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The Christian's New Life in Christ

Col 3:1-4   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The Christian’s New Life in Christ

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.
How someone views Christ effects the way they live. Here in the letter to the Colossae believers, Paul deals with this very issue. A.W. Tozer began his book, The Knowledge of the Holy, by saying “What comes into our minds when we think Of God is the most important thing about us.” This message is very similar to the letter Paul has written. Paul is writing to remind the Colossian believers of the deity of Christ and the all sufficient work that Christ accomplished on the cross. This work demands a response and in Colossians 3:1-4 Paul writes, “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. 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.”
Paul begins this section off with “If then”, signifying that he is building on what he has already stating previously. How has the believer been raised with Christ?
If”- This is a simple logic of certainty
Colossians 2:20 ESV
If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—
The simple logic of Certainty is we have died with Christ and we have risen with Christ. Our reality is tried to Christs’ reality- We died with Christ, we have Risen with Him
Colossians 3:3–4 ESV
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.
Being in Christ- is the relationship we have with Christ-
Think of traveling and a plane. In order to get to the destination that we desire what is the best place to be.
Is it under the plane? Or it if to following the plane and study how it moves as it takes off the runway.
No it is to be in the plane, and so it is in the Christian faith- we must be in Christ.
What a glorious thought We are in Christ- We have become so united with Hims that
He died, so we have died
He was resurrected so we too will be resurrected
We will be revealed with Him in glory
Paul writes in Col 2: 12-15, “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. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.[1]”
This summarizes the “If then” that Paul is addressing. Those who have been raised with Christ and have had their debt conquered by Christ through the cross.

Believers Have Died to the ways of this world

Ephesians 2:1–5 ESV
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
At one point we all were dead in our sins and trespass. Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 6:23 “The wages of sin is death.”
But God has made us alive through christ Jesus. We have been raised by grace through faith in Christ. In Romans 6:10-11 Paul writes, “ For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
Baptism is the symbol of believers Identifying with the death of Christ and rising to Life in Christ.
We need to be reminded that we cannot save ourselves. We were dead in out trespasses. Something that is dead has no life- We needed a savior to cancel the record of our debt.
John Piper wrote, “The cancellation happened when the record of our deeds was “nailed to the cross” (Colossians 2:13). How was this damning record nailed to the cross? Parchment was not nailed to the cross. Christ was. So Christ became my damning record of bad (and good) deeds. He endured my damnation. He put my salvation on a totally different footing. He is my only hope. And faith in him is my only way to God.”
This is the faith that we have recieved- it is the faith, not our faith, and this faith is the Gospel
Colossians 1:23 ESV
if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Just as we are so united in Christs’ death we have this glorious hope we will be united with Him in glory.
Paul write in Phil 3:14 “ I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” This very similar to Col 3:1 where he writes “seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”
Why Do believers seek the things above? Because they are in Christ and have been raised with Christ! Our prize is Christ Jesus. Our best life doesn’t come on this side of eternity, but our treasure is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matthew 13:44 ESV
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
There are these Gospel Imperative that those who are in Christ are called too. The first:
Seek things above- in the end it is to seek Christ at the right hand of His Father
This is what ties our joy not to things of this earth, but to Christ, having our hearts captivated with Christ- “If” you have been raised with Christ

Believers are Transformed by the Renewing of Their Minds.

There are two parallel commands that Paul gives believers in this short paragraph Col 3:1 “set your hearts on things above” Col 3:2, “set your minds on things above.” Paul grounding for these commands by reminding them of their identification with Christ in His death (Col 3:3) and His resurrection (Col 3:1).
Set mind on things above- Meditate on the things that are above- which is Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father.
The Right Hand- This is a place of Honor and Power. It is a Position of Sovereign Kingship
Psalm 110 ESV
A Psalm of David. The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” The Lord sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies! Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours. The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” The Lord is at your right hand; he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath. He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he will shatter chiefs over the wide earth. He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head.
Melchizedek: Kingly Priest- Jesus made the Priestly sacrifice and Jesus rules now as our sovereign king!
Paul calls for those who are in Christ to meditate on the awesome sovereign power of Jesus Christ
When we do this we will know Jesu is our
Sovereign King
Eternal Preist
Just Judge
Jesus will capture our hearts when we think of Jesus like this: This effects the here and now, not just the later.
It causes us to seek to be a citizen of Heaven versus of this earth
It is preparing us for our future home and lessens the culture sock when we get to heaven.
Romans 12:2 ESV
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Renewing of the mind transforms the believer, and prevents them from conforming to the ways of this world. The world challenges truth saying, “there is no absolute truth. What is true for you is not true for everyone.”
Jesus Prays for His disciples in John 17:17 “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”
Jesus also says in John 8:32, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
God’s word is truth that sanctifies believers, and sets them free from the bondage of this world. How do we not conform to this world, we go to the Word of God and allow this truth to translate our lives to renew our minds, rather then translating these truths based on our lives. Believers are not supposed to allow false teachers to impress their agenda on them.
To sanctify means to “To make Holy, Consecrate.” Believers are in the world but yet not of it. Peter writes:
1 Peter 2:9–11 ESV
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.
We are a people for His own possession, set apart to proclaim His excellencies and the work that He has done in our lives as we have been called out of darkness and into His marvelous light. Because of this we are sojourners and exiles- we are not of this kingdom, we are just passing through.
We are much like the Israelite during the time of Moses:
Israel was in bondage/slaves to Egypt- We were in bondage/slaves to sin
God delivered Israel from slavery to the Egyptians- God has set us free from slavery to sin
Israel wandered in the dessert on way to the promise land- We are passing through this life until we cross over and reach the promise Kingdom of our Lord
Psalm 119:105 ESV
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Believers have the Word of God to guide them. It is a lamp that shows the way, guides our steps and leads us.

Christ is Now Our Life

Colossians 3:3–4 ESV
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.
Our lives are now in Christ. How we live is directly in response to the work of Christ in us.
Paul writes
Galatians 2:20 ESV
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Because we have died with Christ and have been raised up with Him, we now seek things above, not focusing on what is around us or living for worldly things such as fame, fortune, but we fix our eyes on Jesus Christ who is our life. We walk by faith. We live by Faith.
Hebrews 12:1–2 ESV
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Can we say that we have been seeking the things above? Is Christ our life, or is He a benefit that we receive after we die?
It your heart is captured by Christ you will speak the Gospel to others:
Colossians 3:16 ESV
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
How can you meditate on Christ seated above and not want others to see Christ as
High Priest
Just Judge
Our desire is for all to seek the things above- for every member of every church- Paul writes “One another” in Col 3:16
The William Brothers have this old song that tells the story of man sharing the message of the gospel and it goes like this:
I was walking downtown one day, And I saw a man that appeared to be just an old wino; Sitting on the streets, telling the people About Jesus as they passed by. And because he was all raggedy and dirty, People would just laugh and make fun Of the old man and walk on by. And he said because of the way I am, No money, no fancy clothes, no fine homes and cars, A lot of people consider me as nothing, And say I don't know what I am talking about. But there is one thing that he said That really touched my heart and stayed on my mind, When that old man looked up and said...
I'm just a nobody trying to tell everybody, About somebody, who can save anybody.
When Christ appears will we hear “Well done good and faithful,” or will He says to us, “depart from me I never knew you?” Christ will come again Col 1:4 says that clearly states that, but will we heed the warning of Paul and “ Let no one disqualify you?”
Charles Spurgeon when giving a sermon on this Col 3:4 said:
The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. XI Christ Our Life—Soon to Appear (No. 617)

All this has nothing to do with a great many of you. You will die but you will never rise like Christ. You will die, and you will die;—why did I say “and you will die?” Why because you will have to feel the second death, and that second death, mark you, is as much more tremendous than the first as the trumpet of the angel is more terrible than the voice of the preacher can be this morning. Oh I would that Christ were your life, but you are dead, and God will say of you one of these days as Abraham said of Sarah, “Bury the dead out of my sight,” and you must be put out of his sight as an obnoxious putrid thing. Oh that he would quicken you this day! “There is life,” says the hymn, “in a look at the crucified One.” God help you to exercise one look at that Christ of whom I spoke, and then you shall join with the rest of his people in saying, “Christ is our life.”

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