Summary: An exegetical approach to Colossians 3
Week 1: Colossians 3:1-4 Focused on What’s Above
Week 2: Colossians 3:5-11 Out With the Old Self
Week 3: Colossians 3:12-17 In With the New Self (Part 1)
Week 4: Colossians 3:12-17 In With the New Self (Part 2)
Passage: Colossians 3:1-4
Title: Focused on What’s Above
Focus: Seeking and Setting Security in Christ
Introduction to Book: Colosse was an agricultural town located in what we would know as modern day Turkey about 110 miles away from Ephesus (Ephesians). It is said that Paul wrote the letter to the Colosse people before a massive earthquake ruined the city.
What’s Happening: A “philosophy” (2:8) was apparently threatening the Christians in Colosse. This philosophy was
• Passing judgment for the Christians not participating in Jewish food and drink restrictions (2:16) or participating in the observance in festivals (2:16, 2:23).
o Paul preached Christ, not tradition and the need to stay connected to Jesus as the Head of the church for which growth comes. Tradition was to shadow that which was coming.
Why it Was Important: The Gentile Christians in Colosse were being badgered for their about their faith by Jews who took offense over their claims. The gentile belief was that they had become heirs to the promises of Israel, which Paul affirmed (3:12) Therefore Paul wanted to:
• Confirm the faith (belief that Jesus has come) of the Colossians (2:4-5)
• Watch out (guard and protect) the “new” Christians (2:8)
• Warn against doing what was not right (2:16,18)
Why it is Important Today: The life of a Christian is faced with constant oppression. The letter to the Colossians stresses many important components for the New Testament church today. It is therefore our job to:
• Help confirm the truth that was preached to those outside the body keeping Christ as the head.
• Stand on guard and protect the “younger Christians” as they continue to enter the flock.
• Give instructions and warnings about what is not right (traditions) in order to keep Christ as the Head of the Church.
• Christians must be “above reproach”
Passage: Colossians 3:1-4 (NASB)
“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”
Introduction to Passage: “If” you have been raised with Christ (salvation) there is a change of perspective on what the eyes have been programmed to see morally and into a full spectrum of life lived for eternity.
o Romans 6:8-10 “Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him... For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.”
o Colossians 2:12-13 “Having been buried with him in baptism (spiritual), in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses.”
GOAL: Changing Earthly Perspectives to Eternal Mindsets
Point #1: Seek the Things Above: The External Action (Colossians 3:1)
• Explanation: Seek (used 121 times in the NT). Means to search for in order to find, to demand or strive for earnestly.
o SEEKING ILLUSTRATION: Revelation 9:6 “And in those days people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them.”
• After the Lord comes people who refused to go through a spiritual death will seek actual death and not find it. They will hunt earnestly, demanding it but it will “flee from them”.
• Christians who have undergone the spiritual death with Christ will fix (seek/strive for earnestly) their attention on earth toward “things above”. This is an action of centering life around that which is alive and will last forever. When we seek (strive) for that which is eternal…
o God will FILLS the Earthly Voids (Ephesians 4:10)
o God will get the HONOUR (John 17:5)
o God will be EXALTED (Philippians 2:9)
• Illustration: Work (being on facebook via doing the job at hand). Parents – Mom and Dad (seeking eternal investment for our children instead of our own self gratification)
• Application: There must be a striving in the sole of a Christian to externally desire the things off the Lord. This is a discipline of discernment on what is profitable for a Christian based of the direction of Scripture. It is the reason in which we must know the Word so that what we do will be an accurate reflection of Christ.