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Col. 3:12-17 IS THE NEW MAN ALIVE?

Intro: Last Sunday, I preached out of the first 11 verses of this chapter. in those verses, we spent some time describing the spiritual battle that is waged within every believer. Paul talks of this battle in Galatians 5:17, and in Romans 7:14-25. Whoever said the Christian life was an easy life, filled with constant victory and endless mountaintops was, quite simply, a liar! It is in fact, a constant battle. The flesh, which we are born with, has it’s own agenda, Eph. 2:1-3, and the spiritual man that is created in us at salvation has other plans. Therefore, we often feel as though we are going to be torn in two. Sometimes, life feels as though it is a roller coaster. One day, we are on our way up, running well and following hard after the Lord, but the next day, we find ourselves on the way down knowing that we are headed for a fall.

Let’s face it this morning, the old nature may have been reckoned dead at Calvary, but he is still kicking this morning! At the same time however, the New Man has been created in the heart of every born again child of God. That ought to be a reason for rejoicing! (Ill. Dr. Frankenstein and "It’s alive! It’s alive!")

I know that many of you can identify with what I am saying this morning. You are well acquainted with the struggle and the failure. WelI, I want to give you hope! Last week, we found out that the old man is to be out to death along with his ways. As this passage continues to unfold, we are going to learn about the characteristics of the new man who lives inside of every Christian. The Bible tells us about what we are to put off in the first 11 verses, in these next 6, it tells us what we are to put on. In the last message, we faced this question, "Is the old man dead?" In this message, we are going to face this question, "Is the new man alive?"

In these verses, Paul reveals some Characteristics of the New Man. You, and I, need to make sure these characteristics are alive in us.

I. v. 12-15 CHARACTERIZED BY NEW DEEDS – (Ill. Put off – once for all", When we are saved, we are to put off, forever, the deeds of the old man. However, when we are saved, were are to put on, once forever, the deeds of the new man! Put on – "Once for all" Here are the new deeds of the new life)(Ill. Put off = To Put Away from Oneself; Pu On = To Sink oneself Into!)

A. v. 12b The Fruit Of The Spirit – The new life, energized and led by God will always manifest the proof of the Spirit’s presence – Gal. 5:19-25. (Ill. Show itself in every area of life!)

B. v. 13 The Forgiveness Of The Saints – When Christ reigns in the heart, there will be no room for grudges or grievances, but only for forgiveness – Matt. 18:21-22; Luke 17:3-5. (Ill. The weight of the baggage of unforgiven wrongs can weight down the life of the believer!) (Ill. Forgave = "To grace" - Literally as Jesus has "graced" us in forgiving us, we should likewise "Grace" our brother by forgiving him!)  (Ill. Forbearance – The understanding that none of God’s children, including ourselves, has arrived! This is the ability to look over another’s faults and seek the good that is in them from knowing the Lord.) (Ill. Literally means "to put up with.")

C. v. 14 The Fragrance Of The Savior – When we are walking in the newness of life, we will have the fragrance of Christ in our lives, and that fragrance is love – John 13:35! The life controlled by the Lord is a life of love. (ILl. love is that thing that sets us apart from the rest of the world!)

D. v. 15 The Fullness Of The Spiritual Life – The fullness of the Spirit demonstrates itself in peace and assurance before God, (Ill. Salvation, and the assurance of it, is forever settled – 2 Cor. 13:5; 2 Pet. 1:10.); and between brethren, (Ill. Euodias and Syntyche – Phil. 4:2.) Also manifested in a thankful Spirit before the Lord – 1 Thes. 5:18.

II. v. 16 CHARACTERIZED BY A NEW DIRECTION It is no longer the world the flesh and the devil for the believer. Now, it is the will and Word of God.

A. A New Dependence Upon The Word – Ill. "Dwell richly" To inhabit in abundance. The Word cannot get into you until you first get into it! When it gets in you, it will control you 2 Tim. 2:15; Psalm 119:105. (Ill. Dwell - To be at home in!  The Word of God should not feel out of place in our lives.)

B. A New Declaration Of The Word – Ill. "Admonish" – To instruct and warn of evil. The saints of God are to have a heart for their wayward brother – Ill. Gal. 6:1- Restore = To set a broken bone! (Ill. We are not to be looking for an opportunity to beat them down, but rather for an open door to lift them up – Rom. 15:1.

C. A New Demonstration Before The World – Ill. A heart of praise will fill the believer when the new man is in control. (Ill. Every now and then it will dawn on you what Jesus has done and that will get the best of you!)

III. v. 17 CHARACTERIZED BY NEW DECISIONS No longer are we interested in pleasing the flesh, the world and the devil, but every decision is based on whether or not it brings glory to the Lord. Such is the life controlled by the new man.

A. Our Words – We will learn to control our tongues when we are living out the New Man day by day – James 1:26.

B. Our Ways – When the New Man is in control, every action will be weighed against this question: "What would Jesus do?" Or, "Will this activity bring honor or dishonor to the name of Jesus?" Ill. Phil. 1:27.

C. Our Witness – We will come to the place where we want to please the Lord. His desires will be considered before our own! The overriding question will not be, "How does this please me." It will be, "Is this pleasing to the Lord? In doing this, can I truly do it with an attitude of praise and thanksgiving? Is Jesus my primary consideration in this matter?" When He is, we are letting the New Man live in us and thereby we are glorifying Almighty God!

Conc: Is the old man dead in your life? If not, it will show up on you! (Ill. Ancient Roman custom of forcing a murderer to wear the corpse of his victim.) Death ate into him and drained him of life. So it is with us. Who controls your life? The flesh? The world? The devil? Or, is it the Spirit of God? If the wrong one is in control, your life will be out of control and less than pleasing to the Lord. But, praise His Name! He allows for new beginnings!

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