Summary: A look at how our position in Christ through our relationship with Him brings freedom in how we live

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Religion Vs. Relationship

Relationship brings freedom in newness

Colossians 3:1-4

November 29, 2009

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Introduction and Review:

In chapter 2 we see that the Gnostics were promoting man made practices because the base of their belief was that the cross was insufficient.

Paul has just finished showing that the Gnostic heresy has no power to restrain the desires of the flesh

Phyiscal practices such as legalism, human philosophy, angel worship, and asceticism(self denial and torture) do not lead to spiritual maturity!

Colossians 2:23 “But are of no value against fleshly indulgence.”

Man’s effort(religion) will never conform us to the image of Christ!

Then how? How do we mature spiritually?

Through our relationship with God which begins through the sufficiency of the cross!

Christ’s death on the cross brings new life, because we died with Him!

Romans 7:6 “... so that we serve in newness of the spirit and not in oldness of the letter”

Religion vs. Relationship

Relationship brings freedom in newness....

Colossians 3:1-4

1. Relationship brings freedom in newness of focus

1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God!

Seeking deals with our focus, our pursuit, or goal!

“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven...” - Colossians 3:1 NLT

Our resurrection to new life should result in a change in focus!

Seeking(present imperative) stresses constant daily action!

→ Must appropriate this truth daily

We must daily shift our focus from the earthly to the heavenly!

(temporal) (eternal)

Believers lives should be guided by the pattern of Heaven, bringing heavenly direction to their earthly duties.

Paul is emphasizing that a spiritually mature Christian life will be centered on the glorified, ascended Christ!

“It means that the practical everyday affairs of life get their direction from Christ in heaven. It means further that we look at earth from heaven’s point of view.”

Author Warren Wiersbe

2. Relationship brings freedom in newness of mind

2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth

Seek(strive) dealt with pursuit, while set(concentrate) refers to our inward disposition.

Our minds should think on heavenly things! - 2 Cor. 4:18

(thoughts) (make a habit of)

Positively – Think on things above, that is to be mindful of spiritiual realities that have their source in God

Negatively- Do not think on earthly things, that is do not give attention to earthly involvement that hinders spiritual growth.

→ Directly speaking to the false gnostic teachings

The earthly things to be avoided are moral not physical. Paul was not encouraging a gnostic like rejection of material things!

The idea is that divisions should not exist in the Christian life, all of our thoughts should be processed through the blender of God’s glory!

Life in this world will be better if lived with an outlook and power that is beyond this world.

3. Relationship brings freedom in newness of life

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