Summary: A look at how our position in Christ through our relationship with Him brings freedom in how we live

Religion Vs. Relationship

Relationship brings freedom in newness

Colossians 3:1-4

November 29, 2009

Your Name ____________________

Introduction and Review:

In chapter 2 we see that the Gnostics were promoting man made practices because the base of their belief was that the cross was insufficient.

Paul has just finished showing that the Gnostic heresy has no power to restrain the desires of the flesh

Phyiscal practices such as legalism, human philosophy, angel worship, and asceticism(self denial and torture) do not lead to spiritual maturity!

Colossians 2:23 “But are of no value against fleshly indulgence.”

Man’s effort(religion) will never conform us to the image of Christ!

Then how? How do we mature spiritually?

Through our relationship with God which begins through the sufficiency of the cross!

Christ’s death on the cross brings new life, because we died with Him!

Romans 7:6 “... so that we serve in newness of the spirit and not in oldness of the letter”

Religion vs. Relationship

Relationship brings freedom in newness....

Colossians 3:1-4

1. Relationship brings freedom in newness of focus

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!

Seeking deals with our focus, our pursuit, or goal!

“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven...” - Colossians 3:1 NLT

Our resurrection to new life should result in a change in focus!

Seeking(present imperative) stresses constant daily action!

→ Must appropriate this truth daily

We must daily shift our focus from the earthly to the heavenly!

(temporal) (eternal)

Believers lives should be guided by the pattern of Heaven, bringing heavenly direction to their earthly duties.

Paul is emphasizing that a spiritually mature Christian life will be centered on the glorified, ascended Christ!

“It means that the practical everyday affairs of life get their direction from Christ in heaven. It means further that we look at earth from heaven’s point of view.”

Author Warren Wiersbe

2. Relationship brings freedom in newness of mind

2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth

Seek(strive) dealt with pursuit, while set(concentrate) refers to our inward disposition.

Our minds should think on heavenly things! - 2 Cor. 4:18

(thoughts) (make a habit of)

Positively – Think on things above, that is to be mindful of spiritiual realities that have their source in God

Negatively- Do not think on earthly things, that is do not give attention to earthly involvement that hinders spiritual growth.

→ Directly speaking to the false gnostic teachings

The earthly things to be avoided are moral not physical. Paul was not encouraging a gnostic like rejection of material things!

The idea is that divisions should not exist in the Christian life, all of our thoughts should be processed through the blender of God’s glory!

Life in this world will be better if lived with an outlook and power that is beyond this world.

3. Relationship brings freedom in newness of life

3 For you have died and your life is bidden with Christ in God

4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

The benefits of our new life give us the desire and reason why we strive for new focus and concentrate on new thoughts

Benefit 1- Died with Christ

3a For you have died

Christ not only died for us, but we died with Him!

(substitution) (identification)

What was accomplished in Christ’s death?

1.Died for sin(bearing its penalty)

2.Died unto sin(breaking its power)

So then, in our identity with Christ we have been freed from any obligation to the sin nature or old life that wants to control us!

Benefit 2- Our life is hidden with Christ

3b and your life is hidden with Christ in God

Being hidden provides the added measures of

1.Security – Romans 8:31-39

2.Satisfaction- 1 John 3:1

“Our sphere of life is not this earth, but heaven; and the things that attract us and excite us belong to heaven not to earth.”

Author Warren Wiersbe

Benefit 3- Christ is our life

4a When Christ, who is our life

“He who has the son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:12

Life is what we are excited by(come alive to).

Paul said to LIVE is CHRIST! Eternal life is not merely a gift received upon belief, but is Christ himself.

Benefit 4- Glorified life in Christ

4b is revealed then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

“... and those whom He justified, He also glorified.” - Romans 8:30

We are presently glorified positionally in Christ, but are awaiting the revealing of our condition to be completely transformed into the image of Christ!

Conclusion and Application

“You must remember that in politics, how you stand depends on where you sit” - Senator Hubert Humphrey

For the Christian how we stand and walk is dependent upon where we sit!

We must begin to live our lives with a view to our seat in the heavenly places with Christ!

"The man who is trying to be a Christian is trying to hold on to something. The man who is a Christian feels that he is being held by something. It has been put to him, it is there; it may even seem to be in spite of him, but it is there. It is not what he is doing that matters to him; it is what has been done to him." - Martyn Lloyd-Jones