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1214. The Believer’s Focus

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
March 24, 2022 7:00 pm

1214. The Believer’s Focus

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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March 24, 2022 7:00 pm

Dr. Steve Pettit continues a series entitled “Seeking Things Above” with a message titled, “The Believer’s Focus,” from Colossians 3:1-2.

The post 1214. The Believer’s Focus appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Welcome to The Daily Platform.

Our program preacher sermons from Chapel services Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Every day students are blessed by the preaching and teaching of the Bible 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 order a printed copy from the Bob Jones store website

Let's listen to today's message from Colossians chapter 3 verses one to where it says if ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Today's message is titled, the believers focus in Christ. Please take your Bibles this morning and turn with me to the book of Colossians Colossians chapter 3 today we are a little short on time so I want to get right into our message this morning as we been working through the theme of seeking things above. Colossians chapter 3. We've talked about the purpose of the book of Colossians. As Paul was addressing a problem in the church and doctrinal error wasn't about how a person gets saved but it's how much is God provided for your spiritual growth after salvation through the gospel and of course in the church there were teachers that were teaching that you can be saved through the gospel message that was being preached by a man named path for us.

The problem was that he didn't preach enough you didn't give you enough you didn't get enough when you get Jesus you always need to be discerning when somebody wants to add to Jesus if you if you add to Jesus you take away from Jesus.

Jesus plus doesn't work is just Jesus said they were making add-ons things like intellectualism, mysticism, legalism, asceticism actually problems in the been in the church for 2000 years and so what Paul does is he debunks that points to Christ and then we come to Colossians 3 and he shows the believers identity in Christ. We talked about that last week who we are in Jesus Christ that we are in him. By the way, there were some statements that I made last week that created some conversation that I think was really really good because I think the more you begin to understand the glory of what happened when you are immersed in the Christ is an overwhelming truth in it should overwhelm you.

The rest your life.

Now this morning. What I'd like us to do is understanding. Now what our identity is the what should be our focus. That is, if we are in Christ and how is it that we actually live this out and what should be our focus and we find this in verses one and two of Colossians chapter 3 where Paul lays out basically to clear commands and these are basic overall big picture commands, and these things are absolutely necessary for the spiritual outgrowth of who you are in Christ, and we see those this morning, beginning in verse one.

Notice what he says if you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above so what is the first command he says to seek the things that are above, where Christ is on the right hand of God, then verse two he gives a second command, he says, set your affections on things above and not on things of the earth, and then explains why because you're dead. So he says basically two things. Number one seek things that are above number two he says set for your affection on things that are also above so I want to talk to you this morning about those two commands because these are basic big picture ideas of how you live out who you are as a Christian look here even to live the Christian life as as what we've already mentioned from chapter 2 we have mysticism, intellectualism, and all those things are you going to live it biblically. So how do we live it out. Let's look at those two commands the first one is to seek heavenly realities. Notice he says if you then be risen with Christ, see those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.

The word seek means to seek after something with your whole heart you ever played sports every coach knows you gotta motivate your players to we would say lay it out all on the field. Your whole heart and giving it all. Nothing worse in the play with the team that there kind of halfway motivate. He says that we are to do what we do with a passion always find it intriguing how a young man plans out how he's going to get engaged to a young lady, there's this intense process of striving for the most creative, original, imaginative, cool, spectacular and unique way of simply saying, will you marry me. My son-in-law who marry my daughter that came out today. Rachel is a lawyer. He's very, very smart, especially because he chose to marry my daughter when he asked me for her hand in marriage. Of course I said yes and then he had a plan out how do you plan out an engagement so that the girl doesn't know was happening. While this one came out pretty cool. My daughter Rachel at that time was spending one semester overseas on a study abroad program and she was living in Jerusalem and Israel. She had a friend who had rented an apartment that was on the sixth floor of a building in the old city of Jerusalem with six stories is very high and this apartment had a walkout patio that had this most magnificent view where you can see the old city of Jerusalem. You can see the dome of the rock.

You can see the Mount of olives incredible. Well, Ethan made a plan and that is, he decided to fly the Israel unbeknown to Rachel and he wanted to ask her to marry him on top of the rooftop.

So with the help of some plans he devised this this plan where Rachel would be invited for dinner on the rooftop and when she would come and walk out on the rooftop. Ethan would be standing there in a course we have it all on video. I'm sorry I cannot show it to you this morning when you have an imagination and so when she walked out of the rooftop and she saw him standing there. She just was speechless and for her to be speechless is quite America and so he got down on one knee and asked for her hand in marriage, overlooking the old city of Jerusalem, and in your always seeking for that one magical moment the words seeking in the Bible is the idea of a passionate pursuit. So the question is what we seek after any tells us in Colossians, he says, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. First of all, we are to see the preeminence of Christ. You see, the fact that Jesus is alive and he seated in the right hand of the father. What does that mean it's a place of authority. It means that he rules over all, that's the idea of seating at God's right and we read in the book of Colossians that Jesus is the Lord of creation. He is the head of the church and he is the highest ranking. He is the greatest human being that ever lived on planet Earth and to seek things which are above means that we are to see him having first place in our lives. That's what the word preeminence means. It means that I want Jesus Christ to be the Lord over every area of my life as a kid growing up there was a famous daily game show called let's make a deal. Maybe you've heard of it and basically it's a goddess try to make a deal on a show and you know behind this window you can get this behind this window you can get the essence over the song. I remember when I became a Christian I realize that I had something within me that want to make a deal with God.

Here's what it said.I'll give you this. If you let me have this by the way, everybody in this room. Does that because we all know God wants my life, but there's some things that I want but I'm not sure God wants may have not been there sinful.

I just want to have my own desire. Whether it's my future. Whether his marriage weathers, how much money I make. You know, we think, oh Lord, I don't give my life to you because maybe you gotta make me marry somebody that only Mary made him have to live somewhere out on the live maybe I'm I have a job not to make that much money so we make deals and bargains with God. The problem is that is this that you cannot slave cannot bargain with the king. He is preeminent he is Lord he is maker of heaven and earth.

And what does he want you to do. He wants you to trust him and not enough give him everything and that's really the bottom line for us. Have we given the Jesus everything my future, my family, my finances, my hopes, my dreams, my talents, my time, my treasures and not only the future but even trusting him and his preeminence in the presence think about it this way do I trust God of the control of my circumstances and things I can't change the trust God with the people that is brought in my life. Do I trust God with the authorities they brought in my life. Do I trust God with every single thing that is coming in my life I am I'm seeking his preeminence over my life. That's what it means to seek things are about and secondly, we seek not only his preeminence, but we should seek his presence Paul and revealed in the false teachers promised spiritual fulfillment through following Old Testament laws. The only problem is the Old Testament laws and regulations were actually pictures that were pointing to Christ when he illustrated this way. Imagine a soldier who takes his pictures of his wife and his children to the battlefield every day, looks at them.

He cherishes every picture and he cherishes every thought of his family and then he kisses the picture as a reflection of his affection for his wife and children of the day finally comes when he returns home safely and when he finally sees his family waiting at the airport.

What does he do.

Who does he kiss does he take out the picture and keep kissing it or does he run to his wife and children and kiss them will obviously, the answer is clear. Once he has his family. He doesn't need the pictures what he wanted all along was the presence of his family. The Old Testament is filled with pictures and types of Christ. Everything pointing towards Jesus, God's people waited in intent and in anticipation and a growing affection for the day when the Messiah would come. Now, we no longer kiss the pictures we kiss the son see those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. What is one of the ways that we can do that we can do that through the daily Scripture because the Bible is the Christ, the Holy Spirit is the spirit of Christ and when we read the word of Christ with the end with the illumination of the spirit of Christ. What do we experience every day we experience his presence.

I can sit in my dorm room where I can sit in an airport and know that Jesus is with me because he has because I have his spirit, and I have his word what why do I see the presence of Christ. Are you seeking price presence in your life every day. Are you seeking him to his truth, the word, are you seeking his control. Are you trusting him all along the way.

And thirdly where to seek not only his presence and his preeminence. But in this case were to seek the power of Christ in our lives.

Paul says in Colossians 129 that he never did his ministry in his own strength, he said, whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily seeking things a mile above means I am pursuing God's power in my life for the greatest lessons I learned as a young Christian is how to be filled with this.

I was not a Christian very long before I realized that living the Christian life was not hard. It wasn't difficult. It was impossible, and I knew I couldn't do it and I was called scripturally what it meant to be a spirit filled Christian and a spirit filled Christian is one who is living independence in reliance on the power the Holy Spirit to overcome temptation to serve God effectively walk in obedience to him to become someone different Bible says if you're filled with the spirit you're different because he said don't be drunk with wine would be filled with the spirit there was anybody drunk their different when a person is a spiritual believer. He's different because he's not controlled by his flesh.

His responses his reactions as to what is Paul saying basically a big picture is in the way that we live out our identity in Christ is number one.

We seek heavenly realities.

But then there's something else. He says to do that is inverse to the set set your mind or your affection on things above the fray. Set your affections. The word for the word affection. There has the idea of your thinking is the idea of giving serious consideration to something.

If I do say this way you're fixated on some everybody here has things that you fixate on could be a videogame just I mean, as soon as you got a classroom garage to the videogame you're fixated on.

It could be this morning.

It could be it could be anything that you're doing in your life so we set set your fixations at the idea here all things above and not on things of the error and he says what he saying here is that you are making mental and emotional changes in your life when you, for example, for many of you when you came to Bob Jones University.

It's like you're in a whole new world is like wow so the way I grew up and suddenly you found yourself being in a position where you have you had to adapt a whole new way of thinking that's what he saying here as a Christian we change the way that we think we put all old evil and we put on that which is new, we adjust our thinking by believing that what God is declared in his word is the truth.

The Bible is God's word and I want this book to be the guide for my life is not just good suggestions is God's commands and in God begins to change the way you think. Let me give you two experiences I had in college one was my freshman year and the second 11 was really before between my freshman, sophomore year.

The second was my dream I saw your first one was between my freshman year of college. My sophomore year of college I broke my left ankle playing indoor soccer playing accident at the College of Charleston. The ball is crossed across the court and I went up to head the ball I missed it came down on my left ankle in those days I weighed about 195 pounds. You say how much you weigh this morning, then your business but I went hundred 95 pounds and I came down and I felt my ankles snap and man I just dropped to the floor. I grab my leg and went down the leg bone came out. I knew that was a problem and it went back in I was taken back up to Columbia where I had ankle surgery pins put in my left my left ankle ligament sewn up.

I was out of the season and all of a sudden God got my attention. I woke up in the hospital and after surgery and in those days the Baptist Hospital in Columbia.

They gave every patient a Bible and I picked up the Bible and I began to realize I needed to make some serious changes in my life because what happened to me was that soccer had become my God it was a night I love soccer. I still look but it but it had to have its right place because I was not setting my affections on things above. Now that I quit playing soccer.

No, I end up playing for all the way up to my senior of college I was cocaptain soccer team. My senior year and I ended up playing outside a college edited coaching high school and almost ended up coaching college but what happened was my affections change. The second thing happen. My sophomore year and that is I was dating a girl that I next he been dating since my senior year of high school I was now sophomore in college I was pretty certain that I thought we would get married but always had in the back of my mind it? Because the direction that we were going was not the right direction, but I got saved I was going to church is growing in the Lord and there was a growing tension between us and I'll never forget one Sunday morning I called her up and I said I'm going to church today. Would you like to go with me and she said no. I said what can I come and see you afterwards and she said no and basically she broke up with me over the phone.

Now it was a bad breakup for me. I mean, I think I went five days. I could even eat. That's really really bad and she ended up dating a guy like a couple weeks later that she actually ended up marrying and so is one of those like really low depressing times, but as I look back on it.

It was one of the best experiences of my life because what it did was it set it force me to set my affections on things above and after that I decided God.

I only one day and I only want to marry in your will and I didn't date the rest of college wasn't talking to Bob Jones.

I started dating my wife when I dated my wife I said Lord I like to marry that girl if it's your and that was my prayer all the way up to the time that we got married. I set my affections on things above and not on things of the earth.

There's a famous Scottish theologian named Thomas Chalmers he lived in the 1800s.

He wrote a little message that I thought was really incredible. He said the get the name of the message was called the explosive power of the new affection.

The premise of the booklet is that the removal ordinance or the displacement of the love for something that is evil or wrong cannot be easy at easily accomplished by simply exposing the object is empty or worthless. If I could say it this way, we may all believe that we shouldn't eat fried food.

But when you got fried chicken put in front of you over grilled chicken, even cheap juice fried chicken anyway. You know I could. You like it and you can say all you want about eating fried food that is unhealthy for you. But that's not gonna persuade you because your first answers. I'm going to die anyway.

I might as well enjoy life this way, we are in the plane of what he's trying to say is this, that effective change in one's life can only calm when you set forth another object in this case it is Christ who is more worthy of your hearts affection in attachment. In other words, is the transformation of those of actions that change you United States of America was radically influenced in the early 1700s by what was called the great awakening and the preaching of George Whitfield and Jonathan Edwards during that revival in a sense they they set forth in motion a direction in the United States of America where there was there was a connection between knowledge and if I could say the intellectual in the heart and the passion for some because in that revival people got converted and they had small groups of prayer singing accountability and encouragement and during the ride. I like all revivals, there were some excesses that there were people that went beyond but it ended up creating a division in the in the in the United States between those who were more intellectual in their approach and those who didn't disregard the intellectual but they were much more passionate about their faith. And actually the history of our country has been built spiritually on this passion for both the intellectual, the truth and at the same time, the heart and the spirit so we've always spoken against dad intellectualism and we've always encouraged a passion for God. Jonathan Edwards wrote a treatise called a treatise on religious affections, and here's what he said is I conclude true religion consists in a great measure in vigorous and lively, acting's of the inclination and will of the soul or in the fervent exercises of the heart. Here's what Paul is. I think that's what Paul is saying, said your heart, your affections on things above and not on things of the earth. That's the essence of true spirituality. Father, bless your word and help us to see things above and set our affection on things above. 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. For more information on Dr. Pettit series, visit the Bob Jones University store website shop.BJ or you can get a copy of Steve's study booklet entitled seeking things above that's SH OP.BJ I'd like to thank you for listening to The Daily Platform.

I hope that you enjoyed it. I hope it's been a blessing and encouragement to you. We are living in very unusual times. This is just such a crucial time for all of us as believers to walk closely with the Lord. So I hope you'll take the opportunity to follow us up on these other things that we have it BJ and find out what it is that God is doing and through the ministry of Bob Jones University with our 2500 students who are coming here to get a biblical worldview and does see life from God's lenses and then go out with an accredited first class education and go out in the world and make an impact for Jesus Christ in the workplace is a go out and serve in local churches not only here in the United States, but our students are globally and demand Christ centered servants who were trying to serve the Lord throughout the world for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. So thank you again for listening and encourage your friends to listen and to be nourished and strengthened through God's word. God bless you these daily programs are made possible by the many friends of Bob Jones University and its radio ministry. If you appreciate these programs and benefit from the faithful preaching and teaching of God's word would you consider sending us a special financial gift today. You can easily do that through the website.

The Daily and then click on the give button on the homepage. We'd also love to hear about how this program is helping your Christian walk, please send us your feedback using the contact button at the bottom of the website The Daily or you can call us at 800-252-6363 I'm Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. I'd like to invite you to attend one of our summer camps for both middle and high schoolers. BJ you has over 50 camps to choose from. So there is one for you.

Here's just a few aviation astronomy cinema computers, culinary criminal justice media, music, nursing, theater, robotics, soccer, basketball, volleyball, golf, and there's many more come explore your future. During the week what we call education. For more information about our camps. Visit our website go to educate up. That's EDU cAMP.BJ

Thanks for listing and join us again tomorrow as we continue the study and Colossians on The Daily Platform

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