A Holy Life
Colossians 3:1-17 (NIV)
1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Let me ask you a question. Is salvation real to you? Are your claims of salvation backed up by a lie or a life? We are expected to live a holy life. The belief in the death and resurrection of Christ that is displayed in baptism is also a reality that we can experience in real life. If we say we are a duck, then we had better quack, flap, and fly like a duck. If we say we are dead to sin and alive to Christ we had better walk, talk and live like those dead to sin and alive to Christ. We can truly be crucified with Christ and live a new life through Him. Scripture never excuses sin, but God’s Word calls us to holiness, with every expectation that we live a holy life. The picture of a sinning saint is foreign to scripture. The promise of Scripture is victory in Jesus. If we say we are saved from sin by the souls cleansing blood of the lamb, then we should live a life that is clean. We should live a holy life, but what does a holy life look like?
II. A Holy Life Is Focused Above: A Vision
A. The Affection of the Heart: Feeling
B. The Attention of the Mind: Thinking
C. The Anticipation of Glory: Expecting
III. A Holy Life Is Manifested On Earth: A Transformation
A. Put Off The Old Self
1. You Better Kill: A Deadly Enemy
2. You Better Take Warning: A Threatening Reminder
3. You Better Not Waver: A Mandatory Exodus
B. Put On The New Self
1. Cast In The Image of God
2. Called The People of God
3. Considerate Towards Others
4. Characterized By Love
IV. A Holy Life Is Portrayed In Victory: An Expression
A. The Peace Of Christ Ruling Over All
1. Peace In Our Hearts
2. Peace In The Body
3. Peace Causing Thanks
B. The Word Of Christ Dwelling Within
1. A Treasure Ruling Within
2. A Treasure Shared with Others
C. The Name Of Christ Honored In All
1. All We Do
2. All For Him
D. The Father of Christ Thanked in All
We expect others to live a holy life, but we tend to make excuses for ourselves. We have faith that God can change the lives of others to be what they ought to be, if they only would let Him. Just as we can not believe for some one else for salvation, so we can not believe for someone else for sanctification. Just as we must believe for ourselves for our own salvation, so must we believe for ourselves for our sanctification. We can only live a holy life by faith, for the righteous shall live by faith. We will never be sanctified by excuses, but we can only be sanctified by faith in the work of Christ. This is good news, because it means that it is not by our own strength, but the exercise of our faith in God’s work that enables us to live pleasing to Him. It is not by strength or might but by His Spirit. Just as Jesus died and was resurrected to new life, so we can die to the old self, and live a brand new holy life.