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Summary: THE KEY TO SPIRITUALITY IS LIVING OUT OUR UNION WITH CHRIST

BIG IDEA:

THE KEY TO SPIRITUALITY IS LIVING OUT OUR UNION WITH CHRIST

INTRODUCTION

Paul now makes the transition from the more doctrinal section of Chapters 1-2 where he had been teaching the Supremacy and Sufficiency of Christ and warning against false approaches to spirituality to the more practical section of Chapters 3-4. The Greek mindset could just pursue the theoretical, but for Paul wisdom always had feet to it.

Sports analogies: the need to Focus and Follow Through; cf. kicking a soccer ball

Vaughan: “The Christian life is a life ‘hidden with Christ in God,’ but it is still, Paul explains, a

life lived out on earth.”

Context:

- Resurrection – 1:18; 2:11-13

- Power – 1:11; 29; 2:23 – need for power over fleshly indulgence

- “Christ in you the hope of glory” 1:27

I. (:1-4) FOCUS ON OUR UNION WITH CHRIST – 2 EXHORTATIONS

“Seek …” / “Set …”

A. (:1) Focus Our Interests and Effort

1. Motivation – Union with Christ in His Resurrection

“If then you have been raised up with Christ”

Particle of a fulfilled condition – Better translation:

“In view of the fact, therefore …”; “Since …”

cf. 2:12-13 with the emphasis on the resurrection

What new resources we have in conjunction with the resurrection power of Christ

2. Exhortation – “keep seeking the things above”

What are the “things above”?

How do we go about seeking them?

Hendriksen: “implies persevering effort … more than a seeking to discover. It is a seeking to obtain”

3. Encouragement – Christ is Glorified – “seated at the right hand of God”

Position of majesty, authority, power

B. (:2-4) Focus Our Minds

1. Motivation – Union with Christ in His Death.“For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God”

a. Cause – you have died (in the past)

b. Effect – your life is hidden (right now)

- Protected, safe, secure

- Unobserved by ourselves and others

- United with Christ in God

2. Exhortation – “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth”

The mind is a very important spiritual battleground

We must take every thought captive to obedience

3. Encouragement – Our Glory is Coming

“When Christ … is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory”

C. (:4b) Key: Christ is our life – “Christ, who is our life”

Wiersbe: “Eternal life is not some heavenly substance that God imparts when we, as

sinners, trust the Saviour. Eternal life is Jesus Christ Himself.”

Wuest: “not just the Giver of our eternal life but the Essence of that life”

II. (:5-11) FOLLOW THROUGH BY PUTTING OFF ALL THE SINFUL PRACTICES ASSOCIATED WITH THE OLD MAN

A. (:5-7) Reckon Ourselves Dead to All Sexual Sin

all of these sins affect our vertical relationship with God and bring His judgment

Put to death = refuse to obey these passions; deprive these things of their power;

destroy their strength; reckon that Christ has set us free from these things

1. (:5) List of Sexual Sins

a. “Immorality” – Mainly illicit sexual intercourse (sex outside of marriage)

(fornication, adultery)

b. “Impurity” – Word for “uncleanness” – perverted forms of sex

Stedman: “homosexuality, child abuse, and various strange and kinky sexual practices”

c. “Passion” – Lust; pornography; allowing visual images to arouse one sexually

d. “Evil Desire” – closely associated with c; mental aspect; cf. looking at a woman in a way that you are lusting after her in your heart

e. “Greed, which amounts to idolatry” – greedy desire to have more – could refer to either things or pleasures; talking in this context about coveting the

body of another in a sexual sense; cf. having an affair;

the other person becomes so important in your life that they usurp the rightful place of God in some sense;.Tozer: “when we (strongly desire to) own a thing, it actually owns a part of us”

2. (:6) These things Worthy of the Wrath of God

“For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come”

Present Tense – it is coming; it is already on the way

cf. the wrath of God coming in the days of Noah; so it is in these last days

(orgies lead to orge); cf. Sight and Sound theatre production of Noah

Hendriksen: “These sins attract God’s displeasure like a magnet attracts iron or like a high steeple on an isolated hill draws lightning.”

3. (:7) These Things Characteristic of Pre-Conversion Days

“and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.”

B. (:8-9) Put Off All Social Sins

1. (:8-9A) List of Social Sins = Uncontrolled Malicious Expression Against Others

all of these sins would have a negative impact on the unity of the body of believers (our horizontal relationship with one another)

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