The Mysterious Ingredient
Turn in your bibles this morning to Colossians 3 if you would.
Key Scripture: Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (NIV)
There is a mysterious ingredient we can add to our lives which will make us the kind of Christian God is pleased with. For you bible scholars, I am not talking about Hebrews 11:6 and the subject of faith
There is a mysterious ingredient that can make us more like God than we are like ourselves.
What is this mysterious ingredient?
This morning I hope to show you how you can add a valuable ingredient to your life which will mysteriously affect you and make you think, feel and act like the Christian you were born again to be.
I am going to ask you to follow along closely so that you do not miss this morning’s life changing opportunity.
In the book of Nehemiah we are told of Ezra asking the congregation of Israel to stand up while he read from the scriptures. He continued to read from morning until evening. I don’t intend to do that this morning, but I do wish to read a longer passage than I normally would for a Sunday morning service. I won’t have you stand, but I do covet your undivided attention.
I would like to begin by reading 17 verses from the book of Colossians. I realize that it is hard at times to keep connected to someone reading for that long. However, I have chosen a translation, The New International Version, which I hope will be interesting and easy to follow. I ask you to ready yourself with me and listen closely this morning as we look together at this important passage written by the Apostle Paul while he was in his prison house in Rome in about the year, AD 62. (Source: Barnes New Testament Notes, Colossians)
Paul was imprisoned under Nero, Emperor and Caesar of Rome. This is the same Nero who supposedly fiddled while Rome burned in the summer of AD 64. Blaming the fire on Christians, Nero enacted legislation which declared that Christians were “haters of all men” and supported putting them on public trial, persecuting and executing them as enemies of the state. (Source: Nero Burning Rome And Ancient Roman Politics, article by Esther Mitchell, copyright 2002, @ mama.essortment.com/neroburningrom_rmfr.htm)
Actually Nero and his wife, in their insatiable and unbridled lusts, viewed Christians as threats to their own divinity and unleashed their hatred upon them. Some say Nero started the fire. This hatred for Christians would finally deliver the Apostle Paul to his death in AD 66. He was beheaded under sentence from Nero. Less than 2 years later, Nero took his own life ending the line of conquering Caesars and signaling the decline and eventual collapse of the Roman empire. This demise is perhaps the only noble thing Nero ever accomplished.
At any rate, here is Paul, late in his life and ministry, writing to a church which he most likely has never visited, and never will visit.
Now remember according to our key scripture, Galatians 2:20, we, and these in Colosse, which are born again, have already been crucified with Christ, are dead and have been buried with Him, nevertheless we are alive -- or rather Christ now lives in us.
Colossians 3 (NIV)
1 ¶ Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 ¶ Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.
7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.
8 ¶ But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips.
9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices
10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
11 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12 ¶ Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
That’s a tall order, but that’s the Christian life and example.
What is that mysterious ingredient that can make us think, feel and act like this? Where we:
Love the unlovable
Forgive the unforgivable
Have peace that passes all understanding
Joy that is indescribable and overflowing
What is that mysterious ingredient?
Colossians 1:26 The mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints.
Colossians 1:27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (NIV)
This is God’s ace in the hole - His trump card - His only hope.
Christ In You
God hopes that the Jesus He put in you will find a way out!
7 ¶ But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.
17 The Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
18 ¶ I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
19 Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
Acts 17:28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’
Christ living in you is your hope of eternal salvation.
Christ living through you is God’s hope that others will be saved.
The mysterious ingredient, the key to being more like Christ, is simply letting the Christ in you live, & love, & forgive & work through you.
Let Jesus think, feel & speak for you & through you.
Live the Christ in you
Decide right now to let Jesus live more through you.