That is a question I’ve been spurred to think about recently because of reading a sermon by Richard Sibbes called The Hidden Life. Of course, the question really stems out of the quote “Don’t be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good,” which I probably quotes a number of years ago, but now see how silly it is. Sibbes’ sermon is based on Colossians 3.3-4.
3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
It is an amazing sermon, and I want to work through it a bit in my own reflections as well as here with you. If you’d like to read it, you can do so here. If you’d rather listen to it, then I’ve got something for you as well. Upon my first reading, after about 2 pages, I said to myself, “I’ve got to record this! This is so good, and it needs to be preached.” So, friends, I recorded the sermon. You can find it here. I hope I represented the heart behind it in my reading, and I hope it encourages you.
What you’ll notice is that Sibbes argues that these 2 verses are not only the grounds for, but also the way to live out the commands of verses 1-2 and verses 5-10. In other words, verses 1-2 which tell us to be heavenly minded and verses 5-10 which tell us to put to death what is earthly in us are two sides of a coin – the coin of the Christian life, you might say. And they are things we should do because of the truth of verses 3-4, and also things that we CAN do because of verses 3-4.
So, because of the truth that we are hid in Christ and will appear with Him in glory, we seek to be heavenly minded, knowing that it will produce in us the greatest earthly difference in our lives, in our churches, our families, and our neighborhood. It’s a masterclass on preaching the Gospel to ourselves. And it exposes the shallowness of a statement like “you’re too heavenly minded to be any earthly good.”
Please listen to the sermon and let me know what you think! In my next post, I’ll try to outline the sermon and make some initial comments.