Christ is Real Change Your Focus

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Christ is Real Change Your Focus
Colossians 3:1-11

Christ is Real Change Your Focus – How we interpret what we see determines our feelings and our actions. Consider an example: from your yard, you can see two people, and one person is obviously struggling. If you interpret what you see as a crime in process, you rush into the house and call 911. If you interpret what you see as a person being rescued from an accident, you hurry down the street to help. What you feel if you think you are witnessing a crime and what you feel if you think you are witnessing a rescue attempt will not be the same feelings.

Christ is Real Change Your Focus
Christ is Real Change Your Focus

Christ is Real Change Your Focus – How we interpret God’s actions and how we interpret our struggle with evil determines our feelings and our actions. Consider an example: if our personal view of God is He controls everything including Satan and evil, then we regard every undesirable happening as God’s fault. God is either toying with us, or using us for amusement, or is unfeeling and unconcerned about our distress and suffering, or is just plain mean. Why? God is in control. God can do anything. God is doing nothing but ignoring us as we struggle and suffer.

Does God fight us, or does God sustain us? Is He our opponent who destroys us or our rescuer who delivers us?

Our view of God is the foundation of many of our struggles. People’s view of God always has been the foundation of their struggles. For the Christians at Colossae, their view of God was a major problem.

Read with me Colossians 3:1-11.

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.

  1. We must not rip this passage out of the context of the situation at Colossae.
    1. I said it before, I will say it again many times: never forget that people divided the writings into chapters and verses long after the writings were produced.
      1. The typical way that we read the Bible is chapter by chapter.
      2. The certainly is not wrong, but it can create a huge problem.
      3. If we read a chapter as though it is information isolated from the letter and isolated from the chapters before and after it, we are very likely to misunderstand that chapter.
      4. If we read this chapter as though Paul wrote to us in the twenty-first century instead of to the Colossian Christians in the first century, we will change Paul’s emphasis and message.
    2. It is extremely important to remember Paul’s point in chapter two: the Colossian Christians did not need Christ plus something else to be spiritual.
      1. Jewish Christians did not need Christ plus Jewish ritual to be spiritual.
        1. What their Jewish critics said about spiritual standards was meaningless.
        2. Christ was 100% sufficient to be spiritual before God.
      2. Former pagans who were now Christians did not need Christ plus pagan religious experiences to be spiritual.
        1. What pagan religious leaders said about spiritual standards was meaningless.
        2. Christ was 100% sufficient to be spiritual before God.
  2. They must trust what God did for them in Christ (that is the essence of faith–trusting what God did for us in Christ.)
    1. “God did it! Trust it!”
      1. “In God’s presence, your body is dead to sin.”
        1. “It is not dead to sin because you are no longer temptable.”
        2. “It is not dead to sin because you no longer do any evil.”
        3. “It is not dead to sin because you no longer are caught in the struggle between good and evil.”
        4. “Your body is dead to sin because God made it dead to sin through His forgiveness and sanctification in Jesus Christ.”
        5. “It remains dead to sin because God’s forgiveness and sanctification in Christ is a constant, continual, ongoing process.”
      2. “In God’s presence, you, as a person, have been raised with Christ.”
        1. “Being raised with Christ is not based on your perfection; you are not perfect.”
        2. “Being raised with Christ is not based on your goodness; you are not good.”
        3. “Being raised with Christ is not based on Jewish religious ceremonies or pagan religious experiences.”
        4. “God raised you with Christ; it was an act of God.”
    2. “Because God made you dead to sin, because God raised you with Christ, trust what God did for you in Christ and change your focus.
      1. Since God used Christ to make you dead to sin, seek Christ.
      2. Since God resurrected you with Christ, seek Christ.
      3. Since Christ is seated beside God, seek Christ.
    3. “Set your mind on a spiritual focus by focusing your mind on Christ.”
      1. “God’s spiritual focus is not produced through Jewish ritual.”
      2. “God’s spiritual focus is not produced through pagan religious experiences.”
      3. “God’s spiritual focus is produced by seeking Christ, by focusing your earthly life on Christ instead of earthly religious concerns.”
    4. “When your body died, God hid your life in Christ.”
      1. “You will be presented alive in Christ when Christ returns.”
      2. “It is then you will share in Christ’s full glory.”
  3. “If you are genuinely concerned about being spiritual (as you should be!), then stop using your physical body to insult God.”
    1. “To allow your body to be used for evil purposes insults the God who made your body dead, who resurrected you in Christ, who hid you in Christ.”
      1. “When you allow your physical body to involve you in sexual immorality, impurity, ungodly passion, evil desires, and greed, you insult God.”
      2. “That is the way your body controlled you before you became a Christian.”
      3. “Before you became a Christian, your physical body determined how you lived.”
      4. “Understand that anger, wrath, malice, slander, abusive speech, and lying do not seek Christ.”
    2. “God made you a new person. God recreated you.”
      1. “God made your body dead.”
      2. “God resurrected you in Christ.”
      3. “God recreated you in Christ.”
      4. “You wanted God to do that; you surrendered to God for that to happen.”
      5. “Now accept the responsibility of being that new person.”
      6. “Do not use your body to live and act as the dead person acted.”
      7. “God recreated you in Christ; commit yourself to being the person God recreated you to be.”
    3. “God recreates everyone who enters Christ.”
      1. “The educated, sophisticated Greek.”
      2. “The religious, ritualistic, moral Jew.”
      3. “The person who entered a covenant with God through physical circumcision.”
      4. “The person whose uncircumcision kept him out of that covenant.”
      5. “The barbarian who is not civilized.”
      6. “The Scythian who is the barbarian’s barbarian.”
      7. “The slave.”
      8. “The person who is free.”
    4. God uses Christ to create a new kind of humanity.
      1. In this new creation, this new humanity, God recognizes no social distinctions.
        1. To God, there is no educated and uneducated.
        2. To God, there is no cultured and uncultured.
        3. To God, there is no religiously privileged and excluded.
        4. To God, there is no civilized and uncivilized.
        5. To God, there is no slave and free.
      2. In every circumstance:
        1. God can make the physical body dead in Christ.
        2. God can resurrect the person in Christ.
        3. God can sustain the person in Christ.
      3. No barrier can keep God from doing that. He has the desire and the power.
      4. But, when God does that, the person must accept the responsibility to be, to live like, to act like the person God recreated.
      5. It is impossible to be the new creation and at the same time to willingly allow (without resistance) the dead physical body to dictate your thinking and behavior.
      6. It is impossible to be spiritual by allowing the dead standards of spirituality to dictate how you live and what you do.

Thoughts on Punishment of the wicked

Christ is Real Change Your Focus – We have far too much in common with the Colossian Christians. Some of us, like the Jewish Christians, want to prove that we are spiritual by our religious habits. “I do not drink, gamble, smoke, commit adultery, steal, rob people, or commit violence. I go to church every Sunday, take communion, contribute, and have godly habits.” That is the approach Jewish Christians at Colossae used.

Christ is Real Change Your Focus – Some of us are like the converted pagans at Colossae. “If you are truly spiritual you have to have incredible spiritual experiences. You show your commitment to God by abusing the body. God just takes over your mind, and you rise above physical concerns. You are possessed with these strong feelings and emotions. God overwhelms you.” That is the approach that appealed to the converted pagans.

Christ is Real Change Your Focus – Paul said both were incorrect approaches. A Christian who is truly spiritual treats people with kindness, respect, and goodness. That includes his or her family. He or she is moral, pure, kind, forgiving, considerate, has the ambition to live as a godly person, and uses words and attitudes to bless people. The truly spiritual person does not lie and is not greedy.

Christ is Real Change Your Focus – The truly spiritual person understands that God recreated him or her. The truly spiritual person accepts the responsibility to live and act like the new person God created. He or she does this by constantly keeping his or her eyes on Christ.

Being spiritual means keeping your eyes on Christ. Being spiritual means building your existence around Jesus Christ.

Link to David Chadwells Sermon

David Chadwell

Author: Greg

Welcome to Gods Message on the web. My name is Greg and I want to welcome you. I started doing these Podcasts, MP3, and Audio Books back in 2007. Stay awhile and make yourself at home. The Christian Podcasts here are free and for everyone to enjoy. I’m doing a complete series on David Chadwell who is a retired minister from Fort Smith, Arkansas. I’ve also done an Audio Book for Wayne Jacobsen’s the Naked Church. Plus a series of MP3s for Pastor Billy Crone and his The Final Countdown series.

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