- Sermon Notes
The Battle Between Our Ears
ILLUS – My first sermon at Calvary Chapel Worship Center
1. Wouldn’t it be great if Pastor Rich followed us around to cheer us on or give us wise counsel whenever we faced opposition?
2. While we are blessed to have a wonderful pastor, he is not able to follow us around 24/7.
3. But we do have an all-present, all-knowing, all-powerful Wonderful Counselor and Savior, Jesus Christ, who is with us 24/7.
4. And we have His Word, the Holy Bible, because God wants us to have His divine perspective and wise counsel to guide our every step when opposition, temptation, or difficulties come our way.
5. Tonight, we are going to discover some of these divine principles from Colossians 3 to help us battle a very specific battle, often it is the battle before the battle, the battle between our ears.
1. The Apostle Paul was in prison when he wrote this letter to the Christians in Colossae.
2. Paul had never met them but was concerned for their welfare after he heard that they were under attack for their faith in Jesus Christ.
3. Why would Paul be concerned about strangers when he was sitting in a prison cell?
4. Imagine what the battle between his ears must have been like as he sat in that prison cell, how easy it would have been for Paul to feel discouraged, to complain, or even give up.
5. How was Paul able to rise above his confinement and pen a letter which not only encouraged the struggling saints in Colossae but also the saints in every age since?
6. From Paul’s example and his words in Colossians 3, we discover the keys for winning the battle between our ears.
Transition – The first principle to help us win the battle between our ears is to. . .
I. Keep Seeking the Things Above (1)
• While our world is filled with many wonderful, beautiful things, it is also true that our world is filled with many vile things which can lure us away from God and into the shadows.
• Today, you do not have to scratch too hard or dig too deep to find such vile, soul-destroying filth.
• The truth is if you are looking for trouble, you will not have any problem finding it because often it is just one click away.
• And with social media tracking all we do; it can also be said that “trouble is looking for us.”
• You will find what you seek. It was true in Paul’s day and it is still true today.
• So, the Apostle Paul, like a loving father or a wise coach, gave us an important principle for winning the battle between our ears, keep seeking the things above.
A. We have been raised up with Christ (1a)
1. The moment we are saved, we are identified with our Savior, Jesus Christ.
a. All the blessings of Jesus’ death are applied to our lives resulting in the forgiveness of sin.
b. And all the benefits of Jesus’ resurrection are applied to our lives resulting in the gift of eternal life.
2. So, all the benefits of Christ’s death and resurrection belong to us.
a. It can be said that Christ’s death is our death and His life is our life.
b. Since Jesus has been raised up, we have been raised up too. It is a done deal. It is an accomplished fact.
Romans 8:28-30, And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
Transition – In order for Christ’s victory to become our victory over the battle between our ears. . .
B. We must have undivided hearts (1b)
1. “Keep seeking” is a divine command to be continually obeyed until the day we take our last breath.
2. It means to “strive” or “seek earnestly”, “to fix our attention decisively” toward our risen and ascended Savior now and always.
Transition – Paul gave us another inspiring glimpse into his heart when he shared with the Philippians how he applied this command to his personal journey of faith.
Philippians 3:13-14, Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
3. So, this means our lives must be governed by the pattern and things of heaven which is how Jesus taught us to pray.
Matthew 6:9-10, Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
APPL – We need a new pursuit.
• That we love what God loves and hate what He hates.
• That we choose His ways over our own.
• That we want His character to define and transform our character.
• That we seek His wisdom to direct our lives.
• That God’s will be done in our lives as it is in heaven.
Transition – To have a new pursuit requires new ambition.
2 Corinthians 5:9, Therefore also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
ILLUS – My words to Valedictorian candidates
C. We are seated with Christ (1c)
1. Jesus is seated at the right hand of God.
2. At God’s right-hand Jesus leads, sanctifies, empowers, and intercedes for His Church.
Romans 8:33-34, Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
3. Why does Jesus intercede for us?
a. He knows our frame, that we need His guidance, comfort, and protection.
b. He knows that we can be easily distracted by the temptations, the cares and worries of this life, so He comes to our rescue and gives us His much-needed grace.
Hebrews 4:14-16, Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
APPL – We must let the reality of where we sit strengthen how we stand.
Quote: The late Senator Hubert Humphrey once said, “You must remember that in politics, how you stand depends on where you sit.”
APPL – Upon hearing this, one Christian commentator wrote, “How I stand – and walk – depends on where I sit; and I am seated with Christ in the heavenlies!”
Transition – In verses 2-3, Paul pressed in further and gave us the second key for victory over the battle between the ears.
II. Set Your Mind on the Things Above (2-3)
A. Your heart will follow your treasure (2)
Matthew 6:21, … for where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.
1. “To set” is another command to be continually obeyed.
2. “To set” means to “concentrate your mind on that
which is eternal, not temporal.”
Transition – A temporal thing is a transitory thing, vulnerable to change, becomes obsolete, which pretty much sums up life.
ILLUS – Video games when I was a kid.
ILLUS – Malina’s First Pediatric Visit
2 Corinthians 4:18, … the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
3. We concentrate on what we love.
a. If it is eternal, then we are focusing on what truly satisfies and is certain.
b. If it is temporal, then we are focusing on what is unfulfilling and uncertain.
Philippians 3:8, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ
APPL – What do you value? Where is your treasure? Your answer will reveal what your mind is set on.
Matthew 6:33, But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
B. We have died with Christ to earthly things (3a)
1. Christ died for us.
2. Christ not only died for our sin.
3. Christ also died unto sin.
4. We have died with Christ.
Romans 6:2, 11, How shall we who died to sin still live in it? . . . Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
5. We can now say “No” to sin and be more than conquerors in Jesus.
Romans 8:37, But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
ILLUS – Two sisters, who were big into parties, received an invitation to a party and sent their RSVP after they became Christians.
C. Our lives are in hidden with Christ in God (3b)
1. To be “hidden” means that “we are secure”.
John 10:27-30, My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
2. What has been hidden will one day be revealed.
1 John 3:2-4, Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
APPL – As Christians we are both dead and alive. Dead to sin but alive to Christ. Dead to the world but alive in Christ!
Galatians 2:20, I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.
Transition – The last principle is found in verse 4. When that battle between our ears is overwhelming, we must remember who our life is.
III. Christ is Our Life (4)
A. Christ is Life (4a)
1. Jesus is the Way to Life.
John 14:6, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.
2. Jesus is the Giver of Eternal Life.
1 John 5:11-12, And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.
APPL – Christ’s life changes our lives now.
ILLUS – The memorial service for Ravi Zacharias
B. Bring Christ glory until Jesus returns (4b)
1. Jesus is coming back.
2. Jesus will make right what is wrong.
3. We must be ready for His return.
1 Peter 1:13-16, Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’
APPL – How is the battle between your ears?
• Is your heart united or divided?
• Is your treasure eternal or temporal?
• Where do you find life?
Psalm 19:14, Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.
Colossians 3:1-4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
3 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 [a]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