Summary: Jesus wants to rule in our lives from heaven; if we follow our heavenly ruler, we will nurture well-lived lives on earth as a result.
Jesus At the Right Hand: The Theological Basis for Living A Life That Honors God and Serves Others
1. The boss wondered why one of his most valued employees was absent but had not phoned in sick one day. Needing to have an urgent problem with one of the main computers resolved, he dialled the employee's home phone number and was greeted with a child's whisper. ' Hello ? '
'Is your daddy home?' he asked. ' Yes ,' whispered the small voice.
May I talk with him?' The child whispered, ' No .'
Surprised and wanting to talk with an adult, the boss asked, 'Is your Mummy there?' 'Yes'
'May I talk with her?' Again the small voice whispered, ' No '
Hoping there was somebody with whom he could leave a message, the boss asked, 'Is anybody else there?'
' Yes , ' whispered the child, ' a policeman . '
Wondering what a cop would be doing at his employee's home, the boss asked, 'May I speak with the policeman?'
' No, he's busy , ' whispered the child. 'Busy doing what?'
' Talking to Daddy and Mummy and the Fireman , ' came the whispered answer.
Growing more worried as he heard a loud noise in the background through the earpiece on the phone, the boss asked, 'What is that noise?'
' A helicopter ' answered the whispering voice..
'What is going on there?' demanded the boss, now truly apprehensive. Again, whispering, the child answered, ' The search team just landed a helicopter '
Alarmed, concerned and a little frustrated the boss asked, 'What are they searching for?'
Still whispering, the young voice replied with a muffled giggle...
'ME.' [source http://allwomenstalk.com]
2. Sometimes we make the simple into the complex because the obvious alludes us.
3. For example, the idea that Christ is the head of the church and that he promises to be with us always can be lost thru human religious bureaucracy. Jesus wants to be Lord of our lives and he rules us through his Word. Simple.
4. But false teachings complicate the simple. Some of the false teachers advocated not worrying about how we live this life, since it is in heaven — or during Jesus’ earthly reign — when eternal life begins and our souls are free.
Main Idea: Jesus wants to rule in our lives from heaven; if we follow our heavenly ruler, we will nurture well-lived lives on earth as a result.
I. Paul’s COMMANDS to Focus on Heaven (1-2)
Paul had been talking about the foolishness of focusing on shadows when we have the Messiah who casts the shadow; he spoke of rituals saying that we should focus on what the rituals represent, not the rituals themselves.
A. SEEK the things above (1)
• Not referring to contemplating Revelation 21-22…not written yet
• Not escaping life by only thinking about heaven
• But rather like Jesus did, spending time alone with God in prayer & study
• Proper mysticism, within Scriptural boundaries (not imagination/emotion)
1. Where Jesus is at the Father’s RIGHT hand
• The place of honor
• The place of influence
• We do not need angels or saints as mediators
• We have the one mediator between God and man (I Tim. 2:5)
2. Based on Psalm 110:1, an INTERIM status
The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”
Even though Jesus is not on earth (physically) -- his Kingdom is still to come — he is still leading and directing from heaven.
B. SET your minds on things above (2)
• The eternal perspective that takes spiritual realities seriously
• It is a matter of priority; example: Mary and Martha (Matt. 10:38ff)
• Teachability and the craving to know more about God and his plans
1. In contrast to focusing on RITUALS and shadows
2. This is connected to Biblical HOPE
C. Same thing as setting your mind on the things of the SPIRIT (Romans 8:5)
1. Your attempt to benefit from this sermon is setting your mind…
2. Your heartfelt concentration as you worship God in song…
3. Your choice to pray along with whoever is leading prayer…
Application: Dr. Thomas Constable writes, “Intellectual brilliance, advanced education, or unusual physical strength are not required for a Christian to become great in God’s estimation. What He requires is faithful perseverance in the basics of the Christian life. Any Christian can do this since we all have the help of the Lord Himself.”
Jesus wants to rule in our lives from heaven; if we follow our heavenly ruler, we will nurture well-lived lives on earth as a result.
II. The RATIONALE for Those Commands (3-4)
A. We have DIED with Jesus to our unregenerate lives (3a)