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.