- Sermon Notes
Clothed for the Commission Pt. 1
Illus. What should I wear?
This morning we are going to open up to Colossians chapter three. Paul wrote to the church at Colossae in order to encourage them to live according to the new life they had been given in Christ. It was a timely encouragement for their church, from what we know, there were false teachers and many voices that were attempting to make Christ invalid. But in the midst of it, Paul encourages them to rise up as those who have been raised up in Christ, and in order to do so, there were things they needed to put off and to the side, so that they could put on the characteristics of Christ and remain clothed for the commission.
Read Colossians 3:1-17
I. Don’t Forget Where Your Mind is to be Set
- In verses 1-2 we read, “keep seeking the things above, where Christ is…Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”
- “Keep seeking” (zeteo), carries the meaning of seeking in order to find. To seek by thinking, meditating, reasoning, and inquiry.
- To “set your mind,” means to direct your mind to a thing.
- Paul is saying to live in such a way that you keep seeking, thinking about, meditating on the things above. And live in such a way that your mind is directed toward heaven, where Christ is.
- And the reason to do so, is so that we will be continually mindful of the coming reality, that we are headed to where Jesus is, glory is the end of the story for those in Christ.
Illus. “It’s my Friday…”
John 14:1-3, Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
- Heaven is the place those of you in Christ are headed, if it were not so, Jesus would have told you otherwise.
- By setting your hearts and minds on heaven, you are setting them in the place where the promises are sure and secure.
Matthew 6:21, Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Illus. What really matters.
1 Peter 5:6-7, Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Ephesians 1:3, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
- When Paul tells the church at Colossae to set their minds on things above, he is telling them to place their value in Christ, to make Him what really matters.
- When we realize that the joy of the Lord far outweighs the things of this earth, when our minds and hearts are set on things above, it becomes easier to let God take control.
- In the face of what you face, don’t forget where your mind is to be set, it is to be set on heaven.
- And this is not a “set it and forget it” type of attitude, it’s a continual setting, we can’t forget where our mind is to be set. Since we have been raised up with Christ, we set our minds there.
- That is challenging to do when there is so much here below that pulls on our lives and bends our minds…But when we set our minds on Christ, and on the things above, we have a different, greater perspective.
- Do we wrestle with this? I don’t know about you, but I do! Still, I can’t forget where my mind is to be set.
- And when I set my mind, and am not conformed, but transformed (Romans 12:2).
- In that transformation, I live a new life, clothed for a greater commission, one that is beyond the current events, or our current condition.
- Lay Aside the Old Attire
- With their minds set on heaven, and because they are in Christ, Paul implored the church at Colossae to put to death what belonged to their earthly nature (immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed (which is idolatry).
- In verse 7 he wrote, “You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived…But now, rid yourselves of these things.”
- This is a powerful reality and important awareness for us to walk with. It is not seen in the world but is a reality in Christ for you and me.
2 Chronicles 7:14, If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
- It is a process we must pursue, however, and as we read these verses in Colossians, it would be easy to think that the process is simple. “Just remove the old clothes and put on the new clothes from God and be done with it.”
- But it’s not that simple always, it’s a process, often a daily process.
- There is a continual commitment and process whereby one must put off and keep putting off the old ways of thinking, old habits, old feelings and emotions.
- When you came to faith in Jesus, you brought all of you, there are many things that once were that Jesus wants to continue to make new. It is easy to fall back into the old ways, or into what is familiar, but God has better for you.
Illus. Set free after 400 years of slavery and oppression in Egypt, but thinking the same.
Numbers 11:5-6, “We remember the fish we use to eat in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leaks and the onions and the garlic, but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna.”
Isaiah 43:18-19, Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert
- Keep choosing the new walk in Christ.
Illus. Worried about what’s behind.
- There was a way in which we all walked prior to knowing Jesus. But once He is known, He comes in as Lord. There is a new walk, and a new way.
Colossians 2:20, You have died with Christ, and He has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world?
- There was a way we all walked, we are all too familiar with that walk, Paul recognized this: Vs. 7, “You once walked that way and lived that way, but now you are in Christ, lay aside the old self.”
- Clothe Yourself in the New
- Just like he named the things we should avoid, he also names what we need to put on. What we need to wear since Christ is the Lord of our lives.
- A “putting on” of the characteristics of Christ. Why? Because we are God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved (vs. 12).
- Paul says to put these characteristics on, this is the phrase used for changing a set of clothes.
- The old clothes, associated with the old ways are put off and the new put on. The new clothes, match the new you.
2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
Matthew 9:16, No one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results.
- Jesus came to make all things new. In giving the illustration of using a new piece of cloth to patch up an old garment, He is using an illustration that all would understand.
- If you cut up a new pair of jeans in order to patch up your favorite old pair of wranglers, it’s not going to work. The new cloth will shrink, it will pull the stitching, and the hole you were trying to patch will become even bigger.
- Jesus didn’t just put a patch on the old life, He made you altogether new. It is that new life in Him that we are then to walk according to.
Galatians 2:20, I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.
- “Put on the new,” Paul says, a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and love…In other words, “clothe yourselves in Christ.”
And live in such a way whereby you…
- Only do what you can attach Jesus’ name to
Colossians 3:17, Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…
- Whatever you do, whether it is in:
Word – What you say and how it’s said.
Deed – What you do and how it’s done.
- Do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus. In other words, do those things that are consistent, and in agreement, with the name of Jesus.
- Your faith should have a bearing on everything you do and say, it should have a bearing on your every way, every day.
Illus. Your stamp.
- In scripture, we read about the seal God has placed on His people.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22, “And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put His seal on us and given us His Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”
- In the ancient world, a seal was used to identify and to protect. If something was sealed, everyone knew who it belonged to, and the seal prevented anyone else from tampering with the item.
- The Holy Spirit is upon us to identify us and protect us. Our life is stamped, marked, and sealed by God through grace.
Illus. Pinned down.
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. 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. 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. 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. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.