Stop Being the Dummy
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Standard; Col 3:1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
 5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,
 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
 8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.
 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,
 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.

 Col 3:1 If then you were raised with Christ, (Time out! Hold it right there! I always say, “never pass up an opportunity to teach on the effects of baptism, because so many people downplay it's importance, so many people believe it is something we do for God rather than something He does for us, and this is such an opportunity,)

When does the Bible say you are raised with Christ? At your baptism. Just look back a few verses and you will see it.

 Col 2:12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
 (NKJV)

Buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him in baptism, through faith in the power of God which was proven when Jesus rose from the dead. If He can bring life to the dead flesh of Jesus, He can bring life to the dead  soul of those who come to Him or are brought to Him in baptism.

And so we bring our infants who are conceived in sin, (spiritually dead,) to the baptismal font, not because of our faith in baptism, but because of our faith in the One who says He will use baptism to unite us with Jesus.

Need another witness?

Ro 6:3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
 (NKJV)

Now, there is another group of people who believe that once baptized....always saved. That matter is addressed here as well. The Scripture here says, “Look, if you've been baptized, all you've done is reached the starting point of your faith journey. The rest of the journey is marked by “seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”

Johann Arndt in “True Christianity” says, “ The whole of Christianity consists in the re-establishing of the image of God in man (baptism) and the rooting out of the image of Satan in him.”

“seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.”

The word “seek here is in the present imperative. It is a command to do something in the future and involves continuous or repeated action. So, to disobey this command by simply sitting on your baptismal butt  is rebellion against the One who sits at the right hand of God from whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.”

Be baptized and seek.....or be judged, it's that simple.   (Mk 16:16)

To believe is to have faith and faith is evidenced  by our response to God's Word.......those responses are “works” and faith without works (responses) is dead.

Therefore:

 2 Set your mind on things above, (which God has graciously brought below through the preservation of His Holy Word) (Set your mind on these things and ) not on things on the earth.

 3 For you died, (to the earth) and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (in heaven)

If you do these things, (get baptized and continue to seek His kingdom, you will be saved)
 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

5 Therefore (if you're going to seek the things above) put to death (the King James says “mortify”.  We are so blessed to be meeting here in a funeral home. What an object lesson! Most churches meet in a sanctuary, we meet in a mortuary and what a reminder for us every week of the necessity of dying to self and saying so long to the world, and seeking the things above.

Ted Westgor is our gracious host at this facility and Grandpa Dan always talks about his inevitable passing as “getting ready for Teddy.” Well, the best way for us to get ready for Teddy is to be baptized and to continually seek the kingdom of God, which comes as we  stop allowing our flesh to control our lives and invite Jesus to control us instead..
Therefore, (because we have been baptized, and because we are to be seeking the kingdom of God)  put to death your members which are on the earth:

Before you were baptized, your soul was like a darkened room. But at baptism, your soul became like a fully lit room, filled with the light of Christ, but as you allow sin to enter, little fires or patches of darkness begin to flare up, and if something isn't done about it, they will overtake the whole room of your soul.

So learn to extinguish those sins through daily repentance and confession, dousing them with the blood of Jesus. . Put em out, stomp on them, stop playing with matches by allowing them to come back to life. Remember, your flesh was crucified with Christ in your baptism, it's dead! It has as much life as a ventriliquist dummy or a puppet.

So stop living like a ventriloquist dummy! Stop playing the puppet and allowing the marionette of your flesh to pull the strings.  Your flesh is dead! Buried with Christ in baptism. Live life in the Spirit free from the manipulating hands of the puppeteer. Live by the Holy Spirit according to the will of God.
I wonder if we would be so quick to commit the following sins, if we realized to who or what we have turned our bodies over to. Imagine a dummy committing the following sins, and maybe you'll see how ridiculous we look in the spiritual world when we allow our flesh to control us.
In this day and age, these sins are not generally understood. We read our Bibles and kind of  skip over them, oftentimes to our harm. So let's take the time to go through them one by one this morning, so you will recognize them for what they are and flee from them.

Fornication, - If you attend this church you should know the definition of this sin. It is engaging in all manner of sexual lusting and behavior before marriage.

Uncleanness – any unnatural sexual pollution or deviation whether acted out by oneself or with others.

Passion (or as the King James puts it)  Inordinate affection – lusting after painful sensations, sexual or otherwise.

Evil desire -  this is the longing for forbidden sensual fruit. Any kind of sexual coveting, pornography viewing would certainly fall into this category.

Covetousness – all longing of the creature which has forsaken God to fill itself with the lower objects of nature. (Those things that will eventually rust and rot away)

Covetousness bottom line is idolatry.

If that is the case, if idolatry is defined as filling oneself with earthly things, then it stands to reason that true worship, (which is the opposite of idolatry) is to seek to be filled with God.

When you get right down to it, all these sexual sins are nothing but idolatry. They are expressions of self-worship, self-gratification of the flesh that  Ro 1:25 calls idolatry. “who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”

 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,

God will judge sexual sin, because sexual sin is covetousness, and covetousness is idolatry. These sins that we have no desire to turn from, are proof that the flesh is in charge and not God. They are proof that we have given control of our lives over to someone or something other than God. Sensual pleasure and gratification is sought rather than the things of God.

 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. (Colosse and all these cities were rife with idolatrous worship) But......

Until you were baptized, this was to be your lot in life.....a puppet of the world, your flesh, and the devil. This was your mailing address, this is where you lived, but God relocated you. He gave you a new address when you were baptized and has commanded you to seek to live in Christ, rather than that dead old dummy.
So cut the strings that move your arms and legs and eyes to sin, for these are all sins that harm your body and ultimately your soul.  1Co 6:18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.
 (NKJV)

...but don't stop there! Without the strings the marionette can no longer control your sinful members, but there is something he still can control........your lips.

And so we are next warned about the sins of the tongue. Don't surrender your mouth to the ventriloquist! Don't let the devil control your speech! These sins go beyond harming your body, they harm and offend your neighbor, they are sins spawned in anger and hate of neighbor that break forth in murderous speech.

8 But now you yourselves are to put off (separate yourself from) all these:

anger, (all seething against others)

wrath, - an outburst of seething in word or deed.

Malice – premeditate attempts to wound by word or deed

blasphemy, - the wounding of ones reputation through words.

 filthy language – not what you think, it simply means degrading language.  When you degrade someone else with your language God calls it filthy. (now hold on, that doesn't give you license to cuss, that matter is dealt with elsewhere in Scripture

 Eph 4:29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
Cussing degrades you! It throws mud on your image, and if you claim to be a follower of Jesus, it degrades our Lord.

 Put all of these things “out of your mouth” And in addition.........

 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, (the old man is a liar! To lie is to mirror the image of the old man, who is the father of lies.

 Joh 8:44 "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
 (NKJV)

So do not lie!
 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

Beloved speak the truth in love at all times! You have been baptized! Risen with Christ! Made in the image of God and He is not a liar.

 Nu 23:19 "God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
 (NKJV)

Be found in the image of God ........His image was restored in you at your baptism, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.

After baptism, God looks at you and doesn't see a Greek or a Jew, circumcised or uncircumsised, barbarian or Scythian, slave or free.....He sees Christ!

Seek to keep that restored image, make it your purpose in life, and all these other things will be added unto you. Let Christ be your all in all. Let Him be your everything in everything.  
Put your soul in His hands,  rather than the hands of the world, your flesh or the devil. He will never cause your members to dance with sin, and remember this is a battle. You will lose sometimes, you will give in sometimes.

That puppet, your flesh, will rise up and dance to the tune of the evil marionette. It will speak the language of filthy degradation. But don't resign yourself to it. Fight it with all the Holy Spirit power within you, and  if you have fallen,  come to the cross and confess your sins and receive His forgiveness.

The major reason we celebrate the Lord's Supper every week at Living Word is so you can come and wash away the sins of the times you played the puppet this week and gave in to the world, your flesh, and the devil. Come and receive His Body and blood to be strengthened for the battles ahead.

Jesus took on flesh and blood. He became like a dummy, but He never allowed the world, His flesh, or the devil manipulate His strings. He danced to His Father's will only, He spoke His Father's words only,  and in the Lord's Supper He forgives us of our missteps, our misspeaks, and He gives us the strength to resist the devil and do likewise.

Come. Mortify your members again, put out the fires of darkness that have broken out in your life since the last time you had communion, and fill your soul with His light for the week ahead.