Hello my friends and family. I pray that today's message will be a blessing to you. As I get started here, I think this teaching will be a bit different than how I usually teach, but we shall see. I feel we are going to look at more scriptures than we usually do during the hour sessions. Ok, an hour and a half. As I type this, I can see my wife and hear her thoughts saying, "Sometimes hours." Now, I say that, but I have never heard anyone complain.
If I could have everyone please turn to 2nd Corinthians 5:17. Here is a scripture we all need to keep in our hearts.
2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
So as we go through today's message, I am going to share many scriptures with you. I don't want us to just read them, but take the scriptures to heart. Amen? Any one of us can speed read through these scriptures, like the first one, but what good does it do us if it isn't in our hearts? If we don't meditate and chew on it and put our 100% faith in it, what good does it do?
Deuteronomy 11:18-23 Therefore shall ye lay up these My words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.
Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Really catch this one. 2 Timothy 3:15-17 KJV And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (16) All scripture How much of the Word?) is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
So, as we go through today's message, as we read through scripture, I want all of us to be thinking who we are in Christ. Amen? Glory to God!
Please turn to Colossians 1, and this is where we will dive in. Who would like to read chapter 1?
Colossians 1:1-29 KJV Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, (2) To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (3) We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, (4) Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, (5) For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; (6) 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: (7) As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; (8) 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; (10) 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; (12) 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: (14) 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: (16) 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. (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. (19) For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; (20) 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. (21) 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: (23) 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: (25) 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.
I want to stop here and let us digest what we have just read. We see that Apostle Paul is writing to the people in Colosse. as I said, we are going on a different approach today. Usually I teach on a subject, and even though I kind of am, as the title's name suggests, we will be for the next few weeks studying from the book of Colossians, God willing. So are we ready?
In verse one, we see that Apostle Paul starts this Epistle with "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother" We know that when this was written, Paul was in prison in Rome. We will later see that Epaphras, whom was a member of the church in Colosse had come to share things that were happening within the church. There are many things that we can look at that goes outside of this teaching, like Epaphras being arrested when he came to Rome, Philemon 1:23, and also later in this study as we will see Colossians 4:10.
We see Paul greets the church from himself, God and Timothy. Now, was Timothy there? I think so. A while ago, when I thought I was going to do a study on this book, (By the way, this is one of my favorite books of the Bible) there were mixed emotions from theologians on what part Timothy played during this time. Some thought he was the messenger who delivered this Epistle. I think we can find scripture that counts that claim out. There are claims that Timothy wrote this Epistle. There were times that Paul did not write some of the epistles, but had someone write them for him, like the book of Romans. Romans 16:22 I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord. We could go a lot further with the what ifs on this one verse, but when we get to chapter 4, we will see that it was Paul who wrote this book.
"Brother Jim, what does this history and knowledge have to do with who we are in Christ?" Stick with me and I believe you will see. Praise the Lord.
Col 1:2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The other day, I saw a few in chat on Cross Roads Fellowship and I purposely said, "Hello, Saints." I knew that one might come back with a statement when I said that, and he did. So this is where I ask you, "Where are you in Christ?" We see right here in this Epistle, Paul addressed this letter to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ. Many, if you call addressing them as saints, will get all testy and even argue with you when you say that. Let's look up the meaning of being a saint. In Greek the word ‘saints’ is...
One separated from the world and consecrated to God; one holy by profession and by covenant; a believer in Christ.
Church, that is where we, with Christ living in us should be. Separated from the world. Consecrated to God. That is what we are when we become born again. As we will see later, the old man, or woman, should be dead and we are a new creation. Praise the Lord! So we need to act it. We need to speak like it. We need to love like it. We will see as we continue with this lesson in the next few weeks what was entering into the church during that time, just as it has entered into churches all over the world, but not many seem to care.
Church, when we become born again we are considered holy ones. We are set apart to glorify God. Someone shout "Halleluiah!" The Christian is holy because of the blood of Jesus Christ and being justified by faith. Actually, let's go there so you can see for yourself. Rom. 5:1.
Romans 5:1 KJV Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Friends, we belong to the Lord Jesus. We have been bought at a price, and are called to do God’s will. 1 Peter 2:9 KJV But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: We need to get a full understanding of this.
When we read the Bible, it's important to believe in faith that God is true to His Word. It's the proper and necessary food for the soul, which, and when we are hearers and it gets in our hearts, then we are doers of it, it doesn't leave you as it finds you. Friends, when we allow Christ in our lives to mold us into what we were intended to be from before the earth was formed, it happens. The word improves us, causing us to realize our spiritual position in the world. The things of the world are not that important anymore. Friends, do we catch this? Any one excited?
Colossians 1:3 KJV We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
Here we see how Paul often started his letters. Thanking God and sharing with the church of Colosse that they were often remembered and prayed for.
I believe that Paul was a praying man. I believe he knew the power of prayer and because of this praying in faith, God moved through him.
This leads me to the last part of today's message. Praying. I often wonder why we don't pray as often as we should, whether it be on our own or especially praying in church. I mean, I understand part of why we don't pray more, but I know that we have the ability to overcome that. I want us to turn to Ezekiel 22:30. Does anyone want to quickly share their thoughts of why we refuse to be in unwavering prayer and praying always for our government, family, brothers and sisters in Christ, the world, and for our own NEEDS? Satan doesn't want you to pray and he hinders those prayers.
Ezekiel 22:30-31 KJV And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. (Notice this. He found no one to pray. Not one. Friends, here in the US and the World, there is such chaos going on and do we earnestly pray without wavering? (31) Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.
Please turn to Acts 12, and we will start with verse 1. We're going to start seeing our lives with Christ, but we need to understand some of the key lessons. Reading, understanding the verses, and then acting upon them is part of it. Prayer is another big part.
Acts 12:1-8 KJV Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. (2) And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. (3) And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) (4) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. (5) Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. (6) And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. (7) And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. (8) And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.
Praise God. The importance of prayer and believing in what we pray brings miracles, even when it seems impossible. One more verse and then we will end.
1 Timothy 2:1-5 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;
Friends, we as Christians are to be men and women who pray. And in our prayers we should have a generous concern for others as well as for ourselves. Amen? Also, as hard as it might be because we may not agree with them, but it should especially be our desire to pray for those in civil authority, that God will turn their hearts and direct them, making use of them for the accomplishing of His purposes. Agreed? Friends, we know that there is a demonic force running wild in the government, but we have God's Word that says:
James 4:7 KJV Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. This verse is so important for you and me to get and stand on. Praise God!
Friends, when we can get rid of pride, we learn to forgive, we understand that worldly and fleshly lusts are the distemper which will not allow contentment or satisfaction in the mind, and rise up to the exclusion of prayer and the working of our affections toward God. Let the Christian be free from the friendship of the world, and be submitted to God, thus shutting and bolting the door against the devil. Amen? It doesn't mean that we can't enjoy ourselves. I believe God wants us to be happy, but be happy doing the things of God. Making Godly choices.
Wow, we only got through three verses, but I think we leave here this morning with a better understanding of who we are with Christ living in us. Praise God.