Mature Class Study notes, teacher Danny Sanders
The instructions in Colossians 3 are to those who are risen (Colossians 3:1) and tells us to seek the things that are above. In today’s environment it’s very easy to be distracted.
Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
When we resume a normalcy, will there be as many of us or will some have gotten distracted and pulled away? Are you becoming distracted, or are your affections for the things of God being pulled upon? When Christ knew it was his time to be crucified, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51). He knew what he faced and didn’t get distracted from his goal, and neither can we get distracted from our goal. We are to set our affections on things above, not on the earth. Affection is directing of our mind toward a particular object – something presented to the senses or mind that excites emotion, affection or passion. What is capturing our emotions, affections, or passions? When someone first meets another who becomes their spouse, they experience a pull of their emotions, affection, and passion. Our affections are a huge player in the direction we go. Paul said basically to not be easily turned aside from walking with Christ and to let the seed of God’s word to be deeply rooted in us. Paul said to beware lest our minds be taken captive by the things of the world that pull our mind away from our walk with God.
Colossians 2:6-8 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
We have to guard against distractions. We must guard what we let in our mind and against persuasive words of the world. There’s so much to distract us from our walk. If we’re not careful, the distractions can draw us away. We may not be happy about what’s happening today, but it doesn’t define our joy. Our joy doesn’t come from the ups and downs of life.
Colossians 2:4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.
What brings us joy depends on where our affections are. The story of Abraham and Lot give a good example of this. They went in different directions when there was strife between their herdsmen. Abraham didn’t want any strife. He had the right attitude and a pure affection for Lot, with only peace and unity in his heart.
Genesis 13:1-10 And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife…and Lot with him, into the south. And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold… And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. And the land was not able to bear them…for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle…Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee?…if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left. And Lot…beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.
Lot pitched his tent or his affection for Sodom – for the appetite of his eyes. Presumably he made the decision without consideration of spiritual things. Decisions we make can be life altering. The affections of our heart influence our thinking. Because of this, God set a pattern of saints to seek godly counsel for decisions that can impact our lives. We can’t risk being divided in our affections. Matthew 6:24 says we can’t serve two masters. We do this if we take the counsel of the world and the counsel of God. If we’re divided in our affections, the world influences us instead of us influencing them.
Genesis 13:11-12 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan…and they separated themselves the one from the other. Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.
The apostle John warned us to not love the world or things in the world. Where have we pitched our affection? The devil is very subtle and will present things that seem innocent. He plays on our emotions, affections, and passions. Is it easier to spend large amounts of time seeking, fulfilling, and following our interests or hobbies, rather than spending time for God?
I John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh…lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
“If ye then be risen” indicates self has died out and the new man has risen. We don’t have ties in the world – they’ve been broken and we don’t give the enemy a place. We’re a new person and not the same as we were.
Colossian 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things…above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
There are things we let go when we become a new man. The old man is dead so we no longer feed him the things that kept him alive before we came to God. Our choices can bring up the old man and our associations can divide our affections.
Colossians 3:8-10 But now…put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man…
Our life is hid with Christ because the old “you” is dead. The religious world doesn’t get this because they don’t teach you can live without sin. The flesh continues to be fed since their message doesn’t set limits and there’s no judgment. Without judgment, there’s no ensign as an example. How can you teach Christ who knew no sin, and not teach against sin?
Colossians 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
We were bought with a price and we are not our own, but we’re Christ’s. The old things have passed away and we’re new.
I Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you…and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
When God was so good to save us, our main interest is no longer to please the flesh. We don’t feel compelled to lay up treasures for tomorrow or to question tomorrow. We have things we have to take care of but they should not be in the forefront of our thinking. We have to remember our salvation doesn’t start or stop with circumstances of life.
Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Do all things in the name of Jesus. God expects the focus of our affections to be directed toward him, giving him first place. A good measurement is to ask yourself, Could Christ do this with me? Would Jesus react the same way that I’m reacting? Did Jesus carry an attitude because he was offended or hurt? Or did he look at the greater cause?
Colossian 3:16-17 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms …singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do…do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks…
We can’t let anything come before Christ, even our families. Jesus indicated those closest to us “they of his own household” might be able to separate us from the things of God. We have to keep our affections on things above or we’ll be distracted.
Matthew 10:32-37 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father…But whosoever shall deny me…will I also deny…Think not that I am come to send peace on earth…but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father…daughter against her mother…daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother…son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
All kinds of things are going to happen like the world today. It’s important is that we stay focused and endure to the end. Some stuff is only meant to distract us. Think of how God drew you, keep your love for him and his people, have fellowship (give someone a call to let them know you love and appreciate them). We won’t always have to wear a mask and will get back to normalcy. Be conscious of those things that would distract us from walking in the strait and narrow way with Christ.
Matthew 24:4-13…Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come…saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars…see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come…but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation…shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes…All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then…they deliver you up to be afflicted…many be offended…shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall…deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end…shall be saved.