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.