Summary: An encouragement to believers to strive toward spiritual maturity and perfection.
On To Perfection
Text: Col. 3:1-17
Max Lucado tells the story of Bob, who was born into the land of coats! His mother loved the color blue and made Bob’s first cost a lovely shade of blue. Every time she noticed her son in his lovely blue coat, she cheered, "Yes, Bob!" He felt good in his blue coat, but Bob had to grow up and go to work. So he put on his best blue coat and slipped out of the house, going to his new job. The people on the street saw him and began to yell, "Yuk, Yuk!" Their coats were yellow and they hated blue.
Into a store ducked Bob and bought a yellow coat, put it over his blue coat and continued on his way to work. The people cheered, "Yea! Bob!" Bob felt good in his yellow coat over his blue coat. He stepped into his bosses office to get his assignment for that first day. He sat waiting for this boss, who came in, looked at him and yelled, "Yuk!" Bob jumped up, took off the yellow coat and stood waiting for approval in his blue coat. The boss yelled, "Double Yuk! Bob. Here at work we wear green coats!" With that, Bob slipped back on the yellow coat, over the blue coat and put the green coat on top. "Yea! Bob!" said the boss. As he left for work, Bob felt good.
After work, Bob slipped off the green coat, put it under the yellow coat and walked proudly home. He opened the door, went inside, as his mother looked at him with a "Yuk" on her lips. Bob quickly changed coats, putting the lovely blue one on top. Mom whispered, "Yea! Bob!"
Bob got so good at changing coats until he became a popular man around town. He changed coats so swiftly until he had folks fooled into believing that whatever coat they had on, he had it on too. Bob loved hearing the crowd say, "Yea! Bob!" He couldn’t stand hearing "Yuk" Bob was elected mayor of the Town of Coats and had a faithful constituency. One day he heard a noise outside of his window and then heard a pounding on his door. The Yellow Coats brought in a man wearing no coat. "Kill him!" they cried, "he doesn’t fit in!" In his yellow coat, Bob said, "Leave him to me."
"Man, where is your coat?" he asked. The man said, "I wear no coat." Bob replied, "everybody wears a coat. What color do you choose?" The man responded the second time, "I wear no coat." By then the Green Coats had gathered under Bob’s window. Running to the window, his green coat on top, Bob yelled down to them, "I have it under control." The Green Coats shouted, "Kill him!" At this time his mother entered into the room, and Bob slipped his blue coat on top. "Bob, where is his blue coat?" Mother asked, The Man replied, "I don’t wear a coat." "Kill him," said Mother as she left Bob and the man alone.
"Man, said Bob, you have to wear a coat or they are going to kill you." "Bob," said the man, "you need to decide to stop wearing your different coats. Take them off, take them all off and let the world see who you truly are." "Take them off? Take them all off?" asked an incredulous Bob. The man said again, "Bob, you have to make a choice." As the crowd kept crying, "Kill him!" Bob washed his hands, opened the door and marched the man toward sure death. The man looked at Bob, with one final word, "Choose." Bob was left alone with his three coats and the questions ringing in his mind, "Take them off? Take them all off?"
Recap of why?
v.1 – Since… raised with Christ
Message is for the believer – previously talking about baptism as being buried and raised with Christ.
Things above – heavenly things rather than earthly
v.2 – heart… mind
Both our feelings and our intellect
v.3 – died, hidden with Christ
what we were – the natural man – is now dead. We no longer care for the world the way we did before our salvation. Our real life, our spiritual life, our life with Christ, is not visible to the world, it is hidden.
v.4 – appear
The hidden life will become apparent to all when Christ returns.
What to put off
v.5 – Therefore – see what its there for. A connection between two ideas, in this case, why we should be different and what should be different.
v.5 – put to death… earthly nature
Some things that belong to our old ways, things that are not in Christ’s image