Here are the Youversion notes from this morning's sermon.
Colossians 2:20-3:11 NIV
Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
In chapter 2, Paul exposed the wrong reasons for self-denial. In chapter 3, however, he begins to explain true Christian behavior – putting on the new self by accepting Christ and regarding the earthly nature as dead. And so, in verse one of chapter 3, “Since, then” gives us a hint of this new order, a new life, a new hope. And this is essentially what Paul is describing in the phrase “you have been raised with Christ”. You see, God has given us the perfect solution for a problem – in this case, our sinful nature – through Christ and his resurrection power. But the question that comes to mind is why is it that so many who have drunk the living water return to the stagnant waters of sin? Or, as Hendrickson asks it, why should they resort to broken cisterns when the Fountain is at hand? We cannot just enjoy forgiveness from sins and not live transformed lives. What we need to be doing, says Paul, is setting our hearts on things above. This means that our lives are changed, transformed, our desires are rearranged, and our priorities are reestablished. It means that we are striving to put heaven’s priorities into practice. Dietrich Bonhoeffer referred to it as “cheap grace” – that is, forgiveness of sins without the transformation of the sinner. We need to put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature, all those things that the society, our culture tell us is “normal”. Paul’s advice invokes continued action on our part. We are to rid ourselves of all the marks of the old life (v.8). Paul’s formula for victory is Put on the new self. In other words, your conduct should match your faith. Being a Christian needs to be more than simply making good resolutions and having good intentions; it means taking the right actions. You see, the new self aspires to a different order (Christ’s order) where the practices of sin are inappropriate, are out of place. Holiness is a new order and we strive to live with the same characteristics of Christ.
My Copious Notes
We need to be people marked by prayer and holiness.
Not too many of us like change even though change can be a good thing. We need to change! When we accept Christ our old life dies and we start living a new life in Him.
Are you ready to change? I'm not sure that I am.
May God bless you richly this week.