Colossians 3:1-11

Colossians 3:1-11

“Looks Good On You, Babe Part 1”

 

Welcome In The Name Of The Father, The Son, And The Holy Spirit

 

 

1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

2

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

3

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

4

When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

 

 

5

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

6

On account of these the wrath of God is coming.

7

In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.

8

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

9

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices

 

 

10

and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

11

Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all


 

Introduction:

Let me introduce you to Betty!  Does Betty look good? It depends on what you’re looking at. We put a lot of time and thought into what we are wearing. We want to look and feel good. Style, however, is in the eye of the beholder. Style is subjective. Some would love Betty’s outfit, others would put her on the blacklist. Thankfully God looks at the soul.  God not only wants us to “put on the new self” but He also sent His Son to the cross to make a “new self” possible for us.

When you watch the Emmys or the Oscars, “A” List actors walk down the red carpet and the one question they are repeatedly asked is “Who are you wearing?”  I am going to ask you the same question this morning, “Who are you wearing?” Are you wearing the old self, or the new self? Are you wearing the earthly or the heavenly? Have you put on Christ? True beauty comes from Christ. Being dashingly handsome is not about the right duds, it is about Christ. For, our looks, and our clothes, and our cool, are all passing away along with this world. But Christ lasts forever.

A woman can have a lot of name brand clothes, pricey spray on tans and teeth whiteners, and still be feel unlovable despite portraying herself as the confident life of the party to the world.

A Man can pump a lot of iron and get a lot of tattoos and still be a scared little boy on the inside despite portraying himself as a fearless tough guy to the world.

I would surmise that a lot of folks put some thought into what they were wearing this homecoming weekend as they went to class reunions and dances.

The gift of not being bound to a dead world that is swiftly passing away is the superior inheritance. I always longed for eternity: I have found it in Christ. I always longed for longevity: I have found it in Christ. I always longed for a life of consequence and significance apart from the opinions of shallow people. Christ crucified for sinners was the answer to my prayers.

Husbands, let me ask you a question: have you ever gone shopping with your wife?

All across America are miserable looking husbands sitting outside of department store fitting rooms. Wives come out and ask the question all men fear, “Does this look good?”

The right answer, if you want to live, is always “Yes”.  It’s also the right answer if you want your Bride to thrive and flourish because we live in a world that is rough on women.

(Aside, I actually loved going shopping with my Resplendent Bride when she was alive. She was frugal, and hardly ever wanted to spend money on clothes, but when I bought her a new something she would delight in it. It really was quite cute.)

The Gospel Coalition’s 9 facts you should know about woman’s body image.

 

We tend to stereotype men as being immune to body image issues.  We think of the dude with a beer gut who is still quite confident that he is a sexy beast.

We think of that Tim McGraw song where he’s trying to get a girl to like him at the fair, and he’s wearing a “BBQ stain on His White T-Shirt” But that doesn’t stop him. He’s not going to let the fact that his shirt is advertising the fact that he can’t handle eating stop him from asking the girl out.

But studies indicate that men are much more insecure about how they look than we think.

 The Gospel Coalition’s 9 facts you should know about men’s body image issues.

So, it would seem that we dustlings are much more complicated creatures than we realize. The Word says to put on the new self. The questions before us are, 1. What is the old self?  2. What is the New Self, and 3. How do I put it on?

1.  Colossians 3:1-4 encourages us to put on the new self by pointing us to the present Grace in which the Christian stands, as well as what John Piper might call the “Future Grace” the Christian shall one day stand in.

 

1

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

 2

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

3

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

4

When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

 

Q:  What does “putting on the new self’ look like? Verses 1-2 says that you look good in the new self when you….

 

1.) Have been raised with Christ.

 

Colossians 2:12

having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.

 Q: How are we raised with Christ?

A: Faith in the powerful working of God.

Faith in Christ crucified and resurrected from the dead for the forgiveness of our sins: this is how we put on the new self. However, Paul does not take being “raised with Christ” in Colossians 3:1 for granted, for he, with good reason, writes “If then you have been raised”.

Why was it good for Paul to write “If”? I tell you this much: Paul is not using a scare tactic. He is not trying to cause dearly bedraggled saints to question their salvation based upon their fruit. No, far be it. The Apostle Paul wants the opposite of despair. You see, in verses 5-9 he writes a long list of things those who have put on the new self no longer marinate in. Things the honest saint will admit that s/he once considered good and healthy. Things that are dark and terrible; things we must war against. Things we have no hope of conquering in the dark marches of the night “if” we have not been raised with Christ. To tell those who have not been saved by the grace of God that they must somehow leave the dark old ways behind without the gospel of resurrection and newness of life would be the worse kind of legalism. This is why Paul gently writes, “if”, not as a way to stoke the saint’s worse fears about himself, but to shine light on how to putting on the “new self.”

 

John Piper once said: “The only sin that can be defeated in your life is a forgiven sin.”

 

Paul is not here preaching the anti-gospel of “try harder, do better”. He is preaching victory in Jesus.

Secondly, you look good in the new self if you are seeking the things above, that is setting your mind on the things above rather than the dusty, fleshly, things of earth (Col. 3:1-2).

 

Q: So, if I look good in the new self, how do I put it on?

A: Dying & Hiding (Colossians 3:3-4).

 The new life is custom tailored to you, after all, Jesus Christ died a particular death to die for your particular sins in order to grant you your own particular new life.

3

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

4

When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

 

We put on the new self by dying, and hiding with Christ in God.  Is it not just like the Christian God to say the way to eternal life is dying and hiding rather than living to fight another day? Paul will flesh this out more in verse 5, but right at the moment in v. 4 he points us to the our future hope. Our present hope looks like Jesus because our future hope is Jesus.  Paul writes that Christ is our life. Our looks are not our life. Our clothes are not our life. Our reputation is not our life. Our platform is not our life. Our influence is not our life. Christ is our life and He is coming back. Someday we shall all die save for the very last generation. When God’s sovereign clock runs out upon His creation He shall send God the Son back to the world the Son created and upholds by His own might (Colossians 1:16-17), and He shall be glorious to behold. Those of us who have died in Christ shall have our death scarred bodies raised and restored, for in the end the Christian must be like his Christ. For truly we hold onto this truth with baited breath and tears: God’s victory over death shall be utter.

 

2.   v. 5-6 How can we say that God hates us when He says “no” when He is saying “Yes” to us all day long in His Son?

 If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being a leader: it’s people hate to be told “no”. But, a good father says ‘no’ to protect you. A bad father says “Do whatever you want to do, just don’t stand in front of the TV during the game.” Can you discern the difference between Good Dad and Bad Dad?

Colossians 3:5-6 

5

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

6

On account of these the wrath of God is coming.

 

A.)  John Piper once said, “Don’t wake up in the morning and yield to your killer. You don’t owe your killer anything.”

B.)  Sin kills. Sin brings God’s wrath upon people. Sin separates us from God. There is no life or redemption in sin.  Sin doesn’t look good on you. It is not flattering.

C.)  The sins in verse 5 are sexual sins. Any and all sexual activity outside of the covenant of marriage is picking up your phone and saying, “Yeah, I’d like me some wrath, thank you.”. The Covenant of Marriage consists of a man and a woman, not married to other people, for life until death do them part, and murder is not an option.

 

Shining Light On The Biggest Lie:

Love & sex are not the same thing: Now, when God tells people “no” it is out of love, not hate. Nonetheless, when God tells people “no” they say, “How dare you tell me who to love.” The Bible doesn’t tell people they can’t love who they wish to love: it tells them who they can’t sleep with. But the two are not the same thing. Love and sex are not the same thing. Actually, the Bible does tell you whom to love for it tells you to love everyone. Jesus loved everyone, but didn’t have sex with anyone. As Rich Mullins once pointed out: Jesus was intimate with many people, but Jesus never had sex with any of them. We cheapen the depth and gravity of what Love is when we equate it with sex. We also send the message to single people, particularly girls and women, that they can never find love unless they are willing to have sex with men. We’d be fools not to see the link between the women’s body image issues we talked about earlier and the lie that love and sex are the same thing. We compliment a girl on how she looks from the earliest age, while we compliment the boy on punching the bully in the face. The message we send to the boy is, “you’re a giant slayer.”, “You’re a hero.”, “You’re King David.”. The message we send the girl is, “You’re only as loveable as you are physically attractive.”. I am not saying that attraction doesn’t matter, but when it comes to finding a spouse people need to spend less time watching romantic comedies and more time watching Jesus. When you have a good relationship with God (and you decide that you might be able to marry somebody without totally ruining their life) you start looking at people’s character. Look into their soul a little bit. Putting on the new self means learning to appreciate a beautiful soul until a beautiful soul becomes physically attractive.

As anyone who has ever been married to someone who is chronically ill will tell you: Love is not the same thing as sex. True Love is when you love somebody when they can’t do anything for you.

The Bible says that God loved us when we were helpless

Romans 5:8

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Sometimes people tend to get judgmental when they start talking about sexual immorality, especially if they haven’t done the particular sin that is being talked about, but look at verse 7.

7

In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.

 None of us are better than anyone else. We were all in the same boat before Christ reached down and grabbed us by the neck and said, “I love my enemies”.

 

Here’s what looks good on you:

 

Colossians 3:8-9

 

8

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

9

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices

 

Put these things off like a dirty gym sock. Roll it into a ball and chuck it!

Put it away through the cross of Christ, where Christ has done the work, and left His power for you.

 

Colossians 3:10-11

 10

and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

11

Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all

 

What looks good on you? The dying and hiding and rising with Christ. Paul writes that the new self is being renewed in knowledge after the image of it’s creator. All people are made by God in His own image. This not a faith of ignorance, but one of mind renewing heavenly revelation. The Christian faith is not one of exclusion but rather one for all people made in God’s image. God already knows who you are, and where you come from, and what you’ve done. He loves you. He sent Jesus to die on the cross for your sins so that you won’t have to die for your sins. He is asking you during this holy time, for every moment you draw breath is holy, to trade your burdens for the righteous wardrobe His Son paid His life for you to wear. You need not live under the shadow of death, guilt, and shame.  Christ is fuller, more satisfying, and better.

Why live in spiritual rags when we all see winter approaching?

May you want to be adorned with the Gospel more so than name brand clothes.

May you want to be adorned with Christ rather than the fashionista’s approval.

 

I leave you with this C.S. Lewis quote from his book, “The Problem Of Pain” I read on a blog this week:

 

“We are bidden to ‘put on Christ’, to become like God. That is whether we like it or not, God intends to give us what we need, not what we think we want.  Once more we are embarrassed by the intolerable compliment, by too much love, not too little.”

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