Welcome, thank you for coming. My name is Mike one of the pastors here on staff at our church were in that wall between Thanksgiving and the Christmas season. So next week there’s gonna be uh christmas stuff around here, christmas songs are rolling. I don’t think we’re doing mistletoe this year due to budget cuts, but there’s, there’s a lot of christmas festivities about to start cooking at our church. So thank you for coming. It’s an honor to be here this morning. I was thinking over this passage and a few questions that help kind of set the stage for us as we look together at the word of God and I was wondering about what our, why does it seem like Christianity works for some people and not others, you probably know people, I’d say. Yeah, I was christian, I did that when I was younger. Um, it seems like there’s people that Christianity just seemed to click for them and others, it doesn’t click for them. Other people that do do Christianity, it seems like some people experience like life change. They overcome bad habits, they just grow and they adjust and they’re different people and other people that do Christianity, They don’t change, no habits change. They’re the same person with a christian trappings seasonally times they become christian, but why is christian work for someone on others and why do some christians change and grow and others don’t, but it seems like regardless of what you’ve thought or contemplate on this topic because I’m bringing up for us this morning at some point, your christian walk needs to become real real real fast some point in life. Your christian walk when push comes to shove needs to be doing the pushing and the shoving or your christian walk won’t continue on. I’ve entitled this message a winning walk. And I think we can really see that in this passage of first Corinthians one verses one through 11. If you’re following along in our house bible, you’ll see that on page 33 75 72 page 5 72. In our house bibles, let me read the passage to us and let’s then I’ll pray colossians three verse one If then you have been raised with christ seek the things that are above. Where christ is seated seated at the right hand of God, set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth for you have died. And your life is hidden with christ and God, when christ, who is your life appears, then you will also will appear with him in glory, put to death. Therefore, what is earthly in you. Sexual morality and purity, passions, evil desires, and covetousness and nous, which is adultery on account of these. The Wrath of God is coming in these Youtube once walked when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away. Anger, wrath, malice, slander and obscene. Talk to your mouth. C do not lie to one another, see that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of the creator here there is not greek and jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, Barbarian scythian slave free for all, for christ is all. And in all. Let’s pray God, thank you for today. Thank you for the word of the Lord. Thank you that the word of God is alive and active. It can take care of itself. We just need to let it out into our lives, into our congregations, into our personal walk Lord into our public walk. God I said the word of God will do the work of God and the people of God uh change us, transform us grow us. Lord help us understand what it means to walk with you as a christian Lord and we just need you desperately today and all the days of our lives. I ask that you just instruct us with the word of God. We just wanna humbly put our lives under the word of God today and see what it is that you where you’re calling us to change and grow in Lord, we love you and commit today to you in jesus name. We pray amen. Okay, so to remind you of last week, the last couple of weeks last three Sundays Dan has been going through the beginning of Colossians and laying through important bedrocks which are building upon today. There are excellent. We we looked at false teachers and the false living that comes out of that false theology and that false teachings, both the teacher and the lifestyle, that the false teaching and false lifestyle has no real power. That was last week, last chapter, the last part of this letter. And then today we’re jumping into chapter three In Chapter three that we just read the beginning of Chapter three shifts to a more offensive tone, more aggressive tone is trying to take ground and move you forward in your walk with God. I had a pastor friends who was a pastor who retired from being a pastor who was asking me about his church for christians or non christians. And in the conversation, I quickly gave him my answer. But after thinking about it more, I think I’ve changed my answer a little bit. Is Christchurch for christians and non christians. Uh, there seems to be an audience. The primary audience of when you come to church is you and the Lord doing business with God the Lord, that’s your primary audience. And there’s a secondary audience, that’s your brothers and sisters in christ fellow christians that are in the room. But there’s a third audience in the room and those people that are not christians who do not have a walk of God who think they are, are actively are atheists or agnostics who are here for a variety of reasons, but they’re not true believers. I would say this is a warning we should attach to this passage. And even this sermon? I think you remember those old infomercials, you know, musicians would say, don’t try this at home, don’t try this at home. So you don’t get sued. There should be a warning on this sermon on this passage in your bible, don’t try this. If you’re not a believer, if you don’t have the spirit of God in you don’t try this sermon, it’s not for you, it’s for other people. The last week’s sermon was for people that want to do things under the flesh of man and the energy and effort of man without christ. We turn the chapter two, chapter three, which is four christians who have the spirit of God in them, who are walking with the God and the spirit of God. This is for true believers, authentic believers. If you do do this servant and you are successful and you do it without christ and the spirit of God, you become incredibly religious, prideful person. You become a legal ist. This sermon is not designed for nonbelievers. This passage is not designed for nonbelievers. So, looking at this passage Verse one, it says, if then you have been raised with Christ seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. And so the main first point of why some christians walk of God seems to be winning and others christians walk of God is losing is they’re not setting their mind on truth, they’re not striving to gain truth. If your biblical grammar man or woman, you’ll notice that this seek and keep seeking is a better translation and an intense imperative, present and tense imperative verse. The word that means C can keep seeking the things of God, keep and keep seeking the things of God. I think our english standard bible says, just set your mind on the things that are above on this earth that you died for. It’s not as it’s not as clear, but there’s there’s your emotions, your heart, your passions as a person you’re seeking and keep continuously seeking different things right now in life and your 2022 you’re seeking and continue to seek different variety of things. It could be leisure, hobby, pleasure, your career, your family vacations, your car, paying off debts, whatever it is, you have an intense focus on something paul. The author of this passage says to seek and keep seeking the things of God, your emotions, your heart, your passion should be on the things of God. There should be an intense, intentional focused disposition of your heart, on what is next in your life. We’re supposed to think on the things that are above where christ is, is what we should be thinking of. And if you’re if you ever talk to a financial broker and they’re trying to help you think for retirement, think for an older you when you’re 80 70 60 year old, you who’s not working as much as you’re working now, you’re supposed to be saving money for a future day of future life when you’re physically weaker mentally, not as sharp as you once were and you need help, you need finances, you should make decisions now for that day. And the financial broker’s gonna sit there across from you and just really try to convince you that someday, yes, you will get old and some day you will have expenses and someday you will need to save for those expenses as an older man and older woman and that is a hurdle. That is a challenge to make young people think of an older them. This is a step beyond an old you, this is a step off the alive to dead cliff where you are no longer around and you’re living and thinking for the next life, Thinking of the life of fraternity in mind, it’s an even tougher sell. It makes sense that people in the city of Lincoln in our culture where we live in that is all around us is living for the here and now because the theology of this city, this world is to live for the here and now there is no then and there. It’s not when you’re 70 and 80, that’s the good life, best life now, best life now is the good life and it’s happening right now, people all around you are living for the here and now. They’re making decisions with their emotions, their passions, their time, their talent, their treasure for the here and the now right now and that makes sense. That’s intellectually honest. But we you we are with christ we’ve been buried of christ were rising of christ. Like all the chapter two is talking about. You do not live for the here and now. You live for the then and there with christ. Your focus should be on then and there. So I ask you when your thoughts drift to, what are your thoughts drift you when you’re all alone? Is it christ is it christ exalted in store in heaven where he’s giving out rewards to his followers. Is that what your mind and your thoughts drift to when you’re alone when you’re what consumes your thoughts when you have leisure time or free time. Is it the here and the now or is it the then and there. So a lot of you all went shopping this last couple of days and then. Black friday, my son and I went to black friday shopping. We bought a few toys for his siblings. He’s a he’s a good better brother than I was monday is tomorrow. That’s cyber monday. That’s where you do the same thing just online and they get shipped to your house and then porch pirates steal it from you. Um Tuesday is called giving Tuesday that’s happening or that just happened, that’s happening right? Giving Tuesday. So think about this, we have a wealthy generous ba zillionaire that is going to match anything you contribute on Tuesday only 10 times the value. That’s God. The father in heaven will reward you for every good deed, every, every cup of cold water, all the righteous things you do here on life what you do and what you don’t do here and now God the father rewards you then and there. That’s not just a Tuesday deal. That’s an every day deal for the christian who’s walking with God. So why does Christianity work for some and not for others? How come some christians overcome bad habits change and grow and others don’t. There’s an intense, there’s a focused intentional intentionality to their walk of God. They set their minds on truth. They strive to gain truth. Their their mind is focused on christ as the main passion of their life. The throne of jesus christ is their main purpose. They’re living for what they hope to hear. Well done, good and faithful servant. There’s a focused intentionality meaning that the meaning of their life is found in christ? Because the reality is if you don’t do that, you don’t live that purpose. That passion, that meaning of christ being premier in your life, something else will become premier of your life, there’s another throne, you’re focused on another person sitting on that throne, you’re bowing down to, we cannot be neutral as people, our hearts will not stay passive, we will worship something, the human mind, the mental pursuits your main purpose and meaning will never stay passive. So focus your mind intentionally on christ and christ on his throne. Look with me in verse to set your mind on the things that are above, not on things that are on earth, why for you have died and your life is hidden with christ and God when christ, who is your life appears then you will also appear with him in glory. So think deliberately christian, why do some christians walk with God seem to win and others don’t they need, they need to think deliberately they need to concentrate their minds honestly I could’ve probably combined these first two points, you know, could have could have combined these two points as one main point. But I want to break it out just to make us really spend the time here. So think deliberately set your mind of things that are above. I remember when I first became a pastor like nine some years ago I I was a news junkie and I listened to a lot of news and I knew it was breaking that morning breaking that our somehow I stayed plugged into the news that’s before the fear news took over. It was actually a little more normal news. Um, but at the time, I, I just think I had some vanity in life and I like to be able to ask other guys about what do you think about this? What are we gonna do about that? And they’re like, what are we talking about? That’s, you know, But nowadays news is way more intense, but my mind nowadays I had to step out of news, my mind nowadays, if you think about here and now it really consumes you with fear, anxiety, dread. So I’ve kind of disconnected from the news world and I’m trying to set my mind on the things that are above. I’m thinking deliberately and taking practical steps to realize that there’s only so much real estate and my attention spans in the mornings as I start my day and I need to think deliberately set my mind on things that are above. The reality is when you think delivery about you need to think about how you think, if you’re thinking deliberately to set your mind like this passage encourages too, is really specific. Here, we all will encounter truth. Everyone in this room is going to encounter truth today. There’s the way you’re living and there’s truth and there’s three ways that we, there’s two ways you can go and we’re all currently in three different spots. So step number one is the wise person, when the wise person is walking along with their walk of God and the truth of God’s life, life shines in their life. They realize they’re out of bounds in an area of their life? They don’t change the boundaries, they change what they’re doing. Does that make sense? They’re walking of God like, oh I’m getting off track, I’m gonna respond to truth and stay on track. They’re following and marching and following christ and when the truth of life is shown in their life, they adjust their life to the truth because the truth is king over here, an evil person. They’re walking along and then when the truth of God is shining on their life where they’re out of step or out of bounds and something they’re doing, they don’t change their life, they change the truth. They take the truth of God’s word, the truth of what God tells us clearly in his word. And they try to make it confusing. They try to massage it, they try to manipulate it so that they don’t have to change God has to change. And then there’s a bunch of the rest of us, we’re fools. The bible says, we’re either we have one step in an evil path and one step in the right path, a wise path. And it’s how we respond to the truth of God’s life light on us. If we respond correctly, we respond biblically, we respond like a wise man or woman or we respond evil and foolishly we become more and more evil. And so all of us are gonna think deliberately about how to think about when we encounter truth, we all are gonna encounter truth and the truth changes or you change, you don’t get to like pick and choose things you change, or the truth changes. All right? We need to think deliberately Christians. We need to make a plan and work your plan. You have 35 days, 35 days until the new year, 2023. If you all start your New Year’s resolutions now, you can run out of steam and re re fire them up again in january. But let’s just talk about bible reading, which really impacts truth. If you read the bible four or more days a week, there’s a significant change, Barner research says on on how you think, how you feel your emotions, your your financial life, your relational life, your emotional health, your sexual health, your every part of your life is impacted when you’re impacted by the word of God. When you’re four or more days a week involved in engaging with the truth. If we set our minds deliberately think deliberately about the Christian life, the Christian plan, give 35 days to make a plan, Christian 35 days to work your plan. Think deliberately at how you’re going to get God’s truth in your life, how you’re going to, like Paul says, set your mind on the things that are above, not the things of this earth that are of this earth. It is so easy to have our attention be here, not there, that doesn’t take a lot of faith to look around and be excited or look around and be discouraged. That takes no vision, no faith. If you want to be one of those christians a winning walk, you need to think deliberately at how you think and paul continues on for you have died. Think of yourself as a dead person who’s died and your life is hidden with christ in God and when christ, who is your life appears then you will also appear with him in glory. How are you going to set your mind on the things that are above in 2023? Why does Christianity work for some and not for others? Why do some christians overcome bad habits grow and change and others don’t. They’re thinking they’re thinking deliberately, they’re not thinking deliberately about truth, concentrate your mind on christ the greatest truth ever. All deliberate thinking will lead you into worshiping christ if you’re staying there and you’re like coding for christ and you’re typing and coding like wow, there’s order, there’s structure, this happens and this happens. There’s cause and effect everywhere. There’s languages of talking to computers and just you’re working all day on coding at the end of the work week? If you’re thinking of christ and setting your mind on christ like, wow, that’s cool that man made that and that’s how man communicates. But God made it so I can read stuff and translate into my brain and I can speak it through my mouth. And God made a way more impressive computer. My brain and God made a way more impressive order of cause and effect in my life and how I communicate and how things happen as we as we discover any field. You discover like lasers in blood. Like a gratis was doing a couple years ago, he saw christ in how lasers interact with blood or you talk to another person whose whole career is built around, you know, rehabilitating hurt people with physical therapy and how they see christ how in that work. When you when you’re thinking of God as your main pursuit, you’re thinking deliberately about God. You’re focused intensely on christ, you start to see him all of your life because you meaning for your work. Let’s look at verse five together put to death therefore what is earthly in your sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desires and coveted Nous nous which is idolatry and on account of these, the wrath of God is coming in these Youtube once walked when you were living in them. And so for verse five through seven, I would group these together and I’d say act ruthlessly and I like this word and some of you don’t like this word, but I I do really think people have a winning walk with with christ have a winning walk with God. They have a different disposition towards sin than others that don’t they’re willing to do anything and everything when it comes to a fight between them and their sin. But remember my disclaimer at the beginning, this is not a manmade woman made flesh of people killing the flesh in you. This is not a little religious pharisee talking. A little religious zealot talking. This is a person who is compelled by a love of God and the power of God, the spirit of God, the word of God to do the work of you know, changing your life. But they act ruthlessly towards sin verse five. And then later on in verses eight and nine, there’s two different lists of sin that paul lays out for us. This verse five list of sin talks about things you feel and do their sensual sense. There’s probably like modern day social media and modern day entertainment is can fall into these these sins or however else you need to understand these sins. But there are more sensual sins what you feel and what you do. I was watching a movie with my wife exploring Vid Angel and how that can work in our world. We saw a movie, it wasn’t a crazy movie, there’s nothing bad about it. We thought this is a good movie we should watch with our kids and we should use Vid Angel and as we can calibrate like how much violence do I want? How much cursing do I want? How much you know everything that I want. You can cut any scene out of any movie and it’s like eight bucks a month. Like this is pretty cool. Let’s try this out as a family. We heard about it from some of you and so we took how much cursing you want let’s put that to zero, we’re watching this movie and I was like what’s happening every couple of minutes? Their blood their blanking blanking out little scenes of this thing, you’re like this is this is this is strange at first. And then I was like oh my goodness, I watched this my wife the night before and that’s not what I noticed in the movie. I know it’s a different part of the movie. I was like we don’t want that part in the movie. So we did the thing. It’s amazing how you become inoculated by things, how things just creep into your life. As followers of christ. We have a winning walk of God. We need to act ruthlessly like mike. That’s just too, that’s too crass, that’s too in your face. I mean jesus said if your right eye causes you to sin gouge it out. If your if your right hand causes you to sin cut it off, it’s better for you to enter eternity with one file and I are out of hand instead of enter eternity with you know instead of enter hell with both eyes and both hands. I’m like that’s jesus talking about sin. He was all in, he act ruthlessly strategically and cunningly to destroy dismantle death. Sin satan to allow you have access to God. He was all in and he acted ruthlessly to get you the world the devil in the flesh. They’re acting ruthlessly in your life. Since consequences in your life is ruthless. How it destroys like a cancer just grows and takes over things. People have a winning walk of God when they see sin, they wanna respond like a wise person. They don’t want to manipulate and change the truth so they can continue their sin. They wanna act ruthlessly to dismantle and disembark from sin. Christians. This is important. Our relationship of sin cannot be one where we coddle sin, where we we contemplate sin, where we coach sin around in our lives to not be here but to be here, we need to kill sin. We need to act ruthlessly towards sin. That passage says put to death therefore and it goes into this list put to death but to death. That’s important that matters put to death. And it goes to this list of sins. Men and women christ has some very strong words on this. So why does christian work for some and not for others? How come some christians overcome bad habits grow and change and others don’t some christians act ruthlessly and some christians don’t when it comes to their sin. Life that’s a reality and actions have consequences, look at us at verse four, I mean eight, but now you must put them all away. Anger, wrath, malice, slander, obscene. Talk from your mouth and do not lie to one another. Seeing that you have put off the old self of its practices and have put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not greek and jew, circumcised and uncircumcised. Barbarian, scythian, slave free, but all but christ is all. And in all. I know the rest of this chapter talks more about this concept, but why do some people the winning walk with God and others don’t. Some people pick a winning team and there’s a there’s a lot of there’s a lot of more that’s gonna be said about this in the future week here, but we we need to be together christians, but you have put it away away from your mouth. It goes into this list of sins. Again, these are more, this is what you say. These are socially acceptable sins. You can see this in political commentary, You can see this in just the way we speak about each other’s cultural society, how we talk. This is a list of sins that if you did these sins at a dinner party, people wouldn’t tolerate it. You said things in wrath or slander or gossip or obscene things come out of your mouth. You say things in anger. People don’t respond the same way as they do. The first list of sense. You might not be ashamed of sending the second list. eight and 9, then you would the first list of sins. This is part of our walk of God. This is part of what it means, that we need to put off and put on this. Put off and put on, this is a, this is a mark of a mature christian. They get this habit down putting off and putting on it could be like your work clothes and you’re you’re sleeping home close, this could be like your military gear and your non military gear. This language of changing clothes and putting off an old life and putting on a new life is key when this is follows along, we’ve been looking at the last couple of weeks about how we were baptized with christ, how we were dead with christ, We rise with christ. We looked at earlier this morning, but there’s language here of changing clothes, you know, scholars remind us of easter morning after Jesus defended defeated the grave and rose from the dead on resurrection morning he took off his grave clothes and left them in the tomb and they’re folded up nice and neat and he went off to his glorified life glorified body. Do you get what I’m saying? This whole picture of putting off the old and putting on the new is a reality of the people who have a winning walk of God and they need to pick a winning team to come around them. Why why mike well? Because the reality is our theology and our live Ology have they influence each other? I cannot. My live Ology will influence my theology and my theology will impact my live ology. The hypocrisy and truth can’t cohabitate forever in your minds. Eventually you’ll pick one of them to be your master, what you, what you’re experiencing and what you know in your head, one will eventually move out and one will eventually set up shop and take over your entire life. You will abandon one eventually and you can’t live in duality forever. Your see your choices will become habits in your life and habits in your life will become addictions in your life and your addictions will define your whole entire lifestyle in life. So let’s go through that again, my habits of bible reading is a choice that becomes a habit and that habit becomes an addiction, a good addiction. That addiction becomes a part of my lifestyle, let’s do in a negative context, your habit of gossip. Your choice of gossiping will become a habit and that that habit of gossip will become an addiction. An addiction will define your entire lifestyle. It doesn’t stay stagnant. These choices multiply and grow as you grow and grow older years of good habits and bad habits add up. We reap what we sell christians, your choices develop chronic life altering patterns for good and for evil? So why does the christian, why does the christian, why does Christianity work for some and not for others and how come some christians overcome bad habits and change and grow and others don’t, some christians don’t pick winning teams, they pick the team itself as their companion on this walk with christ they pick their phone as their accountability partner, they pick search engine, optimization, youtube google stuff as their pastor, which is an evil pastor and not a good pastor. I heard rhetoric growing up of just me and my bible, all I need is me and my bible and honestly that’s a, that’s a recipe for a narcissist and a losing team. You yourself and I in your bible that that’s, that’s like chronic christian history of people getting led astray we need to surround ourselves with a winning team. Here’s a, here’s a photo of how people think about their relationships. We talk about winning teams and relationships. Your, your best friends, most of you have about 3 to 5 best friends that are super close in your life. If you go to one tier beyond that, you have really good friends, about 12 to 15 and then your tribe, the mental limits what you can wrap your arms around is about 100 and 50 people are your tribe and then everyone else. So let’s go through this and our churches lens Your best friends is your discipleship group of 3-5 guys with 3-5 girls that you meet with every other week. God willing your friends is your community group. The people you actually like hanging out with if the Bible is not opened and they aren’t even talking about God and Jesus and Christianity. Do you wanna hang out? Those people? Are they your friends? Yes, yes, they are. We do open bibles and do talk about God using Christianity, but that’s our community groups, our friends tribe and then the tribe, that’s about a service on sunday morning of one of our services. Does that make sense? That’s just how we wrap around our minds on these relationships of picking a winning team. So men and women invite accountability into your lives from your best friends, not not everyone else, not your tribe Go to your best friends. I heard this line, I think it’s great. You only need 4-5 people to carry your, your casket out and you only need a handful of people to eulogize you and read your read a couple of blurbs, you right up, develop a really core group of best friends and the idea is that they stay with you for the long haul invite accountability from these men and women that are in your lives. Men, I think I did like six of those men’s uh purity groups and I said, I gotta delegate this thing, this is a lot. And so I think that was a while ago and now I think there’s four men’s purity groups in me throughout the week, they’re really good, they’re doing great day stuff compared to what I was doing. I’m saying it’s grown and gotten better. Thank you, jesus for men’s skilled work at that. But there should be a world where you confess your sins to your group and your group can speak into your life, they can pray for you, they can hold you accountable, they can ask you how things are going, they can contact you and reach out to you throughout the weeks as you don’t see each other every day. You should have a life where you, there’s no secrets of people who are your best friends. Pick a winning team christian. So why does Christianity work for some and not for others? And how come some christians overcome bad habits change and grow and others don’t? Well I think there’s a focused intentionality. There’s a, they think deliberately about their walk of God, they act ruthlessly towards sin and they are intentionally on a winning team. But none of this, none of this is possible with you yourself and I chest pounding the flesh does not beat the flesh christian. This is for people who love the Lord love the Lord of God are freshly filled and walking in the holy spirit and who are humbly walking before God who who are doing this all under the power of christ christ’s name is listed five times throughout this passage, we looked at today christ’s name. If you did that exercise as a community group, christ’s name in him, for him through him with him all throughout the chapter two leading up to this morning’s passage. Only way any of this is possible is because of the work of jesus christ in your life. It’s not the work of self, it’s the work of a christ centered theology which impacts a christ centered live ology. Amen, let’s pray God, thank you for today, Thank you that you came and you defeated what we could never defeat and you conquered what we could never conquer and you allow a relationship with you Lord, nothing that we can never accomplish on our own. We just need you desperately to to settle us down and and grow us upward and to become a godly man and a woman. We commit the rest of the day two in jesus name. We pray Amen.