Summary: Colossians 3:1 - 4 tells believers about how we live in two worlds because we are new creatures in Christ in the here and now who are not hindered by earthly things because we set our minds on the things above.
LIVING IN TWO WORLDS
Text: Colossians 3:1-4
Phillips Brooks, the clergy man, former Bishop in the Episcopal Church and author of the Christmas hymn “O Little Town Of Bethlehem” also had something important to say about Easter. “The great Easter truth is not that we are to live newly after death—that is not the great thing—but that we are to be new here and now by the power of the Resurrection; not so much that we are to live forever, as that we are to, and may, live nobly now because we are to live forever”. (James S. Hewett. ed. Illustrations Unlimited. Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1988, ). Colossians 3:1 - 4 tells believers about how we live in two worlds because we are new creatures in Christ in the here and now who are not hindered by earthly things because we set our minds on the things above. How well do we succeed at living noble lives? Doesn’t how we live and what we do make a difference for better or worse?
THE WORLD’S ALTERNATIVES TO EASTER
What are the world’s alternative narratives for Easter? 1) Hedonism: One of the world’s alternatives is to live now like there is no tomorrow. We call that hedonism which is about pleasure seeking. 2) Approval addiction: Another alternative is to live a life trying to earn the approval of others. Joyce Meyer calls that one Approval Addiction. In Mark 8:36 Jesus said what does it profit a man to gain the whole wold and yet forfeit his salvation? 3) Follow the leader: A third alternative is to look for our leaders to give us what we need. We call this one politics. All of these are illusions that chase a desired outcome that ultimately eludes those that chase them! 4) Summary: a) We like to enjoy things rather than experience things that cause pain. B) We like when others approve of us. C) We like leaders to watch out for our best interests. Yet, none of these things can save us!
What is the information---the news that the world gives us? 1) Full yet empty: We have news outlets that are full of news about current events that informs us but cannot save us. 2) Biased: We have news that is biased and selective with agenda instead of reporting true, fair and unbiased journalism. 3) Misinformation and disinformation: A story is told about an engineer who sent what was meant to be a joke but spread like wildfire going viral on the internet. This engineer in research and development sent an e-mail out to his peers saying that the rail road tracks of modern day were based on the size of Roman war chariots. He meant to point out the longevity of how some military things live their practical usefulness. What he meant as a joke became an urban legend that was circulated ----misinformation. (Jack Mingo and Erin Barrett. Just Curious Jeeves. Emeryville, California: As Jeeves, Inc. 2000, pp. 167 - 168). There is a difference between disinformation which is intentional which appears to be synonymous with fake news and misinformation which seems to be more about repeating information that was originally flawed.
WE ARE THE EASTER PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD
What does our baptism have to do with the resurrection? In Colossians 3:1, the phrase “raised together with Christ” seems to refer to our baptism. Consider Romans 6:4: “We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life” (Standard Version). Under the old way of life, we could not and cannot make the changes we wanted to make. But, for those who have been baptized into Christ, they have been “raised to the newness of life” ---a new way of life in the spiritual sense.
A man shares a story about how his own “troubleshooting” was not solving his problem. “I was stumped. My old Macintosh laptop simply would not run the MacBible software anymore. Though I had worked with it for hours, nothing I did would help. My wife, wise woman that she is, had suggested that I call the owners of the software for help, but no, I knew what I was doing.
That morning, after having exhausted every last idea, I gave in and called the MacBible Corporation. After speaking to a friendly voice, I was assured that the person to whom I was being referred would know exactly what to do. I wasn't convinced, but I called him anyway.
The name I had been given sounded familiar, and I soon learned why. The person on the other end of the line was none other than the man who wrote the MacBible software. He gave me a brief set of instructions; I took them down and hung up the phone. In minutes, my computer software program was up and running. I just had to go to the man who wrote the program.