Summary: As representative of Jesus we dress for success: shirt of compassion, slacks of kindness, socks of humility, shoes of gentleness, jacket of patience, tie of love.
Colossians Series # 3
Jesus the One and Only
Made Visible in Us
Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:1-4
According to Colossians 3, Heaven is more than a destination for us. Colossians 3:3 says your life is now hidden with Christ in God. It’s a mysterious idea, isn’t it … even while we’re living here on Earth; our true life is already safe in Heaven with Jesus. That should give all of us a strong sense of security. In a very real way, our Eternal Life in Heaven has already started … even while we’re still living here on earth.
1. Look up
That’s why Paul can tell us to set our hearts on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1 Our REAL life is with Christ in Heaven. That’s where our HEART and MIND ought to be living. To set your heart on things above means to change from an Earthly to a Heavenly way of looking at things. Have you ever gotten on one of those computer programs that shows a satellite image of earth? It’s possible to actually look down on your neighborhood as if you were zooming in from outer space.
(SLIDE of CHCC) On the screen you can see the building you’re sitting in right now. You can see the CHCC Worship Center, the old sanctuary, and the other buildings on our property. It shows a perspective we can never have from inside the building. Something similar happens when we set our thoughts on Heavenly things. We begin to get God’s point of view … and that will ALWAYS broaden our perspective.
(SLIDE of SAN ANTONIO) It’s that kind of perspective that causes me to have an interest in the Church of the City objectives. (Elaborate)
(SLIDE USA) Of course, God’s kingdom reaches far beyond our congregation, to the city, and to the nation. That’s why we give about 25% of our church’s budget to missions that reach the nation and the world.
(SLIDE globe) When we set our hearts on Christ in Heaven, we can’t help but care about the ones He cares about… not just here in our little community, but all across the world --- the world that He died to save. We may have our hearts set on heaven, but (in case you haven’t noticed) our BODIES are still here on earth. Our INvisible life is hidden with Christ in God. The question is, how will we live our VISIBLE life?
If you remember, in Chapter 1 of Colossians, Paul explained that Christ is the image of the invisible God. Have you ever thought of the fact that now WE are the image of the invisible Christ. Jesus is no longer walking the earth. He is not visible to us or to our friends. For many people WE may be the only image of Christ they will ever see. We REPRESENT Christ here on earth.
2. Throw off
In Colossians 3, Paul tells us how to be a proper Representative of Jesus Christ. Paul writes: Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Colossians 3:5
A few years back, I got to talking to a Mortician about his line of work. I asked him about the clothes they provide for the deceased. He explained that they do have burial clothes available, but the family usually provides a dress or suit. The Mortician said that --- in order to put the clothes on, and make them look right in the coffin --- they often slit the clothes open all the way down the back. The point is, since the dearly departed will never be up and about again, it won’t matter. But those clothes would never do for someone who was walking around!
According to scripture you and I were dead in our sins until Christ gave us new life. We were lying in that coffin, and it didn’t really matter what we were wearing. In Colossians 3, Paul is saying: Hey! You’re alive now! Take off those Corpse Clothes!
Maybe you’ve seen the TV show called “What Not to Wear.” It’s a show where a couple of fashion experts take charge of the Wardrobe for someone who obviously doesn’t know how to Dress for Success. The first thing they do on that show is go through the person’s closet and throw out the ugly clothes.
I want you to picture the Apostle Paul looking through your Spiritual Closet. He’s throwing things out left and right: “This has got to go! This will never do! Phe-u! Did something die in here?!” Look at this list of raggedy old nasty things we need to clean out.
• Sexual immorality – That’s a big category. It can include anything from promiscuity to homosexuality to pedophilia to adultery. Whether it’s actions or thoughts, sexual immorality is always ugly. It’s the kind of thing people try to hide. But no one who Represents Christ should try to hide immorality in the back of their closet. If it’s in there, throw it out!