Good morning friends and family and welcome to part 11 of "Who are We In Christ?" from our study in the book of Colossians. We have gone over many things in the past weeks and so much more that we will dig into in the next few weeks, God willing.
Has this study spoken to anyone? Who are you in Christ? How has Jesus changed your life since you came to know Him? How is He working in your life today? Have you surrendered your whole life to Him? These are just a few things that I hope these studies and the ones that follow will help each of us.
Please turn in your Bibles to Colossians 2:20. Mark your place there and then turn to 2 Peter 3:16. I want to recap on what we looked at last week and dig a bit more into the importance of being in God's Word and what it will do in your lives if you are in it and what can happen if you're not. Are we ready?
2 Peter 3:16-18 KJV As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (17) Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. (18) But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.
I am going to read from the amplified version. 2 Peter 3:16-18Amplified Bible (AMP) Speaking of this as he does in all of his letters. There are some things in those [epistles of Paul] that are difficult to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist and misconstrue to their own [a]utter destruction, just as [they distort and misinterpret] the rest of the Scriptures. 17 Let me warn you therefore, beloved, that knowing these things beforehand, you should be on your guard, (Church, we need to be on our guard) lest you be carried away by the error of lawless and wicked [persons and] fall from your own [present] firm condition [your own steadfastness of mind]. 18 But grow in grace (undeserved favor, spiritual strength) and [by] recognition and knowledge and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him [be] glory (honor, majesty, and splendor) both now and to the day of eternity. Amen (so be it)!
Is there twisting, distortion and misinterpreting of scripture going on within the church today? You bet there is. Remember in the Gospels when Jesus was led into the desert and Satan twisted scriptures to try to get Jesus to fall? The devil quoted scripture to Him. It wasn't the rightly divided truth. It wasn't what God was saying. Is everyone following what I am trying to share? We see this happening today. Because I am on so many sites, I see people taking scriptures and twisting them and making them say what they want and not what God is saying. There are so many people who act all knowing about the Bible and they are unstable, unknowing, and they say things that the Bible does not say.
2 Corinthians 13:1 KJV This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
Last week we looked at 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
So, if we can rightly divide the word, we can also what? Wrongly divide it. You can make the scriptures say anything you want. Take part of scripture from here and another from there and invent whatever you want. Church, do we see this? So I ask you, is it important to rightly divide scripture?
Friends, what I want us to understand through this part of the message is this. When you and I, when we are rooted in the truth, in God's Word, continue to listen to those who are unlearned and unstable and they start twisting scriptures, we can start questioning the truth. You can become unsettled and then you start wavering in your faith. Amen. Do we get this?
Friends, this is why I continually, each week, ask you to be in God's Word on a daily basis. It is why I ask you to pray in faith for the Lord to help you in your reading and show the things that He plans to show you. Our faith needs to be unwavering. How do we build our faith?
Romans 10:17 KJV So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
God's Word is perfect and unchanging. 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.
Hebrews 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
Friends, The devil is so crafty. He doesn't come in the front door. No, he sneaks in through the back door, through a crack, or the window and he makes things sound kind of like God, but there is something a bit twisted. "Oh Eve, did God really say you would die if you ate the apple? Jesus, if you bow down to me, I will give you everything. Jump from this Pinnacle, Son of God and the angels will protect you. Jack, you have a great name and I know you're really trying to quit drinking the past couple months, but you know you really want a taste of Jack Daniels. Mary, you know you want to tell your friends what you saw your friend doing with this one yesterday. No one will really get hurt if you make up a little story to about your brother to get him in trouble and he loses his job and now you can have it. Take a look at that movie with those nice looking babes in it." Do we get this, friends? He is crafty. He knows what buttons to push that you are weak in.
The same can happen when we are not grounded in the Word of God. We hear someone saying things that kind of sound like it could be scripture and then we believe it is scripture. I know. There have been times while putting messages together, and I start remembering something that I heard years ago from a preacher, or from someone at church that fits perfectly with the message I am preparing. Well friends, when I start digging in my Bible searching and searching and then I do a Google search, I find it's not there. I say it's not there. I can see something that almost sounds like it, but when you read the verse after, it has a totally different meaning.
Ok church, let's go to Colossians 2:20 and God willing, we will finish up with this chapter. I do believe that what saw in the verses we just heard has very much to do with Who We Are In Christ. It is so important that our faith be built up, and if we are wavering in our faith, we are not pleasing God. Amen? And from these verses that we will be looking at today in Colossians, Apostle Paul, being led by the Holy Spirit, was warning the church of Colosse about false doctrine.
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 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.
Colossians 2:20 KJV 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,
Paul is addressing a legalism problem that was starting to be taught during this time in the church. Suppose that is still going on? You bet it is, and we will look at some of those things in a bit.
When we are truly saved and have an intimate relationship with our Lord and Savior, we are said to have died with Jesus.
Turn please to Romans 6. We are only going to read the first few verses, but I urge each of you this week to read the whole chapter and study it. Praise the Lord!
Romans 6:1-7 KJV What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? (2) God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (3) Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? (4) Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (5) For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: (6) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (7) For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Colossians 2:21-23 KJV (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 honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
Ok, this may surprise some, and irritate many, and I am fully aware that this will bring in the emails, but some of the issues of legalism are don't handle, don't taste, don't touch. Unfortunately, some believe that our holiness before God is dependent on our behavior. Do we understand this?
It is not our holiness before God that is dependent upon the work of Christ. Now in saying this, it does not mean it's okay to sin.
Friends, we have our Bibles that shows us how to live. The things that are ok, the things we should stay away from. Jesus was our perfect model. He left His throne in Heaven to come live with sinners like you and me and to teach them Godliness and faith. Praise Jesus! We are to avoid ungodliness. But we have to make sure that our avoiding ungodliness is not done so that we might maintain our position of salvation with God (legalism). Instead, it should be motivated out of our desire to honor God and bring glory to Him, because we already are secure in Him through the work of Christ. Praise the Lord.
Colossians 2:22 KJV Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
We can look at many denominations and cults and see that legalism is a product of human teaching. When we properly understand our position with God through Christ, we understand that we are not obligated to keep God's law in order to please God so as to keep salvation. Again, all that we have and need is found in the person of Jesus. Another chapter that I highly recommend reading this week is Galatians 3.
Colossians 2:23 KJV Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
As we have looked at in the past couple weeks, we need to rightly divide scriptures. There will always be those who come with things that may sound close to what the Word says, but test the spirits. Man-made legalism has the appearance of wisdom, but it is not wisdom. Let me give you some examples. The Mormons will tell you that they trust the King James Bible. They sort of do, but they have another false book that they trust even more. In it, they have what they call "word of wisdom." In it, it warns it's members to stay away from hot and caffeinated drinks (appearance of wisdom in self-made religion).
Now, there are denominations that say no dancing is allowed. I, in a way, get what they are trying to stay away from, but again, unbiblical. We see in 2 Samuel that King David danced before the Lord, and furthermore, he danced with all his might.
We can look at several verses about dancing, but this one comes to mind first.
Psalms 149:3 KJV Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.
Some churches say that you should not have TVs. Absolutely can't watch movies. Show me in God's Word. Now, should we watch everything on TV? Absolutely not. We should stay away from shows that have nudity and things promoting issues that we should stay clear from. There are many shows that Leanna and I watch that are positive and clean.
Here is a statement that is sure to get me hate mail. There are religious groups that say that guitars and drums are not to be allowed in a church building. It is from the devil. Oh really?
Let's look at some verses. Remember, rightly divide scripture. Psalm 150:1-5 Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.
2 Chronicles 5:11 GNB All the priests present, regardless of the group to which they belonged, had consecrated themselves. And all the Levite musicians---Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, and the members of their clans---were wearing linen clothing. The Levites stood near the east side of the altar with cymbals and harps, and with them were 120 priests playing trumpets. The singers were accompanied in perfect harmony by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, as they praised the LORD singing: "Praise the LORD, because he is good, And his love is eternal." As the priests were leaving the Temple, it was suddenly filled with a cloud shining with the dazzling light of the LORD's presence, and they could not continue the service of worship.
Church, after saying all these things, I am not saying that God is alright with us going to bars. I am not saying that you should watch whatever you want on TV or go to porn sites on the computer. Worshiping God during services and even at home should not be utter chaos. I have attended services where what was claimed to be of the Holy Spirit, was nothing but chaos. Confusion. My Bible tells me that God is not confusing. I know where that comes from, and it is not from God. Remember, Satan does not come through the front door, he sneaks in through any willing crack. And I know man's pride is part of that work.
The point I want everyone to get is, it is not these things that make us right before God. The person who wants to abstain from these things should do so out of a desire to honor God, not because they desire to maintain their position with Him, and we should want to honor God in our lives and practices. Amen?
Colossians 3:23 GNB Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people.
Ephesians 6:6-8 GNB Do this not only when they are watching you, because you want to gain their approval; but with all your heart do what God wants, as slaves of Christ. (7) Do your work as slaves cheerfully, as though you served the Lord, and not merely human beings. (8) Remember that the Lord will reward each of us, whether slave or free, for the good work we do.
Paul says this through the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 10:30-33 GNB (30) If I thank God for my food, why should anyone criticize me about food for which I give thanks?" (31) Well, whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all for God's glory. (32) Live in such a way as to cause no trouble either to Jews or Gentiles or to the church of God. (33) Just do as I do; I try to please everyone in all that I do, not thinking of my own good, but of the good of all, so that they might be saved.
Friends, we made it through 2 chapters. Praise God. I do pray that we are all getting this. I know there has been a lot to learn and there may very well be things that some have never heard before. I do hope that you have written these scriptures down and will look at them later and often.
May the Lord bless you.