The Old Man and the New Man

22 06 2020

McKee Road Baptist – June 17, 2020 Wednesday Evening – Coronavirus Emailed

Colossians 3:9-11 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with
his deeds; (10) And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the
image of him that created him: (11) Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision
nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

You can tell a lot about people in our society by the way they dress. People wear the
uniform of their profession. Professional athletes to nurses, from firemen to policemen;
all wear the uniform of their profession. Our uniform is an identifier, it identifies us.
That is precisely Paul’s point through verse 17 of this chapter. Christians must dress
themselves ethically in accordance with their new identity. They have died with Christ
and risen to new life.

Colossians 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his
deeds;

As believers, we are called to be truth tellers. God does not lie but is “the God of truth”
Isaiah 65:16, as his children, we are to be like him. Lying simply does not belong
among God’s children. Society may have plenty of room for the lie, but that is because
society does not know God.

The figure of the “old man” and “new man” is common in Paul’s writing. The
expressions “old man” and “new man” occur in basically four places in Paul’s letters:
Romans 6:6; Ephesians 2:15; 4:22-24; and our text, Colossians 3:9-11. In order to
understand this important expression, we will examine the four passages in which Paul
uses it. In each passage the “old man” is the same expression in Greek. The expression
“new man” is the same in Ephesians 2:15, Ephesians 4:24 and in Colossians 3:10.
Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin
might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Matthew Henry says of Romans 6:6, “The body of sin must be destroyed. The
corruption that dwelleth in us is the body of sin, consisting of many parts and members,
as a body. This is the root to which the axe must be laid. We must not only cease from
the acts of sin (this may be done through the influence of outward restraints, or other
inducements), but we must get the vicious habits and inclinations of weakened and
destroyed; not only cast away the idols of iniquity out of the heart. That henceforth we
should not serve sin.” Paul’s is saying, “No” to the reign of sin, and, “Yes” to life in God.

Ephesians 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of
commandments contained in ordinance; for to make himself of twain one new man, so
making peace;

Ephesians is a letter dedicated to unfolding the mystery of the gospel as it relates to the
unification of Jew and Gentile in “one new man.” The focus in Ephesians 2:15 is on the newly created community in Christ. These are believers where hatred and division were the order of the day but now are joined together in Christ.

Ephesians 4:22-24 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man,
which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; (23) And be renewed in the spirit of
your mind; (24)And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in
righteousness and true holiness.

Paul urges the Ephesians to the fact that they have received a certain calling.

Ephesians 4:1 I therefore the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of
the vocation wherewith ye are called,

They are to walk or live in a way commensurate (in agreement) with their new calling
and privilege. Believers are not to live as the Gentiles do, those who are separated from the life of God. The Gentiles lived to fulfill their senses and lust. The believers of Ephesus were
not to live like that.

The “old man” refers to their former life as Gentiles and the sin that so consumed their
lives. They were taught to lay this aside and to put on the new man. The figure “put on”
and “put off” is one of exchanging clothes and refers to a change in character in light of
a change in identity, having moved from the old sphere of existence (without God) to a
new sphere of existence (with God).

In Ephesians 4:22-24 the “old man” refers to a lifestyle consistent with sin, but
inconsistent with being in Christ, while the “new man” refers to a lifestyle, “to walk” in a
way consistent with being in Christ and truth.

Ephesians 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not
as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind.

Colossians 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his
deeds;

Paul reminds his readers that they have been raised with Christ, and, therefore, should
seek things above and set their minds on things above, not on earthly things. Since they
have died with Christ, they are put to death “whatever in their nature belongs to the
earth” Colossians 3:5; referring to such things as, “fornication, uncleanness, inordinate
affection, concupiscence and covetousness which is idolatry.” The Colossian believers
are to put off all such things commensurate with their former life; such as “wrath, malice,
blasphemy and filthy communication…”

The reason the Colossian believers are to do this is because they have put off “the old
man” and have been clothed with “the new man.” They have put off the old man and
have been clothed with the new at conversion.

The “new man” in Colossians 3:10-11 refers to the new community that erases all
racial and social lines. Where there is “neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor
uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free, but Christ is all and in all.” Paul is
telling them they are to be clothed with the new man.

The “old man,” by contrast, is the body of people still under its old head Adam, and the
old clothing of sinful deeds is worn by all. The expression “image of God” refers to Christ Himself so that the renewal involves progressive conformation into the likeness of Christ himself.

Thus the “new man” in Colossians 3:10 not only applies to each believer, but rather the
new community in Christ, the church, and together we reflect the image of God. It is for
this reason, since we are the “new man” corporately, that we are not to live like we once
did. The “old man” refers to people in solidarity with Adam under the old age of sin, death,
and judgment.

The crucifixion of the “old man” refers to a definitive break with the past in Adam, and is
something God reckons to be true of us. The sinner is separated from the community of
Adam and the relationships that exist there. Paul is reminding us that the “old man”
must be continually put off.

Colossians 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his
deeds;

The words “put off” means: “to take off or strip off clothing – to undress, to disrobe,
stripping off.” This term is used in Colossians 2:11 & 15, and in both places, it refers to
the effects of the cross. This word carries the idea of “strip off from oneself.”

The Greek indicates that this stripping off from oneself took place at the cross. That is
where the great change took place. This principle is the basis for all spiritual life in the
New Testament.

Notice the end of verse 9, “…with his deeds.” The word “deeds” is from the Greek word
praxis, which means: “practice.” “Deeds” is function, implying sustained activity and/or
responsibility. Because the “old man” was stripped off, so should the sins that are
connected with him. We are to stop acting upon our old life and start acting upon our
new life.

Colossians 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after
the image of him that created him:

Every believer is a new man:

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things
are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

We are new, because we hold the same status that Jesus does before God. We are
new, because we possess the life of Christ. We are new, because of our position before
God.

In reference to the new man Paul says, “…which is renewed in knowledge…”
The word “renewed” means: “to cause something to become new and different, with the
implication of becoming superior. It means to make new, to renew, to cause a change to
a previous, preferable state.” This word comes to mean: “to restore, to bring back, to
make new; not in the sense of recent, but different.”

Notice what Paul says about this “new man.”

Colossians 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor
uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

This clearly demonstrates the nature of the “new man.” In the body of Christ there are
no class distinctions. The Greek here for “no distinction” is: “Where there is neither,”
Greek nor Jew.”

We must remember that people are not born equal. We have different IQs, physical
beauty, strength. There is no such thing as true equality in this life. Members of the
human race are not born equal. But regeneration brings true equality to people.
The terms “Greek nor Jew” are national differences. “Greek” represents a person who is
a Gentile, a non-Jew. The Roman world classified a “Greek” as a person who
participates in Greek culture and, in so doing, would speak the Greek language, but not
necessarily a person of Greek ethnic background. A “Greek” was equivalent to a
civilized person.

The terms “circumcised nor uncircumcised” refer to a religious difference. The Greek
and Jew, one circumcised and the other uncircumcised, were separated by seemingly
insurmountable racial and religious barriers. They had nothing to do with each other.
Jewish people refused to enter a Gentile house. They would not eat a meal cooked by
Gentiles, nor buy meat prepared by Gentile butchers. When they returned to Israel, they
showed their disdain (to think unworthy of notice) for Gentiles by shaking off the Gentile
dust from their clothes and sandals. Even the apostles were reluctant to accept Gentiles
as equal partners in the church Acts 10-11. But the gospel broke down those barriers,
and Jew and Gentile became one in Christ.

The terms “Barbarian, Scythian” are cultural differences. “Barbarian” properly means:
“one whose speech is rude, or harsh.” It signified one who speaks a strange or foreign
language, I Corinthians 14:11.

The “barbarian” came to represent anyone ignorant of Greek or its culture, a person not
participating in Greek culture and civilization. The focus is on culture rather than on
language, I Corinthians 14:11.

“Scythians” were uncultured, nomadic people from north of the Black and Caspian seas.
They were fierce barbarians who offered human sacrifices and scalped their enemies
and used their skulls as drinking cups. The Jewish historian, Josephus, added, “The
Scythians delight in murdering people and are little better than wild beasts.”

The terms “bond nor free” refer to economic or social distinctions. The “slave” in Roman
times was not classified in law as a human being. His master could maim or kill him at
his pleasure. The slave had no rights. The slave was viewed, in the words of Aristotle,
as “a living tool.” He did not even have the right of marriage.

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is
neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

The meaning here is that all are on a level; that there is no distinction. All are to be
regarded and treated as brethren, and that, therefore, no one lie to another.

There is no place for racial barriers or cultural snobbery in the body of Christ. God has
united all believers in Christ Jesus. This was a startling, unbelievable revelation for the
first-century world. The racial, religious, cultural, and social barriers separating people
were as deep-seated and formidable as any in our day.

There is no place for manmade barriers in the church since Christ is all, and in all.
Because Christ indwells all believers, all are equal. He breaks down all racial, religious,
cultural, and social barriers, and makes believers into one new man.

Pastor Don Thomason





Put These Sins Aside

18 06 2020

McKee Road Baptist – June 10, 2020 Wednesday Evening – Coronavirus Emailed

Colossians 3:8-9 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy,
filthy communication out of your mouth. (9) Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have
put off the old man with his deeds;

We are in the practical section of the epistle of the Colossians. Paul is calling the
Colossians to deal with sin, to put it to death. This is a call for practical holiness.
Colossians 3:4-5 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear
with him in glory. (5) Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth;
fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness,
which is idolatry:

As believers, we are to put sin to death. In view of all that God has done for us in Christ,
in view of our dwelling in His presence, our response is to live a holy life out of gratitude.

Ephesians 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

As children of God, we are to imitate our father. When people see us, they should see a
reflection of our Father. We bear the Father’s name and must be consistent to live a life
that will speak well of the name we bear.

Ezekiel 36:22-23 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God: I do
not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have
profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. (23) And I will sanctify my great name,
which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them;
and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be
sanctified in you before their eyes.

Believers, we are to live morally pure lives which displays God to the world. When we
do not live as we should, we profane the name of God. We must understand that how
we live affects the world in which we live. We often fail to realize how crucial to the
purpose of God is the behavior of His people.

2 Corinthians 3:2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

You are a living epistle of God, known and read by all men. As a born-again child of
God, we must consider what the lost are learning by our walk. Brothers and Sisters, we
are to live holy lives. Our God is holy and so are we to be. Paul continues to list sins that are to be put aside:

Colossians 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy,
filthy communication out of your mouth.

We are commanded to “put off” the sins of verse five. The six sins of verses eight and
nine, we are to “put aside.” God wants us to divest (unload) ourselves of these six sins.
The analogy changes from killing to removing. The sins of these verses are sins of the mouth. These are sins that are generally acceptable in Christian circles. “These are Christian sins.” That is like an “honest thief.” There is no such animal. Paul starts verse 8 with “But now” to give us a contrast from verse 7.

Colossians 3:6-7 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of
disobedience: (7) In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

Verse seven talks about their life before coming to Christ, and verse 8 says, “But now.”
Which tells us that belief in the cross is the dividing line the believer’s life. The Christian
has a new identity.

Paul tells them, ‘But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy,
filthy communication out of your mouth.” . As believers, we are to put off the following
list of sins, they are no longer to be part of our life. For which things’ sake the wrath of
God cometh on the children of disobedience: (7) In the which ye also walked some time,
when ye lived in them.

The words “put off” are from the Greek word apotithemi, which means: “to put away
(literally or figuratively.), cast off, lay apart (aside, down), put away (off).” It has the idea:
“to take off like a suit of clothes.”

“Put off” is a lesser word than “mortify” of verse five. “Put off” simply means to disrobe.
The metaphor is one of taking off clothes.
God wants us to put off the sins of this verse like we would take off dirty clothes after
working in the yard. The tense indicates that we are to take off the following dirty sins as
a definite act. Discard these sins as we would throw dirty clothes in a hamper.

Anger

“Anger” is the Greek word orge. It speaks of a chronic resentment. “Anger” combines
both anger and revenge.

It is the hostility of the mind. It is the demonstration of strong passion (which may issue in anger or revenge, though it does not necessarily include it). This sin of anger is rampant in our society. (Consider the last couple of weeks in America.) If we delay one instant after the light changes, or cut someone off on the freeway, we can trigger vile language, a vulgar gesture, and even a gun shot. If a waitress is slow at a restaurant, a line is too long, or a checker seems too slow, the result may be outbursts of anger. Grudges, resentments, bitterness are common companions in homes causing chronic anger, violence, or abusive talk. It seems our society has lost its civility.

Children of God get angry, but most of us have been taught to internalize our anger,
rather than to express it outwardly. We may not show it but we still seethe with the best
of them. Who among us can truly say that we have not been angry this past week?
The reality is that all of us face situations and challenges that may make us angry and
no one is immune. Regardless of our emotional makeup, anger affects all of us, and
when we allow anger to control us, the outcome could be very costly.

That said, not all anger is sin. Ephesians 4:26 says, “Be ye angry, and sin not:” This
tells us something very important. There is an anger that is acceptable.
Paul tells us in Colossians 3:8 to put off anger. In Ephesians 4:26, he says, “Be ye
angry”. Taken by themselves and out of context, we seemingly have two conflicting
statements from Paul. The solution to this apparent contradiction is found in the fact that
there are two kinds of anger. Paul is commanding the Ephesians to be angry in a way
that is righteous, that is a reflection of God.

True anger is that which is concerned with others’ wrongs. You can see it in Jesus: He
was angry at the Pharisees when they opposed His healing of men on the Sabbath day.
“And when he had looked round about on them with anger” Mark 3:5, we read, “being
grieved for the hardness of their hearts” over their stubborn indifference to the needs of
suffering humanity. It made Him angry.

Sinful anger is anger that is self-defensive. It is always wrong. Sinful anger is part of the
old life, it is to be put off. If you are angry because your feelings have been hurt, or your
pride has been injured, or you have been mistreated in some way, perhaps you have
not been given the position of the place or the favor that you think you ought to have,
this is sinful anger and is to be put off.

The Cause of Sinful Anger

One root cause of anger is pride. When things do not go our way in life, when our pride
is offended, we get angry. Humble people do not get angry, because they never feel
they deserve better than they are getting. Nothing causes anger as quickly as thinking
too highly of ourselves. The more exalted we are in our own eyes, the more justified we
will feel in being angry with the person who offended us:

Proverbs 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

Admitting that the control of anger is not within our power is part of the solution. We
need the supernatural help of Christ, because it is not enough to refrain from expressing
anger. The Christian is called to love the person with whom we are angry:

1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity
vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.

The first thing Paul says about love is that it “suffereth long.” This is the Greek word
makrothumeo, this word, as it is used in the New Testament, is a word that conveys the
idea of having an infinite capacity to be injured without paying back. It is used with
regard to people, not circumstances. The loving person is able to be inconvenienced or
taken advantage of by a person and yet not be upset or angry.

Wrath

“Wrath” is the turbulent commotion of the mind, rage. The Greeks likened it to a fire in
straw which flares up briefly and is gone. It is used to speak of those in the synagogue
of Nazareth who exploded in anger upon hearing Jesus’ teachings Luke 4:28.

“Anger” is the heat of the fire, and “wrath” is the bursting forth in flame. “Anger” is less
sudden in its rise, but more lasting. “Wrath” is a more agitated condition. It is more of a
state of intense anger with outbursts of passionate anger coming from indignation.

“Anger” is a more settled condition of the attitude, frequently with a view to taking
revenge. It is less sudden in its rise, but more lasting in its nature.

“Anger” expresses more inward feeling. It’s more active than “wrath.” “Wrath” may
produce revenge, but it does not necessarily include it. Characteristically, it blazes.

Malice

“Malice” is the desire to hurt others. This is a vicious character. It is the quality of
wickedness with the implication of that which is harmful and damaging. “Malice” is a
feeling of hostility and strong dislike with a possible implication of desiring to do harm.

Blasphemy

Anger, wrath, and malice often result in blasphemy. The Greek word translated
“blasphemy” is blasphemia, from which our English word blasphemy derives. When
used in relation to God it is blasphemy. When used in relation to people, as here, it is
profane speak.

This profane speech is to speak ill of someone and hurt their name and reputation. It
means to speak against someone in such a way as to harm or injure his or her
reputation.

Filthy Communication

The result of anger, wrath, and malice is filthy communication. Filthy Communication is
from the Greek word aischrologia, meaning: “low and obscene speech” which occurs
here only in the New Testament. That term refers to obscene and derogatory speech
intended to hurt and wound someone. It could be translated: “foulmouthed abuse”.
Jesus said:

Matthew 12:35 A good man out of the treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things:
and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

This list of sins in verse 8 ends with “…out of your mouth.” This phrase may not only
refer to “filthy communication,” but the entire list of sins in verse 8. If so, then the entire
list of sins is cataloged as sins of the mouth. “Anger” and “wrath” are forms of “filthy
communication.”

Jesus said that the mouth reveals what is in the heart. James 3:10-11 says, “out of the
same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to
be. (11) Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? James
3:10,11.

If you want a guideline to speech, here it is:

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that
which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Colossians 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his
deeds;

“Lie” is the Greek word pseudomai. It means, “stop lying.”
If you did a Bible study on lying, and you began in Genesis, you would find the
following: Satan lied in deceiving Adam and Eve Genesis 3:45. Cain lied to God after murdering Abel Genesis 4:9. Abraham lied, claiming Sarah was his sister instead of his
wife Genesis 12:11-19; 20:2. Sarah lied to the three angelic visitors Genesis 18:15
and to the king of Gerar Genesis 20:5. Isaac lied by denying that Rebecca was his wife
Genesis 26:7-10. Rebecca and Issacs lied in their conspiracy to defraud Esau of his
birthright Genesis 27:6-24. That list does not even get us out of Genesis. Paul had
good reason to tell Christians to stop lying to one another.

Lying is part of society, and all too often we get caught up in the practice, too. Too often
many of us feel pressure to distort truth in order to survive in our culture.
Though our society gives ample place to the lie, the Lord does not. The Bible teaches
us that telling the truth is a necessity for survival of life as we know it. Chaos always
results when lies replace truth.

God hates lying and commands us to deal truthfully with each other:

Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination
unto him: (17) A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, (18)
An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, (19)
A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Out of this list of seven abominations, two of them deal with lying. God hates lying!

Proverbs 12:19 The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but
for a moment.

Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his
delight.

Psalm 15:1 asks the question, “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle?” and gives this
answer:

Psalms 15:2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the
truth in his heart.

In a word, lying was to be rooted out of God’s people Israel. God hates lying equally as
much today.

Lying is so much part and parcel of today’s society that many Christians feel they need
to lie from time to time if they’re going to survive, let alone function, in this society.
And then there what are called, “white-lies.” They are called that, because they are
considered harmless. But, when you see this in the light of the Scriptures, you see that
a white lie, so-called, is still a lie.

White lies usually occur in circumstances where we are asked to give our opinion about
one’s dress or personality, and we feel negative about it but do not want to say anything
for fear of hurting their feelings, so we lie, we say the nice thing, the pleasant thing,
and their feelings are not hurt. This is situational ethics.

A liar lives under the pressure of always having to remember what was said, coupled
with the fear of exposure and the necessity of telling more lies. Truth becomes relative.
Truth becomes what we want it to be. Lying becomes a kind of personal prison.

It was the honesty of Christians that made them appear as lights in a dark world, which
made the Christian faith attractive. We have a similar potential today that will bring great
honor to Jesus.

Illustration: There is the story of a father who was taking his two sons to play miniature
golf. He inquired of the price, and the attendant told him it was $5.00 for him and $5.00
for any child over six. Adding all children six and under play free. The father told him
one boy was three and one was seven. “You could have saved $5.00 if you said the
older boy was six. I wouldn’t have known the difference.” The father replied, “Yes, that is
true, but my boys would have known the difference.”

That’s depravity of the human heart that makes a person save $5.00 by being a liar.
How many fathers are teaching their children to be dishonest?
Believers, Christ is our life. He is in the presence of God; we are in the presence of
God. We must deal with our sins and seek to walk in holiness. When it comes to sin, we
must put them all aside.

Pastor Don Thomason





Put Sexual Sin to Death

10 06 2020

McKee Road Baptist – June 3, 2020 Wednesday Evening – Coronavirus Emailed

Colossians 3:5-7 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication,
uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is
idolatry: (6) For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of
disobedience: 7) In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

In the book of Colossians, Paul is teaching that as a child of God you are no longer to
live in the way you used to. Since you have been united to Christ, you are to live like it!
Sunday, we used these same verses as our text but really only dealt with the first half of
verse five. Keep in mind as we go through the last part of verse five through verse
seven that we are to Mortify (kill, put to death) our members. Refer to the message from
Sunday about what our members are. That will help to understand our message today.
Consider what Paul says we are to put to death.

Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication,
uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is
idolatry:

Paul lists five sins here. God created the human race in two sexes, and He intended it
that way. Sex is a tremendously important part of life. It is designed by God to add flavor
and excitement to our marriage relationships. Someone said, “Sex in the Bible is like a
great river flowing through life which, kept within its banks, is a source of pleasure and
power. When it overflows its proper banks, it becomes destructive and, ultimately,
disastrous.”

Paul is concerned that God’s churches be kept free of such corruptions:

Ephesians 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once
named among you, as becometh saints.

Porneia is the Greek word translated: “fornication.” It is immorality. This was a sin that
tempted the early believers. It was one of the most widely accepted sins in the ancient
world which went uncondemned by many cultures. Sounds like our world today.
What can be defined as Porneia. We will consider a few examples.

Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for
fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which
is put away doth commit adultery.

Porneia is a biblical ground for divorce, so we must understand exactly what it means.
We have the example of a porneia of Sodom. In Genesis 18 we read of the
homosexuality and perverse sexual relations, (any sexual act not defined as ‘normal’
relations) found in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

That said, it is apparent that in Jesus’ day sexual activity with a person one is not
married to would meet the definition of porneia. A man and woman who are physically intimate with one another and are having or simulating sexual relations would easily fit
the definition and standard use of porneia in Jesus’ time. To be physically intimate with
someone not your mate, making physical contact with another person in a sexual way,
is porneia.

Do not be guilty of attempting to separate adultery from fornication. I would argue that
fornication is a larger set which describes adultery as one of the activities within it. By
the way, porneia is the root that we get our word “porno” from.

What does the Scripture say about fornication? The New Testament uses porneia,
translated: “fornication,” in at least four ways:

Voluntary sexual intercourse of an unmarried person with someone of the
opposite sex (1 Corinthians 7:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:3).

A synonym for adultery (Matthew 5:32; 19:9), which is sexual relations with
someone other than one’s spouse.

Harlotry and prostitution (Revelation 2:14,20).

Various forms of sexual sin such as homosexuality and bestiality.

Porneia is a broad term used to cover any form of sexual sin. Listed below are some
Biblical exhortations against this sexual sin:

Ephesians 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor
covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of
God.

1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should
abstain from fornication:

Clearly, God’s will for believers is sexual purity. He says in:

1 Thessalonians 4:6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter:
because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and
testified.

The word “avenger” is the Greek word ekdikos which means: “one who carries out a
legal sentence.” This word is used one other time in Romans 13:4, “revenger,” where it
refers to the magistrate as the bearer of the sword of justice. God warns that He is the
one who carries out a legal sentence against those who commit porneia.

To help us understand the severity of this sin, let’s look at some passages in
Corinthians that deal with this sexual sin:

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of
God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate,
nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (10) Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards,
nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Paul list fornicators first in the list of the unrighteous, who will not inherit the kingdom of
God. For a deeper study consider the following verses.

1 Corinthians 6:13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy
both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for
the body.

Paul is pointing out the simple fact that the stomach finds its fulfillment, its satisfaction in
taking in food. But the body finds its fulfillment, not in sex, but in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I
then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.

Your body is the member of Christ. Your body is a member of His body, it is a part of
His body, the church. It is because of our position as members of the body of Christ that
Paul appeals to them for moral purity. This is the same appeal that he uses in
Colossians.

1 Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife,
and let every woman have her own husband.

1 Corinthians 7:3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise
also the wife unto the husband.

The words “due benevolence” means: “kindness; conjugal duty: good will.” Paul is
saying, when you get married, you become obligated to meet the physical needs of your
spouse. Marriage is no place for celibacy. The general obligation is that I am to pay to
my spouse what I owe him/her. I am to fulfill my duty as a spouse.

Before we move on to look at the other words that Paul uses in our text, we should
consider 1 Corinthians 5:1, Paul says, “There is fornication among you.” I believe these
words could be said of every church in America. That statement may seem strong, but I
am convinced that it is sadly true. Porneia has become rampant in the church in our
day. We must understand that God hates and judges this sin. We must understand the
destructive nature of this sin, and we must put it to death. And we must do all that we
can to protect our children from it.

Consider the other words that Paul lists.

Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication,
uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is
idolatry:

The second word is “uncleanness.” This comes from the Greek word akatharsia, from
which the word catharsis or “cleansing” comes; it means, “filthiness,” or “uncleanness.”
It is a more general term than immorality. It goes beyond the act to the evil thoughts and
intentions of the mind. It could refer to what we would call perverted forms of sex,
homosexuality, child abuse, and various strange and unnatural sexual practices. They
would all be covered by this one word “uncleanness.”

The third in our list is “inordinate affection.” This is from the Greek word pathos. This
refers to erotic passions which are aroused (especially with men), by visual things. If
men are aroused visually, are women responsible for how they dress?

Pornography clearly falls under this classification. Anything that is sexually arousing: literature, movies, whatever, is to be denied. It belongs to the old life. It goes beyond the
boundaries of God’s approval and becomes a very destructive thing.

“Evil concupiscence” is closely associated with lust, it is mental uncleanness. It is
exactly what Jesus had in mind when he said, “But I say unto you, That whosoever
looketh, on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his
heart.”

Lastly, we are to put off “covetousness, which is idolatry.” When this word
“covetousness” appears in Scripture without being linked with idolatry, it is referring to
lusting after money and the things that money can buy. But in this particular context,
linked with this word, “idolatry,” it is greed to possess another person’s body. Paul, is
saying that this is a powerful longing to lay hands on some other person and possess
his or her body. It is what the world calls “having an affair,” in which you allow another
person to become so dominant in your thinking that he or she takes the place of God to
you.

These sins are as common today, as they were in the first century. Today, many
believers tend to accept these practices and overlook the error of those who fall into
them. The apostle says there are two things wrong with acceptance.

First, he says: Colossians 3:6-7 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7) In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

“Cometh” means it keeps coming. What picture does your mind paint when you
contemplate, “the wrath of God”? Some think that it is God getting very angry and
vindictively striking you down in some way or other. Scripture declares that the “wrath of
God” is simply his judicial reaction to evil; it is the way a Holy God reacts to a civilization
or individual who turns his back on moral absolutes and tries to ignore moral laws. The
first chapter of Romans gives a vivid description of what God does in such a case. He
removes the restraints within society against evil, and lets it have its way, allowing it to
produce what evil always produces, death in the midst of life.

Consider what we are witnessing going on all around us today. The restraints that once
kept evil under bonds and within bounds have been lifted. Daily, we are witness to evil
practices. Laws are laughed at, morality is cast aside, evil is praised and defended on
every side. Ultimately, we have reached a stage in our society where almost anything
goes. This is where we are today in America.

It must be noted that historically, this path is always a prelude to the break-up of
government and the overthrow of the forces for law and order within society. This is how
many empires in history, fell apart. That is what Paul is pointing out. You may think that
nothing happens when you allow yourself to fall into immoral practices, but something is
happening. God has not lost His power. He is quite able to react to evil, and He does
react. He allows it to have its way. He removes restraints of evil upon society, and there
is nothing that man can do can prevent it.

Sin brings wrath, not blessing. Paul is not warning us that if we sin, we will feel the
furious wrath of God. Rather he is saying that those who are Christ’s, who have been
made one with Him, who love Him and serve Him, would certainly not wish to participate in those kinds of behaviors and thoughts that are characteristic of those who will feel His
eternal wrath. The children of God would certainly not want to act like the children of
wrath.

Although believers have been delivered from God’s wrath (consider Romans 5:9), they
are subject to His chastening.

Hebrews 12:5-6 But ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto
children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art
rebuked of him: (6) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son
whom he receiveth.

God will react against sin. The unbeliever will experience His eternal wrath, and the
believer His loving chastening. Either way, all who pursue sin will suffer the
consequences.

Sexual sin is a very serious sin. It is a very damaging sin. The question we must now
ask is how do we avoid falling into this sin?

Guard Your Heart
The problem of sexual perversion impacts us all. The fundamental problem is my mind,
not my body. Radical steps must be taken to purify my mind. Sexual sin always begins
in the mind, though it does not always end there.

Sexual sin never comes out of the blue. Sexual sin is a result of a long natural process
in which a mind susceptible to sin is granted unguarded exposure to immoral input. We
are what we think. Our thoughts of today become our actions of tomorrow. Temptation
may come suddenly, but sin does not. The best way to guard against tomorrow’s
sexual temptation is to cultivate a pure mind today. We must saturate our mind with
God’s input, rather than the world’s input. The battle is in our minds. Proverbs puts it this
way:

Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Guard your heart! If we are going to avoid sexual sin, we must guard our hearts. If the
battle for sexual purity is in the mind, then we had better start guarding our minds,
because we live in a world whose media is consumed with sexual sin. All forms of
media touch the mind. Media stirs our mind; it moves our mind and it molds our mind.
Beware of what media you allow into your mind. Know this that it is fashioning your
thoughts. We must guard our thinking and protect our minds.

If you are viewing things that cause you to sin, then stop looking at them. If you are
engaged in activities that make sin more enticing, then stop those activities. It should go
without saying that a Christian man or woman should have nothing to do with
pornography. Pornography is defined as any visual, written, or recorded stimulus
designed to cultivate or heighten a person’s desire toward immoral sexual behavior. If
that definition of pornography is true, then today’s media is a major source of
pornography, because it is often a visual stimulus designed to cultivate or heighten a
person’s desire toward immoral sexual behavior.

Living the Christian life in our society takes tremendous self-control. Proverbs gives us a
vivid picture of the importance of self-control:

Proverbs 25:28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken
down, and without walls.

In ancient times, the walls of a city were its main defense; without them, the city was
easy prey to its enemies. Self-control is the believer’s wall of defense against the sinful
desires that wage war against his soul. Self-control can be defined this way; it is the
governing of one’s desires. Self-control is necessary because we are at war with our
own sinful desires. Self-control of our minds means entertaining only those thoughts
that are acceptable to God. Every believer has the ability to control his thought life.
Believers, guard your heart and the hearts of your children. One of the best ways to do
this is to put the word of God in your heart. David said:

Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Believers, we must guard our hearts. A good practice is to make yourself accountable.
We all need someone to check up on us and ask how we are doing spiritually. We can
all use someone that tells us when they see weakness or seeds of sin in our life.
God has made us a “new creature.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things
are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

We are not the old person made over; we have the life of God, through His Holy Spirit
living within us now. God expects us to put away the old life. God does not want us to
go on living as if nothing miraculous happened to our sin. Everything we say and do is
either an asset or a liability to the cause of Christ. We are either a credit to Christ or a
disgrace. Each of us has a responsibility to put sin to death.

Pastor Don Thomason





To Whom Do You Yield

8 06 2020

McKee Road Baptist – May 31, 2020 Sunday Worship – Coronavirus Emailed

Introduction: We have seen who Christ is, and what He has done. We have seen
that as believers we share in all that Christ is and has done. Since this is true, Paul
declares that you are no longer to live in the way you used to. The command to the
believer is that we are to “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the
earth.” Our union with Christ is the heart and soul of Paul’s gospel. Believer, since
you have been united to Christ, live like it! Or to put it simply: Be who you are in
Christ!

Colossians 3:5-7 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication,
uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is
idolatry: (6) For which thing’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of
disobedience: (7) In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

“Therefore” on the basis of your position in Christ (1:1-3:4), “Mortify therefore your
members which are up the earth.” Paul is saying to kill the members of your earthly
body (not just to consider them as dead). Did you know that life of the believer involves
putting sin to death?

Colossians 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world,
why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,

“Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ,” or since we have died with Christ. At the moment
we believed, God finally and forever forgave our sins by the death of Christ. Our
position before God is perfect forever. The death Christ died He died to sin.

Romans 6:10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth
unto God.

You died with Christ; therefore, you died to sin as well. Sin has no more power over you
than it has over Christ! So why, then, does Paul tell believers to put sin to death?
Because our positional reality must be worked out in our practical living.

Paul has just spent two chapters telling believers who they are in Christ, talking about
the permanent, perfect position they possess in Christ. Now he tells those same
believers to “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth.” As believers,
we are responsible to deal with sin. We are responsible to put it to death.

We are to kill the members of this body. The word “members” is the Greek word melos,
which means: “a limb or part of the body.” It is used of the literal parts of a body:

Matthew 5:29-30 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for
it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole
body should be cast into hell. (30) And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it
from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that
thy whole body should be cast into hell.

We see here that melos is used of the eyes and hands; parts of the body.
People have often misinterpreted Jesus’ words here in much the same way as they do
Paul’s words in Colossians 3:5. Taking those passages literally, many have physically
injured themselves.

When Paul speaks of killing bodily parts or members, Paul is actually referring to the
sins associated with those members. We are not to put to death our hands and eyes
and tongue. Notice what he says:

Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication,
uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is
idolatry:

The members they are to put to death are fornication and other sins.
“Mortify” means: “to cease completely from activity, to stop completely.” The phrase
suggests decisive and urgent action. Kill them, as you would weeds or rodents that
carry disease which spread and destroy, or as you would kill an enemy who fights
against you seeking to destroy you. This is a call for practical holiness. God’s purpose
for our lives is that we live holy:

1 Peter 1:15-16 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of
conversation; (16) As it is written, Be ye holy: for I am holy.

We are to be holy in our daily conduct:

1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye
should abstain from fornication: (4) That every one of you should know how to possess
his vessel in sanctification and honour: (5) Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the
Gentiles which know not God: (6) That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in
any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have
forewarned you and testified. (7) For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto
holiness.

This is God’s will for our lives: practical sanctification, holiness.
Note, in that day, other religions said little or nothing about personal holiness. (Much like
other religions of our day.) A person could bring sacrifices, say prayers, and go away
from the altar to commit terrible sins, and nobody would think he or she was
inconsistent. Not so with Christianity! The new life within demands a new life without.
Since we have died with Christ, we should put sin to death.

Paul’s call for believers to “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth” is
a call for practical sanctification, practical holiness. Your practical holiness will become a reality through three basic steps. Those steps are laid out for us in a parallel passage in Romans 6.

They are: knowing, considering, and yielding. We looked at Romans 6 when we were studying Colossians 2. Just as we got insight into Paul’s meaning of Colossians 2:11-12 from Romans 6:1-10, we get insight into what Paul means by “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body” by looking at Romans 6:1-13. In this text we see three steps to dealing with sin:

1. Knowing – This is the theme of the first 10 verses in Romans 6. The thing we are to
know is the doctrine of our union with Christ. We are identified with Christ. We share all
He is and has.

Romans 6:6-7 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin
might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (7) For he that is dead is
freed from sin.

“Knowing this” The question is, how do we know this? We only know it because the
Scripture teaches it. The “old man” is the man that I used to be in Adam. The word
“crucified” is a compound verb meaning: was crucified with, Christ. That man that was
joined to Adam was crucified together with Christ. Because of our union with Christ in
his crucifixion, we are dead to sin; we have been set free from sin. We are no longer
slaves of sin. We must know this!

2. Consider – Consider means: “to regard something as true.” We must keep on
counting as true that we are dead to sin and alive to God. We are “in Christ,” and
because of this, we share his righteousness.

Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive
unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Let me illustrate this truth. In 1982 an unusual thing happened on the island of Guam.
A Japanese soldier came out of the jungle. He had been living in the jungle for 37 years
after the end of world war II. Why? Because when the news came at the end of the war,
he could not believe that Japan had surrendered, and the war was over. For 37 years,
he lived in the jungle.

Let me ask you a question. During those 37 years, was he free? Absolutely.

At any time, from 1945 until 1982, he was completely free to come out of the jungle. He was
completely free, on a theoretical basis. But because he did not believe it, he lived in
self-imposed bondage in the jungle for 37 years.

Was he free? Yes. Did he experience his freedom? No, because he chose to stay in bondage, in hiding, in fear in the jungle.

Many Christians are still living in the jungle of sin. The war is over, Christ has won, but
they refuse to believe it. They live in self-imposed bondage to sin. They are still in the
jungle spiritually, because they refuse to believe that Christ has set them free.

3. Yielding – This is the third principle in putting sin to death. Know deals with
understanding the truth, consider deals with believing it, and yield deals with the will,
acting on what we know and believe.

Verse 12 of Romans 6 brings us to the practical application of the doctrine Paul has
been expounding in the first 11 verses of chapter 6, just like verse 5 of Colossians 3
does.

Romans 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in
the lusts thereof.

The word “reign” is from the Greek verb basileuo, which means: “to exercise kingly
power, or to exercise uncontrolled authority.” The word “reign” is simply the word for
“king” in a verbal form. Paul is saying, stop allowing sin to reign as king in your mortal
body.

When Paul writes, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body,” He is addressing
believers. It would be pointless to tell this to unbelievers. What does this tell us? It tells
us that sin can reign in the life of a believer if permitted to. Sin wants to reign in your
mortal body. As long as we live in the physical realm, we will battle with sin.

Paul goes on to say, “that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” It is through the desires
of the body that sin wants to take control. The desires of the body are conceived as
demanding obedience.

Practical sanctification is a process, we will never be rid of sin, while we are in these
physical bodies. The life of the believer is a constant battle, while we are in the physical
body. We, as believers, are not to permit sin to reign in our bodies through its desires.

Why are we not to let sin reign? The word “therefore” at the beginning of verse 12
answers that question. The prohibition (the action of forbidding something, especially by
law.) in verse 12 is based upon all that Paul has been saying from Romans 5:12 – 6:11
that deals with our position in Christ. Paul is saying, “Because of your position in Christ,
do not let sin reign as king in your body.”

Our position in Christ is that we are dead to sin and alive to God. We are to consider
this as true, because it is true. Contrary to our experience, we are dead to sin. Now on
the basis of our position, we are not to allow sin to reign in our body.
How do we stop sin from reigning? Verse 13 gives us some help in answering that
question.

Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto
sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your
members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

The word “yield” is the Greek word paristemi, which means:” to put at one’s disposal.”
We are not to place ourselves at the disposal of sin or unrighteousness. We are to place
ourselves at the disposal of God.

Practical holiness becomes a reality through the three steps of: knowing, considering,
and yielding. We must know the truth about ourselves, then we must believe it. Once we
know it and believe it, we are to act upon it. This command to yield deals with our will.

The Nature of the Human Will. The will is the basis of choice, it is the immediate cause of all action. You think about something, and then you do it.

In every act of the will there is a preference; the desiring of one thing rather than another. To will is to choose, and to choose is to decide between two or more alternatives. But there is something else which influences the choice. The will does not decide the choice, something causes it to choose. What is it that determines the will? What is it that causes you to make a choice?

Let me illustrate. Say that your boss comes to you and says, “You are going to
California. You do not have a choice.” But he says, “Would you like to drive or fly?” He
is giving you a choice.

What determines which option you choose? What determines your choice is the strongest motive power which is brought to bear upon it. For one person, it may be the logic of reason, If I drive, they say, it will take me five days, and if I fly, it will only take me about five hours so, I choose to fly.

With another person, it may be the impulse of emotion. You think there are a lot of plane crashes and I am not ready to die, so choose to drive. What you think, causes you to will.

Whichever of these presents the strongest motive power and exerts the greatest influence upon us is that which impels (the driving force) the will to act. On a normal Sunday morning, you have to make a choice: will I sleep in or will I get up and go to church? Your choice was made by what exerted the greatest influence upon you, your desire to worship or sleep.

In other words, the action of the will is determined by the mind. The will is not free but is
in bondage to the heart. The Word of God teaches that the heart is the dominating
center of our being:

Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Our choices are determined by our desires. When we have conflicting desires,
whichever desire is greater at the time of decision is the desire I will choose.
Question. What causes a teenager to take drugs? Remember, your thinking will
determine your choice. The Bible tells us that Daniel “purposed” in his heart not to defile
himself with the King’s meat. Daniel had made a conscientious decision beforehand not
to eat the king’s meat.

If a teenager desires to honor and obey God and his parents, and if he believes that
drugs are wrong, he will say, “No” to drugs. But if he is really undecided if drugs are
wrong, and he wants to please his friends, he will say, “Yes.” This is why we are to train
up our children, and this is why we are to guard our thinking. The condition of our
hearts will determine our choices. Jonathan Edwards defined the will as: “The mind
choosing.”

This is why practical sanctification starts in the mind, know who you are. If you believe
that it is normal for a believer to sin all the time, how are you ever going to stop sin from
reigning in your life? We must know and believe that we are dead to sin.
How do we stop sin from reigning in our bodies?

Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto
sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your
members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

We are told in this verse to “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of
unrighteousness unto sin.” The “members” are part of your mortal body. They are the
various parts of the body; the eyes, ears, hands, feet, tongue, mind, and emotions. This
is the same Greek word melos that Paul used in Colossians 3:5. These members
become instruments of unrighteousness when we put them at the disposal of sin.
The word “instruments” is the Greek word hoplon. This word is only used six times in
the New Testament; twice in this verse and four other times. In the other four uses it is
translated “armour” or “weapons.”

John 18:3 Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief
priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.

Believers, your bodily members are weapons. Are you putting them at the disposal of
righteousness or sin? Your tongue can be used to speak the truth of God, or sing
praises to Him, or to build up another believer. But it can also be used to back-bite,
gossip, slander, and cause division and strife. The tongue is a weapon that is often
used to beat our spouses or children and attack others. Look at how Peter used his
tongue:

Matthew 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou are the Christ, the Son of
the living God.

Here Peter is using his tongue to bring honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. Then a
few moments later, when Jesus begins to talk about his death, Peter uses his tongue to
rebuke the Lord:

Matthew 16:21-23 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how
that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests
and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. (22) The Peter took him,
and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
(23) But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me Satan: thou art an offence
unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

When we put our members at the disposal of sin, they become weapons of
unrighteousness; and as they become weapons of unrighteousness, sin moves in to
rule and reign as king in our body.

Paul is telling the Roman Christians and us, to stop presenting your members to be
used for unrighteousness. The basis for me not presenting my members to sin is my
position in Christ, my identity, who I am.

It is not that we do not like sin, because we do. But we understand and believe our
position in Christ, and on the basis of who I am, I do not present my members to sin.

By way of illustration: Suppose someone from China immigrates to the United States,
and he becomes an American citizen. He is a scientist, and in a few years, he works his
way to a high position in the U.S. government’s field of science.

Then suppose an undercover agent of the Chinese government approaches him and asks him to function as a spy for China. This man must make a choice. Suppose he decides not to let his former government rule over him, and he will not put his talents and abilities at the disposal of China. Why should he not allow the Chinese government to rule over him?

Some might say because he loves America, but the fact may be that he loves China
more than America. He was raised there, his family is there, and he has many fond
memories of China. If his love determines his decision, he might become a spy. But his
basis for not letting China rule over him is his position.

He is a citizen of the United States of America, and he will not put his talents and abilities at the disposal of China. This is a similar situation of the believer. We once lived in the kingdom of darkness, and sin ruled over us, it was our master. But we were translated into the kingdom of God.

Now sin still wants to rule in your body, you know that. But we are not to permit it to
reign or to let it use our members. Why not? It is not because we do not like sin. The
basis for our opposition to sin is our position in Christ, our identity. As we understand
our position in Christ, we will by God’s grace say, “NO” to sin.

In verse 13, he first gives us the negative and then the positive:

Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto
sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your
members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

“But” here is the positive side: we are to present ourselves and our members as
instruments of righteousness. The word “yield,” is the Greek word paristemi, is a once and for all action; a completed action. A one-time presentation. Therefore, verse 13a it says, “Neither yield.” And 13b is saying, “But yield yourselves unto God.” This would be as a husband and a wife does when they take their marriage vows.

The believer is to put himself and all that he is at the disposal of God. Why? Again, it is
because of our position. This is emphasized in the phrase, “as those that are alive from
the dead.” This is our position, and based upon our position, we are to yield ourselves to
God. Before you can follow the exhortation of verses 12 and 13, you must understand
verses 1-11. You must understand your identity before you can yield.

The word “yield” means, to put at the disposal of God your members are to be used for
righteousness sake. This includes your tongue, eyes, ears, mind, hands, and feet. We
do not do this in our own strength but in dependence upon God, as Paul put it in:
Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do
mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

It is “through the Spirit” that we are to put to death the deeds of the body. This means
that we do it in dependence upon the Lord. In Daniel chapter 3, we have the story of how king Nebuchadnezzar tried to get the Hebrew children to present their bodies in the worship of an idol. When they refused, he threatens their lives. Look how they responded:

Daniel 3:16-18 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O
Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. (17) If it be so, our
God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning firey furnace, and he will
deliver us out of thine hand, O king. (18) But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that
we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Notice that they call God, “our God.” That is identity, they knew who they belonged to,
and they knew that their purpose in life was to worship Him, so they were willing to be
burned alive rather than dishonor their God. Nebuchadnezzar responded to this by
throwing them into the furnace, but the fire did not hurt them. Notice Nebuchadnezzar’s
response:

Daniel 3:28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that
trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they
might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

Notice carefully what he says, “his servants that trusted in Him,” and because of that,
they “yielded their bodies.” They would not allow their bodies to be used as weapons of unrighteousness. They presented their bodies to be used of God even if it meant their
death.

David yielded his body to be used as a weapon of righteousness when he went out to
fight Goliath. Then later in his life, he yielded his body as a weapon of unrighteousness
when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and killed her husband, Uriah. We do this
same thing. At times, we are using our members as weapons of righteousness, and at
others, we are using them as weapons of unrighteousness.

Let me illustrate. A ship with a very rich cargo sets sail. While the ship is at sea, the
owners of that ship discover that the captain is a crook, and he has plans of stealing the
cargo. The owners get a message to the ship saying that the captain is to be removed,
and the first mate is to be put in charge.

As a crew member, you have two options; you can submit to the captain or the first
mate. What will influence your decision? Will it be your like or dislike of the captain or
first mate? Or their position?

The crew is employed by the owners of the ship, they are paid by the owners. Their position is that they are employees of the owners. As the crew reflects upon their position, they must refuse the captain any right of rule over them, and they will do that by refusing to put at his disposal their strengths and abilities.

On the other hand, they shall acknowledge the right of the first mate, and put at
his disposal all of their time and talents and abilities. They will do that on the basis of
their position. They will make a negative and positive decision.

When God makes your position in Christ clear to you and gives you the faith to believe
it, you will present yourself to God and not present your members to sin. Believer, do you know who you are? You are; a saint; a son of God. All Christ is and has, you are and have. You are dead to sin and alive to God.

Practical sanctification comes as we stop yielding to sin and start yielding to God. As we
do this, we put to death our earthly members. How about your eyes: Have you been
looking at things this week that you should not be looking at?

What about your ears: Have you been listening to gossip, slander, filthy talk and coarse humor? How about your lips: Have you used your lips this week for swearing, for anger, slander for bitterness? Are your lips yielded to God? What about your hands? Are your hands yielded to God, or do you use your hands to grasp more of the goods of this world?
What about your feet? Are your feet yielded to God, or are they constantly taking you
where you should not go? Are all your members yielded to God, or are you using them
for sin?

The only way we will be able to put to death our members is to:
1. Know your position in Christ.
2. Believe what God says about you.
3. Do not yield your members to be used for unrighteousness, but yield them to be used
for righteousness.

Pastor Don Thomason





Christian Love

5 06 2020

“Christian Love”
1 John 4:7-11

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”

Introduction:

Love is the premier Christian language. It speaks loudly both to the outside world as well as to other believers. Christians ought to be known for their love above all else. We see in 1 Corinthians 13 that love is the fuel for Christian service.

After speaking on spiritual gifts in chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians Paul explains in chapter 13 verses 1-2 that these gifts mean nothing if not accompanied by love as their motivation. Verse 3 tells us that giving to others and even sacrificing ourselves means nothing if love is not the root motive.

Paul goes on to describe Christian love and what we find is that it’s a description of true Christianity because true Christianity is in essence a life of love. 1 Corinthians 13:4 says that love is longsuffering, and humble and does not envy.

Paul says it doesn’t behave itself in a wrong manner, is patient and does not think evil. It rejoices in truth and it endures, it doesn’t give up, it presses on. When Paul describes love he is describing how the Bible in other places says a believer should live, and think and endure. He describes fruits of the Spirit.

We are commanded to love even our enemies.

“But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” (Luke 6:35)

What does this mean in a practical way? Well it means to be patient, to not think evil, to be forgiving. It means to be humble with others and even sacrifice ourselves for them.

“For us to hate those who are in error, or talk of them with contempt or wish them ill, or do them wrong is not according to the Spirit of Christ. You cannot cast out Satan by Satan, nor correct error by violence, nor overcome hate by hate. The conquering weapon of the Christian is love. “ C.H. Spurgeon.

We are commanded to love the brethren.

“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)

In fact loving the brethren is a sign of true salvation.

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35)

“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” (1 John 4:20)

My Grandpa is a great example of this. He grew up in a very racist South and was raised to hate black people. All of his life even into adulthood he hated those who looked different than him and would let out a racial slur without hesitation.

When he became a Christian everything changed. I only knew him as a Christian so I never experienced the other man but I witnessed my Grandpa hug black men in church calling them brother so and so. There was love where once hatred existed. That is the love of God shed abroad in his heart.

“He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.” (1 John 2:9-11)

Sermon:

Let’s take this passage apart and examine it first then we will make application at the end.

“Beloved…” (1 John 4:7a)

Our text starts off with the word “beloved.” Let’s put this on hold and come back to it at the end. Look at the rest of the verse.

“let us love one another…”

If you had any doubt let this command put those doubts to rest. We are to love each other. It doesn’t put a qualification on it.

Whether we like each other, agree with each other, or anything else we must have a genuine love for one another. This means we have to love on purpose.

“for love is of God…”

We reflect the love of God because God is love and we have His nature in us when we are saved. Look back at verse 7.

“and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.”

This goes back to what I said previously that our love demonstrates that we are truly saved. A saved person cannot hate because he has the nature of God in Him and the Holy Spirit. Do you hate? Then you don’t know God. You still have the old nature. Let’s go to verse 8.

“He that loveth not knoweth not God…”

Why? Why would we say you don’t know God if you don’t love? Continue in the verse.

“for God is love…”

That’s why. God is love and we are being conformed to His image, we have received His Spirit, and we have been given His nature therefore we will have His characteristics like love. Go on to verse 9.

“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.”

Love is action not feeling. God’s love was manifested, or demonstrated. How? God sending His only begotten Son into the world. The giving of Jesus for us was the love of God on display.

In the same way our laying down our lives for others is a display of the love of God in us. If love is mere words then it’s not the love of God. The love of God is demonstrated by action. It’s easy to say you love someone but when you lay down your life for them that’s love in action.

When you put their needs and desires before your own. When you care for their happiness before your own, when you stop asking how they can meet your needs and start saying how can I meet their needs that is the love of God. Move on to verse 10.

“Herein is love…”

Or here is an example of the love of God. John is going to give us two examples of the love of God. Let’s take the second one first.

“…and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

We nearly always see the love of God spoken in direct context of the offering of Jesus. The reason is that God’s love is not mushy emotionalism but action. God loved us in a visible way. Consider the references to the love of God in the following passages.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

The term “God so loved” could also be said “God loved in this way.” It’s love in action.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

The word commendeth means to demonstrate. Again it’s love in action.

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved).” (Ephesians 2:4-5)

We see here again love in action because it was through the offering of Jesus that grace was extended to us

“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16)

Now I want to draw your attention back to the first descriptor John gives about the love of God.

“Herein is love, (or here is an example of the love of God) not that we loved God, but that he loved us…”

The love of God was not a response to us loving Him first. Too often we love those who love us or do good to those who return it back to us. Not so with the love of God. He set His love on me when I was in sin and rebellion.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

If we are living the love of God then we are going to love those who are our enemies, I mean truly love them in action not just in words. If we are only loving those who love us back we are not demonstrating the love of God.

“But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” (Luke 6:27-36)

Let’s go back to 1 John 4 verse 11.

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”

If God so loved us, another way to say that is if God loved us this way then we ought to love one another in the same way. We are to love each other the way we have been loved. We who have received mercy should be merciful and we who have been forgiven should be forgiving, and we who have been unconditionally loved should love unconditionally.

This is why I wanted to circle back to the opening word in verse 7, “Beloved.” We are beloved not for anything we have done or any good in us but because He has chosen to set His love on us. In that same way we must choose to set our love on others based not on their worthiness but our having been made beloved ourselves.

What is Christian love? How do we make application of what we saw in the text? Let me give you three basic applications.

1. Love for the Christian is a reflection of the love of God.

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” (Vs. 7)

The love of God is put into us and flows outward. As believers we take on the new nature or the nature of Christ. We are simply reflecting outward the love that God has shined inward in our hearts.

2. Love for the Christian is intentional.

“For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people.” (Deuteronomy 7:6-7)

God set His love on the nation of Israel. He chose them to be a special people among the nations. He did this that so that they would be a reflection of His love to the nations. The very purpose of the nation of Israel was to make Him known among the Gentiles.

We see very similar terminology used of us as Christians. We are chosen of God according to 1 Peter 1:2, and we are to be a peculiar or special people according to 1 Peter 2:9. That verse also says that we are intended to show forth Christ to the nations.

We can conclude from this that God set His love on us intentionally and purposefully. This is how we are to love others. We are to choose to love them and to love them on purpose.

3. Love for the Christian is action not feeling.

We are not called to simply feel feelings but to live out the love of God. This is how God loves. When we see the love of God in the Bible it’s largely in demonstration.

Christian love is putting the needs, feelings, and happiness of others before ourselves a literal laying down of our lives for someone else. It’s not a rewarding of those who already love you but a seeking out of those who don’t and showing them love.

It’s easy for us to avoid those we don’t like in church and just grouping with those who share our interests or viewpoints. We justify ourselves by rationalizing that we are loving them by keeping peace and not fighting with them. There is one big problem with this: God’s love is never demonstrated as inaction.

God’s love is action. We are not showing the love of God by avoiding those we differ with. We are showing the love of God by engaging them and laying down our lives for them by not arguing small differences or demanding they do things our way.

I hope this gives us a better understanding of love in the life of a Christian. We each need to ask ourselves if we are loving with the world’s love or the love of God. There is a big difference isn’t there?

I tell the men in prison don’t look to Hollywood for love, look to Calvary for love. The love of God is totally different than this world’s love. If we love others in the church the same way unbelievers love each other then it’s not the love of God.

Our love should be radical, intentional, self-sacrificing, and always, always, always demonstrated by action.

“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18)

Rick Garland





Our City of Refuge

3 06 2020

Sunday Message…5/24/20

Our City of Refuge
Hebrews 6:17-20

“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Hebrews 6:17-20)

Introduction:
I love the book of Hebrews. It was written to people considering a return to the Judaic system. They were on the verge of abandoning their faith and going back to the old ways.

The book is really an urging on in the faith. It’s a call for endurance and patience in the Christian life as well as a stern warning not to turn from the way of salvation (Heb. 2:1-3; 10:38). Hebrews demonstrates the superiority of Christ, His priesthood, his sacrifice, and the new covenant.

In these verses he is addressing the surety of Christ. The counsel of God in saving a people through Christ is immutable or unchanging and then He bound Himself with an oath. This gives double confidence both in the counsel of God to save and the oath He took since it’s impossible for God to lie as an attribute of His nature.

He speaks of fleeing to Christ for refuge as foreshadowed in the Old Testament with the cities of refuge. The immutability or unchanging nature of God is a strong consolation for us to lay hold of the hope set before us. Our confidence is related to the fact that God cannot lie and does not change.

These are days of uncertainty and people are experiencing change along with the uncertainty. We should not be tossed to and fro on these waves of doubt, fear and uncertainty. We have an anchor and as the text says that anchor is steadfast and sure.

The same source of refuge we fled to for salvation should be the place we find refuge in trying and uncertain times. God is the same, He doesn’t change. He is as sure now as He was in the more “normal” times.

The God who walked with Adam, spoke to the prophets, swallowed the rebels of Korah, rescued His people from Egypt, led them to the promised land, was born in Bethlehem, healed the sick, cast out demons, died at the hands of sinners and rose from the dead is the same one who ascended to the throne to reign declaring all power (which means authority) was given to Him.

This same Jesus sits enthroned today and He doesn’t change. This is why He is a refuge for us both in salvation and everyday life.

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

Uncertainty has been very common throughout church history. The American Christian experience is not normal it’s actually a very rare experience historically speaking. We have it easy compared with the previous 2,000 years.

Now for the first time we are facing uncertainty. A new virus spreading, jobs lost, a crumbling economy, churches closed and society basically on lock down. How do we handle this?

Everyone whether saved or unsaved is facing this question. The answer comes down to worldview. We can’t ask what the “proper” response is because the word proper is relative. What’s proper to one person may not be to another.

We can’t seek the “American” response because Americans are typically split between conservative and liberal ideals. If we try to find answers by clinging to our political “side” if you will then we are finding answers in the same place the unsaved are. This means our answer cannot be decidedly Christian, which also means our worldview can’t be decidedly Christian.

For believers we have to answer these questions from a place the unbeliever can’t and that place is the Scriptures. This is the only infallible place to find answers in these troubling times. What God has spoken is perfect and it can be trusted.

Sermon:
What does the Bible says about these uncertain times? Let me encourage you to rest all of your concerns on 2 specific truths.

1. God is sovereign.

“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” (Ephesians 1:11)

I can’t emphasize this enough God works all things after the counsel of His own will. Everything is subject to the Lord. The same God who is unchanging and cannot lie governs the entire universe.

One preacher said there is not a maverick molecule. Everything does God’s bidding.
Let’s do a little review of what is under God’s control. I caution you this list is not exhaustive.

1. Life
“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.” (Acts 17:24-26)

2. Death
“Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass.” (Job 14:5)

3. Economies
“The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.” (1 Samuel 2:7)

4. Elections
“This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.” (Daniel 4:17)

5. Weather
“Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: Fire, and hail; snow, and vapours; stormy wind fulfilling his word.” (Psalm 148:7-8)

6. The heart of government leaders
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” (Proverbs 21:1)

7. Natural disasters
“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity) I the Lord do all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7)

Consider the book of Jonah. God sent a storm to drive Jonah into the water, and directed a fish to carry him to Nineveh. God directed a plant to grow to shade Jonah then directed a worm to eat the plant when Jonah was complaining. This story brings our attention to the fact that everything is subject to the counsel of God’s will. This even applies to… you guessed it, viruses.

8. Viruses
“I have sent among you the pestilence (disease) after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.” (Amos 4:10)

God is not caught off guard by anything… ever. If the Christian can’t find rest in this truth then they are without hope. Christ is our refuge, the immutable one who is sovereign over all things.

The world is missing hope. Our hope is found in a real God, with unchanging promises and a perfect divine nature. If we lose hope where will the world find it? If we can’t find refuge and hope in Christ we are as Paul said “of all men most miserable.”

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” (Matthew 28:18)

The risen Christ declared that all power or authority had been given to Him then He ascended to the place of honor at God’s right hand. I don’t think viruses, or economies are exempt from this declaration.

2. All things work together for our good.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Sometimes I feel like I’m beating a dead horse by quoting this verse but we as Christians need to grab on to this verse with both hands. Nothing ever works to the detriment of a follower of Jesus. I wish we could grasp Paul’s confidence when he says “we know.”

There is a confidence in those words that we need especially right now. We know that all things work for our good because according to verse 29 He is using all things to
conform us to the image of Christ.

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

Every trial and every heartache molds us into God wants us to be. This means that every bad thing is a gift that we must receive from the Lord. Even the seemingly bad things are gifts from God to make us more like Jesus.

This is why we’re told in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 that we need to give thanks for
everything. It goes against our nature to give thanks for “bad things.” If we understood that all things were for our good then giving thanks would be a natural overflow of that reality.

We can look to Jesus as the ultimate guarantee that God is working all things for our good.

“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32)

If God did us good by giving Jesus for us then He won’t stop doing us good. At the height of His suffering Jesus was in the will of God. When He seemed the most defeated He was actually victorious.

Conclusion:

How do we make application of these truths? My mind goes to a story out of Mark 4:36-41.

“And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

The disciples were afraid for their lives and Jesus is in the boat asleep on a pillow. He was confident that God the Father was in complete control and that He would not die without accomplishing His purpose which was to glorify Him through the cross.

We should have the same restful spirit knowing that God is sovereign and in complete control and that He is working all things together for our good to glorify us together with Christ. We can’t say “well that was Jesus, He could have that kind of confidence.” Does God have less control over circumstances today?

Does He have no purpose for us? Does He care less for our well being than He did for Christ’s? The answer is no. We should have the same restful, trusting confidence in God as Jesus did on the ship, or on trial, or on the cross. If you are not saved, I urge you to flee to Christ for refuge. Turn to Him and be saved.

We become children of God by calling on His name. If you haven’t done that I welcome you to. Don’t trust your good works or religious affiliation. Don’t go on in sin when an offering for sin has been made and accepted by God.

For Christians who have found refuge in Christ we often need to be reminded both of God’s
unchanging nature and His oath. He cannot lie, He will bring us safely to glory. We need not fear viruses, crumbling economies or increasingly tyrannical governments.

God is sovereign over all things and all things work for our good so what have we to fear? Let’s rest that’s what taking refuge means. Let’s rest in the safest place in existence, the hiding place of the Almighty God.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)

Rick Garland





Christ, Who is our Life

27 05 2020

McKee Road Baptist – May 20, 2020 Wednesday Evening – Coronavirus Emailed

Colossians 3:1-4 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above,
where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. (2) Set your affection on things above, not
on things on the earth. (3) For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. (4)
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Paul had all these things, his life was constantly characterized by peace, joy, and
contentment. If you know anything about Paul, you know that he didn’t have good
circumstances in his life, but yet he was at peace. Why? The answer is found in:
Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Paul said that life to him was Christ. Paul lived only to serve Christ, commune with
Christ, love Christ. He has no concept of life other than Christ. He is his reason for
living. To Paul, Christ was life. Paul lived this out practically, because he knew that it
was true positionally:

Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear
with him in glory.

Paul says to believers, “Christ, who is our life.” He is the source of our life. This is true
of physical life, but he is talking here about spiritual life, everlasting life. Because this is
true, Christ should be the goal of our life. He should be the purpose and fulfillment of
our life.

When we can come to the point in our lives that we can say, Christ is my life, that is
when we will be able to say, life is good! Believer, remember this each time that you are
unsatisfied with life. You are unsatisfied because something other than Christ is the
focus of your life. Christ will never disappoint us!

These first four verses of Colossians 3 summarize the first two chapters of the letter
which concern doctrine: the truths of the Christian faith. And they launch us into the
second two chapters of the letter, which concern ethics; how to live the Christian life.
Let’s examine these four verses:

Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above,
where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

The word “if” is like saying the word since. Since you were raised with Christ. That God
has already raised us with Christ, is an assumed fact:

Ephesians 2:5-6 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with
Christ, (by grace ye are saved) (6) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit
together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Since we have been raised up with Christ, we are commanded to “seek those things
which are above”. In order to obey this command, we need to understand two things:
what the “things above” are, and what it means to “seek” them?

What are the “things which are above”? The Greek word translated “above” is ano. It is
only used 7 times in the New Testament. We will look at a couple of its uses, to answer
what “things which are above” are:

John 8:22-24 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? Because he saith, Whither I go,
ye cannot come. (23) And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye
are of this world; I am not of this world. (24) I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in
your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

Here Jesus says that the unbelieving Jews are from below, and that He is from above.
The contrast here is between the natural and the spiritual. This is also seen in the use of
ano in:

Galatians 4:22-26 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid,
the other by a freewoman. (23) But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the
flesh, but he of the freewoman was by promise. (24) Which things are an allegory: for
these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to
bondage, which is Agar. (25) For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to
Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. (26) But Jerusalem which
is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Here the contrast is between two covenants; one is fleshly (natural), and the other is
spiritual. So “things above” are spiritual things, supernatural things.

We do not need faith when we deal in material things. We taste, feel, see, and touch
material things, but faith takes us into another arena. Faith takes us into a spiritual
stratosphere. There we can see things we could not see with a material viewpoint. Faith
is the spiritual telescope that brings the things of God near to our heart. We can,
therefore, see things we could not otherwise see. Faith puts reality on intangible things.

Eternal things are real, but they are only real to those who have faith to see them. It was
written of Moses:

Hebrews 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he
endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

Moses was focused on things above. Moses practiced the presence of God. His eyes
were on the king of kings and not the king of Egypt. The “things which are above” are spiritual things, as opposed to the physical or fleshly, we need to ask: “What does it mean to “seek” them?”

The word “seek” is a command. This is the Greek word zeteo, expressing continuous
action, we are to continuously seek spiritual things. We see this same word used in:

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all
these things shall be added unto you.

The word “seek” here is the same Greek word zeteo, which means: “to seek, to desire
to worship.” It is a hungering, desiring, seeking. It is a matter of a hungering, desiring,
worshiping spirit; it is to seek with a desire to worship. We are to seek with a desire to
worship the things which are above.

We are to be hungering, desiring, seeking the things above. The believer is exhorted to leave behind the concerns which he has over earthly matters and to fix his attention solely on the matters which are heavenly. Paul tells us at the end of verse 1 that “above” is “where Christ sitteth on the right hand
of God.”

Paul was responding to those who were seeking to diminish Christ’s role as
mediator, inasmuch as the right hand of God is a metaphor for the place of supreme
privilege and divine authority. We can determine what this statement means by referring
to other Scriptures, where the meaning appears to be clear.

In Genesis 48:8-20 we find Jacob (Israel) being brought Joseph’s two sons, laying his
hands upon them shortly before his death and blessing them both. In verse 17, we see
Joseph trying to remove his father’s hands from off his children and swapping them over
so that his right hand rested on the firstborn son, Manasseh, for it was the firstborn who
had special rights concerning inheritance.

Genesis 48:19 And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also
shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be
greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.

The right hand is a position of superiority over and above others and of greater blessing
than being positioned at the left hand. Notice that in Genesis 48:19 Jacob says clearly
that Ephraim “shall be greater.” The right hand is a place of honor above all else and all
others.

Jesus has been elevated into a position that can be neither equaled nor bettered. He is
the supreme Head over all things, something which Paul has already stated in different
words in Colossians 1:15-20. There is no other position that can possibly exist that is
more elevated than the one that Jesus now occupies.

Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

“Set your affection” is from phroneo and means to: “think,” or more thoroughly, “have
this inner disposition.” We are to be continually setting our mind on the things which are
above.

Stop and consider how earthly minded we truly are. Most of the time our attention is
centered on things right around us. It is a natural tendency as we are earth dwellers. It
is natural for us to think about our jobs, our material possessions, our finances, our
health, and the people who are important to us.

We must be aware that we can become trapped in this earthly minded state. If we are
not careful, we will lose our ability to see beyond the natural into the spiritual.

Remember how Jacob’s eyes were opened, and he saw a flight of stairs between earth
and heaven, with spiritual beings ascending and descending:

Genesis 28:12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top
of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

He became aware of the spiritual realm. We should desire to be more aware of that spiritual realm. I recall the story in 2 Kings 6 of Elisha and his servant. Hostile forces were surrounding them, and the servant was terrified. All he saw were the forces that the King of Aram sent out. Elisha saw the forces as well, but he also saw far more. He saw not only the natural but the supernatural as well. And he prayed for his servant, that God would give him eyes to see the supernatural reality of the situation.

2 Kings 6:17 And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may
see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the
mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

He is not talking about his physical eyes here but his spiritual eyes. There is a spiritual
reality that most people are totally blind to. As believers, we should want to see that
reality. We should want to be more aware of God’s working in that invisible, unseen
realm of the spirit. Like Elisha’s servant, we often need to have our eyes opened so that
we can see beyond the physical.

This is one of the fundamental problems with the current condition of believers today.
So, many children of God live their entire lives without ever understanding who they are
in Christ and what the provision is that Christ has made for them.

Paul is reminding us of who we are in Christ and of how important it is to see ourselves
from that perspective. He’s showing us that how we live our lives on earth depends on
our having a heavenly perspective.

In the first two verses Paul says it twice: “seek those things which are above… Set your
affection on things above”. In other words, concentrate your attention on eternal
realities. Do not simply look at what is happening around you. Concentrate on that
which does not pass away.

So, what does it mean to “set your affection on things above”? It means that in the midst
of your daily routine, your heart and mind are constantly focused on Christ. It means
that you find your identity and purpose in Christ, and not in the troubles of life. Whether
that is your job, you spouse, your children or whatever. You are to understand that
God’s grace is sufficient for you; that is where your heart finds contentment in Christ’s
promises.

People who keep their priorities in order, keep their lives in order. People who have
happy marriages are happily married, because they have made their marriage a priority.
If you keep your priorities in order, you can keep your life in order. Paul says, “Set your
affection on the things above.”

Paul reminds the Colossians that the reason for them setting their minds on the things
above is:

Colossians 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Paul emphatically states, “For ye are dead.” Meaning for you have died once for all. For
you have died once for all.

Romans 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

He says that we “are dead to sin,” He is describing something that happened to us as a
fact. We died to sin. The question is in what sense have believers died to sin. The
answer is found in:

Romans 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through
righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

We have died to the rule and reign of sin. the reign of sin came in through Adam and
was broken by the last Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul is talking here about our
position before God. Positionally, we have died to the reign of sin under Adam.

God’s Word tells us that we have a new identity in Christ. Our text tells us that two
important things have happened to us, we died and we rose from the dead. The exciting
truth here is that we have been united with Christ.

We are identified with Him and He with us. As Christians, we should never see ourselves apart from Christ. Our lives are hidden with Christ in God. We are thoroughly identified with Christ. He is our life. We are one with Him. We dwell with Him. We are not simply earth dwellers. We are heaven dwellers.

Paul goes on in Colossians 3:3 to say, “and your life is hid with Christ in God.”
There are a lot of different opinions as to exactly what this means. I won’t go into them
here. “Is hid” means that our life was hidden at a point in the past with the results going
on forever. At the point we received Christ, eternal life began and goes on forever.
Jesus put it this way:

John 10:28-29 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither
shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (29) My Father, which gave them me, is
greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

The idea of being “hidden” has the implication that what’s there is concealed and
covered to protect it. “Hid with Christ” is a statement of our eternal security in Christ.
The eternal security of the believer is a matter of our position in Christ before God. This
is something that Christ did for us. It has nothing to do with what we do. We cannot
secure this position by the kind of life we live. The security rests in the death we died in
Christ. Our eternal security before God is a matter of grace. Grace is what God gives,
not what we do.

Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear
with him in glory.

“Christ, who is our life.” Christ is the author of spiritual life. Christ does not merely give
life; He is life.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth
in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who
loved me, and gave himself for me.

We have come into union with Jesus Christ. We identify with Him and He identifies with
us. Our text says, “Christ, who is our life.” Having that identity has the potential to
change how we see everything.

Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear
with him in glory.

The word “appear” means: “to render apparent (literally or figuratively): appear,
manifestly declare, (make) manifest.” The idea is that, if the believer is securely
concealed within Jesus, then, when He appears in glory, so must they.

Matthew Henry said of this verse, Christ is a believer’s life. He lives in us by his Spirit,
and we live to him in all we do. To me to live is Christ, Philippians 1:21. Christ will
appear again. He is now hid; and the heavens must contain him; but he will appear in all
the pomp of the upper world, with his holy angels, and in his own glory and his Father’s
glory.

Mark 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this
adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when
he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

We shall then appear with him in glory. It will be his glory to have his redeemed with
him; he will come to be glorified in his saints.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we
shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see
him as he is.

To be like Him is to have His righteousness.

Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things,
in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through
sufferings.

Matthew Henry continued, At the second coming of Christ there will be a general
meeting of all the saints; and those whose life is now hid with Christ shall then appear
with Christ in that glory which he himself enjoys.

John 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest
me to do.

So, child of God, do we look for our happiness in this world or have we “set our affection
on things above?” What is it on earth that causes us to be so fond of it or draw our hearts to it? Our head, Christ is above, our home is above, our treasure is above and we will be
above forever.

Pastor Don Thomason





Free in Christ, Be on Guard

25 05 2020

McKee Road Baptist – May 17, 2020 Wednesday Evening – Coronavirus Emailed

Colossians 2:18-23 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and
worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed
up by his fleshly mind. (19) And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints
and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the
increase of God. (20) Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the
world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (21) (Touch not;
taste not; handle not; (22) Which all are to perish with the using;) after the
commandments and doctrines of men? (23) Which things have indeed a shew of
wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to
the satisfying of the flesh.

Note: Some strange laws that can be found in several of our states and churches.
Arizona – It is illegal for donkeys to sleep in bathtubs.
Arkansas – It is illegal to mispronounce Arkansas.
California – It is illegal to bowl on the sidewalk.
Nevada – It is illegal to drive a camel on the highway.
Wyoming – You may not take a picture of a rabbit from January to April without an
official permit.
Alabama – It is illegal to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in church.
Rehoboth, Delaware – It is illegal to whisper in church.
Boston, Massachusetts – It is illegal to eat peanuts while in church.
In some churches it is illegal to Bring glitter to church.

Members cannot have assigned pews. No one can bring a colored drink to church, especially red Kool-Aid. How is it that believers get so tied down in rules and regulations? Why is it that believers in Christ insist upon living by some set of man-made rules and regulations and then imposing those rules on other people? The non-Christian community does not care if someone is eating peanuts in church. Regulations make many people “feel spiritual.”

Legalism is always a threat to the church, Paul says to the Colossians, “Let no one man
therefore judge you” Colossians 2:16. We are to ignore their judgment. But remember,
the only way to truly ignore those who are condemning us is to know that they are
wrong. It is knowing the truth that sets us free from judgement.

Now Paul moves from legalism 16-17 to mysticism in verses 18-19 and then to
asceticism in verses 20-23.

Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and
worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed
up by his fleshly mind.

There were those in Colosse teaching a certain kind of mysticism. Mysticism may be
defined as the pursuit of a “deeper” or “higher” religious experience. That spiritual reality
is perceived apart from the human intellect and natural senses. It looks for truth
internally, weighing heavily on feelings.

Paul opens this section by saying, “Let no one man beguile you of your reward.”
Commenting on this verse, one man writes, “Paul says man-made rules and regulations
will disqualify you from the prize. The prize that Paul is referring to here is clearly
heaven. Paul is saying that human rules and regulations will disqualify you from heaven.
Following merely human rules and regulations will keep us out of heaven.” Paul is not
talking about losing your salvation.

The Greek words translated here as “beguile you of your reward” literally means: “to act
as a judge or umpire;” to decide against one, or to declare him unworthy of the prize.
The attitude of the false teachers would involve their sitting in judgment as to the future
reward of those who refused their doctrine. Paul speaks from the standpoint of their
claim. The false teacher judges as a referee that the Colossians were not worthy to
receive a prize. They disqualified, condemned and judged them as not worthy of a
reward.

Paul tells the Colossians, “Let no man beguile you of your reward.” So the idea is not
“Do not let them rob you of your prize or reward,” but “Do not let anyone tell you that
you are disqualified from obtaining the prize of spirituality because you haven’t reached
the level of self-humility, or understood the worship of angels, or haven’t had the right
visions.” The words, “Let no man” means: “not even one (man, woman or anything.)

We are not to allow even one person to sit as an umpire in our life telling us that we are
disqualified of spirituality, because we do not live up to their standard. How do we keep people from acting as an umpire in our lives? The same way we keep them from acting
as a judge. We know the truth, and we ignore their false judgement.
Paul now gives us several traits of these false teachers. He says they are,
“Voluntary humility”

We could render this “delighting in humility.” There is nothing in the word “humility” to
indicate that it is false. The context indicates that it is a false humility.

True humility is dependence upon God. Man lives in dependence upon God, and
understanding this is humility. Pride is self-sufficient. True humility focuses upon God
and his grace (provisions) to us. False humility draws attention to self. By the context
we see that the Paul was describing those that were not humble. They were not
dependent upon God but were quite proud.

This false humility was manifest in “and worship of the angels.” They viewed the worship of angels as a display of modesty or humility. It was a humility of their own making, not a humility commanded from God. These notions were purely the inventions of men and not from the Bible. Therefore, this whole thing was phony.

Religious pride makes man presume (suppose that something is the case on the basis
of probability) upon the Word of God. Their worship of the angels denied the truth that there is “…one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus:” 1 Timothy 2:5. When John tried to worship an angel, he was rebuked for doing so:

Revelation 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou
do it not: I am they fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus:
worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Angels are created beings:

Psalms 148:5 Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were
created.

This means no one should worship them. We do not worship created things; we only
worship the Creator Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in
earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or
powers: all things were created by him, and for him.

The next thing Paul says about these false-teachers is that they are: “Intruding into those things which he hath not seen” The words “intruding” means primarily: “to step in, or on”. This is the only occurrence in the New Testament. It means: “to frequent, dwell in”. This word could mean: “to invade, to enter on.”

Like many heretics and cultists down through the ages, they claimed support for their
aberrant (departing from an accepted standard) teachings in visions they had
supposedly seen. Today this brand of mysticism is often seen in the charismatic
movement, where Scripture is a distant second in importance to visions and revelations.
There is no need for extrabiblical revelation through visions.

2 Peter 1:18-21 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with
him in the holy mount. (19) We have a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do
well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn,
and the day star arise in your hearts: (20) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the
scripture is of any private interpretation. (21) For the prophecy came not in old time by
the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Believers, we don’t need visions – we have the Word of God. When someone comes along with a notion, however spiritual it may sound; a vision, however authentic it may seem, if it contradicts the plain teaching of the word of God, mark it down, they are incorrect. You have to always judge the experience by the word of God.

Paul says the false teacher is: “vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind” “puffed up” has the
idea of “a pair of bellows”. We see this same word used in: 1 Corinthians 8:1

Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have
knowledge. Knowledge puffed up, but charity edifieth.

“By his fleshly mind” literally, by the mind of his flesh. They were the intellectuals, the
teachers that boasted they were guided by the higher reason. Paul describes their
higher reason as carnal.

Colossians 2:19 And not holding the Head, rom which all the body by joints and bands
having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

“And not holding the Head, this is the heart of the error! The headship of Christ is the
keynote of this Epistle to the Colossians and the heart of Paul’s Christology. Speaking
of Jesus Christ, he said:

Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the
firstborn from the dead: that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Our relationship to Christ is a living union, He is the Head, we are members of the body.
A body functions through nourishment. Who can say to his stomach, “Start digesting!
Stop hurting!” That’s foolish! Yet people think the Christian life personally, and the
church collectively, can be made spiritual by fleshly regulations and disciplines.
Spirituality does not come through the law of man but by the law of God.

Spiritual growth comes from union with Christ. All errors of believers relate to this as
well. If the believer does not have a healthy relationship to the head, the life that flows
from the head will be sickly. Fruit depends upon a healthy fellowship with the head:

John 15:4-5 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it
abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. (5) I am the vine, ye are the
branches; He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for
without me ye can do nothing.

We, like the Colossians, must not be intimidated by those who would make something
other than knowing Christ through His Word a requirement for spiritual maturity.
“From which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit
together.” “knit” means: “to cause to join or knit together, to bring together, to unite, to
combine”. It means to bring a number of ideas together to come to a conclusion.
“Increase of God” means: “to supply fully, abundantly, to provide something besides
what already exists to make available whatever is necessary to help or supply the
needs of someone.

God is the benefactor here. He provides everything we need to live the Christian life. He defrays any expenses we may face to live before him: If you have been born again, you have all that you need. The reason why so many Believers are not living in victory is because they do not know what they have in Christ.

They do not step out by faith on their spiritual account because they really believe that
there is nothing there. They do not realize that God has made the deposit already, and
we’re overflowing with riches. You just need to learn to step out and walk in what you
have.

Now in verses 20-23 he deals with asceticism. An ascetic is one who lives a life of
rigorous self-denial. In addition to practicing legalism and mysticism, some of the
Colossians were attempting to gain righteousness through self-denial:

Colossians 2:20-21 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the
world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (21) Touch not:
taste not; handle not:

Asceticism is the twisting of a good principle. Asceticism focuses on self-denial. When
this self-denial is then elevated into a Christian virtue that becomes mandatory, this is
where you begin to have problems.

The good principle is that as Believers, we should be disciplined. If we are going to be
disciples, we need to be disciplined. And that’s the good principle. A disciple is a
disciplined follower of Christ. We need to focus on the basics, and there are a lot of
Believers who are not disciples, because they refuse to be disciplined. They refuse to
focus on the basics. They refuse to set up devotional time with God where they read
and study the Scriptures and pray. They refuse to minister. They refuse to order their
lives in a disciplined fashion to follow Christ.

But when you take it to the extreme and then put that extreme on everyone as the only
true path to holiness, you’re walking down a path that becomes oppressive. That’s what
Paul is saying here. You can force people to walk like you believe is correct.

After all we are all walking in lock-step showing unity. But if it does not deal with our heart, you can discipline yourself, you can fast. But if your heart can remain unchanged that does not make you a more-holy believer.

In fact, it can generate a sinful pride in you because of how disciplined you are. Discipline is good if it focuses on Christ and enables you to follow Christ. But taking it to the extreme doesn’t make you a more holy person, because it doesn’t deal with your heart. Only God can deal with your heart. We have been set free from all of these laws not so we can come back under them when we become Christians, but so we can pursue a living relationship with Christ.

“If ye be dead with Christ.” All the sins were poured out upon Christ. At the moment we believe, God finally and forever forgives our sins by Christ’s death, our position before God is perfect forever. The death Christ died he died to sin, Romans 6:10; you died with Christ; therefore, you died to sin as well. Sin has no more power over you than it has over Christ!!

Why on earth would you need the old regulations, especially the ones made up by men?When we look at the cross, we see Christ dying there. When God looks at the cross, He
sees both Christ and the believer dying there. God sees every person who would ever
believe dying there with Christ.

Colossians 2:21 “Touch not; taste not; handle not;” These “regulations” which Paul rejects, “touch not; taste not, handle not,” are often exactly what modern Christians think about when we think about the Christian life. We think that Christians are people who don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t watch “R” rated movies, don’t gamble, don’t swear, etc. Now I’m not advocating that you all get up and go do all these things, but Paul is saying, “That is not the point!”

Those things are external. You can avoid every single one of them, and still be a pagan
Paul tells us that we do not belong to the world anymore. We don’t get to heaven by
following a list of do’s and don’ts. And, we don’t live the Christian life that way either. We
cannot earn God’s favor. All we can do is receive it. Charles Spurgeon puts it this way:
“I have found, in my own spiritual life, that the more rules I lay down for myself, the more
sins I commit.”

Colossians 2:22 Which all are to perish with the using) after the commandments and
doctrines of men?

“Which all are to perish with the using,” literally, are for corruption; destined for
corruption, in the physical sense of decomposition.

Colossians 2:23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and
humility, and neglecting of the body; not in honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

“Shew of wisdom in will worship,” is simply a mode of worship which a man chooses for
himself, independently of the revelation which God has given. It is arbitrarily invented
worship, devised by man’s own will, not God’s. So jealous is God of self-made religion,
that He struck Nadab and Abihu dead for burning strange incense Leviticus 10:1-3.
Uzziah was stricken with leprosy for usurping the office of priest 2 Chronicles 26:16-21.
Compare the self-made worship of Saul 1 Samuel 13:8-14 for which he was doomed to
lose his throne.

Asceticism might make a person appear spiritual, because of its emphasis on humility
and poverty, but it serves only to gratify the flesh. It is a vain attempt to appear more
holy than others. Jesus warned His disciples against it:

Matthew 6:16-18 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad
countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto me to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. (17) But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine
head, and wash thy face; (18) That thou appear not unto me to fast, but unto thy Father
which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

When we strive for “spiritual perfection” or “spiritual fullness” by means of formulas,
disciplines, or rituals, we go backward instead of forward. We must also beware of
“deeper life” teachers who offer a system for victory and fullness that bypasses devotion
to Jesus Christ. In all things, He must have the preeminence!

We need to come to understand, to believe, and to live by the principle that God loves
us perfectly. Nothing more is required on your part. Often, we think that we have to do
something so we can deserve this grace.

That is the point of grace. You will never deserve grace. There’s not a certain thing good enough for you to do. You can do it a thousand times and it’s still not good enough. You do not deserve grace. But God gives the grace anyway. There’s nothing you need to add. God cannot love you anymore than He already loves you.

Whenever that gets hold of you, it will change your whole perspective. Now you can relax. We live for Christ, not out of obligation, but because we delight in serving Jesus. When you operate out of a sense of obligation, it becomes a chore. When you operate out of a sense of delight in serving God, it becomes an offering of worship. And that is what your life is to be. That’s the good news.

So, believer, guard your freedom, don’t let anyone acts as your judge or an umpire on
your life. We are complete in Christ and we don’t need legalism, mysticism or asceticism
to make us more spiritual. We are already as righteous as Christ, because we share His
righteousness.

Pastor Don Thomason





Forgiven You All Trespasses

8 05 2020

McKee Road Baptist – May 6, 2020 Wednesday Evening – Pastor Don Thomason

Colossians 2:13-15 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your
flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; (14)
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us,
and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; (15) And having spoiled principalities
and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Review

In 2:8 Paul warned the Colossians believers about the dangers of false teaching. He
tells them to, “Beware.” It is a command for a constant circumspect watchfulness,
because of the dangers of the Colossian heresy.

Now notice how he prepares them to be able to deal with the false teaching. He does
not say, “Here’s what they are teaching.” What he does is he tells them who Christ is,
and who they are in Christ.

Colossians 2:9-10 For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. (10) And
ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

We do not need to study error in order to avoid it, we simply need to know the
truth. If we know the truth, we’ll be able to spot error when we hear it.

He is saying that Jesus Christ is God in a bodily form. He is the God-Man. And believers
are complete in Him. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you are in Christ. And
because you are in Christ, and because He is complete, you have been made
complete. Because Christ is who He is, we have been made complete in Him. His
fullness is imparted to us. As all the fullness of the eternal God is Christ’s, all the
fullness of Christ is yours and mine.

Paul then explains how this happened to them. In these next statements he tells how
believers share in the fullness of God in Christ. Paul declares, they were circumcised
& baptized with Him:

Colossians 2:11-12 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made
without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of
Christ: (12) Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the
faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

Paul says believers have been given a circumcision, not of the flesh by the hands of
men, but with the circumcision done by Christ. By this spiritual circumcision, the old
sinful nature (flesh) has been cut away or put off. He is speaking of our death to sin and
union with Christ. Your sinful nature has been killed, crucified with Christ on the cross.
You have been crucified with Christ and your old sinful nature has been washed away.

Paul does not mention “water baptism” in this verse! This verse has NOTHING to do
with water baptism, it speaks of identification. Water baptism is no more in view in 2:12
than physical circumcision was in 2:11. Both verses speak of spiritual realities. We must
not confuse rituals with realities.

Now to our text.

Forgiven You All Trespasses

Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh,
hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Notice Paul says, “And you being, dead in your sins”. He says the same thing in:
Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Ephesians 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with
Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

There are two questions that we need to answer here. How did the Colossians get
dead? And what does he mean by dead?

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin;
and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

“Wherefore, as….” “as” is a comparison, but verse 12 does not complete the
comparison, there is no “even so.” Verse 12 gives us half of the comparison, Adam.
Verses 13-17 are set off by parentheses for clarification. Verses 18b and 19 complete
the comparison started in verse 12.

One man did one thing resulting in sin and death; the other man did something else,
resulting in justification and life. “As” the one act of Adam affected every member of the
human race, “even so” the one act of Jesus Christ affects every member of the new
covenant community.

Notice the Results of Adam’s sin, “sin entered into the world”. The Greek word for “sin”
is hamartia, it means: “to miss the mark.” The mark is what God commands of us to do
or not do.

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the
transgression of the law.

Sin is disobeying God. It is violating his Holy law. God is the Creator and law giver, and
any violation of his moral will is sin.

Adam introduced sin into the human realm. Sin is violating the commands of God.
When Adam sinned, “sin entered into the world.” Adam did not bring sin into the world
by setting a bad example. Adam’s sin brought about a change of unholiness within the
heart, which he passed on to his descendants. Men became sinners, as Paul said in:
Romans 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the
obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

This corruption of man’s nature is what is called in theology “Original Sin.” It’s not that you sin, and that’s what makes you a sinner. You’re a sinner, you were born that way, and that is why you sin. Every human being born is born with original sin. Paul tell us that death came as a result of sin, “and death by sin.” As a result of Adam’s sin, he died.

Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it:
for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Adam did not die physically that day, but he did die spiritually. He died spiritually the
moment he disobeyed. Spiritual death is separation from God who is life. The text in
Genesis is dealing with “spiritual” death, so is the text in Romans 5, and so is our text in
Colossians 2:13.

The comparison in this passage is between Adam and Christ. What we lost in Adam is
restored in Jesus Christ. If the death referred to is physical, then having gained in Christ
what we lost in Adam, Christians should never die physically.

Because of Adam’s sin, we are all born dead, separated from God. But through Jesus
Christ we receive eternal life. We see this same comparison in:

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through
Jesus Christ our Lord.

The life that is a gift is spiritual life, so the death must also be spiritual.
The death referred to here and in our text in Colossians is spiritual death, which is
separation from God. If a man dies physically while in a state of spiritual death, he will
spend eternity in the lake of fire, which the Bible calls the “second death”.

Paul goes on in Romans 5:12 to say, “and so death passed upon all men.” Spiritual
death spread to all men. Every human being born is born separated from God, dead in
sin.

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin;
and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

All men are born spiritually dead, “for that all have sinned.” We are all born spiritually
dead. Why? Did we personally sin before we were born? No! We sinned in Adam. He
represented us, and what he did, we did.

Paul says all men were dead in sin, “and the uncircumcision of your flesh”. Our nature
was “uncircumcised,” that is, separated from God. This describes our state of being
before we came to know Christ. We were dead in our state to God. We were without
any spiritual life at all.

The Bible teaches that dead men cannot receive the things of God:

1 Corinthians 2:14-15 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:
for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are
spiritually discerned. (15) But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is
judged of no man.

The word “natural” describes the person without the Spirit. Jude uses this same word in
verse 19. The “natural” or “sensual” person is the person without the Spirit. This is the
unregenerate man who has no ability to understand spiritual things. Natural man is dead
and totally unreceptive to the gospel.

The bottom line is this: our hope does not lie in our own will. If not for the grace of God
we would all suffer condemnation.

Paul continues in Colossians 2:13 to say, “And you, being dead in your sins and the
uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with Him…” The word
“quickened” means “to make alive” and “with”. Paul again emphasizes the believer’s
union with Christ (see 2:10, “in Him”; 2:11, “in Christ”; 2:12, “with Him”). Those who
were hopelessly dead in sin received new life through that union. Please get this, we
were dead, and God gave us life. Why did God give us life? It’s a one-word answer;
grace:

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye save through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is
the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Notice what else God does, “…having forgiven you all trespasses…”. The word
“forgiven” means: “forgiveness as the result of grace or an act of love.” It means to
bestow a favor unconditionally. The favor bestowed unconditionally here is the
remission of debt against God.

Not just the past sins, not just the present sins, not just the big sins, not just the little
sins, but ALL of them. It means those times in your past that plague you with guilt, He
forgave those sins. And those times when you let others down and hurt them, He
forgave those sins too. And all those times you promised you did something for the last
time, and then you fell again; God forgave those in Christ too. He forgives the hidden
sins and the public sins.

God’s forgiveness is a prominent theme in the New Testament. Our Lord told His
disciples at the Last Supper:

Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for
the remission of sins.

Peter told those assembled in Cornelius’s house that:

Acts 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever
believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

In Acts 13 Paul said:

Acts 13:38-39 Be it know unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man
is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: (39) And by him all that believe are
justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

To the Ephesians, Paul wrote:

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins,
according to the riches of his grace;

Our debts were paid in full by Jesus Christ. The believer’s debt has been paid in full,
there is no possibility of going into debt again. Jesus paid the debt of all our sins:
past, present, and future. This is GRACE!

Paul now illustrates God’s forgiveness.

Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which
was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.

The word “handwriting” literally means: “something written with the hand,” or “an
autograph.” Paul describes this as “ordinances that was against us.” The word
“ordinances” means: “decree, ordinance, decision, command, a formalized rule (or set
of rules) prescribing what people must do.” This refers to the Mosaic law as an
ordinance of requirements that puts us in debt to God.

Ephesians 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of
commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man,
so making peace.

All peoples (including Gentiles, read Romans 2:14-15) owe God a debt, because they
have violated His law. The certificate was “contrary to us,” that is, it was enough to
condemn us to judgment and wrath, because:

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is
written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written, in the
book of the law to do them.

The written code stood as a constant reminder to the Israelite that there was a debt
which needed to be paid that the people of God might stand perfect before God.
Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every on that
believeth.

“Blotting out” means: “to wipe off,” like erasing a blackboard. History lesson: Ancient
documents were commonly written either on papyrus, a paper-like material made from
the bulrush plant, or vellum, which was made from an animal’s hide. The ink used then
had no acid in it and did not soak into the writing material. Since the ink remained on the
surface, it could be wiped off if the scribe wanted to reuse the material.

In Christ, under the New Covenant, we have been set free from the condemnation of
the Law. Our text says, “and took it out of the way, having nailed it to his cross.” The
word “took” means: “to lift up, to bear, to take away.” The word is used by John the
Baptist when he said of Jesus, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of
the world.” His statement emphasizes the permanence of the removal of our sin, which
has been paid and canceled and cannot be presented again.

Paul was telling the Colossians that fleshly circumcision has now been canceled and
nailed to the cross.

Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of
them openly, triumphing over them in it.

The word “spoiled” means: “to disarm” observing that it’s a compound word from the
verb “to arm oneself” and a prefix denoting that what’s conveyed is the opposite. He disarmed “principalities and powers” this speaks of those spiritual forces which have
set themselves as opposed to God.

Our text says, “He made a show of them openly” The picture Paul is painting here is
one of Roman conquest. Those he was writing to were familiar with this image. History
lesson: When the Roman army would return from a victorious campaign, they would
enter the city in a triumphal procession.

Into the city they would parade, displaying the treasures of their conquered foe. Those who had been captured in battle and who would become slaves would march in chains before the cheering crowd. The dignitaries that had been captured would-be put-on display.

The Roman army itself would parade down the street. And the triumphant Roman general would ride in on his chariot to the adulation of the crowd. The defeated foe would-be put-on display. They would be made a public spectacle. This is the image Paul uses here for Christ’s victory over the powers of darkness.

Paul goes on to say, “triumphing over them in it.” The words “triumphing over” mean to
lead prisoners of war in a victory procession. The picture is of a military procession
leading captives of war. It means to demonstrate one’s successful conquest of the
opposition.

Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principals and powers, he made a show of them
openly, triumphing over them in it.

This passage is explaining that we were all dead in our sins, and Christ has given us life
in union with Himself. We share Christ’s life. Not only that but He has forgiven us all our
sins.

He removed the Old Covenant that was contrary to us. And He disarmed principalities and powers. This is true of every believer no matter how they feel or live. When you truly understand these truths, the natural response will be one of gratitude.

If we understand what has been given to us, we will be grateful to God for the rest of our
lives. No matter what life brings, we will not complain, we will only give thanks that we
did not get what we deserved. We will be grateful that we have God’s strength, power
and provision in our lives. Praise God!





Circumcised and Baptized

3 05 2020

McKee Road Baptist – May 3, 2020 AM Worship – Coronavirus Emailed

Colossians 2:11-12 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made
without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of
Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the
faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

Today we are going to discuss circumcision and baptism and how they relate to the
child of God. Pay close attention as we allow God’s Words to clarify our understanding.

Colossians 2:9-10 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye
are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

In these two verses the Apostle Paul explained to the church of Colosse that they are
complete in Christ! They have, in Christ, already received all that God is, and nothing
can be added, Paul now rehearses how this happened to them.

Colossians 2:11-12 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made
without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of
Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the
faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

The Judaizers were a group of people who went around in the first century promoting
Judaism. They were saying that in order to be a Christian, you must first come through
the door of Judaism. You must be circumcised and keep the law:

Acts 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, [and
said], Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.

This is an attack on the gospel. This is faith plus circumcision. We first read about circumcision in Genesis 17. In chapter 15, we have the inauguration of the Abrahamic covenant. God promises to make of Abraham a great nation. God meets with Abraham and promises him that he would be a blessing.

In this Abrahamic covenant is the promise of a Redeemer. That Redeemer is Christ. That is how Abraham is going to be a blessing to all nations, through Christ. The book of Galatians makes it clear that this promise was in reference to the coming Redeemer, Christ. Then in
chapter 17, God gives Abraham a symbol of the covenant so he will not forget the
promise that was made:

Genesis 17:10-14 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and
thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. 11 And ye shall
circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me
and you. 12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man
child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any
stranger, which [is] not of thy seed. 13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your
flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of
his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken
my covenant.

Today we wear wedding rings as tokens of the covenant that we made with our spouse.
This is God’s token of the covenant, circumcision. The English word “circumcision”
comes from a Latin word, which means: “to cut around” it describes the original biblical
reference to a surgery that was performed on males.

It was God who instituted circumcision as a sign or token of the covenant that He had
made with Abraham. All Israel and those associated with them had to be circumcised.
To the Jews, this was their badge that they were the children of God.

Man is a sinner at the root of his existence, whatever comes from the loins of man is
wicked. When man procreates, he produces a sinner, so the nature of sin is passed on
to the next generation. Remember, Jesus Christ had no human father, was sinless.

When God demanded that the male be circumcised, He was giving them a symbol that
the outward part of man was cleansed to remind them that man needed to be cleansed
of sin at the deepest root of his being. Man needed a spiritual surgery to cleanse him.
Every time they circumcised a person, they were reminding themselves of the fact that
man was a wicked sinner and in need of a cleansing. Even the blood shed that occurred
in circumcision symbolized the need for sacrifice to accomplish that cleansing. So, there
was even a picture of the pain and sacrifice needed to cleanse the sinner in
circumcision.

God intended it to be a physical symbol of a spiritual reality. Circumcision was to be
much more than just an outward sign. It was to be the outward sign of an inward reality,
but they lost the true meaning and kept only the outward sign:

Deuteronomy 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more
stiffnecked.

Jeremiah 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your
heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire,
and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

Circumcision was a spiritual thing. They were keeping the outward symbol, but were not
realizing the spiritual significance of it. The symbol means nothing without the reality.

The Jews were circumcised on the outside but not the inside. Circumcision is the
external symbol depicting the need for a total cleansing from sin. However, many Jews
felt as long as they were circumcised, they had God’s blessing.

Now the Apostle Paul comes along preaching grace to the Gentiles. Paul is teaching
that salvation is by faith alone. The Jews are getting very upset, and were causing
trouble in the new churches with their Old Testament ceremony. In Acts 15, we have the
first church council to deal with the issue of circumcision:

Acts 15:5-8 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed,
saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law
of Moses. 6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. 7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and
brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the
Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. 8 And God,
which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he
did unto us;

Peter is saying that the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit just like the Jews had, and they
were not circumcised. The council declared that circumcision was not necessary for
salvation. Note: This process is known as doctrinal development. Every generation experiences this process.

Galatians 5:2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit
you nothing.

Paul is saying, Christ plus circumcision equals nothing. You cannot add anything to
faith. If you do, you destroy faith. If you think in order to be saved you have got to be
circumcised, then Christ will not do you any good, because you are believing in
salvation by works.

Colossians 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without
hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

God circumcised us at the point of our salvation. At that moment we entered into union
with Christ. We did not earn or deserve that privilege; it is an act of God’s grace.

Paul says we have been given a circumcision, not of the flesh by the hands of men, but
with the circumcision done by Christ. By this spiritual circumcision, the old sinful nature
(flesh) has been cut away or put off. We have been delivered from the old sinful nature.

In other words, Christ has set us free from the bondage to sin. The power of sin has
been broken, and we are no longer slaves to it. “Putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ”

Romans 5:12-21 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by
sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13 (For until the law sin
was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death
reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of
Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 15 But not as the
offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much
more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath
abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the
judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto
justification. 17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they
which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by
one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men
to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men
unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners,
so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law
entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more
abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Paul introduces the theme of our union with Christ. We were joined to Adam; his sin was imputed to us. Now by faith, we are joined to Jesus Christ; and His righteousness has been imputed to us. Because we are in Christ, all that belongs to Jesus Christ becomes ours. Your salvation and mine depends only, entirely, and exclusively upon the obedience of Jesus Christ.

Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly,
his faith is counted for righteousness.

There are no works involved in salvation, it is a free gift of God’s grace to all who
believe.

Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

Here then is a question, “If everything depends on what God has done, then what does
it matter, how we live?” There are those that say, “Once saved, always saved leads to lawlessness. You preachers of salvation by grace through faith alone weaken our sense of moral responsibility. You only encourage sinful behavior with that kind of teaching.”
Notice what the Apostle Paul said.

Romans 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

He shouts out, “God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer there in?”
He says that we “died” to sin. He is describing something that happened to us as a fact.
We died to sin. This is what Paul is saying in Colossians when he says, “Putting off the
body of the sins of the flesh.” In what sense have believers put off the body of the flesh
or died to sin? The answer is found in:

Romans 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through
righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

We have died to the rule and reign of sin. Sin’s reign came in Adam and was broken by
the last Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ.

How can Paul say we are dead to sin? We still sin, we still feel the power of temptation.
How can Paul say this? We must differentiate between what is true of our position as a
fact and our experience. Paul is talking here about our position before God.

Positionally, we have died to the reign of sin under Adam. We died to sin’s reign, and we no longer have to live in sin. We have been set free. So why do we still sin then? We still sin because there is a great difference between being given a position and realizing that you are in that position.

By way of illustration, at the end of the Civil war, slavery was abolished in the United
States. But what actually happened was that many of the slaves who had endured long
years of servitude found it very difficult to understand their new status. When they saw
their old master coming, they would respond as a slave. They were free, but for some, it
took them a long time to realize it.

The sixth chapter of Romans was written to make believers understand that we have
died to sin. How did we die to sin? Paul’s answer in verses 3-11 is the doctrine of our
union with Jesus Christ:

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were
baptized into his death?

The best way to understand the doctrine of our union with Jesus Christ is to be clear as
to the meaning of the phrase, "baptized into Jesus Christ." To understand this phrase, we need to understand the word, "baptized." Its primary meaning is: to plunge, to dip, to immerse. In days of old, it could speak of a smith who dips a piece of hot iron in water, tempering it.

There is more than one meaning for the original word, baptize. In any language, there
may be literal and metaphorical (a comparison between two things that are unrelated)
meanings of a word. For example: If I said to you, “I am the black sheep of my family. I
am not saying that I am black nor am I saying that I am a sheep. I am using those words
to describe a condition of myself. It has nothing to do with a color or an animal. It is a
metaphorical saying.

In exactly the same manner, the word baptize has a meaning far removed from
anything to do with water. Thinking of water in connection with this passage of the Bible
leads to error as it does with many passages dealing with baptism.

The word baptize used metaphorically means: a change of identity or to identify.

1 Corinthians 10:1-2 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how
that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all
baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

Baptism here means initiation into a new relationship, or identification with Moses. It
does not mean immersion; the Israelites were never in the sea at all; they passed over
on dry land (Exodus 14:21-22). It was Pharaoh’s soldiers who got wet. They were all
united and identified with Moses. Moses was God’s appointed leader of Israel. The
basic Christian significance for baptism is identification with Christ. We are united to
Christ, the Son of God, our leader.

Note: Ritual baptism is immersing someone in water. Real baptism is the act of the Holy
Spirit placing the believer in the body of Christ, this is identification. The very moment
we believed on Christ as our Savior, we were baptized by the Holy Spirit, placed into the
Body of Christ. By being members of the Body of Christ, everything that is true of the
Head is true of each member of His Body:

1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be
Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one
Spirit.

When we believed the gospel, the Holy Spirit put us into the body of Christ, united. This
is not physical but a spiritual identification.

Our salvation is guaranteed because everything that happened to Christ happened to
us. As we were united to Adam, so we are now united to Christ, and it is the Spirit who
unites us to Christ. I am in Christ and Christ is in me, union.

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were
baptized into his death?

We were baptized (identified) into Christ’s death. When Jesus Christ died, we died with
Him. We are one with Him, and His death is ours.

The late L.E. Maxwell, an educator and minister from Canada, told this story. I think it
will help us in seeing our identification with Christ:

“During the Civil War a man by the name of George Wyatt was drawn by lot to go to the
front. He had a wife and six children. A young man named Richard Pratt offered to go in
his stead. He was accepted and joined the ranks, bearing the name and number of
George Wyatt. Before long Pratt was killed in action. The authorities later sought again
to draft George Wyatt into service. He protested, entering the plea that he had died in
the person of Pratt. He insisted that the authorities consult their own records as to the
fact of his having died in identification with Pratt, his substitute. Wyatt was thereby
exempted as beyond the claims of law and further service. He had died in the person of
his representative. There we have the truth of identification in a nutshell. God’s way of
deliverance is through death – through the identification with our Substitute in His death
and resurrection.” Taken from Maxwell’s book, “Born Crucified” chapter one “The
Believer’s Identification.”

Wyatt was dead to the Confederacy just as you are dead to sin. The Confederacy had
no authority over a dead man. Likewise, Christ went to the cross in your place, signed
your name and died as your substitute. It is written in the document of the Heavenly
Court that you died on a cross in the service of God to satisfy the draft of the law of sin
and death.

Just as George Wyatt was freed from the Confederacy draft, the cross of Christ has
freed us from the law of sin and death.

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ
was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in
newness of life.

Paul is saying that as that is true of Christ, "even so" it is true of us. "Even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Christ walks in newness of life as the result of the resurrection, and so do we. The newness of life here does not refer to a new quality
of experience or conduct, but to a new quality of life imparted to the individual. Verses
1-11 of Romans 6 do not deal with the Christian’s experience or behavior but with his
position before God. Newness of life is the newness which consists of life.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things
are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

This is not dealing with my walk, but with my position before God. We died with Christ
and were buried with Him, but it doesn’t stop there.

Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall
be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

What has happened to Christ, literally and physically, has happened to us spiritually.
Physically, we did not die when Christ died, but judicially in the reckoning of God we did.
This is identification.

Verse 5 is the key verse in this section, teaching our union with Christ. Verses 6 &7 are
a description of the first half of verse 5, For if we have been planted together in the
likeness of His death…

Romans 6:6-7 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin
might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is
freed from sin.

Knowing this We only know this because Scripture teaches it. The old man is the
man that I used to be in Adam. The word crucified means: was crucified with Christ.
That man that was joined to Adam was crucified together with Christ.

Because of our union with Christ in his crucifixion, we are dead to sin; we have been set
free from its power. We are no longer slaves of sin. Verses 8-10 explain the last half of verse 5, “we shall also be in the likeness of his resurrection.”

Romans 6:8-10 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with
him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no
more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he
liveth, he liveth unto God.

Christ temporally came under the power of sin, and it killed him. By rising from the dead,
He broke its power, and when he came out of the grave, we came out with him.

Remember, what is true of Christ is true of us. All that Jesus Christ is and has, we are
and have; we are one with him. The Lord God has put believers in Christ. Our destiny is bound up with His. What He has gone through, we have gone through. Where He is, we are.

Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive
unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The believer is to look upon himself in the light of this truth. He is to remind himself that
he is freed from the penalty and dominion of sin. He is also to count upon the fact that
he receives his spiritual life from Christ daily.

The word reckon means: to calculate, to take into account, to figure, to count on,
consider the fact. Let your mind focus on these truths. Meditate upon them, keep
saying them to yourselves, remind yourself of who you are in Christ.

Be constantly counting upon the fact that you are dead to sin, and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Someone said, “The secret to holy living is in a mind centered on our position in Christ”. You may not feel dead to sin but remember, feelings do not have anything to do with it. It is a judicial fact, set in place by the high court of heaven. It is a faith fact.
Now we circle back to Colossians.

Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with [him]
through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

Paul is not writing of water baptism. He is showing the Colossians that in Christ is
everything that is sufficient for their need This verse has NOTHING to do with water baptism, it speaks of identification. This is the exact same thing we saw in Romans 6.
One commentator wrote, The evidence of this spiritual circumcision is baptism. When
the believer stands before the congregation and is baptized, he is telling them that he
has left behind his old ways and is living as a follower of Jesus Christ. He bears witness
to the saving power of God that lives in him.

Paul is not speaking of water baptism in 2:12 just as he is not speaking of physical
circumcision in 2:11. Both verses speak of spiritual realities. The words buried with mean: to bury together, join in burying or to be buried with. The word with indicates a co-relationship with Jesus Christ. This is a co-burial. It is saying, When Jesus was buried, we were buried. God buried us along with Jesus Christ! This obviously does not mean that God put us into the same tomb as Jesus and we laid down beside him! This is our union with Christ.

When Jesus died, we died together with Him. When Christ rose from the dead, we rose
with Him. When Christ ascended to heaven, we ascended with Him and are now seated
with Him in the heavenlies. Our identification with Christ includes the crucifixion with
Him, burial with Him; and our resurrection, ascension and glorification with Christ. Our
identification with Christ is so complete that God reckons us as having experienced co-
crucifixion, co-burial, co-resurrection, co-ascension, and co-glorification. This is the way
God sees us. Should not we see ourselves in the same manner?

Proper biblical hermeneutics (proper interpretation of Scripture) is of utmost importance.
Many of the “Christian Faith” take words or phrases from the Word of God and promote
their “own” truth. These “truths” generated from a false premise (improper assumption)
and built upon a false interpretation of Scripture, results in an incorrect conclusion. Such
teachings have eternal consequences. That is why we study Scripture.

Pastor Don Thomason








%d bloggers like this: