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July 29, 2018
SERMON SUMMARY & STUDY GUIDE

Christ is Supreme – Set your mind on Christ
(
Colossians 3:1-4)

As we fill our minds with His Word and surrender our wills, our desires, our appetites and passions to our Lord - His Spirit does His work in us and through us, transforming us into the likeness of Jesus.

Colossians 3 teaches us to embrace an eternal perspective in light of our union with Christ. (Col. 3:1): “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”

In saying “If then you have been raised with Christ,” Apostle Paul follows through with what he talked about in Col 2:13 – that is, if you are a believer, you have been made alive. Before we knew Jesus personally, we were spiritually dead. All of us at one time were not bothered to sin – to lie, to covet, to curse, to pour out our anger, to engage in immorality, etc. But God did a radical thing when we personally encountered Jesus. He gave us new lives and new hearts. 2 Cor. 5:17 says that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old is gone, the new has come.” Those who have a personal relationship with Jesus have been made alive.

Those who lay hold of the kingdom of heaven, who have eternal perspective, are the ones advancing it. How do we develop an eternal perspective? How do we keep seeking the things that are above where Christ is?
  1. By not loving the world nor the things of the world but loving Christ.
A 2006 report by the US-based Pew Research Center showed that “most Gen Nexters (those born between 1981 and 1988) say their generation’s top goals are fortune and fame.” (http://www.people-press.org/2007/01/09/a-portrait-of-generation-next/)

Jesus had warned his disciples (and this applies to us as well) about the love of money, and that they cannot love both God and money. The bible also says that the love of money is the root of all evils (1 Tim. 6:10). Demas, who was an associate of Paul in his missionary journeys, started well in his faith, but he fell into loving the world and did not finish well. In 2 Tim. 4:9-10, Paul tells Timothy, “Make every effort to come to me soon; for Demas having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica.” The love of money or love of this world will blind us from seeing beyond life on earth. It is an enemy to the eternal mindset. Read Luke 12:13-21.

It is wise to save and invest money to provide for your retirement. But do not put your security on your money and savings. Do not be consumed by material possessions such that it becomes your god. Yes, consider your future. But Jesus is telling us to value what is beyond our life on earth. Having a biblical perspective is very important as it determines our priorities in life.
  1. We develop an eternal perspective by the renewal or transformation of our minds.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” The word “conformed” is in passive voice which means we are already being conformed but we are not aware of it. Because of social media, movies, internet, influence of classmates or workmates, because of our surroundings, you and I are already being conformed to this world even without being conscious of it. The grammatical construction of this passage means to stop being conformed. It is a command to be transformed. How? By the renewing of your mind.

Who renews the mind and how does this take place?

It is the Holy Spirit who does what John Piper calls the “double work” in renewing our minds.  Piper notes that the word “renewal” in Romans 12:2 is “only used in one other place in all the Greek Bible, namely, Titus 3:5 where Paul says this: “[God] saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” (https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/the-renewed-mind-and-how-to-have-it)
 
The Holy Spirit does this double work by exposing our minds to God’s truth, first with the gospel and then the whole counsel of Scriptures. He stirs up our hearts, convicts us, to receive His Word in humility and obedience. We join the Holy Spirit in this work by submitting and surrendering to Him as we let the words of Christ percolate in our minds and hearts. In doing so, we develop an eternal perspective in life.

What does studying God’s Word do to us?

In an interview with more than 100,000 people the Center for Biblical Engagement found out how the Bible impacts human behavior. If one is involved with Bible studies or read the Bible at least 4 times a week, they found out that 30% of respondents struggle less with loneliness, 59% less to engage in pre-marital sex and pornography, and 45% have less grumbling. Studying God’s Word also helped 228% of respondents to share their faith and 231% to disciple others. Studying the bible not only develops an eternal perspective but it in fact produces tangible benefits for the here and now.
  1. We develop an eternal perspective by obeying God’s Word which includes the Great Commission.
When we obey the commands of the Lord such as the great commission, we are setting our minds on things above – the kingdom of God. After Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to His disciples on some occasions. In John 20:21, He told them, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” As Jesus prepares to go back to His Father, He commissions his disciples to tell others about the good news of salvation that has come to mankind through Jesus. To live out the great commission in this life is part of having an eternal perspective and mindset.

Look beyond the daily routines in life by having a biblical perspective. What is the reason why we work? It is not only to provide food on the table. We work because we need to eat and pay the bills so that we can participate in God’s mission in redeeming the world to Himself.

Study Guide:
  1. Read Luke 12:15 and 1 John 2:15-16. In what ways are you drawn to love the world or the things of the world (e.g. money, possessions, position, stature, fleshly pleasure)?  Be specific.  Describe exactly how these worldly things distract you away from Jesus (e.g. how they affect your perspective and priorities)? Share practical steps you can take to keep your focus on Jesus in relation to these things of the world.
  2. Take stock of what goes into your mind daily/weekly (e.g. social media, television, movies, internet, music, literature). What percentage of the total amount of what goes into your mind is God’s word? Read Romans 12:1-2 and Psalm 1:1-3. What specific steps can you take to obey Colossians 3:16 with regards to letting the word of Christ dwell in you richly.
  3. Read John 20:21. Encourage one another by sharing how your obedience to God, specifically in the context of sharing the gospel/discipleship, has deepened your eternal perspective in life.
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