Willmington, Willmington's Bible Handbook (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers, 1997), 715.

[7]William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, vol. 6, New Testament Commentary : Exposition of Colossians and Philemon, Accompanying Biblical Text Is Author's Translation., New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953-2001), 140.

[8]The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Lk 12:48.

[9]Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Vols. 5-9 Edited by Gerhard Friedrich. Vol. 10 Compiled by Ronald Pitkin., ed. Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey William Bromiley and Gerhard Friedrich, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964-c1976), 2:892.

[10]William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, vol. 6, New Testament Commentary : Exposition of Colossians and Philemon, Accompanying Biblical Text Is Author's Translation., New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953-2001), 140.

[11]William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, vol. 6, New Testament Commentary : Exposition of Colossians and Philemon, Accompanying Biblical Text Is Author's Translation., New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953-2001), 140.

[12]John MacArthur, Colossians (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1992), 127.

[13]The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Mt 6:33.

[14]John MacArthur, Colossians (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1992), 127.

[15]John MacArthur, Colossians (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1992), 127.

[16]John MacArthur, Colossians (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1992), 127.

[17]William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, vol. 6, New Testament Commentary : Exposition of Colossians and Philemon, Accompanying Biblical Text Is Author's Translation., New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953-2001), 140.

[18]John MacArthur, Colossians (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1992), 128.

[19]John MacArthur, Colossians (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1992), 128.

[20]Timothy Friberg, Barbara Friberg and Neva F. Miller, vol. 4, Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, Baker's Greek New Testament library (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 2000), 402.

[21]Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary : New Testament, electronic ed. (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000, c1992, c1993), G5426.

[22]Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Vols. 5-9 Edited by Gerhard Friedrich. Vol. 10 Compiled by Ronald Pitkin., ed. Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey William Bromiley and Gerhard Friedrich, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964-c1976), 9:232.

[23]Richard R. Melick, vol. 32, Philippians, Colissians, Philemon, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991), 280.

[24]Richard R. Melick, vol. 32, Philippians, Colissians, Philemon, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991), 281.

[25]Richard R. Melick, vol. 32, Philippians, Colissians, Philemon, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991), 281.

[26]Richard R. Melick, vol. 32, Philippians, Colissians, Philemon, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991), 281.

[27]Richard R. Melick, vol. 32, Philippians, Colissians, Philemon, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991), 281.

[28]Richard R. Melick, vol. 32, Philippians, Colissians, Philemon, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991), 281.

[29]Richard R. Melick, vol. 32, Philippians, Colissians, Philemon, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991), 282.

[30]Richard R. Melick, vol. 32, Philippians, Colissians, Philemon, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991), 282.

[31]Richard R. Melick, vol. 32, Philippians, Colissians, Philemon, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991), 282.

[32]Richard R. Melick, vol. 32, Philippians, Colissians, Philemon, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991), 282.

[33]Richard R. Melick, vol. 32, Philippians, Colissians, Philemon, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991), 282.

[34]Richard R. Melick, vol. 32, Philippians, Colissians, Philemon, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991), 282.

[35]Richard R. Melick, vol. 32, Philippians, Colissians, Philemon, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991), 282.

[36]Richard R. Melick, vol. 32, Philippians, Colissians, Philemon, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991), 283.

[37]Richard R. Melick, vol. 32, Philippians, Colissians, Philemon, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991), 283.

[38]Richard R. Melick, vol. 32, Philippians, Colissians, Philemon, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991), 283.

[39]Richard R. Melick, vol. 32, Philippians, Colissians, Philemon, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991), 283.

[40]Richard R. Melick, vol. 32, Philippians, Colissians, Philemon, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991), 283.

[41]Richard R. Melick, vol. 32, Philippians, Colissians, Philemon, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991), 283.

[42]Richard R. Melick, vol. 32, Philippians, Colissians, Philemon, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991), 283.

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