Renewing The Mind-Introduction

Colossians 3:1-10
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 mind 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. 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 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.

Set your mind on the things that are above contrasts with the things that are on earth- refers to pursuing a deeper knowledge of Christ himself and all that goes along with living with and for him. This includes seeking first His kingdom and then living a life that is worthy of His name.
seated at the right hand of God- Christ is in a position of authority where He can make intercession with the Father.

your life is hidden with Christ in God- Paul uses the language of Isaiah and the Psalms to express the security of the people of God as they trust in Him.

Believers know that Christ is their life. Perfection in glory will be the believer's when Christ returns.

These are instructions for living the Christian life.

Put to death- Because believers have died with Christ, they can get rid of sinful practices. The language of putting to death indicates that Christians have to take severe measures to conquer sin. Being watchful and praying always against sin is the first step, with self-discipline following.
Sexual immorality- refers to every kind of sexual activity outside of marriage. Five of the items that Paul lists have to do with sexual purity, stressing the importance of bringing this area of life under the control and lordship of Christ.
Which is idolatry- Greed, sexual sin, and other vices can intrude into one's relationship with God, taking His place as a focus of devotion.

the wrath of God is coming- In line with the Old Testament prophets, who spoke of the day of the Lord as a time of coming wrath, Paul reminds the Christians that God will suddenly intervene in human history and will hold everyone accountable. Those who live evil lives will face final judgement.

put them all away- Paul lists five more vices that Christians need to get rid of. These five all have a bearing on social relationships among believers.

see that you have put off the old self...and have put on the new self-This is talking about Christ circumcising Christians by removing the body of the flesh and invoking the mind of the spirit. A qualitative change of identity has already occurred in the lives' of believers. Now they must bring their behavior in line with their new identity.
Being renewed- indicates that the transformation of Christians is an ongoing process.

Colossians 3:12-17
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 he name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the father through Him.

Putting on the Virtues of Christ- Paul calls Christians to a holy lifestyle, consistent with their new identity. Believers have been chosen by God and stand before Him as His beloved holy ones. They are to live up to what they are in Christ.

bearing with one another- patience is a virtue within the Christian community. Christians are called to a life of forgiveness, forgiving others as Christ has forgiven them.

Above all else, Christians are called on to love one another!

The word of Christ- refers to Christ's teachings as well as the words He spoke. We should be as much like Christ as possible.
Psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs- a way to collectively praise and worship Christ, also a form of teaching Christ's works and statutes.

I am going to be focusing on renewing the mind for a few days. This is something that we need to deal with and have a good understanding of. Salvation does not end with confessing Jesus as your Lord and Savior and asking for forgiveness; that is merely the beginning. Now that you are saved and have decided to take on a new life of blessings, you have to convert from your old ways to new ways. If your confession and acceptance were completely honest and sincere, this conversion is not very hard to accomplish.

Paul has given us new standards that we, as Christians, should start living by. These standards are different from what is commonly acceptable and sometimes promoted in the worldly realm. For example, Paul stresses sexual immorality. This is probably one of the biggest things that gets us into trouble. Sex is a weakness for many and is the number one desire of the flesh. Everywhere you look there is sex, symbols of sex, half naked men and woman soliciting products by using and showing off their bodies. Our children are attacked through sex, they aren't "cool", by the world's standard, if they aren't having sex. There's pornography on every corner and young women are being seduced into an industry that leads them down a path of drug abuse, alcoholism, and loss of self-worth. We have to throw off sexual immorality in our new walks of life.

We have to learn how we change not only our physical lives but also the way we think. In this series, we will be discussing how you can go about making those changes. No one can change this radically on their own. When I say change radically, I mean, go from living a life of sin and based on the standards of the world to living a life in which we do not practice sin and based on the standards of living in the Bible. We need help to accomplish this. Prayer will be a huge part of changing your life. God still gives us freedom to choose. We need His help to change. We must pray for His help so that we can change, we must choose to change.

We are now considered to be one of God's holy people. We must start living a life that is worthy of holiness. Please understand that this process is a life long process. We will constantly learn from and grow in Christ as we progress in our faith in and walk with God. You don't wake up one day and have all the answers. You must strive to put off the old self and put on the new self as Paul mentions in this section of the word. Jesus knows what is in your heart. He is the author of our faith. There is no hiding from Him. We can pretend in front of man and trick others, we can't pretend in front of Jesus. As long as it is in your heart to want to change your ways, you will. There will be tests and trials along the way. Once you have decided to accept Jesus and come out of the world, all hell will be set against you. The devil will do anything he can to keep you tied up and chained to destruction that leads to death. A lot of people think that they are going to step into this life of ease and fortune; that isn't how it works. You will be richer in life and your treasure will be stored in heaven,but the devil will be hot on your trial to keep you off the path of faith. If you believe God's word and hold tightly to his promises, you will come out on top. Just like anything else, if it's worth having, you have to put in a little bit of work for it.

I pray that you will "tune in" for the next few days as we go through each part of renewing the mind. I know that it will be exciting and a learning experience for all of us. God bless you and we will see you here tomorrow!

Father I pray that you will open our hearts and our minds to receive the truth. Give us guidance these next few days on how we should live our lives as your people. Help us to live as near as perfection as humanly possible. Please forgive us when we stumble and allow us not to stray away from your side. We thank you for all you have given and entrusted unto us. We love you, worship you, and praise your name. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.


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