How Jesus Has Changed Our Lives
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. NKJV
I. A Heavenly Change 1-4
A. Brought about by a supernatural power - Resurrection - If you are raised with Christ?
1. This is not simply a change of attitude but a change of position.
2. Some people talk about Christianity like it is a club or earthly organization.
3. But real Christians have been touched by the hand of God and are saved by the power of God.
4. It is such a dramatic thing that Paul says we are risen, risen from the dead life of our past.
B. Let us leave the tomb
1. Can you imagine Lazarus being raised from the dead and when they take the grave closes off him that he heads back to the tomb and you can hear him say, “I think I can make a nice place to live out of that tomb.”
2. We have been rescued from the grave, why would we want to keep living in there.
3. But even among Christians who God has graciously rescued from the grave, they go back to live in the tomb of corrupting flesh, a life filled with things that are decaying away before our eyes.
4. But we have been risen with Christ, so get out of the tomb.
C. A different thought pattern and different world view.
1. Seek those things that are above where Christ is seated.
2. When we were children we lived in a different world.
a. A world filled with make believe, things that were not real.
b. But as we matured we put away those type of things.
c. But now in this adult life we need to see that is not the material things that are real. It is not the earthly pleasures that will endure.
d. There is a spiritual world that transcends ours and that is where we will spend eternity. Eternity.
3. Our new world is one of worship, praise, prayer, as we try to take in God.
D. It’s a different dimension
1. We are dead
a. Once we were dead in sin.
b. Now we are dead in Christ.
c. The one removed us from God, the other removes us from the world.
2. Our life is hid with Christ in God.
a. Our life, our real purpose, our most satisfying life is with Christ in God.
b. So if you seem lost, maybe you are out of your element.
c. If you seem to be chasing after rainbows that vanish away just before you get there, maybe you are searching for the wrong treasure.
d. If you cannot define your life as hid with Christ in God, you need to reexamine your life.
E. Christ is our life and when He returns we will be with Him in glory.
1. Some people spend their life to achieve some earthly goal.
2. But as Christians our goal is glory and when Jesus returns we will be there.
II. A Mortification of Our Earthly Body 5-7
A. The word means to cut off, to put to death, remove.
B. The parts that need to go:
4. evil desire
5. covetousness, which is idolatry.
C. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience
D. Once you yourselves walked in these things when you lived in them.
III. We need to move from our old neighborhood
A. But now you yourselves are to put off all these:
5. filthy language out of your mouth.
B. Do not lie to one another,
C. Since you have put off the old man with his deeds,
D. And have put on the new man
1. Who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
2. Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all
AEsop's fable says: -- "A pigeon oppressed by excessive thirst, saw a goblet of water painted on a sign-board. Not supposing it to be only a picture, she flew towards it with a loud whirr, and unwittingly dashed against the sign-board, and jarred herself terribly. Having broken her wings by the blow, she fell to the ground, and was killed by one of the bystanders." The mockeries of the world are many, and those who are deluded by them not only miss the joys they looked for, but in their eager pursuit of vanity bring ruin upon their souls. We call the dove silly to be deceived by a picture, however cleverly painted, but what epithet shall we apply to those who are duped by the transparently false allurements of the world! (C. H. Spurgeon.) (from The Biblical Illustrator Copyright (c) 2002 AGES and Biblesoft, Inc.)
Anticipations of glory: -- Do you ever feel like those lions in the Zoological Gardens, restlessly walking up and down before the bars of their cage, and seeming to feel that they were never meant to be confined? Sometimes they are for thrusting their heads through the bars, and then for dashing back and tearing the back of their dungeon, or for rending up the pavement beneath them, as if they yearned for liberty. Does your soul ever want to get free from her cage? Here is an iron bar of sin, of doubt, and there is another iron bar of mistrust and infirmity. You may have seen an eagle with a chain upon its foot, standing on a reck -- poor unhappy thing! it flaps its wings -- looks up to the sun -- wants to fly right straight ahead at it and stare the sun out of countenance -- looks to the blue sky, and seems as if it could sniff the blue beyond the dusky clouds, and wants to be away; and so it tries its wings and dreams of mounting -- but that chain, that cruel chain, remorselessly holds it down. Has not it often been so with you? You feel, "I am not meant to be what I am; I have a something in me which is adapted for something better and higher, and I want to mount and soar, but that chain -- that dragging chain of the body of sin and death will keep me down." Now it is to such as you that this text comes, and says to you, "Yes, your present state is not your soul's true condition, you have a hidden life in you; that life of yours pants to get out of the bonds and fetters which control it, and it shall be delivered soon, for Christ is coming, and the same appearance that belongs to Him belongs to you. And then your day of true happiness, and joy, and peace, and everything that you are panting for, and longing for, shall certainly come too." I wonder whether the little oak inside the acorn -- for there is a whole oak there, and there are all the roots, and all the boughs, and everything inside that acorn- I wonder whether that little oak inside the acorn ever has any premonition of the summer weather that will float over it a hundred years hence, and of the mists that will hang in autumn on its sere leaves, and of the hundreds of acorns which itself will cast, every autumn, upon the earth, when it shall become in the forest a great tree. You and I are like that acorn; inside of each of us are the germs of great things. There is the tree that we are to be -- I mean there is the spiritual thing we are to be, both in body and soul even now within us, and sometimes here below, in happy moments, we get some inklings of what we are to be; and then how we want to burst the shell, to get out of the acorn and to be the oak! Ay, but stop. Christ has not come, Christian, and you cannot get out of that till the time shall come for Jesus to appear, and then shall' you appear with Him in glory. You will very soon perceive in your rainwater certain ugly little things which swim and twist about in it, always trying if they can to reach the surface and breathe through one end of their bodies. What makes these little things so lively, these innumerable little things like very small tadpoles, why are they so lively? Possibly they have an idea of what they are going to be. The day will come when all of a sudden there will come out of the case of the creature that you have had swimming about in your water, a long-legged thing with two bright gauze-like wings, which will mount into the air, and on a summer's evening will dance in the sunlight. It is a gnat you have swimming there in one of its earliest stages. You are just like that; you are an undeveloped being; you have not your wings yet, and yet sometimes in your activity for Christ, when the strong desires of something better are upon you, you leap in foretaste of the bliss to come I do not know what I am to be, but I feel that there is a heart within me too big for these ribs to hold, I have an immortal spark which cannot have been intended to burn on this poor earth, and then to go out; it must have been meant to burn on heaven's altar. Wait a bit, and when Christ comes you will know what you are. We are in the chrysalis state now, and those who are the liveliest worms among us grow more and more uneasy in that chrysalis state. Some are so frozen up in it that they forget the hereafter, and appear content to remain a chrysalis for ever. But others of us feel we would sooner not be than be what we now are for ever, we feel as if we must burst our bonds, and when that time of bursting shall come, when the chrysalis shall get its painted wings and mount to the land of flowers, then shall we be satisfied. "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we also shall appear with Him in glory." (C. H. Spurgeon.) (from The Biblical Illustrator Copyright (c) 2002 AGES and Biblesoft, Inc.)