Summary: We all struggle with a "dual nature." We sort of like Bannon/The Hulk from the movies and comic books. It doesn't take much to move us away from Christ-likeness to self-interest and rebellion.
You can listen to this sermon on my podcast at: https://www.buzzsprout.com/697261/2134049
• Jekyll & Hyde, The Hulk
o Book cover
o Jekyll/Hyde illustration
o Bannon/Hulk meld
• Stories like these illuminate the struggle in all of us. Good vs. evil.
• How do we become better and avoid being evil, chaotic?
• It’s not potions, or atomic gamma blasts. Or any other man-made attempt.
• It comes from being in Christ.
• First “bookend” - you died to this world. Paradox of now but not yet.
Colossians 3:1–4 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
• V. 1-4 - Our moral vision - definition of right and wrong needs to be controlled by the reality inside us and what we will experience one day.
• Transformation in our lives isn’t a “rehab” or “renewal” of the old person.
o We’re not slapping a new coat of paint on our old ways of thinking and doing things.
• Recall earlier:
Colossians 2:22–23 Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. 23 These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.
• Sounds a lot like Dr. Jekyll’s potions or Bannon’s gamma treatments.
• Instead, it’s taking the power of Christ and applying it to our nature.
Death to the Old Life
Colossians 3:5–9 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. 6 Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. 7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world.
• Getting into the struggle we still have as we interact with the fallen creation:
• Vices - immorality, sinfulness, evil.
• First section is about desires, idolatry. Illustrated by sexual sin.
• God gets angry at sin. He does not wink at it.
Habakkuk 1:13 But you are pure and cannot stand the sight of evil. Will you wink at their treachery? Should you be silent while the wicked swallow up people more righteous than they?
• Continues the list:
8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds
Romans 12:1–2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Nurture the New Life
• v. 10 - We now have a moral free-will choice. Unlike Dr. Jekyll or Dr. Bruce Bannon, we don’t have to submit to our dark nature.
• Why? Because we died to sin once and now, daily, submit ourselves to God. We are works in progress.
• The truth is we are either dead IN sin or dead TO sin.
Colossians 3:10–11 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. 11 In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
• V. 10 brings to mind 1:15ff where Paul tells us who we follow.
Ephesians 4:23–24 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
Colossians 3:12–15 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
• You must - this is urgent!