Our Confident Hope of Real Life IN HIM! A Sermon on Col 1:1-11
The Simple Christian Life – Love, HOPE, Faith
Our Confident Hope of Real Life IN HIM!
† In Jesus Name †
May your eyes be opened more and more to the reality of your life in Christ, as you know the transformation found in God’s peace.
What is Real?
Paul, in the words to the Colossian Christians, gives them something to think about, something to spiritually chew on.
He tells them that they don’t know what reality is, that what they think is real, the things of earth, those things are not real. What is real is found in what we can’t see, the life we have in Christ.
You’ve heard about people who are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good? Paul says we’ve got that wrong – we are good, when our eyes are on Christ, when we realize that our reality could be phrased as this…..
Alleluia! He is Risen! (He is Risen indeed! Alleluia!)
And therefore? ( We Are Risen Indeed!)
And since you have been raised to your new life in Christ, then it’s time to redefine what is truly reality – to understand that our life is in Christ, that it is not subject to the things of earth.
That sounds easier than it is, to live a life that is holy and as righteous as God would have us be, as God sees us.
But the struggle to be holy, can be frustrating, and if we go about it wrong, we will fail, giving up as we don’t see the growth we think God expects.
But when we understand what it means to dwell on the things of heaven, this transformation makes sense.
What needs to be stripped away
The first thing is to understand that since we have been baptized, the sin which can so easily ensnare us is has been defeated – we have been cleansed of it, the sin we commit and the unrighteousness that affects us.
That is why Paul says “since you’ve been raised to new life” Since – it has already happened. But we need to understand it, with our head, but even more with our heart and soul. Which means we aren’t looking at those sins we’ve committed, we aren’t dwelling on the unrighteousness that affects us.
I can’t see any of us arguing for the list of unrighteousness Paul notes, Let’s look at it again. Do any of you want to be affected by these things, or the consequences of them?
impurity, or basically being unclean
Evil and what it causes us to crave
Greed? (Which Paul properly identifies as idolatry – to serve that which we can’t take our eyes or hearts off of)
malicious behavior – having the intent by word or deed to try and destroy someone.
Slander – that is denigrating speech – whether it is true or not, saying things which will hurt the character of another person,
The list isn’t exhaustive, it simply helps us understand what this world does to us, what sin causes us to do. How it breaks us, even when what starts out with good intent turns, and a desire for justice turns into a desire for revenge. Looking at something special turns into coveting, envy and a desire to get something for less. Frustration turns into gossip – and then slander, because we can’t figure out how to trust God and care for those who are difficult
It is as if these things are struggling for control of our life What a struggle that seems at times! Paul, talking of that struggle to the church in Rome declared himself a wretch.
Where is our hope? Where is this hope – our confident hope for this new life?
Remember the Since at the beginning of the readings?
Where it said, “Wince you have been raised to new life in Christ? The answer begins there.
and in verse 10, putting on the new nature – or as one translation describes it – getting dressed like Christ.
Put on New Nature = Live in Christ
Look at verse 10,
10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.
The renewal that happens in your life and in mine happens to us, as we come to know God our creator. Knowing God who creates and restores us, making us become like Him. As Paul urged the church,
I pray that out of the glorious richness of his resources he will enable you to know the strength of the spirit’s inner re-inforcement – that Christ may actually live in your hearts by your faith. And I pray that you, firmly fixed in love yourselves, may be able to grasp (with all Christians) how wide and deep and long and high is the love of Christ – and to know for yourselves that love so far beyond our comprehension. May you be filled though all your being with God himself!
Ephesians 3:14 (Phillips NT)
How wide, how deep and long and high is the love of Christ – and to know that love ourselves, love so far beyond comprehension, and may you be filled through all your being, with God himself
That is the same concept as setting your mind on things above –
Spend the time necessary thinking of the love shown you here – at the font when Christ died for you, and you were joined to that death.
To the place where you will kneel and again – be a participant, not just an observer and receive the Body broken for you, the blood spilled to cleanse you of your sin. Know the power of sin was shattered there, as you begin to comprehend His love, it changes you… you become like Him, as He transforms you. This is what is real, this is where our focus of life needs to be.
Being holy isn’t done by sheer will, but recognition of need, and the wonder and awe that comes from seeing that need met.
God loves you…loves you enough to unite you to His son.
The son who, alleluia is risen!