Summary: Reveals the picture of what the Christian should look like
“The Nazarene Knight”
August 7, 2011
Colossians 3: 1-17:
“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. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b] 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Matthew 2:23: “He (Jesus) would be called a Nazarene.”
Romans 8:29: “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”
A Christian Church has started in Colossi. Probably Epaphras planted it. Scholars believe he was one of Paul’s converts and when he went back to his hometown he started a church there. But something was happening. They were getting off the beam. They were getting off track. Some educated religious people had come in and were teaching them something different than the Gospel. They were teaching the Christian faith was incomplete; that they were to worship angels and to follow special rules and ceremonies.
They were not giving the person and work of Christ proper interpretation or emphasis. They were distorting and minimizing these doctrines. This false teaching also contained a philosophic appeal and an emphasis on higher knowledge of the cosmic order. There were also elements of Judaistic ritualism and traditionalism present. Contrary to orthodox Judaism, the false teachers were encouraging the Worship of angels, whom they believed controlled the operations of nature to some degree (2:18-19). There was an emphasis on ascetic self-denial (2:20-23) and apparently the idea that only those with full knowledge of the truth, as taught by these false teachers, could understand and experience spiritual maturity (1:20, 28; 3:11). To make a long story short – this Christian church was being infected by false teaching, in particular – paganism and Gnosticism mixed with legalistic Judaism. Paul warns them,
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”
The Church today has been infected by hollow and deceptive philosophy also. 80 percent of America claims to be Christian. The evidence of that is lacking. The word “Christian” at one time meant “Christ-like”. Today people claim it even though they are opposed to the very teachings of the Bible and are anything BUT Christ-like. People who believe they can live in rebellion to Christ and His Word even call themselves Christian.
This morning I want us to take a look at a true Nazarene Knight; a true follower of Christ – as Paul defines him.
First of all, the Nazarene Knight has died to self. The Nazarene’s Knight has died to the world Colossians 2:20 reveals to us. So first of all – we need to die to our old sinful way of life. Some false teachers claim this isn’t important. You can just believe. Jesus said,
“Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” John 3:3