3 Colossians 3:10-12 Colossians 3:10-12 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.12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
4 Colossians 3:13-15 Colossians 3:13-15 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.
5 Colossians 3:16-17 Colossians 3:16-17 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.
6 Focus Verse II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
7 Focus ThoughtWhen we are born again, our lives change. We must abandon our worldly lifestyle, lay aside sinful behaviors, and adopt a whole new course of life.
8 Introduction Introduction Newness generally is thrilling. Consider the family that was struggling with an old car in disrepair. The steering was loose, the tires were worn, the upholstery was tattered and torn, and the transmission was slipping. They knew they needed a new car. After making their purchase, their experience involved much more than having a means of dependable transportation. The smell of newness filled their nostrils the moment they opened the doors of the new vehicle. Everything seemed fresh and new.
9 IntroductionA new house, new clothes, spring flowers, or a renewed life all produce wonder and excitement. We appreciate the difference that newness brings to every area of life, and the newness that grows from a new-birth experience is no different. Being born again involves receiving new life in Christ Jesus, and our lives will never be the same again (II Corinthians 5:17).
10 IntroductionThe Word of God clearly reveals that the Holy Ghost makes a difference within us. Ezekiel predicted the change that God would bring about in the hearts of His people, which forecast the future experience of receiving the Holy Spirit. (See Ezekiel 11:19.) Certainly, everything becomes new when we come to the Lord through the new birth.
11 I. Commitment to Christ (A-B) Choosing to ChangeVery little of value is accomplished in life without a full commitment to the task. Accomplishment requires a sense of obligation to purpose and the determination to complete the work. Soldiers going to the front lines in time of war are committed to battle. They are obligated to engage in combat regardless of personal cost.
12 I. Commitment to Christ (A-B) The parable of the great supper described in Luke 14:16-24 illustrates the need for total commitment. Having prepared a great supper, the host had committed himself to serve it. The lesson of the parable depicts the Lord Himself, who has designed salvation for every person. Through the Cross, He has provided everything that a person needs for redemption. Finally, He has extended the invitation to whoever will accept His call. Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). He has opened the door of salvation, but it is up to us to accept the invitation.I. Commitment to Christ (A-B)
13 I. Commitment to Christ (A-B) The parable reveals that when the host of the great supper invited his guests, their responses were tepid at best. Their replies demonstrated numerous activities and interests that competed against his invitation to the meal. Some of those whom he invited had acquired possessions that needed their attention. One of them sought to be excused due to his recent marriage, and the rest of them spurned the host’s invitation for various other reasons. How much like our Lord’s invitation to experience the salvation He has provided! Too many people have too many excuses for not making redemption their highest priority in life.I. Commitment to Christ (A-B)
14 I. Commitment to Christ (A-B) Full commitment to God causes a person to make his own desires secondary to the things of God. True commitment requires that individuals have Jesus Christ closer to their hearts than anything the world can offer. The true believer must exercise full commitment to the Lord, which causes him to continue to completion. A good beginning in the Christian life is admirable, but it is of little value if there is not a good finish as well.
15 I. Commitment to Christ (A-B) Being Reconciled to GodI. Commitment to Christ (A-B)God never intended for mankind to live without a deeply satisfying relationship with Him. When God created Adam and Eve, they represented the pinnacle of Creation, in complete harmony with Him. They enjoyed consistent, intimate communication with God. One simple rule they had to obey was not to eat fruit from the one forbidden tree. Sadly, Eve acted upon the serpent’s suggestion and ate the forbidden fruit. Then Adam also partook of the fruit, spoiling their relationship with God in the garden. Thereby, sin entered the human race and cursed all humanity.
16 I. Commitment to Christ (A-B) Because of Adam and Eve’s failure, all mankind has inherited a sinful nature. Driven from the Garden of Eden, the pair found themselves completely alienated from God. It was like a giant mountain had arisen between them and their Creator. A deep chasm divided them from God, and they were helpless to do anything about their condition. Somehow, they needed a restoration of their relationship with God. The solution lay in reconciliation between mankind and God.
17 I. Commitment to Christ (A-B) Reconciliation is an Old Testament term that addresses the need for a renewed spiritual relationship with God. The Hebrew word for “reconciliation” is kaphar, and it means “to cover (specifically with bitumen); figuratively, to expiate or condone, to placate or cancel” (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary). In the King James Version of Scripture, the word translates as “appease, make an atonement, cleanse, disannul, forgive, be merciful, pacify, pardon, purge (away), put off, (make) reconcile (-liation).”I. Commitment to Christ (A-B)
18 I. Commitment to Christ (A-B) God is the author of reconciliation. Since the fall of mankind in Eden, God has desired to restore the severed relationship. Mankind could neither initiate reconciliation nor cross the chasm to get to God, so God reached out to him. Paul the apostle wrote, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (II Corinthians 5:19). There would have been no reconciliation had God not initiated it.I. Commitment to Christ (A-B)
19 I. Commitment to Christ (A-B) The plan of salvation is indeed a marvel. All the details have been worked out by the One who was wronged. Through Jesus Christ and the Cross, God made a way to reconcile mankind unto Himself. (See Ephesians 2:13-16.) The Cross made peace with God possible (Colossians 1:20). God can remove sin from the heart of an individual, clearing the way for a relationship with Him.
20 I. Commitment to Christ (A-B) New life is available because of God’s great gift of salvation, which opened the door to redemption and reconciliation. However, to enjoy reconciliation with God, we must walk through the open door—repent of our sins, be baptized in Jesus’ name for the remission of sins, receive the Spirit of God, and begin our new life in Christ.
21 II. Change of Lifestyle (A) Putting Off the OldTrue Christianity is neither a negative lifestyle nor a pharisaic system where the primary emphasis is on rules and regulations. Serving God is filled with joy, satisfaction, and peace. The New Testament Christian should follow principles of holiness not because of compulsion, but because of his love for and devotion to God, and his driving desire to please the Lord.
22 II. Change of Lifestyle (A) Clearly, the Christian lifestyle does bring about real changes to our lives. True believers discontinue sinful aspects of their former lifestyle, which were self-serving, dishonoring to God, and associated with pleasing their lustful desires. They purposefully change many of their actions, habits, thoughts, and perspectives of life. They willingly make these changes in a sincere effort to live in a way that is completely pleasing to God.
23 II. Change of Lifestyle (A) The Bible often calls a person’s former life—a lifestyle over which sin ruled—the “old man.” (See Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:9.) It is a life that centers around ourselves because sin is basically selfish. In the former life of sin, God and righteousness were not part of our thinking; rather, we were concerned with the fleshly things of the world. While living only for this present life, we were not concerned with eternity because our “old man” had a corrupt nature that dominated and suppressed our moral nature.
24 II. Change of Lifestyle (A) To experience the “new man” and new life, we must “mortify [or kill] the deeds of the body” (Romans 8:13). This involves suppressing the old sinful nature with which we were born. We must resist sin and allow it to die. If allowed to remain, it would eventually overcome our new lives and we would return to lives of sin.
25 II. Change of Lifestyle (A) Beginning with Ephesians 4:22, Paul the apostle outlined the changes that we must make in our lives if we are to live Spirit-filled lives of true holiness. (See also Galatians 5:16-26.) Following after spiritual pursuits and adopting spiritual disciplines causes many positive changes in our lives. Everything becomes new to the believer, including his lifestyle. His life centers around his intense desire to be like Jesus. This is how a person “puts off” the “old man,” or lifestyle.
26 II. Change of Lifestyle (A) Perhaps the key to leaving behind the old life of sin is found in Ephesians 4:27 where Paul urged the Ephesian believers not to “give place to the devil.” Satan will do everything possible to weaken believers and turn them from the new nature that rules in their lives. We must reject any suggestion or temptation that would lessen our sense of dedication to the things of God. We need to exercise a deep commitment to follow Jesus Christ wholeheartedly.
27 II. Change of Lifestyle (B) Putting On the NewII. Change of Lifestyle (B)A song popular with young soldiers entering the military during World War II said, “Bring enough clothes for three days.” It recognized that soon they would discard their civilian clothes and replace them with a military uniform. They were entering the military and were to wear clothes that showed their new position. No one could doubt their association with the military.
28 II. Change of Lifestyle (B) When a believer begins his new life with Christ, he experiences obvious changes within and without. Like dressing in a new set of garments, the apostle Paul described it as putting on a new person (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10). It dramatically affects how a person behaves, how he dresses, where he goes—everything about his life. The positive changes in his life will be clear to others as the inward changes influence outward, visible transformation.
29 II. Change of Lifestyle (B) Mark 10:46-52 records the healing of blind Bartimaeus. It is interesting that when Jesus called for him, Bartimaeus cast “away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus” (verse 50). Was it an act of faith and expectancy? Perhaps we cannot know for certain, but it suggests a demonstration that he no longer intended to live the life of a blind beggar dressed in ragged clothes and that he was discarding his old garment for something better. Indeed, Jesus opened his eyes and he was able to live a completely new life. In a similar fashion, in the new life that we live as Christians, we gladly cast aside that which was associated with our former life.II. Change of Lifestyle (B)
30 II. Change of Lifestyle (B) In Colossians 3:11-16, the apostle Paul instructed the Colossian believers in principles that would help them to maintain their new lives in Christ, and certainly they are appropriate for all Christians.II. Change of Lifestyle (B)Believers should keep a heart of compassion (“bowels of mercies”). It is vital that Christians keep their hearts pure and tempered toward one another.Believers should be kind to one another. It should be a natural instinct for genuine kindness to flow from them to others.should exhibit true humility, meekness, and longsuffering.
31 II. Change of Lifestyle (B) Believers should be patient with one another and quickly forgive those who transgress against them.Most importantly, believers should exhibit pure love toward others. Love is the glue that holds all the Christian graces together.Believers should live with the peace of God ruling in their hearts.Believers should keep the words of Jesus Christ alive and vibrant in their lives.
32 III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C) Coming Out of the WorldOur new life in Christ Jesus places us in a realm that is completely different from our old life of sin. We once were under bondage, servants to unrighteousness; but the Holy Ghost freed us from our old master, and we have become servants to a new master. Righteousness is now the focus of our lives. We have new priorities, new attitudes, and a new way of life; everything is now different.
33 III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C) To continue successfully in the new life that Jesus Christ has given, a person should completely separate from anything that would weaken and eventually destroy his relationship with God. The Scriptures teach us that believers should not be “unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (II Corinthians 6:14). Some have taken this admonition to an extreme, contending that Christians should completely back away from their unsaved family members and friends.
34 III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C) However, Paul was not suggesting isolationism; he only pointed out our different position as Christians and our responsibility to maintain intimacy only with those who share our high spiritual goals and desires. We are different from the world. Spiritual tragedies often result from inequitable, intimate relationships between believers and unbelievers—whether in marriage, business, or social relationships.
35 III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C) It is vital for believers to recognize their position in Christ. God no longer dwells in manmade buildings (Acts 17:24). Believers are now His dwelling place, for the Holy Spirit dwells within their hearts. Dedicated to the one true God of the universe, the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem was unique—different from all other religious edifices. There were no idols inside; it was a place for worship, prayer, and sacrifice unto God alone. As it was a place of pureness and worship, so should be the lives of Christians today. True believers should live as dedicated vessels unto God, as was the Temple of ancient Jerusalem.III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C)
36 III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C) Certainly, God wants to live within us, and He desires to be our heavenly Father. The Word of God provides the guidelines for our spiritual relationship with Him. If we love our heavenly Father, we will desire to please Him in all that we do, obeying the godly principles of His Word and reflecting His holiness to the world around us. We will want to completely dedicate our desires, physical appearance, and actions to God. This is the key to living a victorious life in Christ.III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C)
37 III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C) Achieving High Morality in a Corinthian SocietyIII. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C)No passage better illustrates the change that the new life produces than I Corinthians 6:9-11, which was written to the church at Corinth. These verses clearly outline the change that must occur within the life of the believer.
38 III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C) Bible scholars describe Corinth as the leading metropolitan center in Greece during Paul’s time. Located on an isthmus with a harbor on each side, it was a very wealthy city, and it was noted for, among other things, its low sense of morals. This reputation most likely resulted from the worship of Venus, the goddess of love.
39 III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C) Prominent in the city at that time, this worship involved immorality that resulted in many carnal habits over which the newly born Christians had to gain victory. Much of the first letter that Paul wrote to the church centered around instructions concerning the different manner of life that believers should exhibit.
40 III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C) Paul warned that those who were living unrighteous lives would not be permitted to enter the kingdom of God. He listed some of the sinful practices that were familiar to those who were in the church. The list in I Corinthians 6:9-10 includes many of the sins that marked them before their coming to the Lord. However, according to Paul, all was not lost to them, for the Lord Jesus Christ had provided a vehicle of change for their lives; they were now called to live a new life.III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C)
41 III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C) Ideally, the sins that would have hindered their entering heaven were now gone. For the most part, they had overcome sensuality, idolatry, covetousness, drunkenness, foul language, and other works of the flesh in their lives. Though the Corinthian church still struggled against the influence of such behaviors, most of the believers had received deliverance from all such hindrances to a relationship with God.III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C)
42 III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C) Paul referred to their having been washed, which denoted water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. They had been cleansed from their old life of moral filthiness, and they had become new creations in Christ. This had not been accomplished by intellectualism, of which the Corinthians were very proud. Nor had it occurred through heathen, religious practices, which were encouraged by their old lifestyle. Their change had come through the power that is in the name of Jesus Christ.III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C)
43 III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C) A great message exists for any sinner who reads this passage. No matter how deep the sin that might have infected a person’s life, there is an answer in Jesus Christ. Paul was a great believer in the power that is in the name of Jesus, as we all should be. Like Paul, we should be aware that the power of God’s Spirit can conquer any sin. God can and will create a new life when we put our complete trust in Him.III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C)
44 III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C) Certainly, a person does not need to remain in a sinful condition. Numerous testimonies exist that tell of deliverances—many of them instantaneous—from ungodly habits and attitudes that would plague a sinner. The Scripture declares, “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4). The fact is that a power greater than that of sin can save great sinners.III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C)
45 III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C) Renouncing WorldlinessIII. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C)Holiness is a term that often has been misunderstood. In living a life of holiness, we should live a life that is apart from that of the world. Worldliness and the Christian lifestyle are incompatible. Peter declared that we should not live as we did before we came to the Lord (I Peter 1:14). When we were in the world, we were living in an environment that was diametrically opposed to the things of God. We were living for self, not God. I John 2:16 describes the nature of worldly living in three ways:
46 III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C) The lust of the flesh means that we were pampering our old, fleshly nature. Focusing on self, this nature yields to fleshly desires that would please our carnal appetites.Lust of the eyes expresses a desire to possess things. This desire is a fondness for that which a person sees regardless of any spiritual consequences.Pride of life points to any empty glory that we might wish for ourselves. It represents a vain desire for selfish prominence and power.III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C)
47 III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C) These three form the basis for all of Satan’s temptations. He caused Eve to fall by appealing to her sense of self, and he also used them when he tempted Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11). Our new life in Christ Jesus is one that will draw us away from worldly attractions. Our new life in Jesus places us above living a life that is solely dedicated to self. We now focus on God, and He becomes the basis for living as His holiness forms the pattern for our lives.III. Separation Unto the Lord (A-C)
48 IV. Transformation by God (A-B) Receiving a Renewed MindThe gospel of Jesus Christ is the gospel of the unusual. The Holy Ghost’s coming into our lives makes everything new and fresh, and it brings joy that we cannot describe or explain. That which we once loved, we now hate; and that which we once hated, we now love. We have a new hope, a peace that goes beyond human understanding, and a desire to live for God. Our old self is not considered to be important any longer because we now have a new outlook on life.
49 IV. Transformation by God (A-B) In this new life, we place Jesus Christ at the center of our entire existence. We are now deeply thankful that God was willing to show mercy to us, which gives us the motivation to live as we do. We are not saved or given a new hope because of anything that we have done, but because God had mercy on us as sinners. No one forced Him to love us or to give Himself as a sacrifice for our sins, but He showed mercy to us while we were helpless in our sinful condition.IV. Transformation by God (A-B)
50 IV. Transformation by God (A-B) This is the basis for the plea that Paul expressed in Romans 12:1-2. Jesus offered Himself at Calvary as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, even though He was sinless and had committed no crime. However, He did not remain in the tomb, for He resurrected to life again to live forevermore. Now, through His resurrection, He extends His life to us through the Holy Ghost. (See Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:1.)IV. Transformation by God (A-B)
51 IV. Transformation by God (A-B) Sacrifices did not end with Jesus’ death on the cross. Although His sacrifice eliminated the need for dead animal offerings, we still make sacrificial offerings to God. We no longer present the best animal from a flock of sheep, but we now offer the best of ourselves to the Lord. This presentation of our life to God demonstrates that we are completely dead to the old life of sin and that we are willing to surrender completely to God.IV. Transformation by God (A-B)
52 IV. Transformation by God (A-B) Almost all religious systems involve a sacrifice of some type. Some pagan worshipers are even willing to sacrifice their children in an attempt to appease their gods. Although this heinous worship involves death, it is not what God requires. We as Christians become living sacrifices, offering our bodies, minds, and even our possessions to God. We exist for Him and His service.IV. Transformation by God (A-B)
53 IV. Transformation by God (A-B) We do not literally die when we present ourselves to God; rather, we discover real life. Our lives become a sacrifice of service—one in which we offer praise and worship and yield ourselves completely to the Lord. For example, we are giving to God every time we teach a home Bible study, witness to someone, or fulfill faithfully everything that we are called upon to do in the work of God.IV. Transformation by God (A-B)
54 IV. Transformation by God (A-B) Paul expressed the real secret to an overcoming Christian life: “And be not conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2). The language indicates that we are not to allow the philosophy of the world to press us into its mold. This will ensure that we are not like the world, no longer in harmony with it because our minds have been transformed. The ancient Jews learned this lesson when they refused to yield themselves completely to God and followed heathen idolatrous worship instead.IV. Transformation by God (A-B)
55 IV. Transformation by God (A-B) We should desire to live this godly lifestyle, making up our minds to serve the Lord wholeheartedly. We should never imitate the world’s idea of serving God, for people in the world see the Christian life as one of gloom and restrictions. On the other hand, we see it as a life of joy in a new and fresh relationship with the author of our salvation.IV. Transformation by God (A-B)
56 IV. Transformation by God (A-B) Living a Victorious LifeIV. Transformation by God (A-B)A distance runner in a track meet led the entire field in the race when the starter’s gun was fired. He was the first one off the blocks and seemed to be the one who would win the race. It was a mile run that required the runners to complete four laps around the quarter-mile track. About halfway through the race, he began to tire, and he did not even place at the end of the race.
57 IV. Transformation by God (A-B) Likewise, our new life in Jesus involves more than just a strong beginning. Paul wrote to the Galatian church, “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” (Galatians 5:7). An altar, wherever it might be, is a good place to start a new life, but we also should recognize the need to dedicate ourselves to living a successful, complete life. The real key to spiritual success is a sincere desire to do well. We should make up our minds that we are going to have a good finish in our lives and permit nothing to hinder our walk with God. Certainly, we can reach heaven if we have the desire to do so.IV. Transformation by God (A-B)
58 IV. Transformation by God (A-B) An intimate, consistent relationship with God is absolutely essential if we are going to be victorious. Prayer, Bible study, church attendance, and involvement will help us to become what God wants us to be. At the end of our lives, Paul’s words of victory can be ours as well: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (II Timothy 4:7-8).IV. Transformation by God (A-B)
59 ReflectionsLuke recorded Paul’s meeting with a group of men when he arrived in the city of Ephesus (Acts 19:1-7). Apparently, they had heard the gifted speaker Apollos talking about John the Baptist and his ministry. The emphasis probably focused on the message that John had preached, namely one that looked forward to the coming of the Messiah.
60 ReflectionsPaul asked these disciples of John a simple question, one that every believer should consider: “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” (Acts 19:2). They had not even heard of such an experience, so Paul explained it to them. He then baptized them in the name of Jesus Christ, God filled them with the Holy Ghost, and a great revival in Ephesus ensued.
61 ReflectionsJesus told Nicodemus that new life would begin with the spiritual birth of water and the Spirit. The believer’s new life begins with a recognition of his sinful state and need of God, which prompts him to repent of his sins. His sins are washed away through water baptism in Jesus’ name for the remission of sins. To complete his new beginning of spiritual life, God fills him with the Holy Spirit, which lifts him above the realm of the natural and into the realm of the spiritual.
62 ReflectionsIn our new spiritual life, we should constantly stand against the spirit of the world. Our lives should proclaim the eternal truths and the righteousness of God. We should despise the evil of the world and love holiness, constantly conforming to God’s way of thinking. God’s design for our lives should determine our plans, goals, and ambitions. We separate from the world at conversion and continue to live a life of separation from sin and Satan. Indeed, living a new life produces great rewards.