Summary: As we get to know God we become more and more like Him... understanding what matters and what does not.
Title: Things that Matter
Text: Colossians 3:10-11(3:1-15)
Thesis: As we get to know God we become more and more like Him… understanding what matters and what does not.
Series Title: Living with others at home and at church: How to walk hand in hand when you don’t see eye to eye.
A few weeks ago I rented Moneyball. It’s a story about the Oakland A’s and their GM, Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt. The A’s had just finished a dismal season and he is attempting to devise a strategy for assembling a team for a competitive new season. The team is losing their star players and the organization is strapped for cash so things look bleak for Beane and his A’s.
In the process he met Peter Brand, a young Yale economics graduate, who had some radical ideas about assessing the value of a prospective player. Essentially, if memory serves me correctly, they decided to simply go with guys who had pretty lack-luster careers but who had a propensity for getting on base. So they recruited a boat load of low budget marginal players and won 20 consecutive games the next season before losing the first game in the play-offs.
The word was that Beane and his brain child, Peter Brand, had concocted a strategy that ultimately would not work… Beane was bummed.
So Brand took Beane into the film room and showed him a clip of a 240 pound catcher named Jeremy Brown, who was notoriously known for being afraid to run to second base. In the game clip the pitcher started off with a fast ball. Brown smacked the ball deep center, dropped the bat and ran… rounding first he started for second, had second thoughts, dropped to the ground and crawled back to the base.
The crowd is in an uproar laughing at him. This is his nightmare. And then he realized that he had just hit the ball out of the park so he got to his feet and jubilantly rounded the bases for home.
Of course the lesson for the disgruntled General Manager who had just won 20 consecutive games is that he is not stuck on first. He has just hit a home run with that kind of a season. He needs to be celebrating with a victory lap around the bases. (PreachingToday.com, Moneyball, Sony Pictures 2011, Directed by Bennett Miller, Chapter 16)
I think that is where many of us are in the Christian life. Christ has hit the homerun, so to speak, and we now have our identity in him. We are winners who need to be done with and put off our seasons of losing and put on our new life in Christ.
That is exactly how our text begins today. Put on your new nature.
I. Put on your new nature
“Put on your new nature…” Colossians 3:10a
This week, an old friend from our Western Kansas days, posted a wonderful quote on Facebook. “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” When you commit your life to Christ two wonderful things happen. Your past is forgiven and forgotten and your future is filled with hope.
A. Your past is forgiven and forgotten
In my devotional reading this week I came across a Henry Ward Beecher quote: “We are never more like beasts than when we kill. We are never more like men than when we judge. We are never more like God than when we forgive.” Among all of the descriptors of who and what and how God is… forgiving is of huge importance to us.
One of the things I like about reading the bible is the powerful way God uses imagery to communicate spiritual truth. This is particularly true in helping us understand what happens to our sins when God forgives them.
Here is what happens to your sin when God forgives you:
Removed as far as east is from west – Psalm 103:10-12
“He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear Him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” Psalm 103:10-12
Blotted out and forgotten – Isaiah 43:25
“Yes, I alone will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.” Isaiah 43:25
Forgiven and forgotten – Jeremiah 31:34
“I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.” Jeremiah 31:34
Trampled underfoot and tossed into the ocean (where they are irretrievable) – Micah 7:19
“Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!” Micah 7:19