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Summary: Put to, put off, put on!

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Reading: Colossians chapter 3 verses 1-25.

• In the final two chapters of Colossians,

• Paul moved into the practical application of the doctrines he had been teaching.

• After all, it does little good if Christians declare and defend the truth,

• But fail to demonstrate it in their lives.

(1). Put off (verses 1-7)

• The pagan religions of Paul’s day;

• Said very little or nothing at all about personal morality.

Ill:

• A worshiper could bow before an idol, put his offering on the altar,

• And go back to live the same old life of sin.

Ill:

• Comedian Frank Skinner a modern example.

• His stage act is course, crude full of innuendo and bad language.

• Yet he goes to mass each morning.

• What he believes does not affect his behaviour.

This was also true in New Testament times among the pagans:

• Religion was in one compartment and everyday living in another.

• What a person believed had no direct relationship with how he behaved,

When the Christian faith burst onto a pagan society:

• It brought a whole new concept into being.

• What a Christian believed, had a very definite connection with how we behave!

• After all, faith in Christ means being united to Christ;

• And if we share His life, we must follow His example.

(1). 3 Positive or Heavenly truths (verses 1-4):

1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

(a). We are raised with Christ (Verse 1):

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God”.

• We are raised with Christ

• It is possible to be alive and still live in the grave.

Ill:

• During World War II, several Jewish refugees hid in a cemetery,

• And a baby was actually born in one of the graves.

• It is possible to be alive and still live in the grave.

• Each Christian should not only alive but also raised with Christ.

Note: In the New International Version the chapter begins with the word “Since”:

• It is a confident statement of our Christian status.

• Some translations begin with the word “If”,

• Which may cause confusion;

• It could be taken to imply some doubt about our relationship to Christ.

• But the verse is teaching, and teaching with confidence.

• That what happened to Jesus will happen to us!

Three ways we are raised with Christ:

(1). Symbolically:

• At our baptism,

• Coming out of the water is a picture of resurrection life.

(2). Theologically:

• The Bible teaches in this and other passages that we are raised with Christ.

• That is our position as far as God is concerned.

(3). Practically:

• We are to live lives as those who are raised and seated in glory;

• Or as verse 2 puts it: we are to ‘set our hearts on things above’.

The expression:

• “Things above” means things controlled by God.

• “Things that are on earth” mean things pursued without reference to God.

• Christians might be living on earth,

• But they don’t follow earthly values, attitudes or behaviour.

• Christians are to desire and live in such a way, that they please God.

• And this can only be achieved when we look at life from God’s perspective.

Ill:

• Manager often sits in the stand for all or part of the game,

• That higher perspective helps him to take aboard things he can’t see at ground level.

• In our daily living we are to sit ‘in the stands’ or ‘in the heaven’.

• This will help us achieve what we cannot achieve at ground level.

(b). We are hidden in Christ (verse 3).

Verse 3-4:

3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

• Paul speaks of Christians having died with Christ,

• This refers to their experience of baptism.

• He speaks of their life now being ‘hidden’ in Jesus,

• He uses a Greek idiom, a Greek expression used for death;

• To show that just as in death the body is hidden in the earth,

• So now, through baptism, the old ‘earthly’ person is dead and buried in Jesus.

There is a contrast in these verses:

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