Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home
10 July 2022
Service available on Youtube, or as text (below), or for audio see the Podcasts page.
Please read: Colossians 3:1-17
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.Col. 3:2
The New Testament repeatedly confirms that we are in union with Christ, meaning that not only have we died with Him but we have also been raised with Him. The reality of this began the moment we were born-again. Yes, we continue to live here on earth in these mortal bodies but we now live a new life in Christ. So our focus, interests, ambitions, our whole outlook in life must be in line with this reality, characterised by our living in union with Him, our being clothed with Christ (Gal 3:27) and our lives now hidden with Christ in God.
So, as we are exhorted here to “set your minds on things above not on earthly things” we must look at what this means. There used to be a phrase that was mentioned frequently in Christian circles in the 1980’s, “He is too heavenly minded to be of any earthly use!” However, when we think of it, Jesus was the most heavenly minded of all people who has ever walked this earth,
Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all He does. Yes, and He will show Him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.”John 5:19-20
So, firstly we must be people, a church that sees what the Father is doing. This happens as we spend time in His Presence, in prayer and worship. No-one was of more earthly use than Jesus,
For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me. And this is the will of Him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those He has given me, but raise them up at the last day.John 6:38-39
We must therefore have the mind of Christ as we look to see the lost brought into the kingdom. These words in Colossians are practically synonymous with those in Mark 8:33 – Jesus has just shared with the disciples that He must suffer many things and be killed and after 3 days rise again. Peter then says he will never let this happen (Matt. 16:22).
I’m sure we were all shocked with Jesus’ reply to Peter the first time we read this,
“Get behind me Satan … You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”Mark 8:33
This is saying exactly the same thing as our text in Colossians 3:2 – we must have in mind the things of God, the things above, not earthly things and right at the heart of that thinking is the cross, the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Finally, pray …
… that the eyes of our heart [another way of referring to our mind/understanding] may be enlightened, in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.Eph. 1:18-23
I’ll guarantee that if we make this our daily, fervent prayer things will change in our lives and we will the more have the mind of Christ, Amen.
Quote of the week
“Instead of waiting until the last day to receive the resurrection life, those who have been raised with Christ possess it now.”
F. F. Bruce
Verse of the week
For … I … tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body.Philippians 3:18-21
Heavenly Father, by Your Holy Spirit’s power within us, may we, Your people, Your Church, be enlightened the more as we set our minds on things above and not on earthly things, for His glory, and the extending of His kingdom, and the building of His Church, Amen.