Hello friends and family. We're so glad you could join us as we start in chapter 3 of our study on the book of Colossians. I am excited this morning, as we are going to really start to see where we are, or should be in Christ Jesus.
Please turn to the third chapter of Colossians and we will start there.
Has anyone listening or reading this joined in on the Cover to Cover in 2015? I know from members of Cross Roads Fellowship and Mylook Online, sharing bits and pieces of what they have read from day to day, that some are participating. Other than my wife Leanna, is there anyone who might be reading daily, but may not be participating in the group? It is where I urge each of you to be.
Colossians 3:1 KJV If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
What does this verse mean to you? Someone might be thinking, "My feet are firmly planted on the ground." Or as you are hearing this, or reading, you might say "I am sitting on my comfy chair and that's where I am staying because I am comfy and I am afraid of heights."
Let's look at what Apostle Paul, led by the Holy Spirit, was saying in this verse. In the first two chapters, Paul was bringing to the table things that were trying to, and had, entered into the church of Colosse. Religious spirits, Philosophy, Legalism and a few other, as Paul said, "Heresy's." To me, Paul got his point out in the first couple chapters and now was time to teach Christ and who they should be in Christ. Amen? Here is where I believe the Holy Spirit is talking about to you and me. Praise God!
"If ye then be risen with Christ" Paul is referring to believers...those saved, or born again. You and me. Have each of you have invited Jesus into Your life to be Lord and Savior? Actually, let's turn back a chapter to verse 20.
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,
Friends, as we will see in this chapter, it's dealing with your personal relationship with Jesus. Christ in you. Glory to God! Colossians 1:27 KJV 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:
Colossians 2:6-7 KJV As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: (7) Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Glory to God! This is you and me, Church. This is what and where we should be. Now in our beginning verse, "You have been raised up in Him." In Christ. His resurrection. At some point, do a search online and read the verses that have "In Him" in them. Then do a search for In Him.
It is because of our bond, or union, or because of us being in Christ, that Paul was referring to....having been raised up with Christ. In order for resurrection to happen, death must first have to happen. Do we get that? Our death occurred on the cross when Christ died.
Paul is speaking about our death in Christ to sin. Amen? Jesus came to earth and lived a completely sinless life. He died with all the sins of the world upon Him , rose from the dead, and ascended to heaven. Now, when we are saved, we are in Him and with Him. And we need to have our minds set on the things above.
Now, the last part of this verse, I have always wondered about. "Where Christ is seated at the right hand of God." Anyone want to take a guess? The right hand is a position of authority. Jesus in the position of authority with God the father. He has the right to judge. On the day of judgment, those who own the right of Christ are saved. Those on his left are in the hot seat, if you will.
I want us to look at a few verses. Please turn to Matthew 25:33. Maybe we will get a better understanding of this.
Matthew 25:33-41 KJV And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. (34) Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (35) For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: (36) Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. (37) Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? (38) When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? (39) Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? (40) And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (41) Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
This just came to me. Do you suppose we should be careful what we ask the Lord for?
Matthew 20:20-23 KJV Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. (21) And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. (22) But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. (23) And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
At some point this week, look up Hebrews chapter 1:13.
Church, when we gave our hearts to the Lord, we were raised up with Christ. Our old man died. Amen? Our sins were washed away by the precious blood of the Lamb. Jesus being our sacrifice for our sin. Our sins weren't just covered, but destroyed and God will never remember those sins we confessed to Him. Have you confessed your sins, church? When you do, don't let the enemy bring them back up, because that's what he does and what he will continue to do.
Friends, we must consider ourselves dead to sin and now we should set our minds on the things above. We should think of godly things. And church, how do we do that? We spend time in His Word. We spend time in prayer. We fellowship with like-minded people. We stay clear from the sinful nature that kept us in bondage. When we start to go off that straight path, we what? Repent!
Acts 3:17-19 KJV And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. (18) But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. (19) Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
We kind of looked at this verse, but it's well worth reading again. Colossians 3:2 KJV Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Please turn to Philippians 4:4. Friends, when we start spending time in the Word, when you truly give your heart to God, when you spend time in prayer, stay away from the people that were bad influences and things you lusted after, your actions, speech and whole being will start to change. Some are even healed immediately from diseases, and miracle after miracle starts happening. I'm not saying everyone is going to, but it does happen.
Philippians 4:4-9 KJV Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. (5) Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. (6) Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (8) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (9) Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Colossians 3:3 KJV For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Again, we kind of went through this verse. I would ask you to think about this when the tables were turned. What I mean is, before you gave your life to Christ, the Anointed One, you were dead to Christ. Get it? And alive to the world. How was that working out for you? For those young in their walk with God, maybe you haven't noticed a change yet, but I promise you, if you stay steadfast in His Word, walk in obedience, spend time in prayer, don't have idols, stay away from the lusts of the world, you will notice a difference.
To me, and I am jumping ahead of myself, our whole focus should be on Christ. He should be the first thought of the day, throughout the day and at the end of the day, if we truly love Him. Now, is Jim saying that you should not think about your family, work, school, or even recreation? I didn't say that, but when you put God first, all those other important things fall into place. Did that speak to anyone? Did that make sense to anyone?
Colossians 3:4 KJV When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
What a verse. What a promise. What is Paul saying here? This verse is for the saved, because the unsaved know Him not, and He is not in them. When Jesus appears again (some translations use is revealed), when He returns, then we will also be revealed with Him in glory. Does this speak volumes to anyone? This revelation means that the full redemption of what we are both spiritually and physically will be revealed when Jesus returns.
Turn please to John 14: 1. Church, this means that the real you, will be revealed. You will be without the carnal flesh. It will be a wondrous day when we exist without sin dwelling in our hearts.
John 14:1-7 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. (5) Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? (6) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (7) If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
John 3:1-8 KJV There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: (2) The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. (3) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (4) Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? (5) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (8) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
I'm about to close, but I really want all of us to understand the importance of just the few verses we read in Colossians. Glory be to God.
Here is Apostle Paul, once Saul, who I believe knew the Old Testament like the back of his hand. Here a man who had Christians arrested, jailed, put to death, because of what he thought was right in the eyes of God. He is on his way to Damascus to do wrong to many more Christians, and then Christ appeared. "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?" His people. Christ's followers.
And then the miraculous change of life, heart, words and goals. I wonder if there was a man that loved Jesus as much as Paul after this conversion. This life-changing lifestyle that Paul had is what I think he wants all of us to experience. Did Paul live an easy life, sitting on the beach with his feet in the water sipping on an iced tea? I don't think so. His feet may have been in the water from a ship wreck, but his life was far from easy.
For you and me, are our lives going to be easy if we fully commit our lives to Jesus? For some it may be a better life. Some may be healed from a terminal illness. Some may be delivered from an addiction that has haunted you for most of your life and now you are set free. Praise God! Others may be set financially free after being in debt all their lives.
There are some who may be sitting comfortable with a good job, big house, fancy pool, boat and the works. There may be a straight-A student hearing or reading this who is all ready to graduate from college and has a dream job already lined up. A new family with a child on the way and they are so full of excitement, and BAM everything is gone. Look at the story of Job.
Friends, my Bible tells me greater is He that is in me that he that is in the world. My God will never leave me nor forsake me.
Hebrews 10:23 GW We must continue to hold firmly to our declaration of faith. The one who made the promise is faithful.
Romans 4:7-8 GW "Blessed are those whose disobedience is forgiven and whose sins are pardoned. (8) Blessed is the person whom the Lord no longer considers sinful."
1 Corinthians 15:10 KJV (10) But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Proverbs 30:5 KJV Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Had enough? I didn't think so.
Psalms 31:24 KJV Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.
Isaiah 40:29 KJV He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Philippians 4:13 KJV I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Matthew 5:4 KJV Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
John 14:18 KJV I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
So, look and keep your eyes fixed on where Christ is and wait and be ready for when He returns.
Glory to God! Everyone praise Jesus. Praise Him with shouts of joy and give Him a clap-offering, for He is good.