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The Transformed Man (Part 1)

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Radio transcript for the week of October 04, 2009

Todd Clippard preaches on "The Transformed Man (Part 1)" on Seeking the Lost - International Radio.

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Thank you very much for listening to the Seeking the Lost International Radio Program today. My name is Todd Clippard and I am thrilled to be working with brother Harold Bigham and brother Ricky Berger as one of the speakers for the Seeking the Lost radio program.

It is a joy to be with you today, and I hope you have your Bible open as we will be studying a text from Godâ??s word. Out text is Colossians 3:1-4 as we examine the characteristics of The Transformed Man.

In Romans 12:1-2, the apostle Paul writes, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (NKJV).

We see here Paulâ??s admonition for us not to be a conformed people, that is, a people conformed to the image of this world, but to be a transformed people. This transformation comes through the renewing of our minds.

The book of Colossians chapters 3 and 4 parallels that of Ephesians 4 and 5 in speaking of the transformed man in Christ. I want us to think about the first four verses of Colossians 3 as we begin our examination of the transformed man. In Colossians 3:1-4 the Bible says, "If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory."

As we think about this text and the transformed man, the Bible also says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new." As we look at these first four verses of Colossians 3, letâ??s consider some of the characteristics of the transformed man.

First, note the opening line, "If you have been raised, or are risen with Christ." The first thing we learn about the transformed man is that he is risen with Christ. One thing that must always be remembered is that Paul and the other inspired writers did not write in chapters and verses, but one continuous letter. Colossians 3:1 continues a discussion begin in chapter 2 verse 11, and refers back to the discussion in verses 11-14.

Who is this person who is risen with Christ? It is a person who is risen with Christ from the waters of baptism. Verse 11 says "In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 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. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

Note in these four verses about the risen man. He has received the "circumcision made without hands." We know this is a reference back to the sign of the covenant God made with Abraham, and the sign by which one was identified as a child of God and as one of Godâ??s chosen people. This circumcision was given as a sign of the covenant God had made with Abraham and the covenant Abraham had made with God. But it was a circumcision made with hands; it was a fleshly circumcision, a physical circumcision. But in Colossians 2:11 we see those who are in Christ have received a circumcision made without hands. In other words, there is a covenant, a sign, that indicates a relationship that exists between the individual and Christ and with God.

Moreover this circumcision made without hands takes place when the body of the sins of the flesh are put away. So when forgiveness takes place, we know that this forgiveness of sins accompanies the circumcision made without hands, and this circumcision is described as the circumcision of Christ. Whereas the first circumcision is associated with the law of Moses, the second circumcision is called the circumcision of Christ. And verse 12 tells us when this circumcision takes place and the means by which it takes place... " 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."

That this circumcision made without hands, this circumcision of Christ, this putting away of the body of the sins of the flesh, the forgiveness of sins, takes place when a man is baptized, buried with Christ in the waters of baptism.

Paul made a very similar statement in Romans 6:3-5... "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 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. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin."

Note that text, we are buried with Christ by baptism, or through baptism, and that it is only after we are baptized with Christ that we are raised in newness of life. Note also baptism pictures the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Verse 5 says we must be united in the likeness of his death in order to be in the likeness of his resurrection. And again, verse 6, when this baptism, this immersion, this burial takes place, the old man is done away with and the body of sins is destroyed.

So we learn the transformed man is risen with Christ, and this is reference to being baptized into Christ and being risen in faith. Note how Colossians 2:12 requires a faith that must be held when one is baptized. And that faith is that one must believe in the operation performed by God on the soul when one is baptized. There are many who practice baptism (a Misnomer if there ever was one) that practice baptism by immersion. The reason I say this is because the very word baptism means immersion. Many practice immersion but fail to practice an immersion with a faith in the operation of God.

For example, some who practice immersion require the one being baptized to confess that they are already forgiven before baptism takes place. Before baptism, one must confess that God has for Christâ??s sake forgiven them of their sins, when the Bible teaches that forgiveness does not take place until one is baptized. Therefore, while they practice immersion, they do not practice an immersion with faith in the operation of God.

Note also those who are risen with Christ are made alive with Christ and verse 13 says they are forgiven of all sins. So the first step in the transformation from sinner to saint is to be risen with Christ, and to be risen with Christ is to be buried with Christ in baptism into death and raised to walk in newness of life.

Friend, we encourage you to be baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. In order to be biblically baptized, we must:

  1. Believe in the Deity of Jesus (John 8:24)

  2. Repent of our sins (Luke 13:3, 5)

  3. Confess Christ as the Lord (Romans 10:9-10)

  4. Be baptized, that is immersed, in water to receive remission of sins (Acts 2:38)

  5. Live faithful to the Lord until the end (Matthew 10:22; Revelation 2:10).

If you have any questions or comments about anything you have heard on this program, or have any questions of a biblical nature, please keep listening for all of our contact information. Or you can contact us online at www.seekingthelost.net. (The audio of this sermon says .com, but .net is the proper web address - TC)

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