Youth Fall 2021 Lesson 11
Demonstrate Christ’s Power
Central Theme: DEMONSTRATE CHRIST’S POWER
Objective Statement: WE CAN DEMONSTRATE CHRIST’S POWER IN OUR LIVES BY TAKING THREE ACTIONS.
Sources: Esword, Explore the Bible, W. Wiersbe, M. Henry, J. Phillips
I want you to think about the process you went through this morning when deciding what to wear to church. You most likely had to make a conscious decision to put off, or change from your pj’s, and to put on what you ended up wearing this morning. During that process you had to have had a thought, or two, of what you were going to wear, how you were going to fix your hair, maybe what shoes to wear, what belt to wear, and even what accessories you might add to your ensemble of clothing. The finished product started with a thought and ended up with new clothes that made you look differently than you did when you first awoke. That’s just like what Paul is encouraging the Colossians to do in our passage this morning. Today we will look at how WE CAN DEMONSTRATE CHRIST’S POWER IN OUR LIVES BY TAKING THREE ACTIONS.
ACTION #1 – FOCUS ON THE RIGHT THINGS
COLOSSIANS 3:1-4. 1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Paul wants the Colossians to understand that they have been risen with Christ through their salvation. Their old life is gone, the old man is gone, the old nature has been taken away and replaced with the new nature that God has given them. Because they have been saved, Paul begins to challenge them with what their new lives should look like. This would be a big change from their culture where people did not see the importance of living out their worldly religious beliefs in their daily lives. They would go to their temples and make sacrifices, partake in their religious ceremonies, or do certain practices and then just go back to their day to day lives without another thought of their religion.
Paul wanted them to understand their life had been changed through their relationship with Jesus Christ. Paul wanted them to see that Christ is alive and he is sitting on the right hand of God in Heaven. Paul wanted them to understand that in order for the practical application to be made in their lives they needed to begin thinking right. He told them they needed to set their affections on things above, the word affection Paul used there actually means their thoughts. They should begin to think about heavenly things, Godly things, and righteous things not earthly things. Our thoughts should now be different because of our new relationship with Christ. We should think differently because of Christ. When our thoughts shift from the things of the world to things above our actions will follow.
Paul wants them to understand how they are able to make this change in their thought process. He tells them that they are dead, and their new life is hid with Christ in God. Paul is telling them that Christ is the power of their new life. They were unable to make the change in their thought processes on their own in the past, but because of Christ, they now have the power to do so. They are able to demonstrate the power of Christ in their lives by setting their affections, their thoughts, on things above!
ACTION #2 – EXTINGUISH THE FLESH
COLOSSIANS 3:5-11. 5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
Paul moves on from verse one to the beginning of his practical application for their lives. The rest of what Paul tells them flows from what he had previously told them about where their thoughts should be. Paul doesn’t hold back when he begins to tell the Colossians just exactly what they needed to do first. He told them to mortify your members. What he meant was this, they needed to extinguish the desires of the flesh, the nature of the old man, and completely put to death those things that ought not be a part of a believer’s life. Just like you would use a fire extinguisher to put out a fire, we should extinguish the flesh through the power of Christ.
In verse 5, Pauls gives them a list of 5 actions that are fruits of a mind that is set on earthly things, not things above: fornication – sexual immorality, uncleanness – impurity, , inordinate affection – irregular passion, evil – evil desire, concupiscence – lustful desire, and covetousness, – greed. Paul tells them not to just dabble a little bit in fighting these desires of the flesh he tells them to fight them to the death, to put them to death, to kill them! Along with these awful actions Paul wants them to put off these 6 actions as well: anger -quick tempered, wrath – heated anger, malice – desire to injure, blasphemy – slander, filthy communication – foul language, and lie not one to another. Every single one of these actions Paul tells them to extinguish only benefits one person, ourselves. These are all selfish actions that come from thoughts based on ourselves.
Paul said earlier in Colossians 1:15 that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. Jesus is now in Heaven seated at the right hand of God. How is the lost world supposed to get a glimpse of what Jesus is like? Through us. We, who are believers in Christ, who are Christ followers, who are Christians, who are Christ-like should be putting off anything that would falsely represent Christ. Understand that this isn’t something that happens overnight. It is a process that takes time, a process called Sanctification. As we become more aware of our sin, we will get more serious about fighting it because it doesn’t mesh with our new redeemed and renewed identity in Christ.
ACTION #3 – PUT ON LOVE
COLOSSIANS 3:12-17. 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
After instructing us to put off the old selfish actions of the flesh he then instructs us to put on the virtues of Christ. These virtues spring forth from a mind that is focused on heavenly things. Paul isn’t talking about just thinking about what Heaven is like, he is talking about how we can embody more of Jesus’ life and love here in the present in our dealings with the people around us. These virtues are the complete opposite of selfishness, they are selfless.
All of these virtues come from an attitude of love. Paul tells them in verse 14 that above everything else they should put on charity, which means love. When we focus our minds on Christ and who he is, we will love others the way he did. Christ was willing to die for us, the people who embodied the actions and lifestyle represented in verses 5-9 that is who we were. But he unselfishly loved us and died for us to pay our sin debt that we were unable to pay. Everything that Christ did was out of love. Romans 5:8 says, But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
If Chris did that for us, HE can give us the power to do that for others. I’m not saying we will have to die for someone else. I am saying that we should be willing to love others the way Jesus loved us, unselfishly. Which of the new virtues Paul told us to put on, do you need to work on the most: mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, or forgiving one another?
Paul sums up what it looks like to set your mind on things above by challenging us to consider the motives for all our actions. Are we motivated by looking good, gaining influence, or increasing our own comfort or enjoyment? Or are we motivated by honoring Jesus and showing His love to others? Why do you do the things you do? Do you want to build your own reputation and kingdom, or participate in Jesus’ kingdom and help others experience the new life He offers?