Faithlife Sermons

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The Christian’s New Life in Christ
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?
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
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.”
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 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.
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).
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:
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
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
Our lives are now in Christ.
How we live is directly in response to the work of Christ in us.
Paul writes
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.
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?
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:
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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