Summary: We have been given a new identity and status as children of God. So live your life like the child of the King in ways that would make him proud of you.
LIVE LIKE THE CHILD GOD WOULD BE PROUD OF
Recently, I had a very interesting conversation with a Christian who had been very seriously ill -- so much so that it appears she nearly died. But her experience left her with no fear of death. On the contrary she described the experience as wonderful. As she drifted near to the edges of life she saw a white door, and she knew that if she chose to move towards the door that it would open for her. But on being roused by medical staff she concluded that this was not yet her time.
Death is something we should best be prepared for, though its timing for us is likely to be unexpected and beyond our prediction. Clearly, as Christians we are prepared by God for death. We are freely forgiven by God’s grace on the grounds of the perfect sacrifice of Christ for our sins. ’There is now not condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’. But there is another sense in which we are called upon to prepare ourselves so that we will in no way be ashamed at the coming of Christ, but rather live as sons and daughters of the King in ways God would be proud of.
QUESTION How well prepared are you to meet with God?
READING Colossians 3:1-17
THESIS We are to live our lives as the people God has defined us to be -- Children of God
And not so much out of fear as out of love for the One who first loved us.
In Colossians 1 we read about the Uniqueness, Supremacy and Sufficiency of Christ.
In Colossians 2 we were reminded of the freedom we have in Christ.
And in Colossians 3 we are instructed to use our freedom to live as God would have his children live.
If there is a key text here it is verse 2 ’Set your minds on things above’
Some of us, even as Christians, may feel afraid of death at times. But the good news is that we have already died, and been raised. V3 tells us ’For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. V1 tells us ’Since, then, you have been raised with Christ’. When we put our trust in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, in a forensic sense (as in a court of law) it was as though in the same way that Jesus died for sin and was raised we also died and were raised with him.
Paul’s letter to the Romans describes how we are justified by faith in this way. And when Christ appears then you and I will appear with him in glory.
And so we are to set our hearts and minds on things above, not on earthly things.
So, live as children of the King.
To seek means to "keep seeking" the things that are above.
It describes our passion -- the driving force of our lives -- the reason for our living.
The key thing to grasp here is that as a Christian:
You have a new Father
a new family
a new identity
and a new status
NOW LIVE LIKE THE PRINCE OR PRINCESS YOU ARE!
By setting your heart and mind on things above
QUESTION But what does it mean to set our hearts and minds on things that are above? How do we go about this?
Paul uses three images:
1. THE IMAGE OF A EXECUTIONER
Living as a child of the King will be noticeable in our patterns of behavior.
What kind of a life is going bring honour and praise to God?
A life that is different from the way that some of us used to live.
Who has not fallen into sin at one time or other by way of:
Sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, greed, anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language and lies?
This is not behavior becoming of a child of the King.
So to set our minds on things above means to put to death our old ways, and we become the executioner.
God has given us power to change. But we must exercise that power.
How do we put something to death? By starving it of the oxygen that gives it life.
The Holy Spirit convicts us of the remnants of the patterns of our sinful ways that are not befitting for the child of a king. These bring disgrace rather than honour upon the Name of our God and we are to put them to death.
This is both descriptive and prescriptive
It is descriptive in that it describes what a child of the King is like.
It is also prescriptive in that it shows us how to go about being that Prince or Princess -- how to go about seeking the things that are above.