Summary: As Christians we are in the world but not of the world.
Colossians 3: 1-11
Pray. Lord let the words of my mouth and the mediation of all our hearts be acceptable to you Lord our rock and salvation.
This morning’s sermon is titled; Set you mind on things above.
In the second reading from the book of Colossians Apostle Paul was addressing controversy that had developed in the gentile congregation in Colossae (co-lah-sea).
It was interesting to me as I prepared this morning’s sermon that even back in 60 A.D. there was controversy and conflict within congregations.
Like the gentiles in Colossae (co-lah-sea) we all can get wrapped up in things of this world which produces anger, rage wrath, malice, politics, and slander. (pause)
If you are sitting there right now thinking about someone else judging them you are allowing earthly things take control of your mind.
Today’s Scripture is to remind us as Christians not to set our mind on things on earth rather to set our minds on things above.
As Christians we are taught we are in this world however not of this world. That is what Apostle Paul was writing about in today’s lesson.
Faith in Christ means being united to Christ; and if we share his life, we must follow his example living in this world but not be part of this world.
There are some Christians who will defend the truth at the drop of a hat, but their personal lives deny doctrines they profess to love and defend, (pause) especially when it comes to forgiveness.
The truth is found in Romans 6:8 if we have died with Christ, we also live with him.
Christ can not live in us by his Spirit and permit us to live in the world of sin.
Christ not only died for sin, bearing its entire penalty, but died unto sin breaking its power!
Life is what you are alive to! To live in Christ is to have Christ as our life. To be free in Christ is life from above.
I heard a story about two sisters who enjoyed attending wild parties, drinking lots of alcohol and going home with someone different every night. Then Christ converted them and they found a new life in Christ. They received an invitation to a party and sent their RSVP saying “we regret we cannot attend because we recently died.”
Again from Romans 6 if we have died with Christ, we live in Christ.
When we are baptized we go in the water stripping off the old self with its fleshy practices and come out of the water clothed anew. It is the sacrament that allows is to die in Christ and live in Christ!
We are united in Christ and live for Christ. We no longer belong to the world, but to Christ. Life is Christ!
The Christian life is a hidden life as far as the world is concerned as the world does not know Christ.
Our life is not this earth, but heaven. This does mean we ignore our earthly responsibilities. Rather it means our motives and strength come from heaven, not earth.
Colossians 3:2 set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
But how do we do this?
For me, when I am being attacked or over come by worldly things, I let my mind think of the beautiful glory of heaven and the peace and happiness that is coming.
Our feet have to be on earth, but our minds and hearts must be in heaven.
This is not to suggest that we become so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good. It means that the practical every day affairs of life get their direction from Christ in heaven.
That means according to the book of Colossians putting to death whatever in you is earthly; fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire and greed.
We must not let anger, wrath, rage, malice, or slander take over when dealing with one another.
Do believers in churches commit such sins? Unfortunately yes. It goes far back to 60 A.D. and all the way up through to the current 21st century.
I remember reading an article about a pastor who was approached by a parishioner who wanted to challenge him.
Wouldn’t it better for you to preach those sermons to the lost and not us Christians, asked the parishioner. After all, said the church member, sin in the life of a Christian is different from sin of other people who are lost. (pause)
Yes the pastor replied its worse!
When Jesus arose from the dead, Jesus left the grave clothes behind. The grave clothes represent the old life with its sinful flesh deeds and motives.
According to Romans 6:4, we are told we must walk in newness of life in Christ by stripping off the old self with its practices and motives and become clothed anew in Christ.