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Summary: This sermon demonstrates the uselessness of trying to purify ourselves because only Christ can truly prify us.

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The Supremacy of Christ is Demonstrated in Our

Personal Purity

Colossians 3:1-11

October 28, 2001

Intro:

A. [Catch-22 of Incompetence, Citation: Hank Simon, Belleville, Illinois; source: New York Times News Service, Belleville [Illinois] News-Democrat (1-18-00)]

Most incompetent people don’t know they are incompetent.

In fact, researcher Dr. David A. Dunning of Cornell University reports that people who are incompetent are more confident of their abilities than competent people.

Dunning and his associate Justin Krueger believe that skills required for competence are the same skills necessary to recognize that ability.

Krueger writes in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, "Not only do [incompetent people] reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it."

That is the way we are spiritually without Christ.

Our sin not only separates us from God, it blinds us to our predicament.

1. We may have been fooled by Satan into thinking we’re good people, but the truth is that we are incompetent and can never earn our way into heaven.

2. When it comes to salvation, we are all incompetent of earning it—only Jesus can save us.

3. And when it comes to making ourselves pure, we are incompetent.

B. Let’s read through our text and then we’ll go back and break it down…[read text]

C. When Christ comes into our life, He purifies us.

1 John 1:7, But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

1. Paul says that Christ purifies us from all sin.

a. It is not the other way around: we don’t purify ourselves through better living.

b. We don’t purify ourselves through harder effort.

c. We can’t do that; we don’t have the power to purify ourselves.

d. We don’t have the power to will ourselves into a godly person.

e. But Christ has that power.

f. Christ can and does purify us from all sin.

2. So let me ask a question: What sin does Christ purify us from?

a. Does it mean sin before we are saved? Certainly it means that Christ purifies us from all the sins we committed before we were saved.

b. But does it mean just sin before we are saved? What about sin after we are saved? Yes, Christ forgives us of sin after we are saved.

c. But is that what purify means? Does purify mean forgiveness?

d. The Greek language here refers to purity, chastity, purging, etc….

e. So the word purify cannot just mean forgiveness.

f. Certainly when we are forgiven, we are purified.

g. But if we are chaste we do not continue in sin--to truly be purified we are purged of the sin before we commit it and need to be forgiven.

h. To be truly purified, sin is cleansed from our life so that it doesn’t even enter our life and before it needs to be forgiven.

3. So can you purify yourself?

a. Can you work real hard and purify yourself?

b. Can you set up your own rules and regulations on yourself and keep yourself from sinning?

c. You’ve tried it—how successful have you been?

4. So today we are going to look at how Christ purifies us.

5. We are going to see how Christ is superior to rules and regulations.

6. Rules and regulations cannot save us and they cannot change us into Godly men and women no matter how hard we work at them.

7. Today we will see how only Christ can make us into what we need to be.

8. 1 John 1:7, But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

9. So today in the first 11 verses of Colossians 3, we are going to see six ways that Christ purifies us; first…

I. Christ purifies our priorities.

Colossians 3:1, Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

A. What are the things that we set our hearts on?

1. The things we set our hearts on are the things that matter most to us.

2. The things we set our hearts on are the things that we think are the most important.

3. There are so many things that we can commit ourselves to in this world that we cannot commit to everything that’s out there and so we have to make priorities.

4. We have to determine which things are most important to us.

B. However there is often a disconnect between what we want our priorities to be and what they really are.

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