Who Are We In Christ? Book Of Colossians part 5
Good morning to you, our friends and family. I am blessed this morning to start part 5 of this series, "Who Are We In Christ? Book Of Colossians". Someone might be thinking, "Why are you only in the first chapter of Colossians and starting the fifth week"? Well, why should we rush it? I think the main goal here is to get as much knowledge on God's Word as we can. Amen? I know there have been a few verses that things have stuck out to me like never before. Praise God.
Please turn to Colossians chapter 1. Last week we ended with verses 23 and 24. As we keep going in this study, we will get into the meat of what Apostle Paul was trying to get across to the church in Colosse and for you and I in our lives today. Praise God. Are we ready to dive in? Let's get excited church. Are we ready to see what God has for us to learn today? Glory to God!!!
Colossians 1:25-29 KJV Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; (26) Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: (27) To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (28) Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: (29) Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
Paul was a servant of the gospel, the appointment of Christ calling him into an apostleship on the road to Damascus. Paul knew the power and depth of the gospel in fullness and was qualified and ordained by the Lord to present the truth to the Colossians, and now to us.
Now, for verses 26 and 27. Praise God. These verses show in a more accurate way what Paul proclaims and teaches. It's called a "mystery" in verse 26, not because it can't be understood, but because it has been hidden for ages and has now been revealed to the saints. You have heard me say that the Bible is alive. That isn't just my line, but biblical. Keep your place here, and let's turn to Hebrews 4:12 and I will show you.
Hebrews 4:12 KJV For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
So many times I read a scripture or even a chapter in the Bible, and something new pops out at me. I know some of you who join on Skype have said the same thing at times. Praise the Lord.
Then verse 27 describes the riches of the glory of this mystery. It is "Christ in you [Gentiles], the hope of glory." What was not revealed fully in past ages was that the Jewish Messiah—the Christ—would actually reach out to non-Jewish nations and indwell non-Jewish people—that He would actually live in them and give them the promise of Abraham, the hope of glory in the kingdom of God with all the saints. Do we get this, church?
The mystery is reconciliation by Christ of both Jews and Gentiles to God in one body. We are now joint heirs.
The mystery is that both Jew and Gentile would be redeemed by the same Messiah. The old testament spoke nothing of the church. The church is the body of Christ, indwelt by the Holy Spirit. The church is the blood-bought possession of God. It was this mystery that was hidden in the Old Testament and is now perfectly revealed in the new testament to the person of Jesus Christ. But, we must not make the mistake of assuming that the salvation of the Gentiles was unheard of in the Old Testament.
Please turn to Genesis 12:3, but keep your place in Colossians. What we will see here is where God says that in Abraham, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. Actually, we will start in verse1.
Genesis 12:1-3 KJV Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: (2) And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: (3) And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
We see a promise right here that gentiles would be included in God's plan. Amen?
Let's turn to Galatians 3:7. I love how we can see Christ weaved all the way through the Bible. From Genesis through to Revelation. Before He was born and thousands of years after He died and was resurrected. Praise Jesus.
Galatians 3:7-9 KJV Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. (8) And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. (9) So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
The purpose of the law was to give to sin the character of transgression and prove man helpless to save himself—not to save man. Man is therefore shut up to faith in the works of Christ our Mediator, as the only avenue of escape from the penalty of a broken law, for Christ has borne the curse of the law for us and we become the children of God through Him, not by any works of our own. The book of Galatians may be another study that we will do at some point, God willing.
The riches of this mystery is redemption and the teaching that our justification before God is not through works, but by faith. We look to the future in the hope based in Christ's work and promise that he would return. Our resurrection is guaranteed because of the resurrection of Christ. Our glorification is guaranteed because of the glory of Christ.
So many think they are going to Heaven when they die because they are a good person. They have done good works. Please turn to James. There are those who think just because they go to church, sing in the choir and even tithe, have made God happy and that lets them through the gates. Again, wrong. Jesus said in Matthew 7: 21- 23 these words. And notice how He repeats Himself in these verses.
Matthew 7:21-23 KJV Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (22) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (23) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
This shows that there will be among those rejected by Christ in the last days, many preachers, so-called soul winners and good moral men, simply because they rejected true faith in Christ who alone is the foundation of salvation. Beware of mere lip-devotion which signifies nothing, either here or hereafter. The demons believe there is a God and the name of Jesus causes them to tremble.
James 2:14-26 KJV What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? (15) If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, (16) And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? (17) Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. (18) Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (19) Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (20) But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (21) Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? (22) Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? (23) And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. (24) Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. (25) Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? (26) For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Colossians 1:28-29 KJV Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: (29) Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
Paul was warning the Colossians, teaching them about Christ. It is important to know who Christ is doctrinally so that we can properly know for certain how to worship God, how to love Him, how to follow Him and so that we might not be deceived by false teachings. With proper understanding, we have proper behavior, and the combination of the two helps to present us perfect in Christ.
Paul worked very hard to promote Christ and to equip Christians. He struggled with many things that he had in accordance with Christ Who was working in him. Paul had been beat, ship wrecked, stoned and left for dead. The same Jesus that said, Paul, Paul, why do you persecute me, is the same Jesus that touched him and Whom Paul loved and would do all He could to teach about and die for. We also should work with the same fervor and determination because we have the same Holy Spirit in us. Glory to God!!
Well my friends, we finished chapter 1, and I hope that everyone might have gotten a better understanding of the introduction of this epistle. Next week we will get into the meat of what Apostle Paul was trying to get across to the church of Colosse and to us right here and now.
We have seen that Christ is the wisdom of God, and is of God made wise to the humble. The treasures of wisdom are not hidden from us in Christ, but for us. Supposed supplies of spiritual wisdom from any other source are a delusion. The fullness of the Godhead dwells in Christ, not figuratively, but literally, for He is both God and man, the manifestation of the Father to us.
Believers who understand the perfections of Christ and have a well settled judgment of the great truths of the Gospel will be preserved from all the ensnaring insinuations of those who would corrupt the Gospel principles. All true Christians have a salvation complete in Him and need not pin their faith on the opinions of philosophers nor bear the yoke of ceremonial law. Christ alone is the hope of glory and in Him we are complete.
Good morning friends and welcome to part 4 of this series Who Are We in Christ? For those who might have missed the previous messages, you can read them at Jandlministries.weebly.com under the sermon notes tab, or at Cross Roads Fellowship 4himalone2.ning.com and at Mylookonline.com.
For those who have been with us from the beginning of this series, you now see how I study scriptures. It is how I get a better understanding of what I am being taught. Praise God!!
If you would please turn and keep your place in Colossians chapter 1 and verse 19 and then turn to John 14 and we will look at verses 1-4. I want to show you some verses that you might use when witnessing to others.
John 14:1-4 KJV Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (2) In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (4) And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
Okay, one more passage and we will get into our study in Colossians. Please turn to Acts 16: 27. Here we find Paul and Silas had been beaten and thrown in prison for casting a demon out of a woman and because she was not able to tell fortunes that she earned for her maters. Paul and Silas while in prison were singing praises to God and there was an earthquake and their shackles were opened. Let's pick up this story in Acts verse 27.
Acts 16:27-33 KJV And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. (28) But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. (29) Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, (30) And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? (31) And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (32) And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. (33) And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. Praise God!!
Lesson to all of us. Be available at all times and let God lead you, even during your hardest battles.
Turn to Colossians 1: 19, please. We ended with verse 18 last week. Who is the head of the church? It isn't your pastor, minister or Rabi. No. It is Jesus.
Colossians 1:18 KJV 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 (or superiority). Other versions say "He alone might have the first place in all things."
So let's continue Colossians 1:19 KJV. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.
Here this verse tells me Paul was sharing to the church of Colosse that God was very happy with Jesus. He came to earth, He taught, He sinned not. He sacrificed Himself on the cross, was resurrected, prophecy was fulfilled and God was glorified. Amen? Praise God. Because of what Christ did, we are redeemed. We now as a universe can come to the Father. A passage that we could do a whole study on and that I use often. 1 Timothy 2:1-6 KJV I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; (2) For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (3) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; (4) Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (5) For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (6) Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
Glory be to God. This scripture right here tells what we all need to do. Amen? He, (Jesus) gave Himself a ransom voluntarily so that all mankind might partake of the common salvation. But my friends, it is our choice. God did not make us puppets or robots. Salvation is up to us. Will we call out to Jesus to be our Lord and Savior?
As we will see later in this study, Apostle Paul is directly contradicting the Gnostic error that was developing in the region. Gnosticism taught that God could not become flesh. That is why Paul uses the word "fullness" when describing Jesus having God dwell in Him. In other words, remember last week we looked at John 1:1-4? The Word was with God and the Word was God.
Here comes the proof that Jesus was God and that He came to earth.
John 1:14-16 KJV And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (15) John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. (16) And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
We still to this day have many who believe God, but not Jesus.
Colossians 1:20 KJV 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.
From the fall of our first parents (Adam and Eve) we have been separated from God. A pastor that I have listened to for a while now once said. "If only Adam and Eve could have followed simple directions. Don't eat the fruit. Eat the fruit, you will die. Is that complicated? Don't eat the fruit. I don't care if it is two words, the devil will make it complicated if you let him. That's his specialty - making something simple complicated." Amen? you see where I am going with this?
Christ died to put away our sin, once and for all. In this way He dealt with the enmity between man and God. He put it out of the way forever. He made the way wide open for men to come back to God. Praise Jesus. We have been redeemed. But my friends, it takes our faith in Christ. It means repentance. Not just saying we are sorry, but a turning away from that sin. Having our minds renewed. Glory to God.
Enmity means hostility, hatred, antagonism. Eph. 2:14-16 says, "For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity."
Colossians 2:10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority.
Glory to God. Are we getting this, church?
Colossians 1:21-22 KJV And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled (22) In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.
These verses should excite everyone who has given their heart to Jesus. When we are born again, saved or some say new creations in God. God's attitude toward us is changed. There is no longer this hostility between God and man because of our breaking God's law.
Our God is merciful and we will learn more on that as we continue this study. When we are saved, other than us making the decision to turn our lives over to Him and follow His ways, Christ did all the work. He left His throne to become a man and to die for us. To be that spotless Lamb. To shed innocent blood, that didn't just temporarily cover our sins for a while, but to wash them away forever. Everyone say praise the Lamb that washed my sins away.
The best news in all the world is that our alienation from God is ended and we are reconciled to the Judge of the universe. God is no longer against us, but for us.
Because of the death of Christ for us (you and me), Paul says we will be presented to God “holy, blameless and beyond reproach.” When we look at what we were, before Christ, oh man, what a change He has done in my life. My actions toward people are not what they used to be. My likes are not the things I long for anymore. My talk has cleaned up. Praise God. Does it mean I don't slip? I do slip, but the majority off the time the Holy Spirit brings these things to the surface and I must be quick to repent. Praise God.
God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). Christ Himself has become to us…righteousness and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30). Our only hope before a Holy God is Christ in our place.
By the death of God's Son, God is now creating a new race of holy people who have given up their hostility to God. That is you and me, my friends. God aims for Jesus not merely to be the first-born over all creation by virtue of his authority and power, but also the head of a new creation by virtue of His sacrifice and love. Church, of all we learn today, I would want this truth to be burned into each of our hearts. If the Bible was not true, if God was not the true living God, if Christ did not come, die for me and was resurrected on the third day, if God didn’t overcome my hostility and estrangement by the blood of Christ, it would never be overcome. I would never be a new creature, and there would be no good news in all the world. Do we understand this? BUT HE DID!! All these things happened. Praise the true living God. Glory to God. We should all be rejoicing and praising His mighty name. Let's give God a clap offering. Even you my friend that may be reading this at another time, shout to the Lord giving Him thanks.
Colossians 1:23-24 KJV 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; (24) Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:
We need to continue in the faith, grounded and settled and not moved. Here is where many back then missed it, and we will see that in future studies. But this is where the church misses it today.
False teachers are everywhere. Again, it was happening during Apostle Paul's time, and they are running rampant today. We must make sure that we are not deceived by studying the Bible.
1 Corinthians. 15:1-4, "Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures."
Verse 24. Here some might start to squirm. How many of you listening here in this room, or sitting in front of your computers on Skype listening in, or even those who are reading this somewhere rejoice in your sufferings? Suffering is not pleasant. I know for myself, I don't look forward to suffering. However, suffering for Christ is a privilege that God rewards with peace when we keep our eyes on Him.
We say we want to live a life that is pleasant in the eyes of God. Some of you may remember a study I did a while back called Having the Compassion Of Jesus. Sounds good on paper, doesn't? Another sermon I did was Living a life mirroring Christ. "Wow, brother Jim, that would be awesome. Yea, that is what I want. Yes sire e bob, that's the life for me". Is it. now? We can see where Jesus was about to be stoned a few times. We know that He was beat upon beyond recognition. So badly beaten that He was unrecognizable. Think you could go through that? Hung on a cross completely naked, draining every ounce of blood out of Himself while His mother, half brother, His closest friends watched. feeling all the sins of the world coming upon Him while the religious leaders and the two men being put to death beside Him yelled their negative comments. "You saved others, save yourself."
Jesus gave His all for you and me. Halleluiah! What Jesus did was prepared a love offering for the world by suffering and dying for sinners. The price was paid to bring you and me back to God. Jesus cried the words, "It is finished", and it was and is finished today.
Friends, what Jesus did was lacking in nothing except for Godly men and women to go to the ends of the word proclaiming the good news to every creature. Sharing the Gospel of how God loved the world so much that He was willing to let His Own Son die so that we could be in communion with Him again. Thank You, Jesus. For us to share with the world that God wishes no man perish.
What Paul was saying is, "I have gone through things also teaching the things of God." What had Paul suffered? Shipwreck, beatings, stonings, prison, rejection from his people.
Paul was not speaking about the requirements for salvation. He was speaking about the Christian service and future works that would be accomplished in the name of Christ. He was sharing with the church in Colosse and you and I, right where we sit, to follow Jesus, we will go through things. For now in this country, it may be people teasing us about our faith. They might laugh at you. Is that going to stop you? I pray not. We know that in other countries there are be-headings of people that have a relationship with Christ. It could very well happen right here in the US. Is that going to cause you to renounce Jesus? Again, I pray not.
Friends, I am going to close now. I was hoping that we could finish chapter 1 in this study today, but I felt led in a different direction. What I want you and I to think about today and through this week is this: are we truly living our lives for Jesus? What are the things that may be holding us back from being hot for Him? For some, you may have heard or read something today that you did not realize the Bible said. As we get deeper into His Word, there are going to be many things that many have never heard, or have never really meditated on before, but they are there, and once we have learned them, we are responsible to act upon them.
Leanna and I love you and are so glad that you have been involved in this ministry.
Hello my dear friends and family. What an exciting week it has been. I have witnessed God's love all through this week and pray that you have also. Praise God!!
I so hope that this series, even though we have not gotten very far, has been a blessing to you. As we have been going through this chapter of Colossians, I am teaching you the way I research scripture to write sermons. As most of you know, I usually write messages dealing with a topic. Even though we are still learning the topic (Who Are We In Christ?), we are learning this topic based on the book of Colossians.
Turn if you will to 2 passages. The first in the book of Colossians, chapter 1 and we will pick up on verse 12 where we left off last week, and please mark your page and then John 12 and we will start with verse 27. We will be looking at words Jesus spoke.
John 12:27-36 KJV Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. (28) Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. (29) The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. (30) Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. (31) Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. (32) And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (33) This he said, signifying what death he should die. (34) The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man? (35) Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. (36) While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
Anyone want to share how these verses spoke to them? Friends, to me, to teach about the Bible and God and Heaven, we also need to teach on Hell, the cross, the blood of Christ, sin and redemption and resurrection. Many churches will not speak of hell. Not a word about sin, because their most generous givers will stop giving if they feel threatened. and as Sonny and Cher sang, the beat goes on.
The cross of Jesus, His blood and death and His resurrection is the mightiest magnet in the universe. Can we shout Praise Jesus! While He lived we read of thousands miraculously fed and healed. After His death we read of thousands added to the church through a single sermon. The Bible is, and always will be, the best selling book in the world. Glory to God. I have seen many miracles in my life, within my family and from people within my circle of people. Glory be to God. So devil, put that in your pipe and smoke it.
My Bible tells me, even when you and I were dead in our transgressions, we were made alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). We were raised up with Him, and He seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Praise Jesus. Give Jesus a Halleluiah!
Colossians 1:12-13 KJV Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: (13) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.
We can search through scriptures and see so many saying practically the same thing and should take notes of them as to who we are in Christ and why.
Romans 3:22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,
Romans 4:25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
Romans 6:6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.
Galatians 1:4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
Galatians 5:24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
As I said, just with these few verses I just read from many I could have shared, should sink into our hearts. This is how much God loves you and me and what Jesus did to bring us back to Himself. Praise the Lord. Listen to this. The ground of our hope is Christ in the Word, but the evidence of our hope is Christ in the heart working mightily by His Holy Spirit.
Back to Colossians. Let's look at the next 2 verses. Remember the title of this message and this should answer it completly.
Colossians 1:14-15 KJV In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: (15) Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
In Whom do we have redemption? Jesus. Why and How? Our salvation consists of two things in this passage: redemption and forgiveness. Sin sold us out and therefore enslaved us. We were in bondage and many probably had no idea they were, until to gospel was taught to us. If we are to be redeemed, we must be redeemed from sin. God does this by forgiveness through the blood of Christ. Amen?
Galatians 3:11-13 KJV But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. (12) And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. (13) Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Forgiveness means remission,and it is only by Christ who paid the price on the cross. Please turn to Romans 3:22. Church, we really need to get an understanding of this. God has remitted the price to be paid because of our sin. The word forgiveness means release from captivity. God releases us from the bondage of the penalty of sin. We are pardoned; our sin is canceled by the death of Christ. Our sin will not be remembered against us anymore. Our sin is dismissed and discharged. We are set free. Those chains that once bound us are released. The grips Satan had on us are gone.
Romans 3:22-26 KJV Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: (23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (24) Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Amen? Do we get this? We were held in the grip of the penalty of sin, but Jesus released us from our sin by his shed blood. I hear from those who bring their past up and dwell on it so often. Most people don't realize that God forgives sins once for all. For those who place their faith in the blood of Christ, their sins are gone forever. Not for just a while, but gone for good. They stand forgiven eternally. All our sins, whether past, present or future are forever forgiven. The slate is wiped clean. Praise God! Where is your faith? Do you cling to the past? Now, I'm not saying that you can say a prayer and ask Jesus into your heart and then go back to a lifestyle that goes against what the Word of God teaches. Yet many preachers will teach exactly that. My conclusion to one living like that are 1, they were never sincere to giving their heart to Christ, or 2 they backslid and need to get right with God.
Colossians 1:15 KJV Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Colossians 1:15 GNB Christ is the visible likeness of the invisible God. He is the first-born Son, superior to all created things.
Colossians 1:15 AMP [Now] He is the [a]exact likeness of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible]; He is the Firstborn of all creation.
Now, I know that there will be those who will send me emails and comments against this part of the message. I will share on this the best I can. "Brother Jim, I thought God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit always were". Someone might be thinking to themselves, Jesus was born to a virgin. I remember somewhere in the Bible reading that. In fact, I remember reading the part where it says the Holy Spirit came upon her, so how can Jesus always have been? Let's look and study what the Bible says. Please turn to chapter 1 of John. The passage does not say that he was the first created, but the first-born. He was before creation.
Who was the Word?
John 1:1-5 KJV In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) The same was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (4) In him was life; and the life was the light of men. (5) And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
And I will appoint him to be my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth.
No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'"?
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
I hope these verses may have helped, but also think back to the beginning of Genesis. The first chapter of Genesis helps us to understand its meaning. God said, "Let there be light," "Let there be a firmament," "Let the earth bring forth," etc., and it was done. God Shows His creative power through the Word, and manifests His will through the Word. Amen? There are mysteries belonging to the divine nature and to the relation between the Son and the Father that we have to wait for eternity to solve. They are too deep for our little pea brains to comprehend. This we know and should be clear to each of us: God creates and speaks to man through the Word. Our Bible. As we clothe our thoughts in words, God reveals His will by the Word, and when that Word is clothed in flesh, as the Teacher of men, we recognize it as Jesus Christ. Glory be to God!
Jesus came as God. He said "If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father."
John 14:10-12 KJV Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. (11) Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. (12) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
Let's go back to the book of Colossians. Colossians 1:16-17 KJV 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: (17) And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Jesus was the visible representation of the invisible God, born before anything was created. Creation was bound up with Him as its secret, and by Him, all things earthly, angelic, celestial and infernal were created and do exist. It pleased the Father that all divine perfections should be summed up in Him. Praise Jesus!!
Church, it's our mission in life to seek after Christ. To talk to Him on a daily basis. To learn from His Word. To put all of our trust in Him. Not just the small things, but the big things also. Praise God. To learn to share the good times with Him. I believe, He wants to know when we are happy, along with the sad times.
Jesus is 100% man, but He is more than man. He is the eternal God. If he were less than God then the Bible would be a fairy tale. I don't believe it's a fairy tale and I pray that you don't either.
Col 1:18 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.
What an exciting verse. Glory to God!! Again, we see that Paul calls Jesus the first born. We read many verses referring to this. Do you suppose it is important? Also notice the firstborn from the dead. When Jesus rose from the dead, he was the “firstborn from the dead.” What exactly does that mean? It means he is the first person who ever rose from the dead never to die again. During his ministry, Jesus raised several people from the dead, including Lazarus who had been dead four days (John 11). Each occasion was a remarkable miracle, but they had this in common. All of the people Jesus raised would eventually die again. But not Jesus himself.
When he came forth from the tomb on Easter Sunday morning, He rose once and for all. When He left the grave, He left for good. Jesus is the firstborn from the dead in the sense that He is the first in a long line of people who will be raised from the dead never to die again. Praise the One true living King.
In closing for this week, I want to ask you to be thinking about this passage of scripture.
Mark 3:23-26 KJV And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? (24) And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. (25) And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. (26) And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.
Hello friends and family and welcome to part 2 of this series on the book of Colossians, "Who Are We In Christ". I pray that through these studies, we get a better understanding of this powerful book of the Bible and that we know just who we are in Christ Jesus. Amen?
Last week, we looked into some of the history of that time. We looked at what it means to be called a saint. Does anyone remember the definitions?
Saint - One separated from the world and consecrated to God; one holy by profession and by covenant; a believer in Christ.
We briefly looked at the importance of prayer and being in the Bible, and the importance of how Apostle Paul opened up his letters to the churches through the epistles. Last week was more of an introduction of the following weeks though this study.
Please turn to Colossians chapter 1 and mark it and then turn to 1 Corinthians 2:12-16 and we will read those verses first. So let's get started, and I hope that you have your pens ready to take notes, and especially to write down the scripture references we will be looking at today. Praise God. Everyone ready?
1 Corinthians 2:12-16 KJV (12) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (15) But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. (16) For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Does anyone want to share what those verses said to them? To me it means when we as true believers are more concerned about trusting, praying, seeking and obeying. God can see farther than the philosopher on his tiptoes, for spiritual truth can be perceived only by the spiritually prepared mind. The truths of God are foolishness and trifling to a carnal mind. The only way to understand spiritual truth is to yield to the Author of it, the Holy Spirit. Amen? That fired me up. Jesus, the cross and His blood is the sum and substance of the Gospel. To believe and teach on the cross and the love of Christ is what you and I are called to do. So many people for centuries have thought it is the place of the Pastors to be witnessing. Not so. We are all called to share the Gospel. To be the hands and feet. Praise the Lord. Someone shout halleluiah.
Colossians 1:4 KJV Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
Here we see that the church in Colosse had at one time been on the right track. In this epistle, Paul rejoices that the Gospel had begun to come to all the world and that truth was being preached "to all the creation under heaven," and that "the riches of the glory" and this secret, this mystery was made known among the heathen. He lets them know that it is the most precious possible news to him that they have faith towards the Lord Jesus Christ, and love to all the saints, because of the hope laid up for them in heaven. It is the truth that wears well and bears perpetual using, and gets brighter with use, this truth that the Gospel, with its one Lord and its one hope, tends directly to bind believing hearts in one. Many influences blind our sight to the reality and glory of the fact.
Colossians 1:5 KJV For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
Paul believed that the truth was first being taught in this area, but as we will soon learn, there was junk entering in, and it needed to be addressed.
Colossians 1:5 AMP Because of the hope [of experiencing what is] laid up ([a]reserved and waiting) for you in heaven. Of this [hope] you heard in the past in the message of the truth of the Gospel,
Let's look at verse 6. This excites me and I will share in a moment why.
Col 1:6 which is come unto you; even as it is also in all the world bearing fruit and increasing, as it doth in you also, since the day ye heard and knew the grace of God in truth;
Paul is saying to these people that he is excited and most likely because of what we read in verse2 and 3 last week, rejoicing that the Gospel had been taken there. But what I jump for joy is when he said, "as it is in all the world." Friends, the gospel is not meant for only the Jews. In fact, what was Paul told to do? Please turn to Acts chapter 9. I am going to read from the American Standard version. Here is what Jesus spoke to Ananias, who Apostle Paul would meet. We have to remember this is right after Paul was blinded on his way to Damascus to do more harm to Christians.
Acts 9:10-16 ASV Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and the Lord said unto him in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. (11) And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go to the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one named Saul, a man of Tarsus: for behold, he prayeth; (12) and he hath seen a man named Ananias coming in, and laying his hands on him, that he might receive his sight. (13) But Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard from many of this man, how much evil he did to thy saints at Jerusalem: (14) and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call upon thy name. (Church, I want us to catch this verse) (15) But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel: (16) for I will show him how many things he must suffer for my name's sake.
Where was Paul to go preach? Gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel. Here the man who seemed to hate what you and I stand for, would now be converted in a moment. To me, it shows that when we truly come to know Jesus as our Lord and Savior, no matter how bad you have messed up, He can change our hearts. Praise Jesus!!
Saul, at the time before his conversion, had a major stronghold. A religious spirit. He, at the time, was part of the Sanhedrin. Now someone might be asking, "What is a stronghold?" Glad you asked. I am not going to dig in too deeply on this topic, but just to help anyone who may not be sure what it is.
We know that the Bible says that the devil, Satan, Lucifer, or the serpent, is the father of lies. He is the one that comes to steal, kill and destroy. Satan's strongholds on people is a faulty thinking pattern based on lies and deception. Deception is one of the primary weapons of the devil, because it is the building block for a stronghold. What strongholds can do is cause us to think in ways which block us from God's best, like right at the beginning after God created this earth and water and all that is within, the serpent came and twisted what God said to Adam and Eve, and they fell for it.
The same with Saul, he did not believe Jesus was the Messiah. The Chosen One. Yet let's look what he says to the Corinthian church in 2 Corinthians 10:1-5.
2 Corinthians 10:1-5 KJV (1) Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you: (2) But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. (3) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (4) (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) (5) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
The strongholds in Paul's life were gone. He was the new creation he preached about and where we should be also. Praise Jesus.
Colossians 1:7 KJV As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
Epaphras was from what I can gather, the pastor or leader of the Colossian church, if you will. Because there is no proof that Paul started this church, through research, my guess is that Epaphras probably heard Paul preach in Ephesus during the 2 years he was there and then brought what he had learned to Colosse. From what we see here and what we will learn later, Epaphras was a friend and was guided by Apostle Paul.
Colossians 1:8-9 KJV Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit. (9) 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;
Here again, Paul makes the statement that he and at least Timothy pray for this congregation as in verse 3 and send words of encouragement to them. Friends, these comments we should take notice of. Here we have two servants of God doing what they were called to do , by the Lord Jesus. I wonder sometimes if when we hear what the Bible says, do we really take notice? Do we really hear the words? And then, most importantly, do we carry those words out in our daily walk? Something to ponder on. Praying for those in the church, praying for all missionaries, whether they be in peaceful areas of the world and especially those in dangerous areas, where some are even at risk of losing their lives for their faith in Jesus. Do we pray for those who are on Christian sites that we belong to, desiring them to be filled with knowledge of God's will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, like we read in verse 9?
Friends, this is part of living a life with Jesus in you. We have these examples repeated over and over again for a reason. That reason is so we get it. I am getting it, but it took a long while to get these nuggets through this thick head of mine. This is the reason I share with you. I want all of us to be where our Lord wants us in our spiritual journey. Apostle Paul confirms this in the next 2 verses.
Colossians 1:10-11 KJV That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; (11) Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
Colossians 1:9-11 (AMP) 9 For this reason we also, from the day we heard of it, have not ceased to pray and make [[a]special] request for you, [asking] that you may be filled with the [b]full (deep and clear) knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom [[c]in comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God] and in understanding and discernment of spiritual things 10 That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and [d]desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, [e]acquaintance, and recognition]. 11 [We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy,
How do you discover the will of God for you? You need to attend a church. You need to read and obey the word of God. And, you need to pray. For those who join us each week here or on Skype, I pray that you have been blessed by what we teach. I hope that your spirit is growing. Praise God. For those who read this online, again I pray that you are blessed, but if you are not at a church, I pray that you do find a home church so that you can learn, but also have important fellowship.
Verse 10 should be our daily prayer. Live a life worthy of the Lord; please Him in every way, bear fruit, grow in the knowledge of God. We as followers need to know the will of God. How foolish is it for us to try to serve God without knowing His will?
Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- his good, pleasing and perfect will. Praise His name!!
Last week we looked at verse 3 and saw that Paul prayed always for the church of Colosse. We also see that in other epistles that Apostle Paul wrote. Jesus taught on prayer. Paul was a firm believer in prayer. He states that living a life worthy of the Lord is connected with prayer.
Church, in order to please God in every way, we must pray. This means that we must ask to discover His will for us. Sometimes Christians do not pray enough, and when they do pray, are they praying for God's will? The Lord wants us to seek Him out regularly, fervently, and specifically. Amen? Yes, I believe that He wants to know the desires of our hearts, because His Word says that, but our main focus should be seeking everything He has for us and to ask Him to mold us. And sometimes that is going to hurt. We as humans do not like to surrender everything. We don't want to give up some of the things that the world does.
Please turn to Galatians 5:22 and we will finish up. Paul gives high regard to bearing fruit in every good work.
Galatians 5:22-23 KJV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
To live a life that is worthy of the Lord is to bear fruit. What kind of fruit is he speaking of? Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. Church, this should be our daily prayer. Our flesh does not like these things. It's not natural to want all these things in our daily lives. Am I speaking to anyone?
Friends, we will pick up with this lesson next week. I pray that these scriptures spoke to your hearts and that we can all learn from them and then act upon them. May the Lord bless you.