The world offers a lot of competition to setting our hearts on things above and setting our minds on Christ and the things of Christ.
Pat Morley, in his book, “The Man in the Mirror: Solving the 24 Problems that Men
Face,” talks about the difference between what he calls Cultural Christians and Biblical Christians. He says the mark of a Cultural Christian man is that he loves this life more than the next. And again, by “Biblical Christian,” he doesn’t mean someone who’s just waiting to go to heaven. He’s talking about the same thing that Paul’s talking about in our text… a man who deeply loves the things of God and is pursuing an eternal perspective in every sphere of his life.
Morley says that the Cultural Christian man…
Brothers, that’s just the opposite of what Paul is teaching us in our Scripture this morning. Instead, the Biblical Christian man is one who, because he’s been raised with Christ, sets his heart on things above, where Christ is seated and who sets his mind on things above, and not on earthly things.
Jesus tells us a parable about the difference between Cultural Christian men and Biblical Christian men. This is from Matthew 13…
Matthew 13:1-9 – That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake.  Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore.  Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed.  As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.  Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.  But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.  Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.  Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop–a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.  He who has ears, let him hear.”
Then he tells us what all this means…
Matthew 13:18-23 – “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means:  When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path.  The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.  But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.  The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.  But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Which one are you?
Which one best describes you?
Well, let me give you some bad news and some good news.
The bad news is that, left to ourselves, we’re all Cultural Christians who fall short of where God wants us. Left to ourselves, we can’t please God and will not even want to. Left to ourselves we’ll have no desire for God or the things of God.
But here’s the good news…
Because of what happened yesterday (Good Friday – Christ’s death on our behalf)… and what happens tomorrow (Easter Sunday – the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ)…
We’ve died with Christ and have been raised with him. And the same Holy Spirit that raised him from the dead lives in us. Can you dare to believe that. The same Holy Spirit! His Spirit ministers to us by living in us, empowering us, guiding us, encouraging us, convicting us, teaching us, and on and on and on.
That’s why Paul says in Galatians 2:20…
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
In our Scripture Paul tells us that Christ is our life. He desires to live his life in and through us. But we must set our hearts and minds on things above, where Christ is.
Through all of that and more, we’re better able, through the power of God’s Spirit and grace, to more and more set our hearts and minds on the things of God and become more like the Christian men that our Lord has called us to be.
May this be the pursuit of all of us gathered here this morning.
Soli Deo Gloria.
Christ is Risen!