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November 4, 2020 7:00 pm
BJU President Steve Pettit continues a discipleship series entitled, “Seeking Things Above” from Colossians 3:1-4
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today. That tradition continues with fervent preaching from the University Chapel platform today on The Daily Platform were continuing a study series entitled seeking things above, which is a study of the book of Colossians. This study explores and applies the timeless truth that Christ is our sufficiency in all relationships, responsibilities and circumstances. If you would like to follow along in the study booklet you can get one on Kendall or you can order a printed copy from the website.
The Daily Platform.com and now let's listen to Dr. Pettit's message from Colossians chapter 3 our identity in Christ like to invite your attention this morning to the book of Colossians chapter 3 Colossians 3.
Our study has begun with looking at introductory thoughts about the book of Colossians in the theme of Christ is all and in all this morning we like to begin really. Our study in the third chapter will that will take us all the way down to the end of the chapter and through the course of the semester and so this morning we like to look at these first four verses practice were going to look at them today and next week as we study them carefully and notice the words of the apostle Paul is he writes.
If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right right hand of God. Set your affection on things above and not on things of the earth for you or dad in 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.
Number of years ago I checked the use of one of my credit cards and a statement that I have received in discovered that I've been charged a number of times on this card at a few Walmarts in the Jacksonville Arkansas area while since I've never been to Jacksonville, Arkansas, nor have I ever shopped at a Walmart there.
I realize we had a problem. So I called both the credit card company and the local police station in the area and quickly discovered that I had become a victim of one of the greatest crimes of the 21st century.
What is that crime is called identity theft while in like manner first century believers in the city of Colossae faced a crisis with identity theft and that is certain erroneous teachers had come into the church and they were attempting to rob the believers of their spiritual identity in Christ.
And so Paul writes this letter to the Colossians to deal with first century spiritual identity theft and here was the scenario.
I'm just repeating some of the things I've already said over the last two weeks. This certain group of teachers came to the church with the message saying that the gospel that they had received from the preaching of a pap risk was sufficient to save them. It would get them into heaven, but it was not sufficient to spiritually mature them they needed something more they needed. In addition, they needed some add and so they were saying that you could reach full spiritual maturity on the simple gospel message that they had received and so what did the teachers promise, well, a promise really what all believers really want and that is a greater knowledge of Christ to see Christ a greater vision of him. And secondly, more spiritual power to overcome the difficulties of life that is the ability to have victory in life. These are the things that they promise them. The problem was the source of that victory. Envision it wasn't Christ, and so they put an emphasis on a combination of mystical spiritual experiences in order to have a greater experience with God.
They emphasize keeping Old Testament religious rules and regulations along with the importance of living a strict ascetic lifestyle in order to free yourself from evil desires that are in your own sinful heart and the problem is that there message was not true, and if the Colossians followed these teachers, it would lead them not to greater knowledge and freedom.
But it would lead them to greater ignorance and bondage and so Paul writes this letter to the believers. A group you never meet Matt, he emphatically asserts that the gospel they received was an all sufficient legitimate message and that Jesus Christ is an all sufficient Savior. As believers we are absolutely, completely, thoroughly complete in Christ alone. So here's Paul's challenge. Don't let the spiritual identity thieves rob you of who you are as a man or as a woman in right now that brings us here to chapter 3. So what is Paul saying here. Well, he is setting forth. Perhaps one of the most important statements in the entire Bible concerning the identity that a believer has in Christ and in these four verses, Paul explains our identity in Christ from three perspectives and the first perspective is that believers are identified with Christ's past notice what Paul says if you then be risen with Christ.
Verse three for your dad and your life is hid with Christ.
Paul is explaining that that the moment of your faith a believer is instantly connected or united to the two main events of the life of Jesus's death and his resurrection, and Paul presses this connection home by using a preposition the word with. He says if you then be risen with Christ, you're like this kid with Christ and what is the word with me. That means togetherness is like joining a team sports team in the moment you join a team you are instantaneously connected to the people that are on that team will you join a choir or you join a band or you join a symphony and suddenly you're connected with these individuals and like Matt manner. You and I as believers at the moment of our faith are connected to the death and the life of Jesus. Listen to what Paul says concerning our death. Romans six verse one what shall we say then shall we continue in sin that grace may abound, God forbid.
How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death magic question this morning. How many of you have been baptized by the way, if you're Christian you should been baptized. Some even baptize regime I now you know most people get baptized.
Don't really understand the full message of baptism what is baptism. It's a public identification of your faith in Jesus Christ, so that when you're buried.
As we say in baptism buried in the likeness of his death raised in the likeness of his resurrection walk in newness of life. Know what is baptism saying is actually saying you died.
So think about the moment you got saved. Actually, you and who you are, you actually you really you truly die in the movie the Wizard of Oz. Dorothy is in her house when a tornado picks it up. The house, and suddenly the house falls in the land of its that house also lands on the wicked witch of the East killing her. And of course all the munchkins come out and rejoice in saying dingdong which is dated well, the mayor, the law you're in the corner of munchkin land come out and confirm her death by the following conversation as mayor of the munchkins city in the county of the land of Oz. I welcome you most regally, but we've got to verify it legally to see to see if she if she is morally and ethically, spiritually, physically, positively, absolutely, undeniably, and reliably dead as corner as corner most of her eye thoroughly examined her and she's not only merely dead.
She's really most sincerely dead, then this is a day of independence. The mayor says for all the munchkins and their descendents. Let the joyous news be spread the wicked, all which at last is dead now.
I figured some of you needed to wake up this morning at the moment that you believe in Jesus and the mind of God you died. The house fell only your gong spiritually and historically you died like a young man who got got this truth in his heart is mine and every moment morning he wakes up and he looks in the mirror and he sees himself and he says dropdead as a result of your union. The Jesus Christ I God I'm connected to his death.
Now the truth is because of that I no longer bear any guilt for my sin because I I've already paid for. I no longer bear any guilt for the sins of my life, past, present and future. You know why because I've already paid for it in Jesus Christ.
And can I die now. This is crucial to understand why, because Paul's message was different from the message of the false teacher. What were the false teachers emphasizing they were emphasizing a man-made works based religion that focuses on 001. A believer must do in order to experience a life of spiritual victory, but the problem is it starts with you and not with Christ. Whenever you read Paul's letters.
He always starts with who we are in Christ before he tells us how to live our lives in Christ.
There are plenty commands for the believers.
We call those the imperatives, but most importantly they are the things that Christ is done. We call those the indicative. Here's what he has done the way of a false teacher leads you to self effort over sin and the problem with that is this. There's only one thing that will free you from sin and its death is the only thing you have to die in order to overcome sin. It's not like you're going to say I'm going to stop sinning and therefore you stop sitting it doesn't work that way. The only way to stop sitting is you have to die and so what is the wisdom of God. He is saying that you are united to Christ in his death and his in his death, that power of sin is been broken in your life. But not only are we connected to Christ in his death, but we are also connected to Christ in his resurrection he says it in verse one. If you then be risen with Christ at the moment you are united to Christ, you were literally raised from the dead, you became a new creation. Colossians 212 says you are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God. God raised you up from the dead, you are now a part of a new heavenly kingdom.
You share in the power of a risen life just like an electrical plug is taken and plugged into a wall sought socket so that the electricity becomes begins to flow.
So when you are connected into Christ. His resurrected life begins to flow in your life wonder Paul says in Ephesians 1.
He wants believers to know what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us word who are believers, not a power you need to get that you don't have the power you actually possess in Christ. He says this power is, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead. The simplest way to say does this, that what brought Jesus out of that grave alive that power that raised the son of God is the exact same power that is dwelling in the heart of everybody who's been connected to Christ.
So when we think about living the Christian life. He doesn't start out telling you what to do. He starts out telling you what what God has done for you that you were dead. The old life is over.
You are now alive a new life animated by resurrection power. This is who you are. This is your identity you are in Christ, therefore, let no one rob you of that identity within Paul go zone and he speaks that affect the believers or identify with Christ not only in his past. We are actually identified with Christ in Christ's present notice what he says if you will please in verse three for your dad and your life is hid with Christ in God. It says in the present.
Right now, so here we are at Bob Jones right now.
Spiritually, my life is hidden with Christ know was the word hidden me will first of all, it's in the perfect tense.
What is that mean it means is referring to something that happened to you in the past but it's not a one-time event.
It actually it actually presently affects the way you live today, so there's a starting point and it continues. So at the moment you are saved your hidden in Christ and you're still hidden Christ. The word hidden means to encrypt something the word encrypt means to convert a message into a code. For example, during World War II, the Japanese were regularly intercepting and decoding American military messages.
The US needed an unbreakable code so they chose 29 Navajo Indians living on their ancestral land to come and be code talkers by communicating their messages and Navajo well this code was never broken by the Japanese during the entire war and was vital in winning major battles in the Pacific.
So it's an encrypted message a secret message so all of us as believers are encrypted with Christ will what does that mean will first of all let me say that we are hidden with Christ. Just like Christ is hidden from the world. Okay, think about it after Jesus rose from the dead, who saw Jesus did the world see Jesus happy resurrected from the dead, the answer is absolutely not the only people that saw Jesus in his resurrected body were believers, we no one saw Jesus as an unbeliever, but as soon as he saw me became a believer.
That's Jesus's brother Jane Jesus was hidden from unbelievers.
He was never seen in public view by unbelievers after his resurrection.
Acts chapter 1 verse three it says, until the day when Jesus was taken up, after Jesus had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them.
He appeared to them during 40 day speaking about the kingdom of God. And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the father only the disciples of Jesus.
All him and they went with Jesus to the Mount of olives and Jesus ascended into heaven and what happened.
He went into the throne room of God sat down at the right hand of his father and Jesus today is is alive today as he was 2000 years ago on the Mount of olives. When he ascended into heaven. Jesus is alive, but you can't see him.
He is hidden to the world and the writer of Hebrews says that we see him who is invisible.
If you see Jesus today with the eyes of your faith is because your eyes were blinded, but they been open your mother what Jesus said to Peter, whom do men say that I am Peter answer says will.
Some say you're this, and something of this profit and Jesus, it will. Who do you say that I am Peter. And Peter says you are the Christ, the son of the living God, and what was the response of Jesus, he said, blessed art thou, Simon bar Jonah for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto you, but my father which is in heaven.
The Lord revealed means and apocalypse an eye opening event when you get say your eyes of faith are open to see him who is invisible.
So Jesus's is hidden from the eyes of unbelievers. Likewise, so were Christians. Our life is hidden with Christ in God. That is the world is really not capable of seeing what God is done in our lives. The world doesn't see that were justified in righteous the world doesn't see that were redeemed and reconciled our life is hidden from them were like Joseph in the Old Testament who suffered at the hands of his envious brothers and later kept his identity hidden from his brothers until he revealed himself to them at the appropriate time. The world cannot see what is happened in us, nor can the world perceive what is going to happen to us.
They may think that we are a bit strange and odd, but I want us all to know that that this being hidden is not a dream.
It's a reality. We read in first John three verse two beloved, now are we the sons of God. It does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when we see when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is when Christ comes back who Christ is and who we are, will be unveiled, it will no longer be encrypt. So our identity to the world is hidden in Christ, but to us it should be very, very real. So when answer questions when it comes to your identity, what defines you. Right now is a person what defines you.
Where do you find your identity is really interesting to me that during the real Olympics the American gold the American gold medal winners in the men's pair diving were two young men named steel Johnson and David Bodio when the TV reporter asked Steele about his reaction after winning a place in the US Olympics diving team still answered and said I been working for this dream for a long time. I honestly never thought the day would come, and I just blinked and now I'm on the on the 2016 Olympic team. It's cool because this is exciting. This is fun but it's not what my identity is going to be the rest of my life. And then he dropped the hammer that appeared to floor the reporter he says yeah I'm steel Johnson the Olympian, but at the same time I I'm here to love and serve Christ my identity is rooted in Christ my identity. My value my worth as a person is not in getting a gold medal.
Now be honest with you become a cool to get a gold medal. But is that really what makes you have worth as a person what you seek.
Your identity is it in something that could be taken away. Is it your parents, your life is wrapped up in the values of how you look about your abilities about your accomplishments or achievements, you know, I don't know of any place on the planet where people can feel more insecure than at Bob Jones University because you're in school. Your to your doing grades, your you know everything you do has sort of a performance to it and bother with is not wrong, but that's not your ultimate identity. If that's the case for you, then you're an insecure person is your identity found in the approval rating or acceptance of other people. Let me ask you this is your past to find you what you were before you came here your failures to find you some of you have had failures in the past you done things that you don't want anybody to know about are those the things that are screaming at you to define who you are or if you come to a place to recognize that you are in Christ, your sins are gone.
You're accepted in the beloved. You are child of the living God.
What is it mean to be insecure. It means to put your trust in something or someone that can be taken away anything that can be taken away from you is a point of insecurity, if that's what you value and that's what you put your whole trust in ultimate security for the believer is in our being in Christ and for believers.
The day is coming when Jesus will be revealed to the world for two years and believers will be read revealed to the world for who they are in Christ. Therefore, we should be. We are called to accept our identity in Christ and then to live our life accordingly. And that leads me to the last one I like to say this morning and that is believers are identified with Christ, not only in his past and not only in his present today, but we will be identified with Christ in his future. Look at verse four when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Big the ultimate identity experience is the second coming of Jesus Christ when he comes for his own. When we come back with him. When Jesus returns the world's attention will be captivated by the magnificence of his person, and the brilliance of his glory, they will ultimately recognize him for who he is.
He is Lord he will come as the mighty conqueror riding on the back of a white horse's eyes will be like flaming fire in his head with many crowns and with him will be the whole church radiating with kids glory. Folks that's called ultimate identity. At that time the world will see believers for who they really are.
They will see the power that energized our life they will understand the values that motivated our living. They will see why we lived as we did and how we lived as we did in the present, Christ is rejected.
Likewise, believers experience the same, perhaps, misunderstood or persecuted maligned we suffer with him now, so that when he returns, we will reign with him in glory. This is the identity of every Christian work connected with Christ, we are concealed with Christ in one day we will be revealed with Christ so so what was at me now what it means now is we need to seriously adjust the way that we think about life and then we need to actively pursue those things that are found in Christ and that's what Paul is telling us to do in verses one into and that's what would you look at next week. May God help us to find our identity in Christ you been listening to a sermon from the study series in the book of Colossians by Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University.
For more information on Dr. Pettit series, visit our email@example.com where you can get a copy of Steve's study booklet entitled seeking things above the Kindle version is also available.
Thanks for listening and join us again tomorrow as we continue the study and Colossians here on the daily plan