by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Colossians 3:1-11

 

I.         At times we stop and sigh. Wouldn’t it be nice to return to the days of childhood, when we didn’t have a care in the world? When we were ignorant of all the problems in the world and unacquainted with sin? - Matthew 18:3

            A.        In our reading, Paul speaks about the change that Christians should experience now that they have committed their lives to Christ

            B.        “Raised up with Christ” in Colossians 3:1 refers to baptism - Romans 6:3-7

            C.        Too often we think that all the effort to change comes before baptism, but change takes time and it takes effort

            D.        Interestingly, Paul calls it a renewal. We are returning to the state that we once had - Ecclesiastes 7:29

                        1.         The world and its sins have pulled us away from God - Isaiah 59:1-2

                        2.         But Christ is putting us back into a right relationship with God

                        3.         This puts a hole in the idea that we are born sinful.

                        4.         We are born righteous and become sinful - Romans 5:12

            E.        Being a Christian is about returning to the righteousness we had as children

II.        You cannot be renewed if you are carrying your past sins with you

            A.        Being a Christian doesn’t stop the temptations, but we have to consider ourselves dead to sin - Colossians 3:5

            B.        In other words, it doesn’t matter how much I want to sin, the decision was made to leave sin behind in the watery grave of baptism - Romans 6:8-14

            C.        It is sin that got us into the mess our lives once were. Holding onto sin will lead to retaining God’s anger against us - Colossians 3:6-7

            D.        So we must lay aside our sins - Ephesians 4:21-22

III.       But renewal implies that we learn what we are to become

            A.        Look at again at Ephesians 4:21. The truth teaches us how to change.

            B.        It requires a renewal of how we think about things - Ephesians 4:23; Romans 12:2

            C.        We are born again by God’s Word - I Peter 1:22-25

            D.        The Spirit who guided the writing of the Bible gives us the roadmap to how we change - Romans 8:2

IV.      Change without a target is dangerous - Proverbs 24:21-22

            A.        We are to be renewed according to the image of God - Colossians 3:10

            B.        In the likeness of God - Ephesians 4:24

            C.        We are children of God and we should want to become like our Father - I Peter 1:14-16

            D.        Thus, as Christians, we are transformed - II Corinthians 3:18

V.        When each of us change to be like God (and God is one) then the result is that we become one as well

            A.        There is no longer a distinction - Romans 10:12

            B.        That was Jesus’ prayer - John 17:20-23

            C.        Are you being renewed?

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