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Summary: This expository message on Colossians 3:18-4:1 uses manikins to reinforce what the text is saying.

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“Do what it says, Don’t be a dummy”

Colossians 3:18-4:1

Big Idea: When Christ is at your core, you’ll be dressed right for relationships

(Props: 5 manikins to represent those from the text)

Introduction: There is often two sides to every story in a relationship, and it is especially true in the marriage relationship. Let’s watch how there can be two different accounts in this video.

Videos: “The Perfect Wife” & “The Perfect Husband” (Can be found on Sermonspice)

Oh, if we could just blend these two accounts into one, we’d have “The Perfect Marriage”! But with two imperfect people, can we really expect that?

Today we’re going to take everything Paul said in previous verses of Chapter 3 and “flesh them out” in our relationships. If you were here last week, you should remember Paul said when “Christ is at our core” our identity changes, our heart & thinking change, and our outward appearance changes. But knowing what the Bible says and applying it in our daily lives is sometimes much different.

Last week I used two racks of clothing to help us understand that our outward appearance really comes from what’s going on the inside. Paul said that if we really have Christ at our core, there are clothes we need to “put off” and there are new clothes we need to “put on”. But for this week’s text, I called in a few less than human friends to help me apply how today’s verses are going to “come to life”. In other words, we need to put a little flesh under those new clothes.

Opening Prayer:

Read the Scripture passage: Colossians 3:18-4:1

Paul has just mentioned the three basic relationships most people have; marriage, family, and work. What he has added to the “new clothes” is a major “core command” that each member is to carry out in those relationships. Each of these commands must be an intentional ongoing decision that cuts against our old selfish nature. And that’s the reason I call them a “core command”; because without Christ at your core, there is no way a person can carry them out completely.

Although the ‘friendship relationship’ is not mentioned, these “core commands” and the “new clothes” he’s already mentioned can be applied to that relationship as well.

But before we get into those three, I want to make a few general observations about all relationships.

1. Everyone has relationships.

2. People have different roles in relationships.

3. Healthy relationships are reciprocal.

4. It isn’t uncommon to encounter difficulties in relationships.

The first relationship Paul speaks of is the foundational institution God established back in the Garden of Eden. This is where a man and a woman enter into a covenant for life. And God’s plan is that all of society, culture, and even the church is shaped from this relationship.

God’s model for marriage (v18-19)

It’s not uncommon for many couples enter into a marriage thinking their spouse will change over time. However, it usually doesn’t work out that way they think.

ILL: During the wedding rehearsal a nervous bride was having a difficult time remembering all the details. Her kind pastor took her aside and said, “Tomorrow, when you enter the church, you will be walking down this same aisle. So, concentrate on the aisle. And when you get halfway down the aisle, concentrate on the altar. Then, when you reach the alter, your groom will be waiting for you. Concentrate on him. Focus on the aisle, then look at the altar, and finally, lock eyes on your husband. That’s all you have to do.”

That seemed to help a lot, and on the day of the wedding, the beautiful but nervous bride walked flawlessly down the aisle. But people were a bit taken aback as they heard her repeating these words, to herself, during the processional, “Aisle, alter, him. Aisle, alter, him. --- I’ll alter him.”

I’m not sure how much success she had at changing her spouse, but there were probably a number of other wives wishing her well that day.

ILL: Oddly enough though, the longer couples stay married the more likely they will turn into mirror images, having similar movements, habits, and thoughts. This is not an illusion, there is ongoing research being done at the University of Washington that reports, the longer people stay together, the more likely they are to reflect each other. They eventually share thoughts, perceptions, and even mathematical skills. However, and perhaps not surprisingly, wives usually do the changing. Women gain mentally if they marry intelligent men; they lose an edge if they marry below their own intelligence quotient. (Please no elbowing your spouse)

Though that was all in fun, the reality is, if we’re serious about having Christ at our core, He will alter each of our lives.

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