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November 6, 2020 7:00 pm
BJU President Steve Pettit continues a discipleship series entitled, “Seeking Things Above” from Colossians 3:5-9.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville South Carolina today on The Daily Platform were continuing a study series entitled seeking things above, which is a study of the book of Colossians. 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. Please take your Bibles and turn this morning to the book of Colossians Colossians chapter 3 will pick up this morning as we begin in verse five In re down to verse nine this morning as we continue the theme of seeking things above and we have been setting up what that means understanding Christ is being are all in all understanding the problem in the church of Colossae were certain teachers had come in and they began to teach that that what you would receive in the gospel message from a path Chris was not really enough that there's more to it and really they were diminishing the power of the gospel and so Paul brings us here to Colossians 3 and he tells us in verses 1 to 3 and four that we are to seek the things that are Bob and were not to seek the things that are below and now we come to verse five and in verse five we really find the beginning of how he's really leading us how to live out this life on a daily practical basis. He's putting real feet to the message that has to do with just how we live in this world and so this morning will begin reading at verse five In re down to verse nine hear what God has to say. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth, fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness which is idolatry for which things like the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience in the which you also walk sometime when you lived in them, but now you also put off all these anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth, lie not one to another, seeing that you put off the old man with his deeds in JI Packer's book entitled 18 words. The most important words you will ever know. He writes in one chapter own sin.
These words are first need in life is to learn about sin.
He states if you have not learned about sin. You cannot understand yourself or your fellow men or the world you live in or the Christian faith and you will not be able to make head or tail of the Bible. Understanding sin is absolutely crucial to understanding our theme seeking things above because it is implied by the apostle Paul that a part of seeking things above, is actually dealing with the things that are below. Notice what he says in verse one.
If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above verse to set your affection on things above and not on things of the error. You see the contrast and then we read in verse five mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth, so question what does he mean by the things that are below. We will see this morning that Paul is referring specifically to the sinful desires and the sinful affections that come out of the human heart, and they are manifested in our choices in our actions and are not in our responses, and these are the things that we do on this earth.
Or you could say it. In other words, these are not things that are being done in heaven. So what we read in verse five down to verse nine, we are resting assured that they are not living this way in heaven and since we are God's people. We are heavenward people, then we should live like we're going to happen and not the reverse. And Paul identifies very clearly very directly, very straightforward. He did, he declares what these things are, but he does more than that he actually shows is that these are not just things that are wrong for believers to do, but they are all, there's a reason for it and that is because of these things, God is reacting in judgment and judgment upon unbelievers. Notice what he says in verse six, for which things sake the wrath of God, or because of these things that they're doing the wrath of God, on the children of disobedience was a word wrath mean it speaks of God's divine punishment based on his judgment against sin.
Paul is speaking specifically about God's judgment that is going to come unbelievers, but will unbelievers.
But what is important is that the word cometh is in the present tense. Paul is not saying that something is going to happen in the future as if he says the wrath of God is going to come. That's not what he saying what he is saying is that God's wrath is being demonstrated right now own unbelievers and actually Paul explains this very thoroughly.
In Romans chapter 1, and I want to take your Bibles and turn with with me please to Romans chapter 1 verse 18, because actually Romans one is a thorough explanation of the wrath of God coming own society right this very moment, and it is important for you to see this and be perceptive, what is he saying in Romans one. Well Paul is saying that when men and women reject God for atheism and idolatry. God responds in judgment when you say this about God.
God is not indifferent to anything that we do. For example, when you do something wrong. What's the first thing you naturally feel in your heart you feel guilt, have you ever done something wrong. You feel guilty about it and you feel like God's gonna get you for I may never have ever felt that way will of course because guess what he is none of that kinda cuts Crossway to some of you but you cannot sin before God and God sits there like a grandfather in a rocking chair, indifferent and apathetic to what you do. God never works that way. Now God will respond in mercy. If you humble yourself.
But if you continue on and send God's not to be passive about it. In Romans chapter 1 is teaching us that God responds in judgment own society and how does he do that he deliberately removes moral restraints within human society. Let's look at what he says, Romans 118. Notice for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven. That's presently against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness of God is revealing his wrath. Verse 19 because that which may be known of God is manifest in them. For God, it showed it under them for the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are maybe even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse what he simply saying is that creation reveals that there is a creator all men know that there is a divine supernatural being because of creation. Verse 21 because that, when they knew God, that is, by general revelation, they glorified him not as God, neither were they thankful but they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. They change the glory of the uncorrupted God into an image made like corruptible man in the birds and four-footed beasts, and creeping things he speaking here about idolatry. The worship of idols now know verse 24 wherefore because of this, God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves. Notice if you will please.
Verse 26 for this cause God for this. Could this cause God gave them up unto vile affections for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of women burned in their lust one toward another.
And I want to read this phrase from the ESV men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Verse 28 and even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient. Essentially what Paul is saying is that when men and women reject God, then God responds in judgment and what is the judgment it is removing his restraining power from men and women, that is, he gives them over to allow them to fulfill their own corrupt desires or the things that are below as a form of judgment.
When God takes away his restraining moral power in a society, then it is an evident sign that God is actually judging that society and there are three areas to which man is given over in judgment. The first one is found in verse 24 that is unrestrained sexual activity that is any form of promiscuity any form of premarital sex, any kind of sexual behavior then secondly he says in verse 26 that they are given over to inordinate homosexual acts.
Women with women, lesbians, men with men, homosexuality, and he says here that they are committing shameless acts they are involved in sexual activity and then the third is ultimately God giving them over to a reprobate mind.
I'll not read the passage you can read it yourself, but essentially you have societal disruption. It is all because of God's hand of restraint is taken away the presence of these sinful actions is a manifestation of the present judgment of God upon man now.
If it is in the present been Shirley is going to come in the future what's happening now is a revelation of what's going to happen in the future.
That is the ultimate judgment of God on man in hell. So let's just stop here and say something if you can live in unrestrained sexual activity or homosexual activity and is unrestrained in your life and you live that way and it is an evident sign that you're already under the judgment of God and your future eternity cannot be heaven. It will only be held, that we go back to the book of Colossians and now we have a better understanding of what Paul is saying to Christians.
He says these things. Below are the very things that you need to remove completely from your life as a believer. Why because you've been saved. You have been delivered from God's wrath. If your future is above then we should live like it right now. We should seek those things that are above and deny the things that are below. So what then, specifically, are these things below, and Paul tells us in two lists the first list is found in verse five, notice what he says mortified. Therefore your members which are upon the earth, on occasion, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry, obviously. Here he speaking of sexual sins.
Sexuality lies at the very core of human creation and social culture. When God made man and woman he created them with strong sexual desires. He also created the means to satisfy and to fulfill those desires. How does he do that. Hebrews 13 five.
Marriage is honorable and the bed undefiled the garden of Eden was the perfect environment where sex was experienced guilt free in the covenant of marriage. God is always intended for sex to be that kind of experience, one that enhances a married couple's love for one another through a pleasurable and enjoyable experience. But with the fall of man sexual desires became enslaved within corrupt human nature and what was one of God's best gifts reserved for the marriage commitment was turned into a self centered desire that flows out of a sinful heart. Listen to what Jesus said about man's own heart. Mark seven verse 20 that which comes out of the man that defiles the man for from within, and out of the heart of men precedes evil thoughts, adulteries, fornication's, he goes on to say, covetousness, lasciviousness, all sexual sins. All of these evil things come from within and defile the man out of undefiled heart comes the desire to fulfill one's own sexual appetites regardless of God's laws and even, regardless of the person themselves.
That is, for many, it's just a hookup and this is deeply infected. The culture in which we live. In many ways today are social culture that we live in has become a sensual culture and this is a real problem for Christian see we are to be a part of human society. As believers, why because this is where we interacted this is where we connect with people.
Why, for the sake of the gospel. There has to be connections we have to live in this world for the people of God.
Isolation is not the answer. We don't go aside from the world we live in the world. However, we are called to be different, set apart, seeking things above in every way we are to be different from the sensual aspects of our social culture. This is a part of our witness for, we live as if we are seeking things above, we are living as happen word people in a world that is doomed to hell and so therefore, as Christians, we should seek to remove the sensual aspects of our culture from our own lives. This includes everything in culture are language the way what we say our dress. You should not dress sexy your music, your music should not be sexual music, art forms, communication, entertainment, personal rent relationships. There should be an absence of the sensual in our social behavior and Paul uses a graphic command to describe our response to sensual culture. Notice what he says the opening word in verse five he says mortified.
What is that is a deft term like a mortician or mortuary mortified as the action it means to put it to dad. Paul is saying that every sensual and evil thought or act of immorality must receive a death blow, take it outside and shoot it, throw a noose around his neck and hang it strap it into an electric chair and throw the switch and electrocuted put it to death.
Jesus used graphic language. He says radical surgery.
If your hand causes you to sin.
What you do, cut it off as pretty radicals in the if your eye causes you to send what you do take your finger and stick it into your eye socket and whip out your eyeball that that we sing literally to do no what he is saying is that your attitude towards moral corruption and you know what Paul is candid look at the words he uses. Notice what he says fornication is the Greek word for Naya suite was where we get the word pornography from it means the arousal and fulfillment of sexual appetites outside of marriage, whether heterosexual, heterosexual or homosexual. The word uncleanness means that which makes you unclean.
We know you can touch things in the Old Testament and you would become and claim this is uncleanness from coming into contact with that with that which is morally corrupt and then the word inordinate affection is the Greek word path loss it's it's a strong desire.
It means living with inflamed law store habitual enslaving passions. It's the difference between a campfire and a candle fire both fires. But if you blow the candle fire goes out but you blown the campfire and was it do it grows God wants our passions to come under control so that we can make a decision and they do not become controlling in our lives evil concupiscence. What is that just strong evil desire, so whether it's arousing sexual contact contact outside of marriage or looking at provocative images or personal self gratification or reading sensual material or novels or engaged in inappropriate humor or even 16 on the Internet. Everything is included and Paul brings it to the bottom line. He says covetousness which is idolatry that so interesting to me, covetousness is greed the desire to want what you cannot get a greedy heart is the soil for a morally impure life, the heart of greed is a love for the idol of self in the ancient world. Idolatry and immorality always go together. Temple sex acts were part of idol worship we fast-forward today in our current commute, promiscuous society. Sexual liberty is being promoted even by liberal churches in the southern Baptist convention magazine for the upstate of South Carolina called the courier, an article came out last year May 2015. Here's what it said in May of last year First Baptist Church of Greenville already known as a more liberal church took a step even more to the left when agreed on a nondiscriminatory policy that would allow gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgendered people not only to be members of the church, but to be ordained into the ministry. The consensus statement of the church reads as follows in all facets of the life and ministry of our church, including but not limited to membership baptism ordination marriage teaching and committee organizational leadership first Baptist of Greenville will not discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Liberalism always allows or will promote some form of sexual freedom and true biblical Christianity, sexual purity is one of the distinguishable traits of those who are children of God, and who are seeking things above. If you are under the judgment of God, you live like it and if your under the grace of God, then you should live like it. He says mortified. These things in the notice. Secondly, he tells us in very quickly. He says in verse seven should be verse eight he says where to put off all of these and then he speaks of words that come out of her mouth, anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth, so he speaks about sexual sins and sins of the speech of our tongue. One of the signs of a changed heart is a transformed mouth what rules the heart wags the tongue. What is the tongue is the dipstick of the heart baton is the thermostat that always sets the room temperature or the atmosphere of any group of people of family friends together the locker room church or even a school what Paul is saying is that in heaven they don't talk this way.
These are things below. In heaven there is no evil communication. That to me is the glory of heaven. Nobody curses nobody blasphemes nobody complains you know in heaven.
There's no complaining. Obviously Bob Jones is not heaven.
There's no gossip in heaven.
No slander, no lying, no criticism, no exaggeration, no miscommunication, so he says where to seek the things above. How by the words that come out of her mouth and her word should be different and notice he says put these things all is like getting rid of old Claude. Sometimes it's hard to put away old clothes why because you like to keep what he saying is strip away all of these words that come out of your mouth and reactionary words. Words that come out of your heart that come out of your mouth like anger was anger.
It's kind of that slow burn smoldering fire delivered on a Mac Mexican restaurant and they say don't touch the plate because it's hot, if you touched it. Was it hot. Maybe you know sometimes you don't really know that people are angry to you get close to them and then when you get close to them listen to what comes out of their mouth that grumbling that complaining that criticism. What is wrath. Wrath is like an IED explosion in Afghanistan. It's this volcanic eruption, people get mad and start yelling at one another. Malice what is malice. It's a hatefulness in the hostility that attacks people and tears them down. What about blasphemy blasphemy is slander. We destroy people's reputation with slight praise. He's a good guy but that one your stop and think of the devil spoke three times in the Bible is three times too many. And all three times what he do tribes tear down the reputation of another. The defamation of character of the notice last filthy communication out of your mouth that's a dirty mouth curse words obscene speech vulgarity.
You take all of these five things anger at malice, blasphemy, filthy communication you. It sounds like it sounds like the presidential race and as Christians, what are we to do. We to put all these things away. Why, because presently white male we are going to heaven. Amen, amen.
And therefore, since we are going above, then we should live like it down here because those that are going below are living like it right now is really not complicated. We are to seek the things that are above father, we thank you for your word help us father to put away sin in our life and help us to seek you with all of our heart. In Jesus name, amen. You been listening to a sermon from the study series in the book of Colossians by Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University. Thanks for listening and join us again next week as we continue the study and Colossians here on The Daily Platform