THROUGH THE BIBLE IN THREE YEARS

SERMONS FOR EDIFICATION

TO LIVE FOR CHRIST, ONE MUST LIVE WITH CHRIST


TEXT: Col. 3:1-4
INTRO:
In the 1st chapter of Paul's letter to Colossians, thanking God for the salvation of the people of that church & for the FRUIT of their work. One goes with the other.

The GREATEST THING that can ever happen to a person is for them to surrender to Christ and become SAVED! AMEN?
And AFTER the person is saved, THEN he become FRUITFUL for Christ!

A person cannot have the dynamic power of God living IN Him, without EXPRESSION of that power going THROUGH him.
Also in 1st chapter of Col. Paul launches in to a summary of Christian doctrines (verses 12-29).

Then, in the 2nd chapter, Paul expresses concerns about false teachers and philosophies. He warns the church to beware and to NOT allow someone to deceive them by taking away their PERSONAL DIRECT WORSHIP AND RELATIONSHIP with Christ.

It is in Chap. 2:9 that Paul says the "FULLNESS" of the Godhead BODILY rests in Christ Jesus. Friend, when you go to Christ, you go to GOD! And the greatest of all privileges of being a Christian is to know God's PRESENCE at ANY time!

Now, in this 3rd Chap. Of Col., Paul begins to expound on HOW we live the Christian life. When we are saved, we are NOT left alone to live like we want. We are given spiritual guidelines as to HOW we are to SERVE our LORD!

And one of the most important truths of the Christian faith is found right here in Col. 3:1-4. That is: "Unless you live WITH Christ, you cannot live FOR Christ!"

*******TEXT*******

((Man came into hamburger place with a duck and a tin box. He put the duck on top of the tin box and the duck began to DANCE! Everyone watched and was fascinated. They all bought hamburgers and more hamburgers. Business was GOOD! So the owner decided to BUY the duck. He did for $500. That evening at closing time, the duck was still dancing and people were still ordering! The man called the guy from whom he'd bought the duck. He asked, "How do I get that duck to STOP dancing?" The man answered, "Take the duck off the tin box. Open the tin box. Now, BLOW OUT THE CANDLE!"))

"The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly." (Prov. 20:27)

And God's CANDLE of His Holy Spirit IN us oughta KEEP us dancing for Jesus until He comes again, or until God extinguishes the candle & we die!

Because of God's salvation, we ARE justified, ARE BEING sanctified, and WILL BE glorified! Ain't God GOOD? When an ole sinner like me got on his knees and begged Christ in true conviction for forgiveness, He GRANTED it! He not only gave forgiveness, but also made me BORN AGAIN - recreated, made new, changed, RADICALLy different (2Cor. 5:17)

Then, once born again, God begins to work IN and THROUGH us to transform us into the image of Christ. God's Holy Spirit in us PROPELS us to growth, and service for our Lord.

If you are RISEN with Christ, it is because you have DIED to self, and are SEEKING the things of Christ ((text - vs3)).

So - let's listen to the exhortation in verses 1-2 of our text again.

I. EXHORTATION

  1. God & His kingdom FIRST!
  2. "Set your affection" on Christ & heavenly things.
  3. The REAL truth is: People DO what they WANT to do!
  4. What you DESIRE to do - you SET yourself to do: Graduate H.S., College, get job, buy house, car, etc.
  5. The PRIMARY function Jesus set for His disciples: Matt. 6:33
  6. And Paul REITERATES that here - verse 2
  7. ((Illus. - A knight before the king to be commissioned. He must remove helmet, bow bared head before the king who has a SWORD in his hand!))
  8. No other way but SURRENDER!!
  9. Once we ARE surrendered, we must "set our affections…."
    Joke: Boudreaux & Thibedeaux & "'Termis bottle'"
    Thibedeaux, "Boudreaux, whut dat shiny 'ting is?"
    Boudreaux, "Dat's a NEW 'ting whut called a 'termis bottle!'"
    Thibedeaux, "Boudreaux, whut dat 'termis bottles' DOES?"
    Boudreaux, "Wall, you puts hot 'tings in dere and it keeps 'em hot. You put cold 'tings in dere and it keeps 'em cold."
    Thibedeaux, "Boudreaux, whut you got in dat termis bottle?"
    Boudreaux, "Me? I got some gumbo and two popsicle, yeh!"
  10. The thermos bottle is quite an invention, but will not keep things hot and cold at the same time!

    "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditins, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which DO such things shall NOT inherti the kingdom of God." (Gal. 5:19-21)

  11. Before we were saved, we lived by the works of the FLESH. What was INSIDE of us was a life centered around selfishness. Therefore we emitted things of selfishness which is SIN. For we are created in the image of God and to live according to His will. But when we serve SELF, we live in SIN.

    "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." (Gal. 5:22-23)

  12. When we are saved, we are "sealed in the Spirit" (Eph. 1:13). And what is INSIDE us are the things of GOD. By the mercy and grace of God we are RECREATED through surrender to Christ (2Cor. 5:17).
  13. And we should emit this of God and His will!
  14. Jesus said that He desired our works to be COLD or HOT - NOT lukewarm (Rev. 3:16). The Spirit of God places inside us those things that are REFRESHING. And lukewarm is NOT refreshing!
  15. Let us as Christians, concentrate today on allowing God to FILL us with those things which are REFRESHING! "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meeknes, temperance."
  16. And let us EMIT those things!!

II. HOW TO KEEP CHRIST FIRST

  1. DIE to SELF! (verse 3) "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."
  2. The New Testament is FILLED with this principle!
    (Matt. 16:24 & Luke 9:23 "Deny self...take up cross...")
    (Matt. 19:21 Jesus admonished young man to SELL ALL & follow)

    "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me." (Gal. 2:20)

  3. The struggle for the salvation of man was WON at the CROSS!
    Jesus DIED to self and became what we NEEDED.

    "Down at the cross where my Savior died,
    Down where for cleansing from sin I cried,
    There to my heart was the blood applied,
    Glory to His Name!!"
    The struggle with SIN can be conquered by COMING to the cross!
    Where WE die to self and start becoming what God WANTS!

    "At the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light,
    And the burden of my heart rolled away,
    It was there by faith, I received my sight,
    And now I am happy all the day!"

  4. Many a person has come to Christ out of INFATUATION and not COMMITMENT!
  5. I'll say it again, as I have said for 23 years of ministry! "Without SURRENDER, there is NO SALVATION!!"
    ((God ain't gonna rope, tie, gag and drag anyone into heaven! We MUST come by SURRENDER!!))

III. THE REASON TO SURRENDER

  1. To APPEAR with Christ in GLORY!!!
  2. (Vs. 4) "When Christ, Who is our life shall appear, then YE shall appear with Him!"
  3. Let me reiterate the MAIN point of this sermon:
    "Unless you live WITH Christ, you cannot life FOR Christ!"
  4. ((Illus. Three women were talking. One said her daughter was away at college, and she hardly ever saw her. Another one of the ladies said, "I know what you mean. I hardly ever see my daughter either." The other two ladies were sort of taken by surprise, and one said, "But your daughter lives at home WITH you." The other lady said, "Well - she lives at home - with her TV, phone, Computer, and her clothes. But she doesn't live WITH ME!"))

CONCLUSION:
Friends, you have the greatest privilege in the world today. You can live WITH Christ! His power inside you can make you what HE wants you to be!

But there are many distractions in the world. Many people live WITH someone else, or something else rather than with Christ.

The most glorious and rewarding life of all is to live WITH Christ!

But in order to do that, one must FIRST come to Christ in SURRENDER, then beg His forgiveness, and let Him be LORD, MASTER, KING of who you are!

Christians - that's a DAILY way of life!

((((PRAYER)))) Please be very still! Someone may be struggling with the greatest and most important decision of their lives!!

INVITATION: Let me restate the principle again:
Unless you live WITH Christ, you cannot live FOR Christ!

TEXT ---Col. 3:1-4 - says:
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."

Are YOU living FOR Christ? The answer lies in whether you are living WITH Christ.

If you died tonight, do you know for certain that you would go to be with Jesus?
If you've never surrendered to Jesus - come now.

If you are a Christian and the distractions of life have taken too much priority in you, come to Jesus, beg forgiveness today. RENEW your commitment to Him.

If God has placed upon your heart any other decision - come now.