Colossians #12: Colossians 3: 1-4

 


Colossians #12:  Colossians 3: 1-4

 We will begin examining the 3rd chapter of Colossians.  But first a review of the gems we picked up from chapter 2.

 

Separation, distance, and most likely time are not obstacles to our prayers.

 

Our prayers for others and our testimony are an encouragement to others. 

 

Our prayers for others, called intercession, are often more effective than when we pray for ourselves

 

Everything that we need to know about salvation is discovered in and through Jesus. 

 

Jesus is with us so we are to be with other believers, even if we never see them face to face.

 

Our acts of love are a demonstration of the substance of the faith. 

 

When you acknowledge, believe, commit, asking God to accept your faith in Christ, He makes you part of the Church.

 

We must have a firm grasp on the truth

 

Once you know the basics, there is work to do. 

 

A sign of being right with God is a thankful heart. 

 

Don’t get spiritually off track, use common sense, so you won’t get dragged away into uselessness by the persuasive arguments of influential people.

 

Presenting the gospel in a relevant manner is crucial, misrepresenting the Gospel for cultural relevancy is destructive.

 

Intellectual belief or conforming to some formula or ritual is not the golden ticket to heaven, what you do is of utmost importance. 

 

Everything you need to know to thrive spiritually is out in the open, public knowledge, all found in Jesus.

 

The stars do not control your destiny nor does the past seal your fate, Jesus sets His disciples free.  Jesus and you today create all your tomorrows.

 

Faith allows you to appropriate the accomplishments of Jesus and make them your very own. 

 

Everything you need to be saved has already been done for you.

 

God desires a circumcision of the heart that results in you being a lover.

 

Jesus has opened the cell door and invites you to walk out of estrangement and into reconciliation

 

Any ritual is meaningless if it is not the result of faith in Jesus.

 

If there is no fruit from your faith, you have to discover why this is so

 

If you are a believer and never have been baptized, participate in the ritual out of a heart of obedience. 

 

Once you’ve been set free from sin and death and made alive in Christ, you don’t return to the old way of living. 

 

Discern between God’s will and religious rules to avoid IRN.

 

Discern between a word or vision from God and the delusions of the mind.

 

Discern between a Christ-centered Leader and an Ego-centered Leader.

 

If someone is ordering you, trying to manipulate you, or coerce you; work your exit strategy

 

You can find all these thoughts in greater detail on our website www.hbcc.life or YouTube channel HBCC Life.  Put them into practice.  You start putting them into practice by testifying to your faith in Jesus.  In your heart of hearts, you have acknowledged that sin has separated you from God and the life you feel you should be living.  You have believed that Jesus is the way the truth the life who forgives your sins and reconciles you to God.  You have committed yourself to follow Jesus, bending the knee, continually “Yes, Lord.”  Then you asked God to save you and He did.  If you never have put your faith in Jesus for salvation let me know and I can try to answer the questions you may have.  If you don’t have questions for me, now is a good time to ask God to receive you because of your faith in the gospel message.

 Beginning with Chapter 3 Paul is going to encourage us in the life we are to be living once we are reconciled to God.  We are going to explore the cultural background that will give us insight into Paul’s teaching on baptism and then the expectations of the person who calls Jesus Lord.

 Colossians 3:1-4 (MSG)

So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that's where the action is. See things from his perspective.

 3 Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you'll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.

A person enters the kingdom of God by faith (Ephesians 2:8), but at this time a person entered the fellowship of the Church by baptism.  Baptism was by immersion (Romans 6:3-11) when the water was available, an imitation of John the Baptist, baptizing the repentant in the Jordan River.  Jesus himself was baptized by John (Matthew 3:13-17).  Baptism is a public proclamation of your faith and commitment to be a follower of Jesus.

 When you submitted to baptism you symbolically died and rose with Jesus.  In the submerging, you are buried in death, identifying with the death of Jesus.  He died to make it possible for you to live righteously.  The death symbolized in baptism is a death to the old ways of living your life, it is death to self-exaltation, self-rule, and self-centeredness.  “The old is gone” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  The old habits, attachments, addictions, the old curses, the old labels no longer dictate your choices, their power is gone.  You now choose your behaviors, no longer can the old hijack your best intentions.  You die to the old way of life, and the old ways lose their controlling power. You have left the old way behind.

 Romans 6:3 (MSG)

“…didn't you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind…”

 You're e not kept underwater.  When you rise from this watery grave you rise a different person.  You have identified with Jesus' resurrection and with it the hope that you will be raised.  You have a new life “The old is gone, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Now you are living the resurrection life.

 Romans 6:3-4 (MSG)

“…when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!  That's what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus.

 Living the resurrection life, the world, its value system, its glimmering, shimmer, and glory loses its appeal.  Old ambitions evaporate.  The follower of Jesus has a new focus, a new intent, a new desire: love God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength, and their neighbor, the others in their sphere of influence.  Now instead of getting, there is a concentration on giving.  Instead of ruling now, it will be serving.  Instead of vengeance, forgiveness, love instead of hate, peace instead of conflict, encouragement instead of criticism, kindness instead of judgment, righteousness instead of sin, obedience to God instead of rebellion.  Reconciled to God you are a new person, spiritually alive, with a new lease on life.

 Have entered the water symbolizing repentance, leaving the old ways behind, immerse in the water symbolizing death to the old way, raised from the water symbolizing the new life resurrected in Christ, you leave the water symbolizing your intent and desire to live your life to the fullest under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  If you have asked the Father to accept your faith in Jesus, then baptism is your testimony to the fact that Jesus saves you now. 

 In other letters that Paul wrote, we read: “For me to live is Christ (Philippians 1:21); “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).  Life is Christo-centric, Jesus-centered no longer self-centered. You seek to see all of life from His perspective, the things of earth become tools to further the kingdom, and the quality and intimacy of relationships become most important.

 Verse 3 contains a play on words that we do not see in the English translation. “Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life.”  What is going on here is a subtle comparison between the teachings of Gnosticism and Christianity.  That word invisible, or in other translations, hidden, is the dig.  Paul is telling his readers that the Gnostics have their wisdom hidden in books, Jesus is wisdom and the followers of Jesus have their lives hidden in Him.

 What you need to know about baptism is that it is not a ritual that allows you to enter the Kingdom of God.  Faith in what God has already done for you, acknowledge, believe, commit, ask, bring reconciliation.  Baptism at the time Paul wrote was the entrance into the fellowship of the Church.

 Paul then proclaims that what is hidden will be revealed when Jesus comes again.  At this time followers of Jesus were not highly regarded.  Some despised them, a cult of atheists, disloyal to the state, later charges of orgies and cannibalism will be levied.  No esteem.  No respect.  No good.  All such will be turned upside down when Jesus comes again.  When Jesus' glory is revealed so will that glory manifest in every one of Jesus' followers.  In the instant of Jesus’ return, the real you will be fully revealed, from obscurity to great worth, acknowledged by God Himself.  Until that return, keep following, keep loving, and keep “faithing.”

 

One thing you should put into practice today from this passage.

 You are expected to live the life of a disciple.  Deeds of love are characteristic of a disciple.  Love entails obedience to God in all things.  Love encompasses meeting the needs of others.  Love embraces partnering with the Holy Spirit's sanctifying power that transforms us in ever-increasing likeness to our Savor.

 You are expected to be living the resurrection life.  You are expected to overcome the old ways of life that have lost their controlling power and continually bend your knee to the will of the Father. 

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