Jesus Christ Our Life

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If Christ is truly our life, eternal things will have the highest priority in our lives. This means that our minds will be fixated on the things of eternity. Why? Becuase we died with Christ and our life is now in Him. When He appears we will be glorified with Him. Since that is now our reality, we need to start living for eternity.

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Introduction

Jesus Christ is our life.
He changes everything.
What areas of my life need to be transformed?
PRAY
I once met a person who was completely obsessed with the Lord of the Rings.
If you’re not familiar with the Lord of the rings it is a trilogy of books written by J. R. R. Tolkien.
It was turned into a movie trilogy and is considered one of the greatest book to screen adaptations of all time.
I met a person who was obsessed with these books and movies.
You could tell they were obsessed because their room was decked out in memorabilia.
There were expensive props purchased from the movies, recreations of characters, wardrobe, and actions figures galore.
They even went so far as to learn the language spoken by the elves in the books and movies.
You couldn’t have a conversation with them without having references or quotes come up.
Their life was all about the Lord of the Rings.
What are our lives all about?
As believers in Jesus Christ, we are supposed to be obsessed with our Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.
He is the king of glory. He is the Lord strong and mighty. The Lord mighty in battle.
When someone meets us.
When they talk to us.
When they walk into our house.
They should be able to tell that Jesus is our obsession.
Scripture repeatedly reveals that salvation is a transformative experience.
Coming to Christ, getting into the Word, and fellowshipping with the saints is supposed to make us different.
Jesus is now our life.
When Jesus is your life there are three changes that take place.
Our challenge today is to experience three changes.
When our lives are changed in these ways, we know Christ is our life in faith and in practice.
When Christ is your life, real living begins.
The first change we should experience is…

1. A Change Of Purpose v. 1

READ v. 1
Paul makes a statement of reality here. He is not uncertain.
We could word this as “since you have been raised with Christ.”
You have been raised with Christ.
This is not something we have done in our own strength or ability. This is something that God has done on our behalf.
The statement of reality is followed by a call to action.
Seek the things above.
Let’s look at a few of these words.
First up is the word “seek.”
Seek – ζητέω (zēteō) look for; desire. To try to get or reach something one desires.
Seek – ζητέω (zēteō)
This is an active imperative which means we are being commanded to take an action. Commanded to do something.
This word bids us answer a very important question. What do we desire?
We are commanded to actively desire the things above.
This same word translated “above” is found in Philippians 3:13-14. Go there with me please.
Philippians 3:13-14
This is what Paul is calling us to do here in Colossians.
We need a change of purpose.
We no longer live for the uncertain pleasures of this life. We live for the eternal joy of heaven.
We are pressing toward the goal. We are reaching for the prize.
We are working and striving and living for that moment when faith will be sight!
We long for the day when we stand before our Savior and hear “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.”
Seek the things that are above.
In case we are unclear about what he means, Paul get’s specific.
The things we are to seek are the things of heaven.
Where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
Paul is reminding us that because we have been raised with Christ, we are now concerned about eternal things.
What are eternal things?
We get a clue here when Paul states that Christ is sitting at the right hand of God.
Christ is sitting because His Work is finished.
What work?
The work of salvation.
Eternal things are the things concerning salvation.
Christ is seated at the Father’s right hand because that is the position of equality and authority.
In Matthew 28:18 Jesus states that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him.
Eternal things are the things Christ cares about.
The Word of God and the souls of men are eternal.
Those should be the things that consume our lives.
When I seek the things above it changes how I live.
I don’t have time to waste. I’m working for the kingdom.
I don’t have time to gossip, to grumble or complain.
I’m about my Father’s business.
When I seek the things above it changes my friendships.
I don’t want to only have surface level friendships. I want to “go deep” and shine the light of Christ into my life and the life of others.
When I seek the things above it changes my parenting.
I’m not merely surviving, I’m guiding, leading, preparing, and equipping little hearts and lives for the kingdom of God!
Seeking the things above demands that I train my children to know and love Jesus!
When I seek the things above it changes my marriage.
I communicate with my spouse. We are a team. It is us and Christ against the world!
We share intimacy physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, and in every other way!
Seeking the things above changes my purpose.
I no longer live for myself. I live for others.
My purpose is the exaltation of Christ and the encouragement of others.
I love how Paul puts this concept in Galatians 2:20 (S).
Galatians 2:20
Galatians 2:20 NKJV
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
We have been raised with Christ! Now we live for Him.
Jesus changes what we seek. He changes our desire.
That change only happens, In Christ Alone.
Join me as we sing the first two verses of
“In Christ Alone” (vv. 1-2)
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand
In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live
Our purpose needs to change.
The second change we experience is…

2. A Change Of Thought v. 2

READ v. 2
This verse is also an imperative. The action we are called to is the setting of our mind on things above.
This verb has the idea of continual action.
We are commanded to continually make the choice to concentrate on the things above.
“Above” is the same word used in v. 1.
It is not enough to simply set our purpose and desire on the things above.
Our minds, our concentration, all our attention must also be on the things above.
Jesus changes what we think, and how we think.
This is what Romans 12:2 is talking about (S).
Romans 12:2
Romans 12:2 NKJV
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
We mentioned last week that our minds are renewed by the Word of God.
Both in our Colossians 3 passage and here in Romans 12 we are confronted with a contrast.
We are either conformed to the world, or transformed through a renewed mind.
We are either concentrating on the things above, or we are concentrating on the things of earth.
There is no middle ground.
What have I set my attention on?
What is the focus of my concentration?
Am I living for the eternal life purchased for me by the blood of Christ? Or am I living for the temporary pleasures of this life?
In 2 Corinthians 4:18 Paul writes the following.
2 Corinthians 4:18
2 Corinthians 4:18 NKJV
while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
The command to set our minds on things above declares that every day, moment by moment, we have a choice to make.
Live for eternity, or live for the temporary.
What will we choose?
Consider the warning John gives in 1 John 2:15-17. Look at these verses with me.
1 John 2:15-17
We only have room for one love in our lives.
We either love the Father, or we love the world.
Everything in the world, is temporary. Doing the will of God bears eternal fruit.
Living for eternity transforms my personal life. I must evaluate my activities to discern whether I am using my time for things of eternal significance.
Does this mean I work nonstop and never rest? No.
It means I rest when appropriate but strive to avoid wasting my time.
When I live for eternity, it transforms my relationships. My friends have been given to me by God. I must be a wise steward of those relationships.
Does that mean I cram the gospel down their throats? No.
It means I show them the love of Christ. I am the listening ear, the helping hand, the shoulder that supports them.
These actions open the door to the gospel in God’s will and timing.
Eternal living changes how I parent. My children are eternal beings. Am I pointing them towards eternal life? Am I shaping and fashioning their minds through Scripture?
Eternal living changes my marriage.
Marriage is a picture of Christ and the church.
Are we reflecting that reality?
My marriage has eternal significance.
We must experience a change of thought.
This change requires that we get into the Word of God on a consistent basis.
It also requires that we do whatever is necessary to understand the Word.
We set our minds on the things above because those are the things of Christ.
A transformed mind is a mind obsessed with Christ.
Our thoughts can only be changed through Christ Alone.
Sing with me the third and fourth verses of
“In Christ Alone” (vv. 3-4)
There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ
No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
‘til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand
Our purpose needs to change. Our thoughts need to change.
Finally, the third change we experience is…

3. A Change Of Expectation vv. 3-4

In the previous verses we saw a statement of reality followed by two calls to action.
Now we are given two more statements of reality to explain the calls to action.
That’s why verse 3 begins with the word “for.” This is the explanation. This is why we do what verses 1 and 2 say.
READ v. 3
The first statement is “you died. Your life is now in Christ.”
This word for death carries with it the idea of drowning.
When we come to Christ we die with Him.
Baptism symbolizes our death and resurrection with Christ.
Romans 6:5-6 make the point very clearly. Look at this passage with me.
Romans 6:5-6
Romans 6:5–6 NKJV
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
We die with Christ!
Yet we are not dead.
Our life is also hidden with Christ in God.
What died is our slavery to sin. What died is our bondage. What died is the flesh.
Life, real life, is found in Christ!
Our life is with Christ in God.
Where is Christ? Seated at the Father’s right hand.
Our life is no longer about this world.
Why are we seeking the things above? Because we are now citizens of a new country!
We died. We belong to Jesus!
Look with me at Galatians 3:26-29.
Galatians 3:26-29.
We are Christ’s!
We live and move and have our being in Him (Ac. 17:28)!
We are purchased possessions (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23; 1 Pe. 1:18-19).
We are crafted vessels for the master’s use (2 Tim. 2:20-21).
My life is not my own (Rom. 14:7-9; 1 Cor. 6:19).
Romans 14:8 declares that “whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.”
Because we belong to Christ, we seek the things above, we set our minds on things above.
READ v. 4
Here we have our second statement of reality. “When Christ appears you will be glorified.”
Because we died with Christ, He is now our life.
This is where our title comes from.
The Faithlife Study Bible says this

Paul underscores the significance of Christ for the believer: Jesus is not peripheral to life; He is life. He imparts God’s life, and He is the center around which life should be oriented.

Everything about our lives should revolve around Christ!
Our life is hidden in Him!
This life is not all there is. We anticipate a future life of glory with Christ!
This is our new expectation.
We live now in preparation for the life to come.
This is why we seek the things above, why we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.
Because. This life is preparation for eternity.
We will one day be glorified with Christ.
The measure of glory we will be able to give Christ in eternity is determined by our faithfulness now.
My ability to serve in eternity depends on my service now.
This means that our actions in this life are of vital importance.
I cannot afford to go through the motions.
The time I spend growing in Christ and serving others has eternal significance.
How I treat my friends has eternal significance.
How I parent my children has eternal significance.
My desire and effort to train them in the way of Christ matters.
How I treat my spouse has eternal significance.
Is Christ pleased with my marriage?
Everything we do ought to be done with eternity in view.
Why?
Because our expectation is future glory with Christ.
I live now in preparation for eternity.
Eternity is coming. Are we ready for it?
Jesus changes everything that we live for.
He is our blessed redeemer. Sing with me
“Blessed Redeemer”
Turn with me to 1 Corinthians 11:23-32. This is a time for believers to remember the price that was paid. To be reminded of the penalty of sin. Taking part of communion does not save you. This is simply a way for us to be reminded of what Christ has done. If you know the Lord as savior this morning, please join us in bread and juice as we remember Jesus Christ. These are only symbols, they represent the body and blood of our Savior. Examination – verses 26-32

OBSERVANCE OF COMMUNION

1 Corinthians 11:23-32
The Bread (His Body) vv. 23-24 #102 “There’s Something About That Name”
Jesus Jesus Jesus There's just something about that name Master Savior Jesus Like a fragrance after the rain Jesus Jesus Jesus Let all heaven and earth proclaim Kings and kingdoms may all pass away But there's something about that name
The Cup (His Blood) v. 25 #112 “Jesus, Name Above All Names” (verse 1)
Jesus name above all names Beautiful Savior glorious Lord Emmanuel God is with us Blessed Redeemer living Word
Blessed Redeemer living Word

Conclusion

Jesus Christ is our life.
He changes everything.
What areas of my life need to be transformed?
Personal: We discussed the need for an eternal perspective to change how we live. We must work for the kingdom without complaint or gossip. A commitment here may look like using my time for things of eternal value. Rest when needed, but grow in Christ and serve others. Make a schedule to see how my time is used?
Friendship: A commitment here may be going deeper and shining the light of Christ into the lives of others. Friendships come from God, be a wise steward of your relationships. Listen, help, support, and speak of Christ when the time comes. Have an intentionally deep conversation this week.
Parenting: Commit to guiding, leading, preparing, and equipping your children. It is never too late to speak of Christ. We must point our children to Christ through Scripture. Commitment: Giving them age appropriate Scripture.
Marriage: God put you with your spouse. Glorify Him in your marriage. Have intimacy in every area of life. Have conversations about more than just schedule.
Christ is your life. He is my life.
He desires to change us into His image.
For that to happen we must change our purpose, thoughts, and expectations.
Seek the things above.
Set your concentration on things of eternal value.
Remember that this life is not the end.
Live in expectation of eternity with Christ.
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