Summary: Are you spiritually alive or spiritually dead?
“Five Signs You Are Spiritually Alive”
“Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15 In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross." Colossians 2:13-15
Intro: How do you know if someone is spiritually alive or spiritually dead? An artist was hired by a church to paint several pictures of dying churches. After several weeks he returned with his work. The first picture was of a stately building with a large towering steeple. There was a large crowd of lavishly dressed people entering the doors. In another painting he depicted the interior of a church as being expensively furnished with chandeliers costing thousands of dollars hanging from the ceiling. In the lobby there was a display of youth meeting, and a recreation room with kids playing games. He had another painting of a “fellowship hall” with tables of food and desserts and people sitting with their plates filled to capacity.
When the elders saw the paintings they protest. “We asked you to paint pictures of dying churches. We expected to see a run-down building with the weeds growing up all around and churches with windows broken out. We expected to see an interior of drab, lifeless and unkempt rooms. We expected to see sanctuaries abandoned with no one inside the buildings.
The artist opened up a bible and turned to Revelations 3:1 and read the letter to the church at Sardis. “I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead.” He concluded from reading what Jesus said about the church of Sardis: That a dying church would be dying a spiritual death. A dying church could have the outward appearance of life. Its building could be one of the prettiest buildings in town. Its crowd of members could be clothed in the finest apparel. Its youth and children could be having fun and playing games. Its fellowship hall could be filled with food and desserts. But on the inside “A spiritual autopsy would reveal whether or not the church is Alive or a Dead Church.”
Let me be clear “Alive doesn’t mean the doors are open. Alive means the hearts are open.” So we are going to look today at “Five Signs You Are Spiritually Alive”
I. Forgiven of all our sins.
"13 Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins." Colossians 2:13
Forgiveness is the first sign of life in you.
Sin is a poison, a toxin, venom, a contaminant, a disease. But forgiveness is a salve, an ointment, a balm, a prescription, an anointing of healing. Instead of living in bitterness---we can learn to live in "betterness." Instead of living a life trapped by resentment---we can live a life of righteousness. Instead of letting anger be in control ---we can learn to remain calm. Instead of being prideful--- they know the joy of generous giving. Instead of being miserable and always complaining---we have discovered how to be content. Instead of having a heart full of hatred---we can have a heart filled with love. Instead of gossiping and judging others---we can look someone straight in the eye and say let’s get down on our knees and prayer for one another. We all put our left shoe on our left foot and our right shoe on our right foot. Being forgiven takes away the malice, mean spirited, uncaring, and selfish
and gives us of a life of being thankful, counting our blessings, being satisfied with what we have, being in unity and love, and peace. I will choose the lifestyle of forgiveness over the lifestyle of sin every time.
There are a lot of things out there that are spiritual killers. But forgiveness is the first step to spiritual healing.
How do you get forgiveness? You talk to Jesus.
There was a high school football team getting ready to play one of the most vicious rivals of all time. I’m talking about the kind of game where police had to escort the buses to and from the county line. The last time these two teams met: One player got his leg broke, another player got a concussion, two others players got ejected from the game. There were fights in the stands and parents were geared up for another nasty game.
The team Chaplin was sick with appendicitis and could not be there so the coach knew one of the players on the team was named Jeffery was a Christian. So right before they left the locker room the coach brought the team into one final huddle and asked Jeffery to pray.