Colossians: Rules for Holy Living

Colossians: It's All About Jesus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The Book of Colossians is relevant to study before and after the Easter season because it provides one of the fullest expressions of the the deity and supremacy of Christ. It sets forth Jesus Christ as the image of the invisible God, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. The crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus provides for us complete access to a Holy God. Although, it is by grace we are saved (according to ) and are given that access, we still have the responsibility once we are saved, to act like it!
Ephesians 2:8 NIV84
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
We are called by God to be different. Being different means to do things that would set you apart.
1 Peter 1:15–16 NIV84
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
1 Set Your Heart
How does one live out a Holy Life? Even though by grace you are saved, there are some guidelines found in that give us the path to live out a Holy Life.
Colossians 3:1–11 NIV84
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
By using a beautiful description of the ordinance baptism, Paul uses references to death and resurrection to emphasize the old sins which are left behind and the death of the old nature which has been buried with Christ. The new life in Christ is being raised with Him. As we are raised, we set our hearts on things above.

Set Your Heart

Set Your Heart

The word “set” means to position in a specified place; to fix; to place or to seek or strive for earnestly. The heart throughout the Bible refers to our affections, our love, our desires and our devotion. So the words together mean to strive earnestly to place your heart. Here, Paul is saying to set your heart on things above, specifically on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Now think about that location. Seated next to God the Father. What a Holy position that would be! We need to let our earthy practice be worthy of our heavenly position! The position of where we set our hearts need to be carefully guarded.
Proverbs 4:23 NIV84
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
Ephesians 4:23–24 NIV84
to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Psalm 27:4 NIV84
One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
Psalm 27:4
Psalm 110:1 NIV84
The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”
Psalm 110:1
By the way, the Bible has many references to the Right Hand of God. I encourage you to do a study on that including this verse from .
How do you set your heart on things above?
Some practical application might include first and foremost, making sure your heart is connected to the Heart of God.
1 Corinthians 6:17 NIV84
But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
Once you are connected, conclude that you are going to serve the Lord with all your heart.
Joshua 24:15 NIV84
But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Your conclusion is also going to include instruction.
Proverbs 23:12 NIV84
Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.
After making that connection with the Lord and coming to the conclusion that you will serve Him with all you are, then conceal His word in your heart so that the word of God becomes the word for you.
After making that connection with the Lord and coming to the conclusion that you will serve Him with all you are, then conceal His word in your heart so that the word of God becomes the word for you.
Psalm 119:11 NIV84
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Then Paul moves from your heart to your thought process in instructing us to set our minds on things above and not on earthy things.

Set Your Minds

The mind throughout scriptures covers your thinking, your attitude, the ability to ponder, how you hold a view of something or what you honor. Take all that into consideration and realize that you become what you think!
Proverbs 23:7 KJV 1900
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; But his heart is not with thee.
James Allen’s masterpiece, As A Man Thinketh, published in 1903 still holds true with the idea that you control your thoughts.
He said,
you control your thoughts. He said,
"Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny."
Just like that, by setting your mind on things above, you can change the course of your life! So exactly how do you do that? Again there are many applications.
First and foremost, you have to reevaluate what is happening with your heart.
Matthew 12:34b NIV84
You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.
The overflow of the heart makes you speak, and somewhere between the overflow and the speaking you hopefully are thinking. By reevaluating constantly what you think, you are able to keep it fresh and sharp.
Psalm 26:2 NIV84
Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;
A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself concerning your thoughts is, “Does this thinking go along with what scripture teaches? Does this honor God or contradict what He and His Word reveals? If it does, you should reevaluate it and stop it in its tracks.
So you go through a reevaluation process then you renew the truths you have been taught.
Romans 12:1 NIV84
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.
Romans 12:1–2 NIV84
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2 NLT
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Notice the
When you RENEW your mind, you are changing the way you think. The word renew means to renovate. Perhaps you like watching the HGTV where they have all these shows where they take an old house and modernize it with some frilly stuff to make it more appealing. When you renew and renovate your mind, you are taking the old thought life and adding the refreshing, never changing, sensational Word of God and applying it to your life and allowing it to take root and bloom and blossom in your life. As it does, it makes your life more beautiful! God’s design for us is that we are fearfully and wonderfully made according to . We are not designed to be creatures that belittle or bemoan what God has done. We are to celebrate life and all it has for us.
When we renew our minds, we are reconstructing our thoughts to seek heavenly things. To seek heavenly things means to be spiritually minded.
Romans 8:6 NIV84
The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;
When we set our minds on things above, we will begin to see things from God’s perspective and this allows us to to reconstruct our thoughts which in turn renews us and helps us reevaluate what we are called to be and do.
You must not only seek heaven we must think heaven.
Philippians 3:19–20 NIV84
Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,
Philippians 3:19-20
We have to be sure that we are not thinking of earthly things. What are earthly things as Paul mentions here? Earthly things consist of physical appetites, social manipulation, and human tradition. These things are contrary to what God has designed for us. They are the things mentioned in .
Colossians 2:23 NIV84
Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
It is the opposite of things above. Heaven and earth are contrary to each other. Our hearts and minds need to have a new focus and a new center.
Colossians 3:3 NIV84
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:3
We are reminded that we died to the sinful life and we are hidden in Christ. This means that Christ within us should be so evident, that His life becomes our life. Our actions should be so Christ-like that one cannot tell which is of Christ and which is of you. We so set our hearts and our minds, that our behavior becomes Christ-like. I call this SYNCHRONIZING YOUR ACTIONS.

Synchronize Your Actions

Synchronize means “to cause to indicate the same, to move, operate, or work at the same rate together.” When one synchronizes his or her actions as a result of setting hearts and minds on things above, they are able to show the fruit of doing so. In other words, they are sowing seeds that will produce whatever is sown. Your actions will be the direct result of where your have set your heart and your mind.
You can’t have your heart and mind set on things above and have actions that are contrary to what God has called you to be and do. Your actions will show the truth of what you have your heart and mind set on as well.
So how do you synchronize your actions to that which you have set your heart and mind on? First you need to base everything you do on Love.
1 John 3:11 NIV84
This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.
1 Peter 1:22 NIV84
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.
Because you have purified yourselves, you are going to put to death what belongs to your earthly nature. In fact, our text today states just that in and following. Paul gives a list of at least 10 things to get rid of in verse 5 and verse 8. He says, strongly, to put them to death. Love does not have room for actions that go against what God has called us to be and do.
We are called to love in order that we may live.
Psalm 119:144 NIV84
Your statutes are forever right; give me understanding that I may live.
Galatians 2:20 NIV84
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
The love we have compels us to live accordingly. We are called to be living proof of the salvation of Christ.
We are called according to to “put on the new self which is being renewed in the knowledge in the image of its Creator.” As we are being renewed, we will be able to lead others in doing so!
Proverbs 11:30 NIV84
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.
When you are synchronizing your actions and you are loving, living, and leading others to Christ, you are completing the ultimate circle of life! You are receiving life, living life and giving life the way God intended for us to be!
Glory Hallelujah let’s grow together!!!
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