podcasts buttonnews buttoncalendar buttonmore button

Sermon Notes + 8.14.2022

Download PDF



Set Your Minds on Things Above
Colossians 3:1-17
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor

Overview: The Apostle Paul informs the Colossians that their identity in Christ should prompt them to seek things above, thus transforming the way they live in the world. Their new identity—having died with Christ, having been raised with Christ, now being hidden in Christ, and someday appearing with Christ—is indicative of the comprehensive scope of salvation by grace alone. Believers thus have an obligation and the God-given ability to put to death sinful vices and to put on heavenly virtues. The list of vices is inclusive, though not comprehensive, representing behaviors that warrant God’s judgment and are unbecoming of God’s people. The list of virtues shows that believers are now free to live in a manner that pleases God and seeks the good of others. Paul concludes with a reminder that every facet of our lives is an opportunity to give thanks to God for His gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

01. Our pursuit of things above is rooted in our identification with Christ; therefore, we must rely upon His work for us and in us to finish what He has begun in us.

02. Our pursuit of things above requires us to reject things below; therefore, we must put to death earthly behavior that merits the wrath of God.

03. Our pursuit of things above transforms the relationships we share below; therefore, we should put on heavenly virtues as a witness to the love of God.


1. What is the significance of Paul’s first word—“If”—in verse 1? What is he implying about the natural progression from being in Christ to being able to seek things which are above? What would Paul say to someone who suggests that some, but not all, Christians can conquer sin in their lives?

2. Note the various terms that Paul uses for our identity in Christ in verses 1-4. What does it mean for us to die with Christ? What does it mean for us to be raised with Christ? What does it mean for us to be hidden in Christ? What does it mean for us to appear with Christ? How does this way of thinking shape our understanding of the comprehensive scope of our salvation?

3. How does one put sin to death? Does Paul mean that we can simply reject a particular sin and we will never be tempted by it again? How does our ongoing battle against particular sins demonstrate that we have been saved by Jesus and that God is at work in our lives to bring us the final victory over sin?

4. Why is it important for Paul to include the virtues of verses 12-14 after presenting the vices of verses 5-9? How does our identity in Christ lead us to desire to become more like Christ? What relationships in your life can change if you implement the virtues listed?

5. According to verse 17, is there any part of our lives that is off limits to God? Are you striving to please God in all that you do? Pray for ways in which your ordinary times can also become acts of worship.

For Further Reading: John Stott, The Contemporary Christian: Applying God’s Word to Today’s World (InterVarsity Press, 1995)