Summary: Message 15 in our Colossians series dealing with the spiritual clothes of a believer.
Chico Alliance Church
On the basis of our new internal identity with Christ, Paul calls for us to put off the external things that identify one with the ways of the Old Kingdom and put on the clothes consistent with our new self and citizenship in the New Kingdom.
• God rescued us from the kingdom of darkness.
• God transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son.
• God redeemed and forgave us.
• God identified us with Christ’s death, which frees us from the law of sin, and death.
• God identified us with the resurrection of Christ, which placed us under the spirit of life in Christ.
• God continually hides us with Christ in Himself.
• God plans to reveal us in a blaze of glory along with Christ when he is revealed in glory.
• We are continually being renewed according to the image of the one who created us.
This is a renewal that transcends earthly considerations.
Racial/religious distinctions (Greek or Jew; Jews called all those outside their nation Greeks);
Ceremonial or religious distinctions (circumcised or uncircumcised);
Cultural distinctions (anyone foreign to Greek culture was a barbarian, and a Scythian a wild, savage nomad);
Economic or social distinctions (slave or free).
Christ is all, and is in all. That is, normal human distinctions are overruled and transfigured by one’s union in Christ.
If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. God’s renewal process does not depend on a person’s nationality, ceremony, culture or economic status. It is a renewal in which labels make no difference. Christ participates in and coordinates the renewal process.
“He who began a good work will complete it.”
“Rooted and now being built up in Him.”
“Author and perfector of our faith.”
It is our destiny – predestined to become conformed to the image of Christ. The goal of this progressive renewal of the soul is Christlikeness. By the phrase “Christ is ALL and in ALL Paul again reinforces his theme.
The supremacy of Christ. “Christ is all.”
The sufficiency of Christ. “Christ is in all.”
On the basis of these wonderful truths, we are challenged to respond in worship.
• Hold fast to Christ. (What have you done this week to hold Him?)
• Pursue the eternal. (How have you pursued the eternal this week?)
• Contemplate the eternal. (How often did you fill your mind with eternal issues)
• Deal with our members yet unredeemed and earthly. (Who won out in these areas?)
Living this way is WORSHIP. You can sing all you want. You can do all kinds of things but this is the heart of worship; response to God.
Deny exposure or expression of our members and flesh in regard to:
• Sexual sin of any kind
• Impurity of any kind
• Desires and passions for earthly things
• Greed or the desire for more
• Anger and wrath
• Hurtful actions to God or others
• Hurtful words
• Shameful talk
The Old Kingdom and the old self functioned this way, we died to the old ways and crucified the old self on the cross along with its passions and desires. This message turns a focus to Colossians 3:12-17 to consider the uniform associated with the New Kingdom. What kind of character and expression of our members identifies us as Christians? Demonstrate the character of the King who rescued us and indwells us. From here on through most of the rest of his letter Paul describes kingdom life. Since by reason of our death and resurrection with Christ we are no longer under the law of sin and death, what does life lived according to the law of the spirit of life in Christ look like? Paul describes how we should respond to so great a salvation. He continues the picture of putting away or taking off clothing by listing things to put on in their place. The word used here “to put on” deserves a brief visit.
“To submerge,” also intransitive “to plunge,” “go down” (the sun in Mk. 1:32; 4:40), figurative “to arm oneself.”
a. “To strip” (cf. Mt. 27:28), b. “to divest oneself,” “to take off.” In the NT we find ??????? in 2 Cor. 5:4, where it can hardly mean that Paul wants to avoid the nakedness of the intermediate state (cf. v. 5; Phil. 1:23), but perhaps refers to the loss of the earthly body when there is no hope of a heavenly body.
In the NT this occurs only in Col. 3:9, where it has the strong sense “fully to put off” with no possible return to the old state, and Col. 2:15, where it does not mean “to divest oneself of,” but “to disarm” (opposite of ?????, “to arm oneself”).