- Sermon Notes
Hidden With Christ
This past week Sherri and I attended the Oregon Calvary Chapel Pastors Conference…
•Ministry is not knowledge - ministry flows from a life pursuing God - we have to walk out our ministry and experience it personally.
Keep the main thing the main thing…loving God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.
The basics of the faith - our walk should be louder than our talk…As you hear the scripture references today, make a note as to what pleases God - are you growing spiritually in order toprayerfully thank Him for these things in your life?
Paul’s letter in a nutshell is a review about Christian living.Regardless of where you are in your journey, this passage speaks about the flesh fighting back to return to the old life.
Paul is writing this letter to the church at Colossae. He didn’t plant this church- he had not even been in that city. The church was thriving, their faith was well known and they were constantly bearing fruit and increasing.
Why would Paul write this letter?Because Epaphras came to him with news that false teachers had come into the church.
What we’ve learned about Paul in recent messages is that he tells it like it is - he confronts in love - hefights for the faith - he needed to lay down a strong foundation of the truth here.
So once again not just a cool story for knowledge sake, but he is speaking directly to us - to keep growing in our relationship to Christ and maturity of faith.
In chapter 3, Paul speaks of the practical transformation of putting off the old and putting on the new. His point is that spiritual transformation is of great value against fleshly indulgence, “Keep seeking the things above… Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”
I. New Life Hidden with Christ
When you read these verses it’s not as simple as changing the clothes or wardrobe of your life - replacing the old with the new.
Little by little God helps us peel away the old self and replace it with new.
Verse 5 - Look at this list; we don’t have it all together - we sometimes struggle with this list - we are all different but we all have struggles.
•What do you struggle with? What’s on your list?What are you holding onto that keeps you from living a victorious life with Christ?
His strength and power gives us victory over sin inthe midst of our struggles.
You have to keep putting off the old ways of thinking, old habits, old feelings and emotions.
Treat those distractions or addictions as sin in your life, not a condition that warrants a hall pass instead of absolute healing.
When you came to faith in Jesus Christ, you brought a lot of the old life with you.Remember, little by little God helps us peel away the old self and replace it with new.
Old practices, old habits and old emotions were there first and it’s easy to fall back on that which is familiar.
But those ways were hurtful to you and those around you and what God wants for you is so much better.
James 5:16; Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Illus - Israel lived in the slavery and oppression of Egypt for 400 years. God miraculously set them free through Moses, but setting them free from their old way of thinking was a different thing altogether. God set them free, but they kept thinking the same old ways.
Isaiah 43:17-18; who brings forth chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick: “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
A. Put away the old way of treating others
Verse 8 – But now you must put them all away…
James 3:9-10; With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
James 1:26; If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless.
Our maturity in our faith determines how well we manage this list of things. All of these things come from hurt emotions; God gave emotions to us as a gift, but they were never meant to master over us.
1 Corinthians 6:12; …“All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.
The problem with anger is that it makes you overreact - you say and do things that are hurtful and later regret.
Anger is an emotion used by Satan to keep us off-balance, keep us from fighting the good fight - as Paul taught us last week. Recognizing anger as Satan’s toolbox should give us the power to conquer it with Christ in our lives.
Proverbs 16:32; Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
B. Put away a lying tongue
Truth is very important to God; truth is part of His nature, His character. Jesus said, “I am the way, I am the Truth, and I am the life; no one comes to the Father but through me.”
Lying and deception is part of the nature of the enemy and it’s part of the nature of the world from which we came.
John 8:44-45; “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.”
Relationships are built on trust and truth; through this word God is strengthening and building and edifying relationships.
Proverbs 12:22; Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.
That being said, Paul also says elsewhere that when you speak the truth, you should also speak the truth in love. Truth without love can be hurtful, but truth with love is edifying.
Illus - If your wife asks, “How does this dress look on me?” and you think it’s at best, outdated - don’t say, “Pastor Shawn said I have to tell the truth... Better to say, “You look good in anything, but I prefer a different dress…”
II. Put on the New Self
Christ was and is made available to all as stated in Verse 11.
If you prayed to receive Christ at some point in your life, God created a new person in you; forgiven with an inheritance of God in Christ Jesus.
•Paul is saying God created it; now live your life according to it!
2 Corinthians 3:18; And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
Illus - Remember when Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4? He spoke to her about living water. She responded, “Sir, give me this water…” Jesus said, “Go, call your husband and come here.” She answered, “I have no husband.” Jesus said, “You said it correctly, for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.”
A. Put on a compassionate heart
It’s easy to become “religious” and look down on those who have made mistakes, who have made a mess of their lives.
It’s easy to love those who are similar to us - What about those who believe like we did before Christ?
But to have a heart like Jesus is to have a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience…
Luke 7:36-50 - He who is forgiven much, loves much.
B. Put on forgiveness
When you put on the new self, created in Christ Jesus, you’re putting on His heart. That’s seen in -
Verse 13; bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Peter asked of Jesus, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Matthew 18:22; Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.
When we forgive, we become like Him who also forgave us. In other words, forgiveness is a wonderful blessing for the one who receives it, but it’s transforming to the one who gives it.
Psalm 103:12; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
•But if you do not forgive, if you hold onto a grudge, then bitterness takes hold of your heart and that bitter heart will make everything in your life bitter.
•You will find yourself ineffective in your Christian walk!
I believe this truth alone today requires a response from us…
C. Put on a heart that loves
Verse 14 - And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
The word ‘love’ is often used too broadly in English. We use it to say that we love many things, but here the word is ‘agape.’
God is love and it determines the course of His actions. “God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son…”
Love is what defines us as Christians…
John 13:35; By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
1 Corinthians 13:2; And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
Can you imagine living and not loving? God made us in His image. God is love and He made us to love and be loved.
If you are a Christian and find yourself harboring bitterness - You will find yourself ineffective in your Christian walk today…
Illus - A few months ago I stood before you and asked for prayer about challenges we were facing in the sale of our business…
Many people think the goal of life is to be loved; rethink that.
We are already loved beyond all we could ask or even imagine. The goal of life should be to be more like Christ - to give love.
The blessing of giving love, however, is that it comes back to you…
2 Corinthians 9:6; The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Colossians 3:1-17 NASB
1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on
the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life,
is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.