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The Transformed Man (Part 4)

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Radio transcript for the week of October 25, 2009

Todd Clippard preaches on "The Transformed Man (Part 4)" on Seeking the Lost - International Radio.

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Greetings! And thank you for listening to the Seeking the Lost International Radio program. My name is Todd Clippard and I have recently joined the fine preachers who bring you this program. I am thankful to brothers Harold Bigham and Ricky Berger for the opportunity to share in this great work, and am also grateful to the elders of the Clinton, MS church of Christ for their confidence and invitation to be a part of this work.

You may listen to previous sermons on the Seeking the Lost website. That address is www.seekingthelost.net. You can also read transcripts of these lessons and print them for further examination and study. You may learn more about the Seeking the Lost International Radio program at our website or you may also visit the website of the Clinton MS church of Christ at www.clintoncoc.org.

I hope you will take your New Testament and open it to Colossians chapter 3.We are in the fourth lesson of our series of studies titled, The Transformed Man. In Romans 12:1, 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)

Our description of the transformed man is being taken from Colossians chapter 3. In our previous studies, we have noted the following characteristics of the transformed man...

First, the Transformed Man is Risen with Christ â?? verse 1. We noted the idea here of being risen with Christ hearkens back to chapter 2, verses 11 through 14. In order to be risen with Christ, one must be buried with Christ in baptism in order to receive the forgiveness of sins. Baptism for remission of sins is here identified as the circumcision made without hands and the circumcision of Christ.

Second, the Transformed Man Seeks Heaven â?? verses 1 and 2. In Philippians 1:23 Paul said he desired to depart (that is to say, to die) and be with Christ, which is far better.

Third, we noted the Transformed Man is Dead to the Old Life â?? verse 3. The Transformed Man is crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20) while being crucified to the world (Galatians 6:14).

Fourth, we see how the transformed man looks for Jesusâ?? return â?? verse 4. In verse 4 Paul writes, "When Christ who is our life appears, then will you also appear with Him in glory."

Our newest characteristic of the transformed man comes from Colossians 3:5-7: "Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them."

Thus, the Transformed Man Puts to Death the Things of Earth. Romans 8:12-14 says, "Therefore, brethren, we are debtors â?? not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God."

You may have heard in a previous lesson or remember a few moments ago where I reviewed the previous lessons that the transformed man is dead to the old life. You may be wondering or asking, "What is the difference between being dead to the old life and putting to death the things of this earth?"

The difference is this... being dead to the old life is simply a description of how things are in the life of the transformed man, while putting to death the things of this world is an ongoing process. In fact, it is because we are dead to the old life that we are diligent to put to death anything in our lives that connects us to our previous life of sin.

What I find particularly interesting about the things we are to put to death is this... the sins of the flesh that Paul mentions are no different than the struggles of men today, yes, even the struggles of men from the beginning of time.

Note first of all Paulâ??s mention of sexual sins. Mankind at all times and in every place has given himself over to the lusts of the flesh. Paul here begins his list with a admonition to guard against fornication and uncleanness. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 contains a list of the kinds of people who will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. At the beginning of the list are sexual sins of every sort: fornicators, adulterers, homosexuals and sodomites. In Galatians 5:19-21 are found the works of the flesh which are given in contrast to the fruit of the Spirit. Again, Paulâ??s list begins with sexual sins, namely: adultery, fornication, uncleanness and lewdness. And once again Paul says that those who commit such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Second, Paul mentions the putting to death of passions and evil desires. We are to put away from ourselves the very desire for what God has forbidden. It is to put to death the dangerous practice of "Iâ??ll look but I wonâ??t touch." To rid ourselves of the very desire to sin is most important. When we leave sin, we cannot look behind us with any degree of sorrow or longing for the past lest we end up as Lotâ??s wife or the Israelites who longed for Egypt and angered the Lord.

Finally, we are to put to death covetousness, which Paul identifies and equates with idolatry. I have made 11 journeys to West Africa since 1999, and I can tell you with 100% certainty that there are people who still practice idolatry in the sense in which we find it in the Old and New Testaments. People bow down to man-made idols of wood, stone and metal. Much of the world is still in bondage to idol worship.

While this kind of idolatry is not common in the United States where I live, unless you consider the idolatrous practices of Roman Catholicism, there is an even more dangerous and insidious form of idolatry practiced here... Covetousness.

We can be covetousness of our time. When we make time for ourselves and the pursuit of pleasures, but cannot find time each day to read and meditate upon the word of God or clothe ourselves in doing good deeds on Jesusâ?? behalf, we are coveting our time.

We can be covetous of our treasures. Any time we withhold from the Lord that which rightly belongs to him, we covet our treasures. Covetousness of money is generally regarded as a problem for the rich, but I can tell you that the poor can be just as covetous as the rich, in some cases even more so.

We can be covetous of our talents. Whatever abilities God has given us should be developed and put into practice for the furtherance of the kingdom of God. Rather than only thinking of how we can better ourselves through the exercise of our abilities, let us consider how we can bring glory to God through our abilities.

We can be covetous of our ties (relationships). No normal person relishes or desires to be disliked or hated, but Jesus said that those who follow him would be persecuted (Matthew 5:10-12). Jesus also said that our faith would cause us to be separated from our own family members (Matthew 10:32-38). Paul said that all who would live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12).

We must put to death all things pertaining to the things of this earth. Friend, are you dead to the old life? Are you putting to death each day the things of this world that would hinder you from receiving eternal life? Have you allowed God to transform you and prepare you for heaven? Ephesians 2:10 says we are Godâ??s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God has before ordained that we should live in them. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. I prepare for heaven by submitting to the Lordship of Jesus. In so doing I must obey what he says. Jesus asked in Luke 6:46, "Why do you call me "Lord, Lord" and do not do the things I say?" Hebrews 5:9 says Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey him.

We obey him though belief in and obedience to the gospel. He who believes the gospel and is baptized shall be saved â?? Mark 16:15-16. We obey the gospel by:

  1. Believing in Jesusâ?? Deity, his death for our sins and his resurrection (John 8:24; 1 Cor 15:1-4)

  2. Repenting of our sins (Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 17:30)

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

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

  5. Living 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.

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