Summary: This message is intended to show us we can change through the power found in Christ and help us to realize there is no hopeless situation for the Christian.
YOU CAN CHANGE
A. Change: it is not something we like, nor is it something we take too easily.
1. But we must remember it is inevitable, and often needed.
2. This is especially true in our life with the Lord, for Paul said, And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Cor 3:18
3. This is the impetus behind Paul’s command in Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
B. But change for change sake is of no use, neither is it effected by our own determination and will
1. The purpose behind all change, for a Christian, should be to bring glory to God.
a. Again Paul stated, Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Cor. 10:31
b. So the purpose of change must have the glory of God at its center.
2. This type of change cannot be accomplished simply by willing it to be so – it must have God as its instigator and the Holy Spirit as its propagator!
C. With this in mind I want to look at Paul’s words to the Colossians as found in Col 3:1-15
1. Here we read of Paul speaking to them concerning change.
2. He begins with citing the Foundation for Change
3. And follows this up with the Manner of Change
4. May God continue to work in us to change us more and more into the image of His son and our Savior Jesus Christ.
Let us begin this morning by looking at
I. THE FOUNDATION FOR CHANGE, Col. 3:1-4 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
A. The key to lasting change is found in the tiny word “if”
1. As used here it is a conjunction meaning “in the case that”
2. There are some things that should be done, predicated upon, the notion that we have been raised with Christ – thus inferring we have been crucified with Him as well.
3. To put it another way if we have been crucified with Christ we have also risen with Him
- Listen to Paul in Rom 6:3-4 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
4. Real change is based upon our acceptance of the gospel and total belief in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior!
5. Notice the wording of 2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore IF any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
B. This change in our spiritual life, from dead to alive, gives us the ability to do two things that help build a foundation for change: we spoke of them two weeks ago
1. First we are to “set our affections on things above.”
a. This word “set” means to think or judge what one’s opinion is
b. In other words I determine my goals to be of Christ’s kingdom
c. Why? Because what I set my affections upon I will seek & so will you.
2. Then we are to seek those things which are above
a. The word “seek” comes from a Greek word which means to strive after, to crave, to demand – it’s a strong word and it is not passive.
b. It is pursuing, with all that is in us the set goal, like a runner determined to make the Olympics
3. If we are going to see real change in our lives it will only happen as we set God and His kingdom first and then put all we have into seeking out how to do His will.
C. As we set and seek we need to do so with the affirmation that …his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 2 Pet 1:3