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Particulars – Private and Public (Colossians 4:2-6)

August 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Particulars – Private and Public

v     Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.

  • Continuance (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
  • Watchfulness
  • Thankfulness
    • Praying is not thanksgiving, but it is often (always) offered with thanksgiving
  • Intercession
    • Also
    • Pray for others – Paul asks for prayer for his work
    • Specifically (not shotgun style)
      • God open a door for the Word
    • Manifest – Paul needs help making the gospel clear

v     Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

  • Walk – constant, not instant
  • Wisdom
    • Wise as serpents, harmless as doves
    • Do not antagonize the world
    • Hardly a man has been argued into faith
  • Without
    • God
    • Christ
    • Hope
    • Joy or power
  • Earnestness
    • Buying up opportunities
    • On the outlook
    • Never know when “the sale is over”
    • Not just living silently

v     Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

  • Grace
    • Winsomeness
    • Attractiveness
  • Salt
    • Tasteful
    • Effective
  • Answer every man
    • Church members do this
    • Must be prepared
    • Must know the Word
    • Must know how to salt the Word
    • Every man is not the same!
      • Not stiff, wooden explanations
      • There’s only one way to be saved
      • There are many ways to proclaim and explain the gospel.

Personal Life – Workplace (Colossians 3:22-4:1)

Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done; and there is no respect of persons. Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven. Colossians 3:22-4:1

Personal – Workplace

  • This is still in the “conversation” about home life
    • Servants (slaves) would be considered part of a household
      • Housekeepers
      • Teachers
      • Physicians
    • Culture considered slaves to be merely property
  • Slaves get the longest “treatment”

v     Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done; and there is no respect of persons.

  • Complete – all things
    • Not exercising the right of judgment
    • Genuine – singleness of heart
      • Not eyeservice – menpleasers have no interest in the job itself.
      • Not the servant that does a partial job:
        • Dusting behind items
        • Sweeping under items
        • Thorough – whatsoever ye do
          • No escape from hard work, just enablement
        • Spiritual – as to the Lord
        • Encouraging – ye shall receive…
          • Slaves had no hope of an inheritance
          • No escape from difficult situations, just power to endure them
        • Privileged – ye serve the Lord
          • Humblest service is dignified
          • All work is done for God
          • All work is sanctified – there is not anything “special” about “full-time service”
          • Every moral vocation is honorable
        • Righteous – he that doeth wrong…
          • No respect of persons – will not overlook your deeds because your situation was hard
          • Onesimus was unsaved when he “injured” Philemon his master (a member of Colosse).

v     Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.

  • Just and equal
    • Instructions about slaves – never a thought about fairness
    • What would be equal?
    • Ye also have a Master
      • God sees how you treat your slaves
      • Slaves know they have an inheritance, masters know they have a master
      • This is God’s business. He put me in charge of it. I am responsible to Him.

Concluding thoughts

  • Homelife is simple – Just a few overruling principles make it run smoothly
  • All the relationships revolve around Christ
    • Vs. 18, 20, 22, 23, 24a, 24b, 1
  • When Christ is preeminent (rather than self), the home is truly Christian and pleasant.

Personal Life – Family (Colossians 3:20-21)

July 11, 2010 2 comments

Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.  Colossians 3:20-21

Personal – Family

v     Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.

  • The word for obey is hupakouo
    • Means to listen attentively
    • Not mind readers (kid outside, mom whispers in closet)
    • Not the normal problem
    • First act of obedience is hearing the command
    • “I didn’t hear you” is not a legitimate excuse
    • An obedient child is one that is eager to hear the instructions
    • Not hearing is the first act of disobedience
  • Obedience is not hard of hearing
    • Listens for the command and wants to hear it
    • Psalm 123:2
    • Deaf obedience is disobedience
  • Obedience is not forgetful
    • Command given Monday
    • Does not evaporate by Thursday
    • Lack of action by parents is not change in instructions or silent permission
    • Children should be told again if they need to, but the second reminder should come with discipline
    • Forgetful obedience is disobedience
  • Obedience is not piecemeal
    • Obey parents in all things
    • Saul and the Amalekites
    • Doing half the list is not obedience
    • Partial obedience is disobedience
  • Obedience is not postponed
    • Children cannot set their own schedule of when they will obey
    • Hebrews 3:7-8
    • Start cleaning the room, and begin to look at things and go on their own schedule of when the room will be clean
    • Delayed obedience is disobedience
  • Obedience is not subject to private interpretation
    • “I don’t have to do this because I’m older now”
    • This is called spin
    • Only Politicians and Justices can do this
    • Reinterpreted obedience is disobedience
  • Obedience is not reluctant or sullen
    • If obedience is well-pleasing to God, then it is to be well-pleasing to children and parents
    • Related to first point of eager obedience
    • Someone could obey right away (out of fear), but not like it
    • Grumpy obedience is disobedience
  • Obedience is rendered to parents – both of them
  • All things – children and parents should know that the children are being brought up to maturity – living on their own
  • Well pleasing – young people should strive to see their life as an integrated whole
    • “Heart is right” and bedroom is a pit – Gnostic mysticism
    • Room is spotless and heart full of uncleanness – Pharisaical hypocrisy
    • Reject both of these – clean your room with a clean heart

v     Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

  • Fathers
  • Some think of the Bible as a clunky, rule book
  • The aroma of obedience in the Bible is love, joy, and peace in the Holy Ghost
    • Some know the words, but not the tune (Mark Twain’s wife)  “My dear, you know all the words, but not the tune.”
    • Some Christians have rules, tests, standards, but no love, joy, or peace in the Holy Ghost
    • 3, 7, 10, or 12 steps to success; or paint by numbers solutions
    • Works righteousness
  • Scripture is not a mural, it is a window
  • Anger
  • Discouraged
  • Love sees with the highest degree of accuracy
    • Not critical
      • Accurate, but disproportionate
      • Bitterness
      • Caricature (line drawing)
      • Correction is not criticism
    • Not indulgent
      • No distinctions
      • Only constant is excuses
      • Water color
      • Smudging
      • Impressionistic
    • Love disciplines without harshness, calmly, for the sake of kid and shows mercy with wisdom
    • Love and Obedience – John 14:15, 23

Personal Life — Marriage (Colossians 3:18-19)

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.  Colossians 3:18-19

Personal Life – Marriage

v     These verses introduce a new way of relational thinking

  • Christianity consists of reciprocal arrangements
    • Wives, husbands
    • Children, fathers
    • Servants, masters
  • This is because of Christ

v     God commands to our nature

  • The Bible is the first psychology book
    • God knows what human nature is like
    • Psychologists can study, but God knows
  • When God commands something, it is because that’s what we need to remember.
  • When things go badly, work on what you’ve been commanded, not on what’s easy.

v     Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

  • Ephesians tells us the husband IS the head of the wife.
    • Indicative, not imperative
    • Submit – as Sarah, who called Abraham lord
    • Own – women are not to be subject to all men, wives are to be subject to their own husbands
    • There are principles involved here, but the particulars are such.
    • As it is fit – marriage works this way.

v     Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

  • Love
    • Love as you love yourself
      • Illustrate by pointing out how hard it is to get gifts for men. Why? They’ve already taken care of themselves.
      • Look at what your wife does that’s loving, do that to love her.
  • Not bitter

v     Wives – submit, be lovable

v     Husbands – love, be respectable

The New Life — Put On (Colossians 3:12-17)

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Colossians 3:12-17

General – The New Life – Put On

v     Because we are dead, and risen, and Christ IS life:

  • Mortify
  • Put off, put off, put on
  • Put on – no Gnosticism
    • As God’s elect
    • Who are holy and beloved

v     Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

  • Bowels of mercies – affections, feelings
  • Kindness – courteousness
  • Humbleness of mind
  • Meekness
  • Longsuffering

v     Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

  • Forbearing – putting up with others’ idiosyncrasies
  • Forgiving
    • As Christ forgave
    • Forgive and remember no more

v     And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

  • Binds us together
  • If no love, not complete (1 Corinthians 13)

v     And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

  • Peace
    • Psalm 29:11; 37:11; 119:165
    • John 14:27; 16:33
    • Romans 8:6
    • Philippians 4:7 (keep=rule)
  • Rule
    • Govern each aspect of life
    • Referee (preserve order)

v     Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

  • Word dwell richly – abundantly
  • Teaching – power of songs and music
    • Plato – if I can write songs, don’t care who writes laws
    • Corollary – if I can write hymns, don’t care who preaches
  • Psalms, hymns, spiritual songs (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost)
  • Spiritual songs
  • Notice focus on word and putting on
    • Vs. 9
    • Vs. 16

v     And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

  • Everything else – in HIS name
    • With thankfulness – it is a privilege (1 Corinthians 10:31)
    • His requirement
    • For His honor
    • With His authority
    • He gets the glory

The Past Life (Colossians 3:5-11)

June 11, 2010 2 comments

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

General – The Past Life – Put Off

v     Ye also walked; ye lived – verse 7

  • 1 Corinthians 6:11
  • 1 Timothy 1:12-15
  • Emphasis here is on past tense
  • Lifestyle is passed; in the past

v     Since we are dead and risen; since Christ is our life…

  • Mortify
    • Gradual death, not sudden (crucifixion)
    • Member(s) – different parts of self
    • God’s wrath is on sinners who do these—they should not be a part of Christians’ lives
      • Fornication – any wrong sexual relationship
      • Uncleanness – moral defilement, the thoughts before the sins
      • Inordinate affection – vile affections (sodomy, bestiality, incest)
      • Evil concupiscence – evil desires, licentious passions
      • Covetousness – this is low and debasing and steals God’s affections
  • Put off, put off, put on
    • An action that must be done – no Gnosticism
      • Cannot say that God makes me spiritual so I don’t have to do any of these things
      • A double injunction
      • Deeds – heart and tongue
        • Anger – this is wrong when
        • ¨      No cause

          ¨      Against a person and not an offense

          ¨      With revenge

          ¨      There is no forgiving spirit

        • Wrath
        • Malice — any kind or sort of evil
        • Blasphemy — any injurious speaking
          • Against God
          • Against man
        • Filthy communication — lewd, indecent, immodest talking
        • Lying

Christ is all and in all – not truth to certain people and not to others – Masons

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Christian Life (Colossians 3:1-4)

June 6, 2010 22 comments

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.  Colossians 3:1-4

Christian Life

v     If (since)

  • The resurrection.
    • Proof of our acceptance of Christ’s death and His acceptance of us (Romans 4:24-25)
    • Pattern of our holy life (Romans 6:4)
    • Power for Christian character and service (Ephesians 1:18-20)
    • Promise of our own physical resurrection (1 Thessalonians 4:14)
    • Pledge of our life hereafter (John 14:19)
  • In baptism the Christian dies and rises to new life
    • Death had no hold on Christ after his resurrection
  • If that’s true, there must be a difference! Must choose.
    • Active concentration (seek)
    • Permanent attitude (set)
    • Where is the difference? Thoughts, concerns
    • No trivialities—eternal verities (truths)
    • Doesn’t mean monastery—no interaction with the world
    • Means doing all the normal mundane activities with guidelines from the Word
    • Does mean all is seen in light of eternity
      • Different background
      • Blacklight
    • Will go on doing work in the world, but in a new way
      • Giving—getting
      • Serving—ruling
      • Forgiving—avenging
      • Sees eternal—sees temporal

v     Ye are dead.

v     Hidden with Christ in God

  • Death = “hidden in the earth”
    Baptism = “hidden in Christ”
  • Apocrypha = hidden books = hidden knowledge
    Apocrypteia = hidden knowledge is in Christ
  • Life is hidden
    • The world cannot understand or know the life of a Christian
    • We cannot expect the world to understand
    • Contrast with James 4:14
      • Temporal life vanishes
      • Eternal life cannot be touched

v     When Christ shall appear

  • Who is the Christ – Messiah, deliverer
  • Where is He now – hidden in heaven
  • How did He get there – the ascension
  • Why is He there – His time is not yet come
  • What is He doing there
    • Preparing for the saints
    • Praying for the saints
    • Preparing for His return
  • How will He return – in glory
    • Revelation 19:11-16
    • His majesty will be evident
    • His train will be following (Ephesians 4:8) – trophies of His victory
  • What will happen when He returns
    • Beast and false prophet cast in Lake of Fire
    • All kings of the earth and armies killed – fowls filled with flesh
    • Ye (we) shall appear also

v     Then shall ye also appear

  • Where are ye (we) now – hidden in Christ
  • Why are ye (we) there – we are dead in Christ
    • And risen with Him
  • How did ye (we) get there – through faith, by grace
  • What are ye (we) doing there
    • Seeking heavenly things
    • Thinking heavenly ways
  • How will ye (we) appear
    • What authority
    • What presence

v     Who is our life

  • Physically
    • Created us – John 1:1-4
    • Sustains us – Colossians 1:16-17
  • Spiritually
    • Saved us – Ephesians 2:1, John 11:25, 1 John 5:11
    • Keeps us
    • Directs us – John 1:4
  • Thoughts
    • Important areas of life:
      • Jobs (food and raiment) – if we have food and clothing, then be content
      • Family

¨      Marriage

¨      Children

  • House
  • Money
  • Time
  • Self-gratification
  • Things – cars, jewelry, computers, stereos
  • Christ IS Life – Luke 17:32

False Additions to Christ (Colossians 2:8-23)

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshiping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will-worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honor to the satisfying of the flesh. Colossians 2:8-23

False Additions to Christ

Since Christ is preeminent, all additions to His work are false.

Paul feared that they could be carried away as the spoil of an enemy.

v     Philosophy – simple truth was not enough

  • Handed down by human tradition
    • Claimed to be passed along by “word of mouth”
    • Never told to crowds
    • Only given to a chosen few
    • But all “traditions” must be in submission to the written Word
  • Related to the “rudiments” of the world (astrology)

v     Astrology

  • Rudiments of the world
    • Can mean “A, B, Cs” of a subject
    • Can also (probably here) refer to spirits of the stars
      • Great men, cynical men, level-headed men–all believed in the influence of stars
      • Born on a good day, all is well; born on a bad, too bad.
      • Only possibility of escape from them was secret passwords and formulas
  • Special power needed to get out from under the influence of the stars

v     Circumcision – adding the flesh to faith

  • Real and unreal
    • God’s command – Genesis 17:10
    • Physical is everything, regardless of heart
    • Others
      • Exodus 6:12 – lips
      • Leviticus 26:41; Ezekiel 44:7-9; Deuteronomy 30:6
      • Jeremiah 6:10 – ear
    • Real circumcision effected a change in heart and life
    • Not just a piece of skin, but putting off all of man that sets him against God
  • Baptism – circumcision has happened in baptism
    • Leaving one way of life for another
    • A voluntary, conscious act of decision
    • A symbol – only through belief in Christ and God’s power
      • Death to self
      • Risen to new life
    • True circumcision takes place in baptism

v     Ascetic rules and regulations – Jewish laws revived

  • Specifics
    • Dietary laws – eating, drinking, not eating, not drinking
      • Matthew 15:10-20; Mark 7:14-23; Acts 10
      • “Perish with using” – v. 22; cf. Matt 15:17
    • Special days – yearly feasts, monthly celebrations, weekly Sabbaths
      • These rules are the same type of bondage that Christ had saved them from
      • This spirit of “rule-living” is still alive in Christianity today.
  • Answers
    • Christ forgives dead men’s sins
      • Dead men have no power – power of God
      • God did this to uncircumcised men – grace of God

¨      They had not a covenant with God

¨      They also became a special and peculiar people

  • Jesus blotted out the handwriting against us
    • Self-admitted debts – I.O.U.

¨      Signed by writer

¨      Admitted debts – Exodus 24:3; Duet 27:14-26; Romans 2:14-15

  • Blotted out – completely erased (ancient scribe would save paper by erasing ink, ink had no acid, could be completely blotted out with sponge)
  • Nailed it to the cross

¨      Our indictment was executed on the cross

¨      Handwriting (indictment) based on law – grace erased

  • Force and power from the law
  • Jesus stripped their power and took them captive

¨      The “powers that be” became His captives

¨      These “elemental” spirits are out to ruin mankind

¨      They are conquered forever

¨      Stripping a conquered foe (triumphant general)

¨      Cosmic triumphal train with all powers of evil beaten forever

  • All because of Jesus; He is preeminent; He has accomplished everything; no need for Gnostic knowledge

v     Special visions

  • Telling things they had seen that were not true
  • Visions of what they want to see, not what God has shown them
  • We have much to see in the Bible
  • Don’t need to be looking for something extra

v     Angel worship

  • Jesus is only one of many intermediaries
  • All of them should be worshipped
    • Worship should be reserved for God and Jesus Christ
  1. Only a shadow of the truth (v. 17)
    • Real religion is fellowship with Christ
      • In Him is all fullness
      • Ye are complete! In Him
    • Religion of rules and days is a shadow of a religion
      • Shadow/body
      • Spiritual/material
  2. These can produce a false humility (vv. 18, 23)
    • Can never speak to God, must pray to intermediaries (Angels, Mary, saints, etc)
    • Christ has made the path to the throne open to all
  3. This can lead to sinful pride (vv. 18, 23)
    • Meticulous law observance tends to sinful pride
    • No one who thinks they’re good is good, especially one who thinks they’re better than someone else
    • Philippians 2:3
  4. All is a return to unchristian slavery (v. 20)
      • Aside: (v. 21)
      • “How to read your Bible”
      • Touch not, taste not, handle not…
    • Does not free from fleshly lusts
    • Keeps them on the leash (v. 23)
    • True freedom comes not from restraint, but from death

Pastor and Church (Colossians 2:1-7)

For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.  As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Colossians 2:1-7

v     The Pastor

  • Pastoral anguish
    • Because of his absence – prayer
    • Because of his testimony – faithfulness
  • Pastoral “goal” – he was not passive
  • Pastoral vigilance
  • Pastoral presence (absent, yet with you) – wisdom, gives directions
    • Joy
    • Observation

v     The Church

  • Church comfort – encouragement
  • Church unity
    • Love
      • Many aspects to love
      • Cannot love until loved
    • Understanding – application of knowledge
      • If ye will do my will…
      • Gives full assurance
    • In Christ
  • Church danger (pastoral vigilance)
    • Members beguiled
    • Enticing words
      • Lawyering
      • Making wrong decision seem to be the more plausible
  • Church condition (observed) – military terms, regimented
    • Order – in place (in the phalanx)
    • Steadfastness – always faithful
  • Church walk and life
    • Walk “as ye have received Him.”
      • Same faith to walk as to be born

¨      First an act then an attitude

¨      First a crisis then a process

¨      First obtaining then maintaining

  • Christ Jesus the Lord

¨      Christ – anointed, divinely commissioned

¨      Jesus – human, historical person

¨      Lord – supreme controller of all the universe

  • All these contribute to Christian life and walk
  • Rooted – past tense
    • A tree with roots deep in the soil
    • The roots are the source of nourishment and stability
    • Psalm 1
    • Built – present tense
      • A house on a firm foundation
      • Stands through storms
      • Wise man/foolish man
  • Church faith
    • Not “frozen orthodoxy” – Paul expressed new lines of thought about Christ in Colossians
    • Foundational faith and unchanging truth
      • Some are unwilling to change anything even if their practice is different from the unchanging truth of God’s Word
      • Some want to change anything that will help “remove” a stigma that the world puts on us
    • As ye have been taught – more to “evangelism” than just “gospel” preaching
  • Church thanks
    • Overflowing and abounding
    • Constant
      • Thanksgiving makes things lawful and makes the person glad – 1 Timothy 4:1-5
      • Unthankfulness brings doubt and spiritual delusion

v     The Savior (Christ has all treasures) – hidden, contrast with gnostics

  • Wisdom – presentation of knowledge
  • Knowledge – recognition of knowledge

Wasting Energy=Worshipping God

March 27, 2010 2 comments

8:30-9:30 p.m., March, 27, 2010. Pagan Hour.

Pagan Hour

Pagan Hour

If it’s already 9:30 p.m. for you, it’s too late.  Sorry.  For the rest of you, turn your lights ON between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. TONIGHT.  Why on?  Because you love God and are jealous for his glory and worship.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  (Genesis 1:1)

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:28)

Maybe I won’t explain myself well enough, but I’m going to make a defense for reckless waste during this one hour of the year.

When God created the earth and man, he gave man responsibility for it and we, therefore, are to be stewards of the whole world.  For this reason, I conserve my resources everyday of my life.  God has given to me bountifully and as his steward, I strive to keep good care of his gifts.  I try to save money and resources all the time because all my money and resources are not really mine–they’re on loan from God.

The World (and it’s ideologies) wants me to make a statement tonight that I’m concerned about the earth and the crisis we are in globally.  Are we in a global climate crisis?  The Word tells me that God is in control and that He is the one that will destroy it someday.  For it to be here for Him to destroy, it will have to stick around until He’s ready to do that.  Also, the World tells me that I should surrender the responsibility God has given me and do what my “Mother Earth” wants.  If I do that, I’m rebelling against God.  If I cave in to the pagan idea of “gaia,” I’m joining the heathen in their worship of the earth.  I want to stand in STARK contrast with pagan-heathenism. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

So I’m turning every light on I can think of:  and to revel in the bountiful goodness that God has created the earth with, and allowed me to steward, I’m also turning on every electric device I can think of, and leaving plugged in every appliance I can think of, and if I think of anything else, I’m turning that on too.

Tonight at 8:30 p.m. is NOT the time any Christian should be “off the grid.”  Consume all the energy you can to the glory of God!  (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Reconciliation (Colossians 1:21-23)

And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in his sight: if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

  • Our former condition
    • Alienated
      • Estranged
        • No “moral compass”
        • No desire for God
      • A fixed state or condition
        • Not only fallen, but staying there
        • Deliberate opposition to God
    • Enemies
      • Describes disposition
        • Thoughts
          • Denying a God
          • Wishing no God
          • Thinking He is like us
        • Deeds
          • Thought out deeds, not just excited passions
  • His work of reconciliation
    • Yet now hath He reconciled (2 Corinthians 5:18)
      • All the changes had to be done in us
      • All the changes were done by Him
    • In the body of his flesh (incarnation)
      • Contrast with angels
    • Through death (atonement/propitiation)
      • Satisfied the Father
      • Succored the sinner
  • His purpose in reconciliation (present and future)
    • Holy – free from sin
      • We are not reconciled so that we may continue in sin! (Romans 6:1-2)
      • Reconciliation makes things
        • Easy – we need not fear God
        • Impossible – we strive to deserve God’s love
    • Blameless – without blemish
      • Worthy to be presented to God
    • Unaccusable (Romans 8:33-34)
      • Law will not accuse
      • God will not accuse
      • Conscience will not accuse
      • Angels will not accuse
      • Satan will not accuse
  • The evidence (demands) of reconciliation
    • If implies faithfulness, rather than questioning it
      • But there was false doctrine “in the air”
      • You will not be unblameable or unreproveable if you do not continue.
    • Continuing in the faith (positive expression)
      • Grounded
      • Settled
    • Unmoved (negative expression)
  • Proclaiming reconciliation – the gospel (2 Corinthians 5:20)
    • Ye have heard
      • From himself
      • From Epaphras
    • Was preached to every creature
      • Not a private interpretation
      • Same as was preached everywhere
    • Paul was made a minister
      • By Christ
      • Particularly for “them” – Gentiles

The Preeminent Christ (Colossians 1:18-20)

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

He is head (v. 18)

  • Head/body – uses material thing to illustrate spiritual truth
    • Head – Christ
      • Thinks for body
      • Directs body
    • Body – church
      • Servant to head
      • Powerless and dead without head
    • What is a head to a body?
      • Head cannot accomplish anything without body
      • Christ does his work through the church
        • No other way to do the work of Christ
        • Christ work is not accomplished by extra-biblical (para-church) ministries
        • To work for Christ, you must work through the church!
    • What a privilege!
    • Warning – an abused body cannot work
  • Beginning – creation & church
    • Not only at the beginning/or before the beginning, He IS the beginning
    • Fountain of authority and power
      • Compare with 3 John 9
    • Starts everything to uphold/save
    • No earth without Christ; No church without Christ
      • Church is the new creation of Christ
      • He is source of church life
      • He is director of church activity
  • Firstborn
    • Christ’s resurrection is the central truth of Christianity
      • We can know Him because He is alive
      • We can “experience” Him
    • Preeminent among all that are/were raised
    • Most illustrious, he went from death to immortality
      • First to rise to die no more
      • Our resurrection depends on Him
    • First means there will be a second (more!)
  • Preeminence – of rank, dignity, honor, & power
    • Sonship – we are sons by adoption
    • Salvation – we are chosen in Him
    • Human nature – He is fairer than all
    • Redemption – He alone worked it out Himself
    • Life – His purity, teaching, miracles…
    • Dying – conquered death and rose
  1. Over the universe – Creator, and Proprietor
  2. Chief among those who will rise from dead
  3. Head of the church – all churches subject to Him
  4. In affections of His friends:

Preeminent to us:

Affections of the heart

Contemplations of the mind

Desires of the soul

Praises of our lips

It pleased the Father (vv. 19-20)

  • For all fullness to dwell in Him – summation
    • The image of God – v. 15
    • The creator and sustainer – v. 16-17
    • The head of the church – v. 18
    • All fullness
      • All power of deity
      • All attributes of deity (2:9)
      • All the essence of God
      • All the glory of God (John 1:14)
    • In Him
      • All fullness will not, cannot be found anywhere else!
      • Was not given to Him, it is in Him
        • Pleased the Father
        • The mystery of the trinity
        • An economy, not a hierarchy
  • To reconcile all things to Himself by Him – the why?
    • Father – God’s mind was not changed by Jesus
      • We love Him because He first loved us.
      • Son – purpose was to save sinners
        • His name is Jesus
        • Not to be an example
        • Saving is transforming
    • Through the blood of the cross – the how?
      • Hebrews 9:22
      • 1 John 2:2
    • To all things – the extent
      • Removes the curse of the universe
      • This is a lovely world
      • This IS my Father’s world
        • If His redemption can presently (though not completely) be seen spiritually, it can in the same way be seen physically
      • The creation can now also fulfill its created purpose
    • In earth or in heaven –
      • Both earth and heaven were set at variance with each other
      • Christ reconciled heaven and earth
  • The purpose? (vv. 21-22)
    • Holy – He took our flesh that we could be holy as He is holy
    • Unblamable
    • Unreprovable

Thanks for the Object of Faith (Colossians 1:9-17)

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (Colossians 1:9-17)

Prayer and desire for the Colossians (vv. 9-12)

Prayer – the Christian’s privilege

Heavenly Father – picture of God’s “openness”

“Take it to the Lord in prayer”

  • Internal – be filled (something to be done to them)
    • They must be in the place to receive
    • Filled – no room for anything else
    • Knowledge of His will
      • In all wisdom (Sophia)
        • Knowledge of first principles
    • Spiritual understanding (Sunesis)
      • Critical knowledge
      • Ability to apply first principles to any given situation
    • Understand great truths of Christianity and apply them to the mundane daily tasks of life
    • Master of theology can be a failure in life
    • What does Christianity mean in the business of living from day to day?
    • Knowledge, wisdom, understanding
      • These are instrumental in Christians growth
      • They are foundational to “walking worthy”
        • Hosea 4:6
        • 2 Timothy 3:16-17
    • In a biblical way, you can never know too much
    • If knowledge is “just facts,” it puffs up; godly knowledge changes you
  • External – walk worthy
    • Walk – consistency
    • Worthiness – determined by walk
    • Described by four participles
    • Being fruitful
      • In works
        • Every
        • Good
    • Practical praying
    • We don’t pray to withdraw from life
    • We pray to make it through life
    • We must pray more than before we go through life
    • We must pray as we go through life
    • Increasing in knowledge
      • Of God
      • As we bear more fruit
      • Becoming more like Christ
      • Strengthened
        • With might
          • Many times it’s not knowledge but might that we need.
          • We know what to do, we lack might
    • According to power
      • Some say knowledge is power
      • But it could be a curse
      • Through prayer, we can have knowledge and power
    • Unto patience and longsuffering, hupomone and makrothumia
      • Often have same meaning, but have distinction when listed together
      • Patience = hupomone
        • Not just sitting down and bearing things
        • Ability in bearing things to turn them to the glory of God
        • Conquering patience
        • No circumstance can defeat, no event can vanquish
        • Ability to deal triumphantly with anything life brings us
        • Longsuffering = makrothumia
          • Patience with people
          • People are:
            • Unpleasant
            • Malicious
            • Cruel
            • Unteachable
            • Foolish
            • Unlovely
            • Longsuffering is:
              • Not bitter
              • Not despairing
              • Not irritated
              • Still loving
              • The spirit that never loses patience with, belief in, hope for men
    • With joyfulness
      • Through circumstances
      • Christian joy is not diminished by events or people
      • Giving thanks
        • Unto the Father
  • The walking is second nature because of the knowledge
    • Ask someone “How do you do that?”
      • How do you make that? Boy, I don’t know. I’ll have to think about that. I’ve been doing it so long that I don’t even give it a thought. Let me think, What do I put in there? How much? How….It’s, you know, I just do it.” You think, “Oh, that’s a big help”
      • How do you walk? It’s all second nature.

The Father’s work (vv. 12-13)

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

  • Qualified us
    • We are not rendered fit by any goodness of ourselves
    • We are rendered fit (completed already)
      • We have complied with God’s conditions
        • Repentance
        • Faith
    • For participation in the inheritance
      • God people received the inheritance
      • All the rest of the world lay in darkness
  • Delivered us (no one but the Father could)
    • Darkness (natural condition – Luke 1:79; Acts 26:18; Romans 13:12; 1 Peter 2:9; 1John 2:8) – this is an illustration also!
      • Sin
      • Error
      • Misery and Death
  • Translated us (from one country to another)
    • Israel —> Assyria
    • Judah —> Babylon
    • Complete transfer
    • Now subjects of the kingdom of Christ
      • Different laws
      • Different community
      • Not yet in the kingdom of God’s glory, but in Christ’s kingdom
      • Now living under new conditions!
        • No change in person’s life ever compares to this translation
          • Darkness, light
          • Slavery, freedom – redemption
          • Condemnation, forgiveness
          • Satan’s power, God’s power
            • Human conquerors move defeated foe from life of freedom to life of restriction
            • God moves us from life of restriction to life of freedom

The Son (vv. 14-17)

In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

The Bible (Christian faith) is an inexhaustible resource of truth.  Whatever heresies may be devised, the truth is in the Scriptures to combat them.  While we may think we have learned all that the Bible can teach us, all we need is some “new” falsehood to arrive for us to find more truth in the Scripture.

We begin to see the Son – of God, not of the Gnostics

  • The creating God, not an ignorant and hostile emanation from God
  • The unique Son, not just one of series of spiritual beings
    • Fullness dwell in him
    • Godhead bodily
    • The image of God
  • The Savior in a flesh and blood body
  • The only way to salvation
    • Not an intellectual journey through emanations and secret passwords
    • Salvation is redemption, forgiveness/not attainments
    • Salvation is for every man, not just the mentally able
  • In Him we have redemption
    • Spiritual redemption through the blood of Christ
      • Remember the heresy that is being countered
      • Blood is a repulsive aspect of humanity
  • In Him we see God
    • He is the image (eikon) – no idolatry (representation and manifestation merge to show us what God is like)
      • Wisdom (Proverbs 2, 8 )
        • Co-eternal
        • In other Jewish writings, wisdom is the eikon of the goodness of God
        • All your lives you’ve sought out wisdom, here He is
    • Logos
      • The word, reason of God
      • Logos had created the world
      • Logos was everything to everything
      • Philo said Logos was the eikon of God
      • Paul said, Jesus Christ is the eikon of God
    • Image – Genesis 1:26-27
      • Eikon of God – what God is like
      • Eikon of God – what God’s creation was to be like!
      • Prefect manifestation of God and Man
      • Hypostatic union – fully God and fully man
    • Portrait
      • Used in familial correspondence
      • Used in legal documents
        • Enough that no mistake of identity could be made
    • Vs. 19 gives even fuller meaning
    • Firstborn rarely has chronological meaning
      • Title of honor – Exodus 4:22
      • Title for messiah – Psalm 89:27
      • By Him…
        • All things created – no Evolution
          • Heavenly, earthly, seen and unseen
          • Angels, thrones, dominions – he must be before them if he created them
          • The creator was not an inferior emanation
          • The Creator is the Son himself
    • He is before all – no Humanism
      • The goal and end of creation
      • It is His
      • It is to give Him glory
      • All the world is here to worship the Son
    • All things consist (cohere) – no Deism
      • All laws are an expression of His mind
        • No law of Gravity
        • No scientific laws
        • Only the Person, Jesus Christ, sustaining His creation
        • Christ holds the moon in place
        • Christ touches the earth and it erupts
        • Christ scratches the earth and it quakes
        • Christ holds our bodies together
    • Christ is the creator, the sustainer, and the object of all creation

Thanks for the Evidence of Faith (Colossians 1:3-8)

Sunday School Lesson

We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints. For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellow servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit. — Colossians 1:3-8

We give thanks

  • only one letter where he does not give thanks (Galatians)
  • To God and Father
    • The
    • Of Lord Jesus Christ
      • Our

How: (do you give thanks?)

  • Praying
    • Always
    • For you

Why: (something in them)

  • Since we heard
    • Of faith (conversion) – God
      • In Christ (sphere – whole, no more needed)
    • And of love – others
      • The
      • Ye have
        • To saints
          • All – not just a few
          • The

– John 13:35

– faith and love brings thanks to leadership

Why: (something outside them)

  • For the hope – this is foundational to faith and love – it is the reason you can have faith and love one another
    • In heaven
    • From the gospel
      • Truth
      • Come to you – as the world
      • Brings fruit – as in you
        • Since you heard – faith by hearing
        • And knew (grace in truth) – you must know in order to grow
          • Personal experience
          • Intellectual apprehension
          • Also learned from Epaphras
            • Our fellow servant
            • Your faithful minister
              • Declared your love

Concluding thoughts:

  • Faith, Love and Hope – six times by Paul, also Hebrews 6:10-12; and 1 Peter 1:21-22
    • Faith rests in the past
    • Love acts in the present
    • Hope presses toward the future

Introduction (Colossians 1:1-2)

March 8, 2010 2 comments

Sunday School Lesson

Key Verse: Colossians 1:18

Occasion & Purpose: Warning against Jewish law and Greek philosophy (theosophy)

  • The Colossian Heresy
    • Attacked the total adequacy and unique supremacy of Christ – no greater claims ever made for Christ
    • Paul stresses Christ’s part in creation (1:16-17)
    • Paul stresses Christ’s humanity (1:22; 2:9)
    • Astrological element (rudiments, 2:8, 20)
      • Elemental spirits of world – stars and planets
      • Everyone consulted the stars
      • Needed something more than Christ to rid men of this power
    • Made much of demonic powers
      • Principalities and powers (1:16; 2:10, 15)
      • Everything and place had a spirit
      • Needed something more than Christ to defeat these powers
    • Philosophical element (2:8)
    • Tendency to insist on ritual practices and days (2:16)
    • An ascetic element (2:16, 21)
    • An antinomian streak – anti-law (3:5-8)
    • Worship of angels (2:18)
    • Spiritual and intellectual snobbery (1:28)
  • Gnostic Heresy – Colossian errors related to early forms of this (spirit=good, matter=flawed and evil; also, matter is eternal)
    • Effects doctrine of creation
      • This world then created by an emanation so distant from God that he was hostile to God
    • Effects doctrine of Christ’s person
      • Jesus could not have had a flesh and blood body
    • Effects ethics
      • Our bodies are evil
        • Practice rigid asceticism, starve and deny the body, or…
        • Disregard the body. Do whatever it desires, only the spirit matters
    • Effects the simplicity of the gospel
      • Series’ of emanations
      • Higher reaches of religion only open to the “initiated”
      • They were keepers of the mysteries
    • Jewish element – many were sympathetic to Gnostic ideas

Theme: Christ is pre-eminent

  • Over all things – 1:15-20
  • In salvation – 1:21-29 (21-22)
  • In our knowledge – 2:1-9 (3, 9)
  • Over the law – 2:10-23 (14-15)
  • In our desires – 3:1-11 (4, 11)
  • In our practices – 3:12-4:6 (13, 17, 23)

From:

  • Paul
    • Apostle (office=authority and occupation=one sent)
      • Of Jesus Christ (fully qualified to address matters)
      • By will of God – what is God’s will for you?
        • Divine authority
        • Independence of human teaching
        • Disclaimer of personal power
  • and Timothy
    • Not a co-author (look at subsequent we’s – through vs. 9, afterwards singular)
    • Brother (Acts 9:17 – rich meaning for Paul)

To:

  • Saints (relationship to God)
    • “set-apart ones” – all believers were called saints, not just a group within the church
    • One who belongs to God
    • Should reflect God’s character
    • Soldier must act the part, so a saint should act the part
  • Faithful brethren (relationship to others)
    • Brethren
    • At Colossae, in Christ (always two spheres/dimensions for the Christian) – John 16:33
      • Considered the least important city Paul wrote to – one of most important letters
      • Possibly Philemon’s house (4:9)
    • “faithful” – not all believers are faithful
      • No hint of moral sin even with immorality all around
      • Confidence that they will listen to his teaching

Salutation:

  • Grace (Greek greeting) – first, since without there is no peace
    • God giving us what we do not deserve
      • Breath, we lived in rebellion against Him
      • Hope, a hope—our home in heaven
      • Holy Spirit
    • Mercy – God not giving us what we do deserve
      • Combines with God’s love to give us unmerited blessing
  • Peace (Hebrew greeting)
    • Full integration of the believers personality in fellowship with God
    • Spiritual prosperity (well-being)
    • It passes all understanding – Philippians 4:7
    • w/God through the Lord Jesus Christ – no longer at enmity with God
    • Which rules in our hearts and lives – Colossians 3:15
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