Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Putting Off In Order To Put On

Temple Baptist Church - 7-31-2013
Colossians 3:5-14
A. Last week, we looked at the dual nature of the believer.
1. We have an “old man” who is sensual and a “new man” who is spiritual. In light of these truths, we are to understand that there is constant conflict between these two natures.
2. The victory comes when the believer feeds or renews the “new man” and starves or controls the “old man.”
B. Verse 5 said that there are sins to be mortified.
1. This listing is a possibility for every believer if he-she walks in the flesh instead of the spirit. These sins are to be mortified by each of us. They are so wicked and destructive. They are a part of the past of many and are to be shunned; therefore, the word mortify.
2. Many of God’s people have fallen prey to these fleshly desires and the end has been horrendous. Never think that it cannot or will not happen to you. Some great men of God are now on the sideline because of such sin.
C. The success of the local church has been obscured by a quest for numbers!
1. Numbers are great as long as they do not come at the expense of sanctification. The local church is to be a holy place where holy people come to worship, thus showing a stark contrast to the world which brings about conviction that draws sinners to Christ. The latter day churches have used worldliness and casualness to make sinners feel right at home within the walls of the church. Holiness is not for sale!
2. Numbers are great as long as they do not come at the expense of doctrine. Strict adherence to doctrine brings about a division that was commanded by the Scriptures. There is an old saying among those who have no doctrinal teaching that says, “Love unifies; doctrine divides.” Doctrine does divide and there can be no true love without it! Doctrine is not for sale!
3. We are to go out and compel sinners to come in, preach the Word to them, and let God give increase and add to the local church as He sees fit. Areas are different according to the amount of biblical light they have received and the length of time that they have had that light. If I read my Bible correctly, I find that in the last days of the church, there is a falling away and general unfaithfulness. Not an excuse for “smallness” but a biblical fact to be recognized. When the Lord comes again, will He find faith? Unfortunately, not much!
D. One measure of success in the local church is that of unity in “spirit and truth.” This unity becomes a reality only when individual believers “conform to the image” of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is why we find the words “mortify,” “put off,” and “put one” in this context.
E. I want to look at these verses as they show us the proper order of walking in the Spirit as well as getting along within the corporate walls of the church. Paul, writing to the Colossian Church, is instructing them concerning unity and charity among the members. The local church is to be a “nest” in which we raise our young; a school in which we instruct with the Bible; and a haven in which we come apart from the world and rest. The worst enemy can be, and normally is from within: the members’ sitting on the pews.
1. We are to put off the deeds of the old man:
a. Anger – There are two types: selfish anger which a result of not getting what we desire or a sinful reaction to the provocation of others and righteous anger which is being angry at things that makes God angry. We are commanded to be angry and sin not.
Proverbs 29:22 An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression. (People with anger control issues will always cause strife in the local church.)
b. Wrath – I define wrath as anger in motion and out of control. People who lose their tempers almost always live to regret it.
James 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. (Wrath will cause a believer to do things that he-she ordinarily would not do and, once done, can almost never be undone.)
c. Malice – To hold a grudge because of an unforgiving spirit. “I don’t get mad, I get even” is the phrase so often quoted.
1 Corinthians 14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. (Children can and do get mad at one another but get over it quickly. When the parents get involved is where the problem comes in. We are to be like children in matters of conflict.)
d. Blasphemy – Normally, when using this word, we think of cursing or speaking evil of the things of God but the context is dealing with unity and charity among believers. Blasphemy means to speak evil of something or someone. Be careful what you say because: 1) you will probably wish you had not said it and 2) it will normally get back to the one you said it about.
e. Evil Communications – To say things that do not glorify God. It is so easy to get drawn into a conversation that a Christian should not be a part of. Speaking of those things done in darkness, off color jokes or language, etc.
f. Lying – We are to be truthful in all that we say. Lying is an act to intentionally deceive another and a half truth is still a whole lie.
Ephesians 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
We must put these things off in order to put the following things on.
2. We are to put on the new man: in verse 12, Paul appeals to the believer based upon their “election of God, holy and beloved.” Now, understand that the body is elect, not the individual. Paul is appealing to the church, not simply the individual because it takes the whole church’s involvement in order to have the unity so imperative to success spiritually.
a. Bowels of mercies - A sympathizing spirit, weeping with those that weep, suffering with them that suffer, being touched with a feeling of their sorrows and weaknesses: an inward pity and compassion to those distressed. Simply said, “Caring!”
b. Kindness – Mercy and compassion in action, being good to people, courteous to people, understanding and caring. Giving a cup of water in the name of Christ.
Galatians 6:9-10 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (10) As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
c. Humbleness of mind – A realization or true perspective of self. If there is anything good in me or about me, it is because of Christ. If I am anybody or have done anything, it is because of Christ. He should be our Everything first, others should always be second, and self last.
Philippians 2:3-4 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. (4) Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
d. Meekness – When I think of meekness, the verse that comes to mind actually deals with the godliness of women.
1 Peter 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
When I apply this verse to men and women, it means to be a “background” person: not always having to be seen or heard; not to draw attention to self; to allow others to take the praise.
e. Longsuffering – This word is self-explanatory: to suffer long: to be patient or enduring! Not easily offended or angered by the accidental or even thoughtlessness of others. Be as longsuffering with others as God is with you.
Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
f. Forbearing one another – Forbearing is similar to longsuffering but is not the same. They have a common bond found in:
Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
While longsuffering is normally putting up with the faults of another over a long period of time, forbearance has more to do with an individual moment. If you know someone is going to rub you the wrong way, you can mentally prepare to be patient with them and, therefore nice to them, but when you do not expect something it is like a needle jab! You jump and yell before you think. If you expect a needle in the arm, you prepare. Forbearance is exercised in the immediate moment.
g. Forgiving one another … even as Christ forgave you – Forgiveness has a two-fold benefit: 1) it forgives the offender for all wrongdoing 2) forgiveness keeps anger, wrath, and bitterness from gaining a foothold in your heart. I have often said, “Hurt turns to anger, anger to bitterness!”
Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
h. Charity – Above all things because brotherly love covers a multitude of sins. If I love you as my brother or sister, then I will neither argue nor fight with you.
1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
The definition of charity in 1 Corinthians 13 says it all:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, (5) Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; (6) Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; (7) Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

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