Colossians 3:1-4 NASB
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
It is essential, before we can live the Christian life, that we have first of all died with Christ to sin, and that we have been raised with him to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24). If that has not taken place in our lives, then we can’t do the rest of what this talks about. For, we have to die to sin and self in order to live to Christ and his righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24; Lu. 9:23-25).
Then, now that we have died to our old lives of sin, and we have been born again (spiritually) of the Spirit of God, we can seek those things which are above, i.e. those things which are of eternal value and which glorify God and which help to advance his heavenly kingdom, i.e. that which is holy.
While we live on this earth, we will, by necessity, be involved in some of what is of this earth, such as having to work jobs, raise children, do dishes, clean house, pay bills, drive places, and mow lawns, etc. So, by necessity, our minds and our time will have to be occupied somewhat with these things. This is just part of normal human life on this earth, which is neither moral nor immoral, but just is.
But, our minds and our hearts should be set (fixed, firm, determined and unbending) on that which is of God, of His Word, and of His Kingdom. What is of the Spirit of God should be the focus of our minds, hearts and lives. We should no longer have our minds determined to walk in the ways of the flesh and yielded to the ways of this sinful world. For…
“… the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:6-8 NASB).
So, our thinking, our attitudes, our emotions, and our actions should be to the glory of God and to his service and no longer given over to the flesh.
Considered as Dead
Colossians 3:5-8 NASB
Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.
So, how do we do this? For one, we can’t do this in our own flesh, our own way, and according to our own timetable. If we have the “My Do It!” approach to overcoming our flesh, we will live in defeat and in continual failure and frustration. Many people try this approach because they want to still be in control of their own lives, but the result will always be the same. And, that is because the flesh is still on the throne of their lives, and flesh cannot defeat flesh, plain and simple.
So, the only way that we can consider our earthly bodies as dead to immorality, impurity, evil desire, and idolatry, etc. is by having hearts and minds which are yielded to God, submissive to his will, and walking in obedience to his instructions to us, his people.
Therefore, we have to remove from our lives all that hinders our walks of faith and all that leads us into sin and that trips us up so that we don’t end up yielding to our flesh on a consistent and habitual basis. And, we have to have that renewing of the mind and that determination of the mind away from that which is sinful and toward all that is holy and righteous. We can’t play with this, in other words, or we will get burned. A little poop in our brownies is still poop, any way you look at it. It is still nasty!
Basically, we have to become radical about sin and about the Christian life. We can’t walk the middle of the road on these issues. We can’t watch sexually charged TV shows or movies or listen to music or play video games, etc., which have sexual or even romantic content, and expect to not be impacted by them. We can’t have private chats with people of the opposite sex or same sex attraction without the knowledge of our spouses, or if we are minors, without the knowledge and accountability to our parents.
I believe one of the biggest reasons why adultery and sexual immorality and sexual deviancy have reached such high numbers in today’s world, and inside the church, and in the home, is because of Smart Phones, tablets (I Pads) and personal computers where adulterous (including romantic) affairs, porn use, and sex texting and chatting is commonplace and can be done with relative ease and privacy even in a corner in a room full of people; and, because parents are handing these devices to children as “babysitters” and they are not monitoring what their children are doing, in many cases.
The New Self
Colossians 3:9-11 NASB
Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.
One of the biggest ways in which these immoral behaviors get a hold of people is through lying. They lie because they don’t want anyone to know what they are doing. They lie, too, because they want to continue what they are doing.
In today’s society, even within the church, lying is often encouraged. It has become now so common place, even among those who profess the name of Jesus as Savior of their lives. So, one of the first things which must be done to put these things off is to tell the truth and to stop lying, because lying about sin only allows for sin to continue.
Again, faith in Jesus Christ, the kind which saves us from our sins, dies with Christ to sin and is raised with Christ to newness of life to be lived to Christ’s righteousness and holiness. This means we put off these old sinful practices and we put on our new lives in Christ Jesus which are being renewed to a TRUE KNOWLEDGE according to the image of the One who created us.
And, it is very important here that we distinguish what is “TRUE” and what is “FALSE” when it comes to knowledge of the gospel of our salvation. For, there are many false teachers and witnesses within the gatherings of the church who are teaching a false grace gospel (a lie) which requires no turning from sin (repentance) and no obedience or submission to Jesus Christ and his cross. This means they do not teach the necessity of death to sin or living to righteousness as required for eternal life with God.
Instead, they give people the false notion that they can live in sin and still have the hope of heaven when they die, but scripture disputes that notion. Scripture teaches that if we walk in (live in, practice) sin, we will die in our sins, not have the hope of eternal life with God when we leave this earth (See: Rom. 8:1-17; Lu. 9:23-25; Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Jn. 1:5-9, etc.).
Put On Love
Colossians 3:12-14 NASB
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
All throughout the New Testament we are taught, not only that we should put off the flesh and its sinful practices, passions and desires, but that we are to put on Christ and his love. If we want to get rid of sinful habits in our lives, we must not only put them off, and stop doing them, but we must put on what is righteous, holy, virtuous, moral and honest. But, this must be done under the direction and in the power of God’s Spirit within us.
One of the biggest hindrances to our walks of faith and of love in Christ Jesus, and which is often a motivator for continued sin, is unforgiveness, anger and resentment, all rolled into one. And, at the root of it all is anger with God, because when we hold on to anger, bitterness and resentment, and we are unwilling to forgive others who have hurt us, truly we are mad at God for what happened to us and that he did not rescue us. And, this also means that we do not trust in his sovereignty over our lives.
So, if we want victory over darkness in our lives, and we want to walk in the love of Christ, and to love others and to forgive others as he has forgiven us, then we need to first of all forgive God, although he has done us no wrong, and we must accept his sovereignty over our lives, and praise him not only when things are going well, but we need to praise him even in the storms of life, when things don’t go so well. And, we need to forgive anyone who has ever done us wrong, so that God’s love can now flow through us.
He Keeps Me Singing
Luther B. Bridgers
There’s within my heart a melody
Jesus whispers sweet and low,
“Fear not, I am with thee, peace be still,”
In all of life’s ebb and flow.
All my life was wrecked by sin and strife,
Discord filled my heart with pain;
Jesus swept across the broken strings,
Stirred the slumbering chords again.
Feasting on the riches of His grace,
Resting ‘neath His sheltering wing,
Always looking on His smiling face –
That is why I shout and sing.
Though sometimes He leads through waters deep,
Trials fall across the way,
Though sometimes the path seems rough and steep
See His foot-prints all the way.
Soon He’s coming back to welcome me
Far beyond the starry sky;
I shall wing my flight to world’s unknown,
I shall reign with Him on high.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus –
Sweetest name I know,
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go.
Sunday, June 10, 2018 – Thank you, Jesus!