Colossians 3:1-4, “Seeking and Setting”
Passage: Colossians 3:1–3:4
Text: Colossians 3:1-4
Intro: In Colossians 3, the Apostle Paul shifts from the foundational theology of what Christ did for us on the Cross to the impact it should have on our daily lives. If Jesus did this, then this is what it should look like in us. In these first four verses of Colossians 3, Paul encourages us to seek and set our hears on Christ.
OBSTACLES TO OUR SANCTIFICATION:
1. Pervasive spiritual laziness
Technology and comfort has made us very fragile when it comes to passionately pursuing and unearthing spiritual things. We fold up like a napkin at the first sign of difficulty and resistance. American culture morphs us into natural and instinctive consumers who seek the path of least resistance and wait for someone to come up with a method that makes it easier and more accessible to us. The problem with this is that you cannot market the Christ life. It is a call to death. It is a call to pick up your cross and follow Jesus. That doesn’t sell to the rational consumer mind. What sells is self-help and pragmatism and tips for more successful and happier living and short, clever “talks” on how-to overcome such and such.
This passage pushes us toward humble obscurity in Christ while everything in our culture pushes us toward the defense of our individual rights and the display of our personalities and the protection of our liberties and the “getting in touch” with the real and true you. Certainly some of these things, (like political freedom, are good things) but when they bleed over and dominate our thinking we carry them over mistakenly into the way we see all things.
3. Distracting Abundance of Options.
We suffer from a distracting abundance of options in our culture. This has produced in us a pervasive wimpiness when it comes to commitment. We’re always waiting for something better to come along instead of giving ourselves wholeheartedly to the marriage, job, church that is right in front of us. And, even if we aren’t scared of commitment, all the options can be like open programs on your desktop computer, draining your emotional and spiritual RAM. One of the best things we can do for our lives is to close down those unnecessary programs/options running in the background of the desktop of our lives and run just a few programs well. So the question is, what do you need to shut down in your life and what do you need to commit to with your whole heart?
4. Weak Satisfaction with Temporary Things.
We are far too easily please as C.S. Lewis says. We desperately long for the things that can never truly satisfy. We want a certain group of people to accept us. We want our kids to go to certain schools and excel in certain activities and we want to be invited to parties of certain groups. We long for the fading and deceptive shadows of social standing.
Verse 4 tells us that Christ is our life, and that when he appears, we shall appear with him glory. God’s way is not mutually exclusive with our joy. In fact, it is the only true way to eternal, lasting, satisfying joy. Whether it be friendships, or sexuality, or how we spend our money, or whatever…God’s glory is intertwined with our joy.
SEEKING AND SETTING—WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
1. Take Responsibility for your growth in Christ.
- Pursue Paul, Be a Barnabas, Train a Timothy
2. Regular consistent engaging of the Bible.
- Do whatever you have to do make this central in your life.
- We know how to get what we want, don’t we? Point that same intensity towards the Bible.
- Luther’s quote: “The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me.”
3. Give yourself to Community.