Summary: If we have been raised by Christ and ought to be seeking the things that are above? What are the "things above?"
BURIAL SERVICE FOR OUR SINS
Q & A ON COLOSSIANS 3
BIBLE VERSE: COLOSSIANS 3:1-5
If you then have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, passion, evil desire, and covetousness which is idolatry.
1. Verse 1 states if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above?
So, what are “things above?” (Youth leaders, this would be a good time to make a list of all the things the group states. Then, ask the group…”so if we agree to seek the things that are above…are you?
What could it mean if someone DOES NOT seek things that are above? Leaders, I know the answer is obvious here, and I am not trying to get anyone ever to doubt their salvation, but obviously someone whose mind are not on things above, there exists the possibility (though there are lots and lots of possibilities here, including immaturity, sin, lack of knowledge etc), that the person has indeed NOT been raised in Christ. Ergo, they are not saved.
HOLLOW ILLUSTRATION: Leaders, I want to use this illustration again, though I used it during the Laser Tag League, I want to use once again the example of the Hotel of Doom in North Korea. Have you heard about the Hotel of Doom? About 25 years ago, communist North Korea began work on a massive apartment/hotel/business suite that would impress the rest of the world with prestige and technology. Well, 25 years later, and a look inside tells a story all to itself. The place is completely empty on the inside. Yup, that’s right, the Hotel of Doom is stunning to look at on the outside, but on the inside..it’s hollow.
How about you? Once again, I am not getting a believer to doubt their salvation, that is not the question. But if someone is not a believer, and only they know, are they too…hollow on the inside?
2. Verse 5 says to put to death therefore what is earthly in you?”
What does it mean to put something to death? What does it mean to “kill it?” Leaders, the truth to the matter is that whenever someone wants to stand up and fight a habitual sin (and in most cases, one that lurks in the closet), they have to first HATE that sin before they can KILL it. I am honestly not sure if the word metaphor of killing the sin is a good one here for all students, but the phrase will probably catch some ground in the middle school boys.
What sins does the Bible tell us here to put to death? Following the command to put the sin to death, is a pretty exhaustive list. I have provided the list here in the following:
I. Sexual Immorality (doesn’t it seem that this one is always listed in every list like this?)
II. Impurity (listed differently than sexual immorality, there must be a difference)
III. Passion (I have to look this one up for more details, kind of shocked to see it here)
IV. Evil Desire (God knows how to define this one)
V. Covetousness (Yup, God finds us guilty even in our own thoughts) which is idolatory
VI. Anger (skip from verse 5 down to verse 8 and we see the list continues)
VII. Wrath (similar to an angry revenge, borders on unforgiveness, lots of adults carry this around)
VIII. Malice (implies intent here)
IX. Slander (saying something negative about someone else…even if its right)
X. Obscene Talk (laugh at any inappropriate jokes lately?)
XI. Lying (I believe this is the 9th Commandment revisted)
STUDENT ACTIVITY: Leaders, feel free to use this, but do not feel like you have to. Have the students close their eyes and get into a prayerful mood. Tell them that the time to think of other people is upon us. Let them know that you are going to name a sin (one of the 11 listed above) and see if the Spirit moves to put a name into your heart. If this does indeed happen, then ask God to forgive you for committing that sin against that particular person. If we are going to put something to death, let’s have the burial service. A burial service for those sins that we have been carrying around with us, perhaps for a long time.
3. Hypothetical question, what if someone was told to seek forgiveness for a sin, but then refused to do it? Leaders, it is possible that someone just went through the previous simulation, but instead of asking for forgiveness, they actually smirked and kept the revengeful thoughts against that person who harmed them. Well, sadly, I don’t think we really want to deliberate on that answer. But there is an answer. Look at verse 6, it states on account of these the wrath of God is coming. We don’t want that.