Have you died yet?

Have You Died Yet?

Today’s Scripture: Colossians 3: 1-17

Today’s Verse “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” [Colossians 3:3]

Introduction: Yes, the Bible says we have died. What a bold and strange claim. No one likes to be dead and yet Apostle Paul says we are already dead. How can that be?

Do I feel dead? No, of course not but as a Christian, I feel that my real life is somewhere else. Not here in this valley of death and sin. I feel like I am fighting my battles waiting for my real life to come. And I surely want to bury my sinful self with all its faults and weaknesses and get that promised new life.

A life without tears, pain, and sorrow, a life filled with freedom, joy, love, and harmony. It will be Everlasting life, and that life is hidden with Christ in God. [1John 5:11-12]

To receive this gift of life, all that is sinful and evil in us must die. Be no more. Vanish by the power of Christ.

Being in Him, we are breathing that life until it becomes our own.

  1. The Change Of The New Life [v. 1-4]
  2. The Challenges Of The New Life [v. 5-11]
  3. The Characteristics Of The New Life [v.12-17]

 

We are going to be looking at Part 1 of a 3 parts message The Change Of The New Life [v. 1-4]

1. The Change Of The New Life [v. 1-4] [Part 1 of 3]

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. [Colossians 3:1-4 NIV 2011]

*Illustration: Joseph Stalin and his collapse before parliament. Some, believing him to be dead, began to shout and to rejoice, congratulating one another over the apparent death of the evil ruler/dictator. Stalin, however, was far from dead and many of those who rejoiced paid with their lives. As I considered that, I began to realize that the Christian life is similar.

When we come into this world, we are born into a sinful fleshly body. A body controlled by the world and its views, the devil and it’s own lusts. [Ephesians 2:1-3; James 1:14]

Then, one day, you come to Jesus for Salvation! And everything changed! Right? Do you remember the glory of that moment? That incredible feeling?

  • It felt as though all the old, sinful ways were gone forever.

  • It felt like the world was brand new, especially for you! It felt so good, and oh, how your heart rejoiced.

  • It wasn’t long, however, until it began to dawn on you that the old nature was still active. Perhaps you found yourself being drawn back to some of your old ways.

  • You found that now, there was a spiritual struggle going on inside you [Galatians 5:17] For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.

  • It was at that moment that you realized that life was going to be a struggle.

 

a) v. 1-2 New Heavenly Desires

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. [NIV 2011]

Affections [from the Heart]– That which the mind is set on; or that which we side with.

When we get saved, we are changed and we ought to set our hearts on the things which glorify God [1 Corinthians 10:31. We are to be motivated by the heavenly, and not the earthly.

What motivates your life? The desire of our heart should be like the needle of a compass always points North, so should the Christian always be drawn by a Heavenly pull.

b) v. 3a A New Heavenly Deliverance

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. [NIV 2011]

When we came to Jesus for salvation, we died! More than that, when He died on the cross, we died in Him. [Romans 6:6]

The old man of sin, our old nature died at Golgotha where Jesus Died! Therefore, we have been liberated/ deliverance from sin and are no longer slaves to sin [Romans 6:7]

The old nature seems very much alive! Which it is! It has only been reckoned dead.

*In the mind of God, it died… For you died…

However, we still have to live with it every day. We are to battle it and not give in to it. But, it is dead even while it lives! Praise God, the day is coming when the old man will both be reckoned dead and literally dead [1 Corinthians 15:51-54]!

c) v. 3b-4 A New Heavenly Destiny

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. [NIV 2011]

Right now, we are in Jesus – Ephesians 2:6.

The word ‘appears’ and ‘appear’ meaning: The first being that this life inside of us just appeared (we come alive), which is found in Christ [Ephesians 2:5-6; 1 John 5:11-12] The second being that we will appear with Him in glory!

We are ‘Eternally Saved and Possessing Eternal Life!’ One day, soon, we will be with Him in glory. At that day, we will be like Him – 1 John 3:1-2. Thank God, the child of God is as sure for Heaven as if he were already there – Romans 8:30!

Your life is hidden with Christ in God!

We have looked at Part 1 of a 3 parts message The Change Of The New Life [v. 1-4]

and next time, we will look at part 2… The Challenges Of The New Life [v. 5-11]

2. The Challenges Of The New Life [v. 5-11] [Part 2 of 3]

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 also 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 Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. [NIV 2011]

*Illustration: Joseph Stalin and his collapse before parliament. Some, believing him to be dead, began to shout and to rejoice, congratulating one another over the apparent death of the evil ruler/dictator . Stalin, however, was far from dead and many of those who rejoiced paid with their lives. As I considered that, I began to realize that the Christian life is similar.

a) v. 5a A Challenge To Be Negative

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. [NIV 2011]

Mortify (discipline) To put to death. & Mortificationdead room.

This sounds negative, but often a negative response to something is the only valid one.

  • Surgery to remove a burst appendix.
  • The pulling out a broken tooth
  • The pulling up of weeds in a garden.

God is saying that a part of ourselves needs to be put-out to death and that we have been given permission to do the killing!

Example: Forgiving and burying – when you bury a mad dog, don’t leave its tail above the ground.

b) v. 5b-9 A Challenge To Our Nature

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 also 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… [NIV 2011]

Paul names the activities that need to be put to death.

Naming sin – People don’t like it, but it is necessary! Paul groups our sins into 2 groups.

1. v. 5 The Sensual Sins – Appealing to the senses. The sins of pleasure!

a. Fornication – Sexual impurity – of any kind!

b. Uncleanness – A life of impurity, fuelled by improper motives.

c. Excessive Affection – Depraved passions. A mind that dwells on sin. Ill. Usually easily satisfied as the mind always mingle ways to satisfy the flesh!

d. Evil Sexual desire – A lust for the sinful.

e. Covetousness – The sin of always wanting more, Hebrews 13:6. Related to idolatry!

2. v. 8-9 The Cultural/ Social Sins – Related to our dealing with others. We often try to rationalize and justify ourselves in these sins, but they are still wicked and defiling.

a. Anger – Sudden outbursts. Needs to be given to Jesus.

b. Wrath – Refers to God’s judgement on sin… the sin of playing God and passing judgement on others. Ill. That’s not our place. We are called to bear fruit, not analyse it!

c. Malice – Ill will toward another, includes a desire to injure and get revenge – Illustration: Had a grudge on my old pastor and son – Romans 12:9-10… 9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

d. Blasphemy – Speech which slanders another – either God or man. Illustration: Most common form is gossip. When you attack God’s greatest work, man, you are in essence attacking God Himself.

e. Filthy Communications filthy language – Foul speech, obscene gestures.

f. Lying Do not lie to each other – Anything less that the absolute truth. When we lie, we have joined hands with the devilJohn 8:44.

3. v. 6 These very things cause the lost to be under God’s wrath – Because of these, the wrath of God is coming, John 3:36. The only difference between them and us is the grace of God manifested through the blood of Jesus. If you are saved and are living in sin, you will not get away with it! You will either repent or you will face chastisement – Hebrews 12: 5-11.

c) 9b-11 A Challenge To Be New

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 Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. [NIV 2011]

The Christians are called to put off, literally, cast away from oneself, the characteristics of oneself. We are to do this by whatever means necessary.

Joseph – Gen. 39; Fleeing from Potiphar’s Wife [Better going to prison for something you haven’t done, than to go to prison for something you have done]

Matt. 5:27-30. 27“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

We must flee evil in our lives. Often a negative response to something… is the only valid one… like going to the dentist to have our badly broken tooth to be removed.

*NEW CREATION

London businessman Lindsay Clegg told the story of a warehouse property he was selling. The building had been empty for months and needed repairs. Vandals had damaged the doors, smashed the windows, and garbage around the interior. As he showed a potential buyer the property, Clegg took pains to say that he would replace the broken windows, bring in a crew to correct any structural damage, and clean out the garbage. “Forget about the repairs,” the buyer said. “When I buy this place, I’m going to build something completely different. I don’t want the building; I want the site.”

Wait for it….

Compared with the renovation God has in mind… our efforts to improve our own lives are as trivial as sweeping a warehouse floor. When we become God’s, the old life is over [2 Corinthians 5:17]. He makes all things new. All he wants is the site [YOU] and the permission to build.

*Let’s God work in you to build you up.

We have looked at Part 2 of a 3 parts message The Challenges Of The New Life

[v. 5-11] and next time, we will look at part 3… The Characteristics Of The New Life [v.12-17]

3. The Characteristics Of The New Life [v.12-17] [Part 3 of 3]

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 one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. 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 message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 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. [Golossians 3: 12-17 NIV 2011]

While the above activities and attitude during Part 1 and Part 2 of this message… are characteristic of the world. During Part 3 of this message, we will be looking at the evidence of Salvation.

Sadly, in many Christian lives, these things are the exception and not the rule!

a) v. 12-15 Characterized By New Deeds

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 one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. 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.

Remember the ‘Put off’ – “Once for all.” Now we are going to ‘Put on’ – “Once for all”

Here are the new deeds of the new life…

1. v. 12b The Fruit Of The Spiritclothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. The new life which is energized and led by God will always manifest the proof of the Spirit’s presence – Gal. 5:19-25. Every Christian will bear fruit; otherwise he or she is not a true believer.

*In speaking about the Judgement Seat of Christ, Paul says that every believer will have praise coming to him from God [1 Corinthians 4:5] Show itself in every area of life!

2. v. 13 The Forgiveness Of The SaintsBear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. When Christ reigns in the heart, there will be no room for grudges or bitterness, but only for forgiveness – Matt. 18:21-22; Luke 17:3-5.

3. v. 14 The Fragrance Of The SaviourAnd over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. When we are walking in the newness of life, we will have the fragrance of Christ in our lives, and that fragrance is love – John 13:35! The life controlled by the Lord is a life of love.

4. v. 15 The Fullness Of The Spiritual Life Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. The fullness of the Spirit demonstrates Himself in peace and assurance before God. Salvation is then secured and the assurance of it; which is rubber stamped – 2 Corinthians 13:5; 2 Peter 1:10. Also manifested in a thankful Spirit before the Lord – 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

b) v. 16 Characterized By A New Direction

16Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

It is no more the flesh, the world and the devil for the believer. Now, it is the will and Word of God.

1. v.16a A New Dependence Upon The Word – Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly… “Dwell richly” = To inhabit in abundance and to be at home in. Chrisatians dare not be strangers to the Bible.) The Word cannot get into you until you first get into it! When it gets in you, it will control you.

2. v.16b A New Declaration Of The Word – …as you teach and admonish one another… To “Admonish” means: to instruct and warn of evil. The people of God are to have a heart for their wayward brother – Galatians 6:1- Restore – To set a broken bone! *Illustration: Tell me how you came to know Christ?

3. v.16c A New Demonstration Before The World with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. A heart of praise will fill the believer when the new man is in control. The old man will say, “Why? You’ve had a bad week.” The new man say, “So, I am still going to praise God.”

c) v. 17 Characterized By New Decisions

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.

No longer are we interested in pleasing the flesh/ or ourselves, but every decision is based on whether or not it brings glory to the Lord.

*Remember the story I told of bitterness towards my old Pastor and son? I still had a decision to make!

*Illustration: Wrist-band…WWJD [What Would Jesus Do?]

Such is the life controlled by the new man.

We have looked at Part 3 of a 3 parts message The Characteristics Of The New Life

[v.12-17] and now we come to a closed…

Conclusion:

Is the old man dead in your life? If not, it will show up on you!

Illustration: Ancient Roman one of their customs is to force a murderer to wear the corpse of his victim. Death would slowly eat away into him and drained him of life.

So it is with us. Who controls your life? The flesh? The world? The devil? Or, is it the Spirit of God? If the wrong one is in control, your life will be out of control and less than pleasing to the Lord. But, praise His Name! He allows for new beginnings!

How will we know what God want?

  1. The Bible – Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.

  2. Consistence in fellowship with God and with believers.

Today’s Prayer:

Dear God

Thank You for giving us the wonderful gift of eternal life. Help us to always keep our hearts and minds on You, and on doing what is right and spending eternity with You. In Jesus Name.

Amen.

[Preached by Rev. Phill Ingram18th March; 15th April; 22nd April 2018 @ Living Hope Church 11am]

SHARE IT: