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New Year Resolution: Put On Christ (Colossians 3:1-17)

January 7, 2015

Reflecting on the Passage:

This week’s sermon brings in the New Year pointing resolutely to Christ. Pastor Duncanson encourages believers to strive to be better Christians this year. The aim of this sermon is to help the Christian become better Christian by understanding their Source of Strength, the Subtly of Sin, and the Supremacy of Love.

logoSource of Strength: Union with Christ

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory (Colossians 3:1-4;ESV).

The tendency and temptation for the follower of Christ is to place too much focus on earthly matters, such as current circumstances rather than continually fixing their eyes upon their glorious Savior. Christ used Paul mightily throughout his epistles to remind believers of their baptism in Christ (Romans 6:4). Christ took their sin, nailed it to the cross, so that all who believe in Him can now experience new life in Him and all of the benefits that accompany this heavenly union (Colossians 2:13-15). However, familiarity often breeds neglect. In most cases, it results in believers falsely believing they no longer have to wrestle with sin.

Subtly of Sin: Put to Death Sin

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all (Colossians 3:5-11;ESV).

Pastor Duncanson passionately contends, if a Christian wants to be a better Christian, they cannot allow sin to run rampant in his or her life. He gave two prescriptions from Scripture as to how to put sin to death. First, the Christian must fight against sin (both hidden and blatant), honestly, immediately, ruthlessly and consistently (cf. Matthew 5:29-30; Romans 13:14; Hebrews 12:1). Secondly, the Christian must put on the Lord Jesus Christ by trusting in His Word. Christ says He has set them free (John 8). More importantly, because of He has laid His life down for His people, they need not fear His displeasure when they fall, His mercy awaits them because they are His (cf. John 17).

Supremacy of Love: Put on Love

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:12-17;ESV).

The great mystery of the Gospel is the love of God to an undeserving and unlovely people (Deuteronomy 7:7-8; Luke 6:35). Similarly, as the Christian understands their union with Christ and their sinfulness apart from Him, they began to see this love is the reason why the peace of Christ rules in their hearts. Christ is a faithful, loving, generous, King, who does not abandon His people, instead He allows them to partake in His royal provision (Colossians 2:2-3). He gives them a new name and a new life. The life they now live is one they have by an increasing love for God and a love for others, especially those who bear His Name (John 13:12-17, 14:1-4, 15:7-27; Revelation 3:12).

Does your life testify that you are a Christian?

If you are a follower of Christ, in 2015, you ought to resolve to be a better Christian. Fix your eyes upon Christ this year to walk worthy of His calling by renewing your affections for Him, ruthlessly dealing with sin, and resolving to display His love toward others, especially those who are fellow-heirs of Christ.

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free.

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