Summary: This sermon looks at how we die to our old self and are reborn a new creation in Christ.
Sermon: Live a Changed Life Text: Col 3:1-11
Intro: My Experience in Becoming a Shellback instead of a Pollywog. (Navy ceremony for those crossing the equator).
1. What all I went through and how the purpose was to change me from one to another. Yet I didn’t feel changed. I wasn’t.
2. Much in the same way, people think that if they can follow a list of prescribed religious rules and duties that somehow that would empower them to change.
3. Paul reminds us that true, radical transformation comes only from the Power of God Himself.
4. This morning, Jesus wants to give you an extreme makeover, from the inside out.
I. At Conversion, there is at the same time both a death and a resurrection in you. (Vs 3)
1. Recap the importance of the conversion as the starting point
2. When we come to Christ, we die to both sin and our earthly nature.
a. Romans 6:6-7 (TLB)”Your old evil desires were nailed to the cross with him; that part of you that loves to sin was crushed and fatally wounded, so that your sin-loving body is no longer under sin’s control, no longer needs to be a slave to sin; 7 for when you are deadened to sin you are freed from all its allure and its power over you.”
b. Romans 6:14 (MSG) “Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God.”
c. Sin is no longer master in your life. Doesn’t mean its not there. Sin is still an annoyance, a rouge sniper, but it is no longer in control.
i. Compare to a Chicken having its head chopped off.
d. Gal 2:20 (NIV) “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
3. When the old man is gone, the new man comes in, and that new man is Jesus Christ Himself.
a. Maxie Dunnam’s story of the Benedictine Monk ceremony when one takes vows. He wrote, “On that occasion he prostrated himself before the altar of the chapel in the very spot where his coffin will be set when he dies. Covered in a funeral pall, the death bell that tolls at the earthly parting of a brother sounded the solemn gongs of death. Then there was silence—the silence of death. The silence of the gathered community was broken by the singing of the Colossian word: "For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3). Then there was a expounding on the meaning, a resurrection promise , and then after this resurrection proclamation, the deacon shouted the word from Ephesians: "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light" (Eph. 5:14). Then the bells of the Abbey rang loudly and joyfully, the man rose, the funeral pall fell off, and the robe of the Benedictine order was placed on him. He received the kiss of peace and was welcomed into the community to live a life "hid in Christ."
4. What a ceremony. What a powerful testimony of the life changing experience of coming to Christ. The old is gone and the new is gone.
a. In Guideposts magazine, Paul Harvey wrote about his baptism. “The preacher had said there was nothing magic in the water. Yet as I descended into its depths and rose again, I knew something life-changing had happened, a cleansing inside out. No longer did there seem to be two uncertain, contradictory Paul Harveys. Just one immensely happy one. I felt a fulfilling surge of the Holy Spirit and afterward I cried like a baby. The change this simple act has made in my life is so immense as to be indescribable.” As the old song says, “He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood.
i. Col 2:11-12 (NIV) “In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.”
II. So How Does This Change Affect us?
1. First, there is a change in our focus. We stop focusing on the earthly things, instead we look to the Heavenly things. (Vs 2)
a. Your dead to that stuff, and why focus on it now. Last week we compared the conversion to the wedding ceremony. At the wedding you are focused on your bride, and at that point you stop focusing on old girlfriends, (at least you better!) Why, you’ve left that life for a far better one!