Sermon:  Resurrection of Christ (pt 4) - The Resurrected Life

Summary:  The death, burial and resurrection has significant implications that go far 
beyond "benefits" for "consumers" to consume, but sets the pattern for all of life, including 
daily dying, resurrection, and living as contrasting yet connecting people, which involves a 
radical change in the will, values, worldview, plans, goals and purpose.

Know:  The Gospel is not just about benefits, but about a radical transformation for all of life

Feel:  Desire to die to self in order to live

Do:  Reflect on how the death, burial, and resurrection is more than benefits, but a model for 
living the Christian life.  Identify specific areas in life this affects and how it affects it.  
Contrast the picture of the resurrected life with the picture of actual life in ourselves.  
List the various challenges in living out the Gospel, and what the greatest needs for 
transformation are in your life.

Text:  Col 2:12-15

Scripture Reading:   2 Cor 4:7-11

1.  When you look at something one-dimensionally, can miss what it is
2.  Need more than a one-dimensional view of the cross
	a.  It is not merely about benefits that we can receive now
	b.  It is not merely about life after death
	c.  It is also about participation with Christ
3.  Participation appears throughout scripture, like participation in his death
	a.  (Mk 8:34-35) - Follow Christ, deny self, take up cross, lose life & save it
	b.  (2 Cor 4:10) - Always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so 
	     that the life of Jesus will be manifest in our body
	c.  (1 Pet 4:12-13) - Do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal as strange, to 
	     the degree you "share" in his sufferings, rejoice
	d.  These scriptures help to clarify some others
		-  Baptism - Rom 6:5 - We are united in the likeness of his death
			-- We are baptized into his death
			-- Context shows more than benefits, but participation with 
			   him as obedient slaves of righteousness
		-  Communion - 1 Cor 10:16 - Cup we bless a sharing in his blood, 
		   bread a sharing in his body - not what we receive, but a 
			-- We share in his flesh and blood
			-- Jn 6:56 - He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood 
			   abides in me and I in him - close identification with Christ
			-- Mk 10:38-39 - Jesus refers to his suffering on the cross as 
		 	    a baptism and a cup!  Remember at communion?
		- Fellowship with Christ - Phil 3:10 - Perhaps this is why Paul refers 
		   to wanting "The fellowship of his sufferings"
4.  Don't want to obsess on the death, it is part of a larger picture - resurrection
	a.  We participate in BOTH is death and resurrection
		- Rom 6 - We are walking in "newness of life"
		- Rom 12:1 - Uses term "living sacrifices" - death and resurrection
	b.  (Col 2:12-15) The death, burial and resurrection is a model for life
		- Therefore, it is not just about benefits received for consumers
		- It is about  participating in the script God has given us 
	c.   How?  Multidimensional living now
		- Not just about the future
		- Also about living the resurrected life now

I.  Living Christianly now
	A.  We have been raised up with him
		1.  Change happens in our focus
		2.  Our minds are out of this world
	B.  What does this specifically mean?  
		1.  (Col 3:1-3) - Begins the practical implications now
			a.  "Since then you have been raised…"
			b.  Text does not spend a lot of time talking about benefits in 
			      the future
			c.  Text does not even spend a lot of time talking about 
			     benefits now
			d.  Instead, it emphasized participation with Christ in his life
		2.  (Col 3:9-10) - Renewed life according to the image of Christ
			a.  Having the character of Christ
				-  (v.5-9) - Putting off the old person
				-  (v.12-15) - Putting on the new person
			b.  Having Christ characterized relationships
				-  (v.18) - As wives
				-  (v.19) - Husbands
				-  (v.20) - Children
				-  (v.21) - Fathers
				-  (v.22-25) - Employees, underlings
				-   (4:1) - Supervisors
				-  (4:5-6) - Toward outsiders 
		3.  Resurrection is not just about future, but about now as well
		4.  As wives, husbands, children, etc., we are to be resurrected, 
		     renewed and transformed people
	C.  ILL:  I remember when I was little at my grandma’s house at holidays
		1.  My Dad was having a conversation with my uncle about kids
		2.  I remember my uncle commenting on us kids
		3.  He asked my Dad, “what is your secret?”
		4.  I don’t remember what Dad said, but my parents were the only 
		    one in the family who was a Christian at the time
			a.  Had to do with being a resurrected husband & wife
			b.  Had to do with being a resurrected father and mother
	D.  Resurrection is not just for the future, but also for now
		1.  We are to live as resurrected, transformed people now
		2.  This resurrected life involves transformation
		3.  **This resurrected life also involves life shaped by freedom from 
		     death, which Jesus defeated at the tomb…

II.  Living Triumphantly now
	A.  2:13 - You were dead, but now you are alive together with him victory
		1.  Why?  Jesus defeated death when rose from the grave
		2.  Death no longer can kill you
	B.  This means living as if death has been defeated
		1.  (v.8-10) - Recognizing that it is in him you are complete
		2.  (Heb 2:14-15) - Freed those who fear death subject to slavery
		3.  Reflect on what that mean…What does fear of death do?
			a.  Drive to live it up
				- If this life is all there is, I want to live it up
				- Get ahead, gain comfort, fame, etc.
				- Eat, drink, be merry, tomorrow we die
			b.  Drive to accumulate symbols of life, vitality, success
				- Want to be significant, perhaps extraordinary
					-- Part of me has to live on in some way
					-- Do something to memorialize me
				- Trying to push others out of the way to get ahead
				- Avoid someone getting it instead of you
				- Accumulate for yourself, even at expense of others
			c.  Drive to “get even”
				- You took something from me
				- I have been diminished by you
				- I am going to get it even
				- In fact, I will “one-up” you
			d.  Dog eat dog world, and I will eat, not be eaten
				- Choice between you and me, it will be me
				- Once I die, that is it, so I better make it count now
				- Fear of death spirals downward
		4.  But with Jesus’ victory over death, free from all that
			a.  If someone gets ahead of you, you haven’t lost
			b.  If you wind up being ordinary, unnoticed, haven’t lost
			c.  If you wind up being killed, still haven’t lost
			d.  Death only brings you into greater life – no fear
				- Choice between you and me, it will be you
				- I don’t have to get ahead, I can be last
				- Once I die, that is only the beginning, not the end
				- No fear
	C.  ILL:  Two examples come to mind
		1.  Missionary, Michael Howard
			a.  Born in Zimbabwe, missionary in Sudan, preaching Jesus
			b.  Muslims threatened him to stop, then "marked" his door
				- Death squad hanging around during a revival
				- Afterward, they confronted him alone, said they 
				  would kill him
			c.  Without flinching, he looked them straight in the eye
				- You can't kill me, if you shoot me, I will be more alive 
				   than I ever have been before
				- Something happened, two gunmen ran
				- One stood his ground, but shook so much, he 
				  dropped his gun
			d.  Fell to his knees, begged him to help him, and he 
			    preached Jesus to him - No fear
				- Like the Apostles in Acts
				- Lived as if death was already defeated
		2.  Brother Lawrence, was a common cook
			a.  Felt worthless, wanted to be significant
				- Fear no one would ever noticed him in the kitchen
				- Feared to die in obscurity
			b.  Eventually, came to truly know God
				- Found glory in the ordinary
				- Realized that Jesus himself came as an ordinary
				- Realized Jesus was surrounded by the ordinary
			c.  His fear replaced by love and peace
			d.  Then this cook started to have profound effect on people
				- People came from all over to seek his wisdom
				- Someone recorded his insights and thoughts
				- Book is called, "Practice of the presence of God"
		3. Death defeated
			a.  No threat in being ordinary
			b.  No threat if someone is better than you
			c.  It does not diminish you in any way
	D.  Living triumphantly means living in the reality of death defeated
		1. Fear of death is no longer a reality
		2.  That is what Paul calls the “power of his resurrection”
			a.  Said he wanted to know Christ and the power of his 
			      resurrection – Phil 3:10
			b.  Power of a resurrected life is free from the fear of death
		3.  I can give myself sacrificially
			a.  As husband, wife, child, employee, employer etc.
			b.  I lose nothing, I gain everything!
			c.  I always carry about the dying of Christ so that his life is 
			     manifested in me

III.  Living Counterculturally
	A.  (2:13-15) - Jesus confronted the powers of the present age
		1.  Idea of kingdom coming with power
			a.  Kingdom = Rule of God
			b.  Rule of righteousness, justice, mercy, kindness
		2.  Power of the resurrection
			a.  Disarmed the rulers and authorities
			b.  Made a public display of them
	B.  Does the church in the world confronts the spirit of this age?
		1.  Col 2:8 - Subtle - Elementary principles of this world
			a.  Do not be taken captive by it
			b.  Philosophy, empty deception
		2.  Other words used in scripture:  Rulers, authorities, powers, 
		     Principalities.  What is this?
			a.  It is the underlying philosophy/spirit of the age that drives its structures and systems
			b.  Sometimes it is personalized, sometimes not
				- May be personalized, such as a ruler
				- Sometimes it is the system itself
				- Ultimately, it comes from Satan
			c. Some of the underlying principalities:
				- Individualism - Individual is the highest good
				- Consumerism - Not to consume to live, but live to 
				  consume. Increasing consumption of goods results 
				  in the highest good and economic benefit 
				- Materialism/Naturalism - Only what can see…
				-Secularism - False divide between religious truth and 
				  secular truth, the former being private and subjective 
				  and the latter being universal and objective
		3.  Examples of these principalities at work:  
			a. Economics
				- Do you want lower prices?  At what cost?
				- Company pay poverty wages overseas, sweatshops
				- We enjoy lower prices -- is this just?
			b. What about politics, education, social work, medicine?
				- Do we blindly accept the principalities that order 
				  these systems?
				- Are we cogs in the wheels of the system?
			c.  What would it mean to be salt and light?
				- Salt of the earth - What does salt do?
					-- Salt prevents spoilage, preserves good
					-- changes the character of the food
					-- In the right amount, brings out the best
				- Light of the world - Light does two things:
					-- Exposes the bad way
					-- Shows the good way
		4.  Eph 6:12 - Reminds us how we are to be salt and light
			a.  We are not fighting flesh and blood, but the principalities
				- Need to remember who the enemy is
				- It is not people, God loves people
				- It is the principalities, and the one behind them
			b.  Some of the things mentioned 
				- Truth - Confront with the light of truth
					-- Not accept injustice as the way things are
					-- We do not participate in the deeds of 
					    darkness, but we expose them
					-- This is why slavery was done away with
				- Righteousness
					-- We are to be righteous and just
					-- Our very presence as actively righteous 
					   people acts as salt and light
				- Gospel - Good news, Death, burial, resurrection
					-- Gospels call it the gospel of the kingdom
					-- Jesus death, burial, resurrection inaugurated 
					   the kingdom
					-- Kingdom of righteousness, made up of 
					   resurrected people
				- Sword of the Spirit - Word of God
					-- God defines righteousness
					-- He defines ethics
					-- He defines what is good
	C.  ILL:  Chemical reaction
		1.  What happens when you combine Oxygen with two Hydrogen?
			a.  You get dihydrogen monoxide, H20, water
			b.  Transforms into something else
		2.  Only happens when the elements are confronted
		3.  Same way with the kingdom - Confronts the powers of the world
		4.  Transformation to the image of God comes about
	D.  Struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities
		1.  We as the kingdom, confront the principalities
		2.  We do so as salt, light, and being bearers of righteousness and 

1.  So, the resurrection is more than just benefits for us
2.  The death, burial, and resurrection is a model for living now
3.  Have you been raised with Christ?  (inv)
4.  I you have, it means a resurrected life now
	a.  Transformed spouse, parent, child, neighbor, employee, employer
	b.  Triumphant living now, no fear of death
	c.  Fearlessly confront the principalities of this world as salt and light

Small Group Questions:  The Resurrected Life

Summary:  The death, burial and resurrection has significant implications that go far beyond 
"benefits" for "consumers" to consume, but sets the pattern for all of life, including daily 
dying, resurrection, and living as contrasting yet connecting people, which involves a radical 
change in the will, values, worldview, plans, goals and purpose.

Open:  (choose one)
- What has been the best time of your life?
- If you had a choice, what would be the most fulfilling thing you could choose to happen or 
to do at this time in your life?

Explore:  Col 2:8-15; 3:1-3

1.  What does it mean to die and be raised with Christ in this passage?

2.  What is the relationship between the risen Christian and the powers, authorities, and 
philosophies of this world?

3.  Discuss the principalities and powers that exist and how they affect people in their choices, 
habits, relationships, etc.  (Examples are individualism, materialism, secularism, consumerism, 
naturalism, etc.)

4.  How does the power of Christ stand in contrast to the principalities of this world?


5.  How should the resurrected life look in your relationship with God?

6.  How should the resurrected life look in your relationships with others.  (Note:  Survey chapter 
3 and the first part of chapter 4 and discuss the parts that apply to you)

7.  How should the resurrected life look in your relationship with outsiders?

8.  What do you find most challenging?