If You Are Risen You Are Not Dead – Continuing Our Colossal! Series

Preached to the Saints at Riverview Baptist, August 7 2016, Columbia, Tn

jesus_raises_lazarusColossians 3:1-4 (KJV) 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.

Mrs. Jones was 92 year old. Legally blind, she was forced to move to a nursing home when her husband of 70 years passed away. When she was helped into her new small room she said “I love it”. The attendant said “Love it? You really love this?” She said “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged. It’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and thank my Lord Jesus for the ones that do.

That’s a Kingdom Mind Set!

When Jesus came to this earth, God came bringing His Kingdom of God. Sixty nine times Jesus tied His Gospel to the Kingdom of God. Here’s just a few examples:

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

Matthew 12:28 (KJV) But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

{To the Pharisees} Matthew 21:31 (KJV) …. Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

Mark 1:14-15 (KJV) Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

The Gospel is very much about the Kingdom of God. God is calling a people to Himself, a people that He died for and rose again to lead. Salvation is not about fire insurance. It is about God coming to earth to bring His Kingdom to earth.

Jesus changes those He touches. Jesus elevates those He blesses. Salvation is about ELEVATION. It is about change.

When Jesus touched the leper that person – once estranged from his family and unclean to the world, was restored. He did not go back to the leper colony. He was elevated. He was restored.

When the blind beggar was healed he did not continue begging in the street. No, he did as Jesus said. “Take up your bed, rise, walk!”. The man was restored to where he should be. He was elevated.

When the woman taken in adultery was tossed to the ground in front of Jesus no man stood in self righteousness over her. Jesus said Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one condemn you?” She replied “No, Lord!” and Jesus said “Neither do I condemn you. Go and SIN NO MORE”. She did not leave that place and go back to sexual sin. She left that place elevated, blessed of God, a member of His Kingdom.

Jesus did not come this earth to slap a band-aid on our boo boos. He came to elevate us. We were made in the image of God, but following Satan we marred that image. Jesus came to lift up the broken. He came to restore to prodigal. He came to make darkness into light.

Jesus came to change those who were …

Colossians 2:13 (KJV) ….. being dead in your sins ….

and to make them alive.

The Bible tells us that Jesus came as a Light into the world, but the Darkness did not comprehend Him (John 1:5).

1 IF You Are Risen With Christ God Commands You To Seek Upward, Not Downward.

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

The first word of our text is IF.

  • IF you are risen with Christ.
  • If you were sin sick, and the Savior saved you.
  • IF you were the Prodigal Son who came home and Jesus embraced you.
  • IF you were that man hopelessly laying by Siloams Fountain, unable to get to the healing waters.
  • IF you were the woman of Samaria in sexual sin, drawing water when the Water of Life came.
  • IF you are saved by faith in Him – if you have believed the Gospel, that Jesus Christ died for your sins and rose again for your salvation – then you are not a pauper or a stranger to Heaven. The Kingdom Gospel declares:

Romans 10:9-13 (KJV)… IF thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Our Jesus came to save everyone who would be saved. When the Leper, broken by his disease came to Jesus pleading Jesus said “be thou clean” and he was healed. When the blind man stumbled toward the sound of his voice crying “Thou Son of David, have mercy on me” Mercy reached out and gave him sight. When the widow cried because her only living relative – a son – lay dead Jesus said “Rise” and that young man lived. And when the sinner comes to Jesus He touches that broken life, raising that person up from darkness, death, and depression.

If You Are Risen With Christ, Seek Upward, Glorifying God.

Lift your hands and hearts in praise to Him.

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

Do you notice that the text says “Christ SITTETH on the right hand of God”. The Right Hand is the place of honor and power. The Right Hand is the place of preeminence. Jesus Christ is alive, the Risen Savior, and we who are His look upward to Him.

Are you saved? The proof is in the LOOK, in the SEEKING. We LOOK upward. We SEEK upward. We glorify Jesus by obeying Him as King of Kings. What has our King decreed?

John 13:34-35 (ESV) A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

The dark unsaved world loves downward.
The world asks “What’s in it for me?”

… but we who are His cherished Children are to love as He loved. We are to love one another. We are to love our enemies. We do the hard thing. We do the God thing.

Luke 6:27-28; 32-36 (ESV) … But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. …. 32 If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and YOU WILL BE SONS OF THE MOST HIGH, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

We who are saved do not love alone. God the Holy Spirit is in us and with us. Together with Him we do not ACT UP but we LOOK UP. We live for our King. We let His light shine through us. He is the S-O-N and we are His moon. His light reflects from us. Every saved is God’s Child in the midst of the Devil’s world.

You say “But I am human, and I often fail at this”.
Even the sun seems to dim as it sets each day.
God tells us “SEEK anyway”.

Matthew 7:7-8 (ESV) Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

Do not seek to be like the world, nor even like your old you, but seek upward, seek to imitate Christ. Be like Him Who saved you. Live for Him. Be like the Apostle Paul who said ..

Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

You are not who you were. God lives in you now. You are a new creature in Christ – old things have passed away, behold, BEHOLD, ALL THINGS are NEW (2 Corinthians 5:17).

I love to go swimming. As a fat man, I often go swimming with a shirt one – that’s all I’ll say about that. One thing I like about swimming is that the fat that binds is a blessing in the water. You can’t hold a fat man down! I love to go underwater (especially if we’re at the beach) and look around if I have my goggles or swim mask on. I can only stay underwater for about a minute, maybe a minute and a half. After just a little while my body will start telling me it’s time to get up ABOVE the water, to get my head in the light and the air. If you get in my way I’ll hurt you trying to get to the top, to get air. Why? Why do I do that, and yet the fish do not. If you take a fish out of the water and darkness the fish will fight you to get back in the water. It will spear you. It will struggle to get back to what is to me a watery grave – but to the fish it is HOME. Yet I struggle to get up. Why? Why? Because I was made for the air and the light, the fish was made for the water and the dark. If you are saved by faith in Christ God has made you His Child. You are no longer a child of darkness and of Satan, but you are a Child of God. The Bible declares:

Ephesians 2:8-10 (KJV)8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

If you are risen with Christ – if you are born again, saved by faith in Him – you are designed to do good, to glorify God, to magnify Christ. To look upward, for our Savior is watching you.

Christ sitteth on the right hand of God –
for His Church is to be His Hands and Feet on the earth

2 We Who Are Saved Are Not Only To SEEK Upward, We Are To SET Our Affections Upward.

Colossians 3:2 (KJV) Set your affection on things above, NOT on things on the earth.

Those who are saved are RISEN with Christ. We are LIVING creatures, the SONS of God. We are told in …

Ephesians 2:1-6 (ESV) And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were BY NATURE CHILDREN OF WRATH, LIKE THE REST OF MANKIND. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus

The mark of the unsaved person is that they are enslaved to their own affections “by nature the children of wrath like the rest of mankind.” But now as children of God you are no longer enslaved to this world.

We are to “set our affection” on things above and not things on the earth. The words “set your affection” is the Greek Present Active Imperative of φρονέω (pronounced phroneō). YOU are to control your desires. YOU are to seek to do the things that God says are best. YOU are to be active members of His Kingdom, knowing that Christ’s Spirit is in you. This is an IMPERATIVE in the Greek, a COMMAND.

God would not command us to do something that we could not do

  • God sent Israel out of Egypt – but controlled the Red Sea.
  • God sent Israel into Canaan – but gave them the power to defeat the giants.
  • God sent David to Goliath – but controlled the throw.
  • God sent Peter to Pentecost – and brought 3000 to salvation in one day.

What God commands, He controls. Trust in God! SET your mind!

Colossians 3:3 (KJV) For ye are dead{to the world},
and YOUR LIFE is hid with Christ in God.

We are dead to the world but alive to God in Christ. Our lives are hid with Christ in God. We are His Children, citizens of His Kingdom. His Word governs our actions, and His Spirit guides us into His Word.

Through the power of the Spirit and the spiritual disciplines of prayer and meditation of His Word we turn from the darkness and fully to His light. We …

Colossians 3:5-7 (KJV) Mortify (put to death) 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.

Believers are not to be involved in:

  • Fornication – the Greek πορνεία (porneía) which describes all types of sexual sin outside of Biblical Marriage: adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality, and so forth.
  • Uncleanness – the Greek ἀκαθαρσία (akatharsía) which refers to physical of moral impurity.
  • Inordinate Affection – πάθος (páthos) which is lust that leads to suffering.
  • Evil Concupiscence – κακός ἐπιθυμία (kakós epithymía) or worthless desires or cravings that dishonor God.
  • Covetousness – πλεονεξία (pleonexí) a greedy desire to have more, which leads to idolatry.

God’s wrath comes on people who do these things. We all used to be involved in these dark things at one level or another. However, if you have received Christ as Savior and Christ has received you as His Child, God has changed your hearts. We put off these old things. The Apostle says:

Colossians 3:8-10 (KJV)8 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; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

We put off those old dark ways:

Filthy Communication

These things are not pleasing to God our Father, nor do they glorify Jesus Christ our Lord. Put them away. But put on the new man.

Colossians 3:12-15 (KJV) Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Make a HABIT of doing the God thing and not doing the Dark. Let the Light of Christ shine!

If you belong to God you are holy and beloved. God loves you so much. Be like Jesus.

Be MERCIFUL as Jesus is merciful.
Be KIND as Jesus is kind.
Be HUMBLE as Jesus is humble.
Be MEEK as Jesus is meek.
Be PATIENT as Jesus is patient.
FORGIVE as Jesus forgave you.
Put on LOVE.
Let God’s PEACE rule in your hearts.

God will bring all these characteristics to the forefront in your lives, dear Christians, if you will seek and set upward. Look to Christ’s Scripture. Look to Christ’s Spirit.

3 Live Upward, For Jesus Is Coming Again.

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

Our Jesus is coming again. When He comes again He is coming for His Church, the people He loves and the people He died and rose again for. Jesus washed us from our sins in His own blood and has made us kings and priests unto God and His Father (Revelation 1:5-6). He saved us by His Gospel, and left us on this earth to be His hands and feet, His Church.

Be faithful, dear Church. Be faithful to love one another, to love the unlovable. Be faithful to read and heed His Holy Scripture, doing as He has commanded. Remember that you are citizens of His Kingdom. He has promised:

Matthew 6:31-33 (ESV) Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND ALL THESE THINGS WILL BE ADDED TO YOU.

If you live for the Lord as a good Child and a good Citizen the Lord will take care of you. God has never abandoned one of His little ones. Keep your lives focused on Him.

IF you are risen with Him.

There are two major bodies of water in the land where Jesus walked: the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. The Sea of Galilee is the place where Peter, James, and John were fishing when Jesus told them “Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men”. Jesus walked on the Sea of Galilee. He taught while on Peter’s boat on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee. The Sea of Galilee is a place where life is, where fish are, where blessing has been. The Dead Sea, on the other hand, is a place of death. The Dead Sea is saturated with salt – the water is up to 35% salt. Both the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee are fed by the Jordan River. But what makes the Dead Sea dead is that there is no outlet. It receives water from the Jordan, but water never runs out. The sun evaporates the water in it, and it kills everything that accidentally gets in it.

If you belong to God He – the Living Water – has come into your life. But He came to change. If you are alive, that Water flows out of you. You live for Jesus. You love for Jesus. You know He is coming soon. Be like Him until the day He receives you into glory.

May God touch your hearts with his Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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