Colossians 3: Do You Know Who You Are In Union with Christ?

COL-35-230326 - length: 92:21 - taught on Mar, 26 2023

Class Outline:

It's never too late to change course.










If you’re in the resident congregation turn off your electronic devices and put them away. Let this be a place where you aren’t distracted by the world.


Welcome To



Rory Clark



Good Morning!


Welcome to Barah Ministries…an intimate, local Christian Church with a worldwide impact.  My name is Pastor Rory Clark.  Thanks for coming to this Bible lesson!


Why did God create Barah Ministries?


It’s a home for Christians to worship the ONE AND ONLY GOD, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  We worship Him because He is God and because we have an unbreakable relationship with Him.  In Matthew, Chapter 25, Verse 31, the Lord predicts His future…



“When the Son of Man (Jesus…the Christ) comes in His glory…and all the elect angels come with Him…then He will sit on His glorious throne on earth during the one-thousand-year Millennial reign of the Christ.”


That’s a promise directly from the Lord, and we’ll see His promise come true.


Why do we study the Word of God?  The Lord wants you to learn the Word verse-by-verse from His perspective and not from man’s perspective.    Isaiah, Chapter 40, Verse 8 says…



The wild grass withers…and the wildflowers fade…but the Word of our God stands forever.


It’s always refreshing to get nourishment from a permanent source.  By studying the Word of God, Christians get to know the Lord and His thoughts…permanent and never-failing truth…and God the Holy Spirit sears those thoughts into our souls when we study.  We learn is there is a divine solution for every human problem.


God has an enemy, Satan, whom the Lord made temporarily ‘the ruler of this world.’  Satan is an identity thief.  He influences believers who are in union with Christ to believe, when we have tribulation, it’s because God doesn’t love us or that God is punishing us.  What Satan is saying is that the Lord, who is the Head, doesn’t love His Body…the people He is union with.  That’s a complete lie.  Our union with Christ IS our identity.  The Lord’s half-brother says in James, Chapter 1, Verses 2 and 3…



Consider it pure joy…my brethren…when you encounter trials of many kinds…



…knowing that the testing of your faith (during trials) produces endurance (which is patience in the face of difficulties).


Christianity requires stamina…and stamina produces maturity…and in a state of maturity, believers in Christ display the fruit of God the Holy Spirit.



Christians…Do You Know Who You Are In Union with Christ?




If all the messages your parents sent as they raised you could be put into an envelope, and you had to pick a word that would summarize the messages inside the envelope, what would the word be?  My older son answered the question, “FOCUS.”  I think the answer is “TEACHING.”  I was always looking for teachable moments with my sons to equip them to live a life beyond their wildest dreams.


For my Mom, the word would be ADMONITION.  Every message from my Mom was designed to instruct, advise, and warn.  Paul’s letter to the Colossian believers is an ADMONITION as well.  He is advising these first-century believers to move away from false teachers and false teaching, and he is warning them of things of which to beware.  In the last two chapters of Paul’s letter to the Colossians, Chapters 3 and 4, Paul instructs both the Colossian believers and current day believers how to demonstrate our commitment as Christians…to the Lord, to His gospel message, and to His Word.




False teachers with their false teaching are full of the “you gottas” of life…the list of rules, rituals, and regulations believers in Christ “gotta” follow to be “more spiritual.”  Actually, God the Holy Spirit is responsible for changing us…we don’t change ourselves.  Here’s the Maranatha! Praise Band who reminds in their song to keep on asking God the Holy Spirit for a gift…CHANGE MY HEART O GOD.




Let’s Sing the Lord’s Praises



Maranatha! Praise Band




Let us pray...


We’re grateful, Heavenly Father, for the privilege of studying Your absolute truth...the Word of God…


Father, thank you for teaching us how to learn…thank you for providing the best teacher in divine history, God the Holy Spirit…thank you for giving us the perfect curriculum of truth in Your Word…the Bible…thank you for showing us the opposite of truth…lies…things propagated by false teachers and their false teaching sponsored by Your enemy and ours…Satan…


…as we continue to learn Your Word, help us to have the spiritual eyes to see, the spiritual ears to hear, and the spiritual wisdom to discern when we are adopting things into our lifestyle that are dangerous for us…help us to rid ourselves of things dangerous and help us to believe Your truth and not Satan’s lies…


We ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s name...Amen.



Christians…Do You Know Who You Are In Union with Christ?




The Lord wants believers in Christ to know who they are as a result of their union with Him.  Do you really know who you are in union with Christ?  Do you know what the Lord wants for your life?  Do you spend any time in SCHEDULED reflection about spiritual things?  I ask these questions of people studying the Word of God.


As Pastor of a Christian Church, and as a consultant who specializes in focus…the ability to live free from distraction…I can tell you from four-plus decades of experience guiding thousands of people…for most, the answers to those questions are NO.


Despite Bible study, most Christians don’t understand who they are in union with Christ…most Christians don’t know what the Lord wants for their lives…and most Christians don’t really spend much time reflecting on what they want from life.  As a lifelong teacher, this truth KILLS me to the depths of my soul.


Last year I studied the four gospels…Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John…so I know I am not alone in the pain.  It pained the Lord as well.  His desire for His creatures to learn the truth was rejected regularly.  People were more interested in what they wanted to experience than what the Lord wanted them to learn.


You see, all of us learn from teachers.  You come here knowing nothing and you select your teachers.  Some teachers teach the truth.  Some teachers teach lies.  In Satan's kingdom, the false teachers always seem to be winning, even with believers in Christ.  I fear that people no longer know how to learn valuable things.  They are settling for lies, exposing themselves to Satan’s world system of thought, dedicating an alarming amount of time, while simultaneously turning their backs on the truth.  It’s painful to watch.


Most people, and I do mean most, just get up, wander into the day, and hope that the day carries them somewhere significant.  Many people are like driftwood floating on the ocean, letting the current carry them.  What does the Lord want for Christian lives?  Ephesians, Chapter 4, Verses 11 to 16…



And the Lord gave (spiritual gifts)…some as apostles…and some as prophets… some as evangelists…and some as Pastor-Teachers…



…for the equipping of the saints for the work of service…for the building up of the body of Christ (the Church Age believers)…



…until we all attain to the unity of the faith…and until we all attain the knowledge of the Son of God…to a mature man…to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.



As a result of attaining and learning, we are no longer to be children…tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine…carried about by the trickery of men…carried about by craftiness in deceitful scheming…



…but speaking the truth in unconditional love…we are to GROW UP in all aspects into the image of Him who is the head…even the Christ…



…from whom the whole body…being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies…according to the proper working of each individual part…causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.


The Lord wants His believers to grow up…to reflect…to get to know Him…to know who we are because of our union with Him.


A famous soccer coach had sound advice for people who are not reflective in this life.  He said, “For people who don’t listen to truth, adversity will teach them.”  To this coach I would say, “Maybe…but only if they want to learn.”


These are the things Paul was warning the Colossian believers about…this is what I warn Christians who come to these messages about…learn….grow up…equip… prepare before it is necessary.  These messages often fall on deaf ears.  Why?  False teachers and their false teaching are sexier with their sound-byte doctrines and their quick-fix proposals.

The next passage we’ll study is Colossians, Chapter 3, Verses 1 to 17.  Paul gives the Colossian believers advice on how to LIVE Christianity.  Let’s hear what he has to say…



Therefore, if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.



Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.



For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.



When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.



Therefore, consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.



For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience…



…and in them, you also once walked, when you were living in them.



But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.



Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices…



…and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—


…a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all and in all.



So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience…



…bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone…just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.



Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.



Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body…and be thankful.



Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.



Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.


The passage divides neatly into three parts.




Verses 1 to 4

Now that You are a Christian You are on a New Course


Verses 5 to 11

Abandon the Old Man Way of Being…Take it Off Like Clothing


Verses 12 to 17

Pick Up and Put On the New Self Way of Being


Let’s take a look at the first part verse-by-verse…Colossians, Chapter 3, Verses 1 to 4…



Therefore, if you believers in Christ have been resurrected from the dead with Christ…and of course you have…keep on seeking the things above (things eternal) …where the Christ is…seated at the right hand of God the Father (you believers in Christ are seated there, too.)


From the moment of salvation, Christ sets a new course for us.  Everything true for Christ is true for believers in Christ.  He’s resurrected from the dead…you’re resurrected from the dead.  He is seated at the right hand of God the Father… you’re seated at the right hand of God the Father.  Christians…do you know who you are in union with Christ?



Set your mind (and its longings) on things above…not on things that are on earth.


Stop thinking as the world thinks.  We choose to learn about the Lord from His Word…we take our direction from God the Holy Spirit, the divine GPS…and not from Satan and His world system of perversion.



For your old man self (when you were an unbeliever) has died from the moment of your salvation (it was crucified with Christ at the Cross) … and your resurrection life (eternal life as a gift from God) is hidden with Christ in God the Father.


The amazingness of this is not apparent to you yet…it will be revealed in the future.  We learn to think as God thinks, not as the world thinks.



When Christ, who is our resurrection life, is revealed…then you also will be

revealed with Him in glory.


That’s “how do you like me now” day.  Philippians, Chapter 3, Verse 20…



For as believers in Christ, our citizenship is in heaven, from which heaven also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…


All the people who think of Christians as Bible thumpers and phonies because we still sin after our salvation will watch us parade victoriously right behind our Victor…the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  As children of the Lord we fix our eyes on Jesus, and we eagerly wait for Him to come back for us.  When we return from the break, we’ll study the rest of the passage.  Take a five-minute break.




Casting Crowns



Christians…Do You Know Who You Are In Union with Christ?




In Philippians, Chapter 4, Verses 15 to 17, here’s what the apostle Paul has to say about giving…



As you know, Philippians, at the first preaching of the gospel (in Paul's first missionary journey)…after I left Macedonia…no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone…



…for even in Thessalonica (in Paul’s second missionary journey)…you sent a gift more than once for my needs.



Not that I seek the gift (for myself…even though I appreciate it)…but I seek the profit which increases to your account (from God when you give).


One of the great pleasures of life is giving, especially to this ministry, so that anyone who wants to learn about the Lord Jesus Christ can do so free of charge.  In addition, it’s a privilege to see how God blesses you for your giving.


Let’s welcome up Deacon Denny Goodall with one of his always inspiring offering messages.



Deacon Denny Goodall





Let us believers in Christ keep on holding fast to our confession of hope…doing so without wavering…for the Lord…whose promises give us hope…is faithful…




Instrumental Version



Christians…Do You Know Who You Are In Union with Christ?




How does the Lord expect His believers in Christ to handle the old self after salvation?  Like dirty clothes, He expects us to take off the temptation of the old self.  Colossians, Chapter 3, Verses 5 to 11…



Therefore, consider the members of your earthly body as dead to all forms of idolatry including sexual immorality (like pornography…clicking on images)… impurity (dirty thoughts and speech)…passion (uncontrolled)…evil desire (wanting what God forbids)…and greed (the more-more-more approach to life).


Idolatry is conduct unbecoming of a Christian.



For it is because of a lifestyle run by these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience (unbelievers)…



…and in these things, you believers in Christ once walked (as a lifestyle) when

you were living in them (when you were a spiritually dead unbeliever).


Believers in Christ…don’t forget where you came from!  As unbelievers we were spiritually dead…we lived in the sphere of sin…we were under the sovereignty of sin.  Now we’re not.  But being human, we always want to return to the old self way of doing things. Proverbs 26, Verse 11…



Like a dog that returns to its vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.


Believers in Christ are like Pig Pen from Charlie Brown.  God showers us by paying for our sins with His blood at the Cross, and then we go right back to the sandbox and put the dirt on again.  Sin always results in some kind of death in our lives…the ruination of things valuable to us.  We call it fun.  It isn’t.  When we were unbelievers, we didn’t just do these things…we LIVED these things.  Now that we’re believers in Christ, that lifestyle is DEAD.  We need to let the dead part of ourselves BE dead and STAY dead.


The flesh offers up antagonistic rebellion…“I don’t want anybody telling me what to do!”  Any believer in Christ who feels that way is a fool.  You DO have teachers…you ARE listening to someone…and it is probably someone that does not have your best interests I mind.



But now believers in Christ…put sins aside…remove anger (a hostile attitude)… wrath (outbursts of rage)…malice (being mean-spirited)…slander (destroying reputation with words)…and abusive speech (cussing someone out) from your mouth.


It’s God the Holy Spirit’s job to change us…and when He suggests things to change…we need to say YES.  Believers in Christ are not the Old Man Self.


What does the Lord want us to do?



Do not lie to one another…since (at the moment of salvation) you laid aside the old self with its evil practices…




…and have put on the new self who is being renewed by God to a true knowledge according to the image of the One (the Lord…God the Son) who created the new self—



…a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew (no racial distinction)…circumcised and uncircumcised (no physical ritual distinction)… barbarian and Scythian (whether foreigners or savages)…whether slave or freeman (no social class distinctions)…but Christ is all things…and He is indwelling all things (His believers).


We learn from experience that returning to sin is absolutely ridiculous.  Romans, Chapter 6, Verse 2…



How shall we believers in Christ...the children of a King…who died to sin as an established fact at the moment of our salvation…still live in sin as if sin is still our master?


We don’t!  Christians…do you know who you are in union with Christ?


When we live the New Self…a lifestyle crafted by God to be lived from the inside out, here’s what people will see.  You'll notice the fruit of the Spirit…Colossians, Chapter 3, Verses 12 to 17…



So…as those who are the chosen ones of God the Father (selected out for privileges…saved…and predestined)…made saints (holy ones)…and selected as divinely loved ones…put on as your spiritual clothing a heart of compassion (tenderness toward those who are hurting)…



…kindness (a sweet disposition)…humility (the chief characteristic of Jesus Christ)…gentleness…and patience (self-restraint when wronged without a desire to retaliate)…



…bearing with one another (endurance in overlooking faults)…forgiving each

other (making room for differences of opinion)…and whoever has a complaint against anyone…just as the Lord forgave you…so also should you forgive.


Forgiveness is the only way for you to have control in relationships when you have a grievance against someone.  They will never pay you what you think they owe you.



Beyond all these things put on the unconditional love that comes through God… which is the perfect bond of unity.



Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…to which peace indeed you were called in one body…and be thankful.


All believers in Christ are in union with Christ and have been placed by God into a bond of unity.



Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you…with all spiritual wisdom… teaching and admonishing one another (instructing, advising, and warning each other)…with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs…singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God the Father.


When we live this way as believers in Christ, there are always those people who want to take advantage of these qualities in you…and they always seem to think you don’t have a breaking point.



Whatever you believers in Christ do…in word or in deed…do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…giving thanks through Him to God the Father (in the power of God the Holy Spirit).


The dead old man self in you will be with you until you close your eyes in this life.  It will not improve itself.  You will not improve it.  It’s dead.  But you can choose not to listen to its sexy temptations from false teachers and their false teaching.


God is perfecting us through the New Self.  Galatians, Chapter 2, Verse 20…



I (Paul…and all believers in Christ) have been crucified with Christ…and it is no longer I who live…but Christ lives indwelling me…and the resurrection life which I now live in the flesh (my physical body)…I live by faith in the Son of God…who loved me unconditionally and gave Himself up as a sin substitute for me.


Isn’t it great to be on the winning team?  Our uniform is white.  It is unspoiled.  It is perfect.  It is not gray.  It is not black.  As believers in Christ, we have won the spiritual game.  Just how badly we beat Satan’s world team will be abundantly clear to everyone in the future.  First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verse 57…



…thanks be to God the Father…who gives us believers in Christ the victory through our (union with the) Lord Jesus Christ.


For now, we’ll just let God the Holy Spirit keep on perfecting us.  Philippians, Chapter 1, Verse 6…



For I (Paul) am confident of this very thing…that God the Father…who began a good work in you…will keep on perfecting it until the day of Christ Jesus.


Christians…do you know who you are in union with Christ?  If you don’t, is it time to set aside time to learn?



The Good News of Jesus Christ’s Salvation Offer to the Human Race


The closing moments of today’s lesson are dedicated to anyone, anywhere, who is either undecided of confused about having a relationship with the Sovereign God of the Universe, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  We want you to know that…



He Wants You Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life


Everyone listening to this message should know that the Lord Jesus Christ is Your Creator…John, Chapter 1, Verse 3…



JOHN 1:3

All things came into being through the Lord (God the Son) … and apart from Him,

nothing came into being that has come into being.


The Lord Jesus Christ loves you UNconditionally… First John, Chapter 4, Verse 8…



The one who does not love unconditionally does not know the Lord, for the Lord IS unconditional love (in His very Being).


If you think those things are true, you have to conclude there is no reason for you to end up in the Lake of Fire, commonly referred to as hell, when you close your eyes in this life.


To go to heaven, you have to choose a relationship with Christ.  God considers you to be a sinner from the moment of physical birth.  Ephesians, Chapter 2, Verse 1 says that from the moment of your physical birth…



…you were spiritually dead in your trespasses and sins…


Spiritually dead sinners need a Savior.  The Savior is the Lord Jesus Christ.


The Lord sent this message to you…the gospel message…good news about His salvation offer…because He wants a relationship with you…First Timothy, Chapter 2, Verses 3 and 4…



This is what’s good and acceptable in the sight of the God who is our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…



…who desires all men to be saved and who desires for all men to come to the knowledge of the truth.


There is something the Lord doesn’t want for you…the Lord Jesus Christ doesn’t want you to go to the Lake of Fire…Second Peter, Chapter 3, Verse 9…



The Lord is not slow about His promise of salvation, as some accuse Him of…instead, He is patient toward unbelievers…not wishing for any of you to perish (in the Lake of Fire)…but for all of you to come to repentance (a change of mind about having a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ).


You will go to the Lake of Fire at physical death if you choose not to believe in

Jesus Christ.  To make a place for you in heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ forgives all of your sins…Isaiah, Chapter 43, Verse 25…


ISAIAH 43:25

“I, even I (the Lord), am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake…and I will not remember your sins.”


Who is this God who saves you?  The apostle Paul describes the Lord Jesus Christ…in First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verses 3 and 4…



For I (the apostle Paul) delivered to you as of primary importance the gospel message I also received from God…that it was Jesus Christ who died for our sins according to the Old Testament Scriptures…



…and that He was buried…and that He was raised from the dead on the third day…according to the Old Testament Scriptures…


You don’t have to work to be saved…in fact, you can’t work to be saved… Romans, Chapter 11, Verse 6 says…



But if salvation is by grace, and of course it is, it is no longer based on your works…otherwise grace is no longer grace.


This loving, forgiving, patient God offers you the chance to be saved as a free gift,

and He wants to save you right this minute.  RIGHT WHERE YOU SIT, RIGHT NOW, you can tell God the Father that you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that is the moment of eternal life for you.  Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31 says…



ACTS 16:31

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”


So heed the warning and accept the invitation of John, Chapter 3, Verse 36…


JOHN 3:36

“He who believes in the Son has the resurrection life right at that moment… but he who does not obey the command to believe in the Son will not see the resurrection life…instead the wrath of God (the Lake of Fire) abides on him.”


The Lord warns those who reject His salvation offer in Matthew, Chapter 25, Verse 41…



“Then the Lord Jesus Christ will say to those on His left (unbelievers)…‘Depart from Me… accursed ones…into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels…’”


Believe me…you never want to hear those words.


When you get to know Jesus Christ, you'll have no problem placing your confidence in Him, both for your salvation and for anything else.  Why?  Because you'll know that the Sovereign God of the Universe wants a relationship with you, He loves you, and He died for you.  Take advantage of His grace and choose to be saved RIGHT NOW!




In John, Chapter 3, Verse 3, the Lord said to a religious Pharisee…


JOHN 3:3

“Truly, truly, I say to you Nicodemus…unless you are BORN AGAIN (the spiritual birth) you cannot see the kingdom of God.”


Here’s June Murphy to remind us that the only way to heaven is to be BORN AGAIN.





Let’s Sing the Lord’s Praises



June Murphy



Let us pray...


Almighty God and Father…


…thank you for reminding us who we are in union with Christ…we pray that you sear our identity into our hearts through God the Holy Spirit…our divine Mentor and Teacher…so that under pressure we will not forget who we are…help us choose the lifestyle You prefer for us so that others might see the fruit of the Spirit reflected in us and inquire as to source of our hope…


…as we go out into the world, help us to go with confidence that whatever we choose for our lives…as long as it is in Your will…You will help us achieve…give us the courage to keep on learning, to keep on growing, and to keep on being transformed through the renewing of our minds by the enabling power of God the Holy Spirit…


We ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s name...Amen.




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