Good morning friends and family. Here we are just days away from the day that we celebrate the birth of the One who saved us from our destruction. Glory be to God! I have thought throughout this week whether or not to switch gears and share a Christmas message or to continue our study in Colossians. From the title of today's message, I think you can guess where I felt led to go.
Last week we looked at many different beliefs that were sneaking into the church of Colosse and compared it to some of the things that are still entering in, even in our day. Through discussions with brothers and sisters in Christ this week, it seems that there is a hunger for more of God. I rejoice in that, but I also am concerned that some look in the wrong places.
I have shared before that many ask, or state that they don't know the will God has for their lives. Anyone want to share where we find God's will for each of our lives? That's right. In His Word, and we have looked at many verses before showing this. My question is...once they hear this and have been shown in scriptures, do they seek?
I am so blessed to know that there is a Bible reading group now on Cross Roads Fellowship for all members to use. Also on Mylook Online. Glory to God. There are Bible Apps that can be used to read the Bible, using many translations and also an audio Bible. I would urge all members and those who are not members to take advantage of this structured Bible reading. Contact me if you are up for this challenge.
Please turn, if you will to Colossians 2: 11 and mark your place there. Then I would ask you to turn to 2 Peter.
"Why are you so into us reading the Bible, brother Jim? I really don't have time to read with work and children. It makes me tired to read. Can't I just listen in church to the sermons each Sunday?" Well, you can. It's your choice. I guess it depends on how hungry for more of God you are. It depends on whether or not you want to have a discerning spirit as to whether you are hearing a Godly message or not.
You see my friends, there are many out there teaching the truth. It may sound close, but it has a twist to it. There are teachers who, I believe, were called to preach the Gospel and because of pride or whatever, everything changes. We can look at proof of this in many ministries today.
Smooth tongued false teachers seldom deny Jesus Christ who taught, but they do deny Jesus who brought. The devil hates the doctrine of the cross of Christ, and there you get all the conflicting theories as to His death. Think I am joking? Start paying attention to these wolves in sheep's clothing, but beware.
2 Peter 2:1-10 KJV But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2) And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (3) And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. (4) For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; (5) And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; (6) And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; (7) And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (8) (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) (9) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: (10) But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
Church, where God sends His true messengers with His Word, the devil always sends those to seduce and deceive, and especially to deny Christ’s redemptive work. Such men bring swift destruction upon themselves, even though they prosper for a while. We can fool man, but God is not fooled.
This is the importance of trusting in God. This is why the importance in building our faith by being in Jesus (HIS WORD). Praise God.
Now let's turn back to Colossians 2 and verse 11.
Colossians 2:11 KJV In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
This verse and topic has come up a lot in the past week. Why? Maybe because I needed to hear to better share with you today.Paul speaks of a spiritual circumcision, a circumcision done by Christ, not by people.
So here we are in part of a sex education class. Not really, but in a way. Circumcision represented the Law in the Old Testament. It was a covenant sign. We know that covenant is very, very important to God and we can see throughout His Word all kinds of covenants. Keep your place here and please turn to Genesis 17:10.
Genesis 17:10-12 KJV This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. (11) And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. (12) And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.
Now, someone hearing this, or reading this who has not been circumcised might be panicking. Please don't fret. I know a man who went through this operation while he was in his 70's. We as followers of Christ, are not under the law any longer. Church, we as Christians have died to the law. Praise the finished work of our Redeemer and Savior.
Romans 7:6 KJV But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
Romans 2:27-29 KJV And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? (28) For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: (29) But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
It involved the shedding of blood and was representative of the true covenant of Christ's blood that was then future. The removal of the body of flesh speaks of our sinful nature.
1 Corinthians 15:21-22 KJV (21) For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. (22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
Colossians 2:12 KJV Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
Now some will say, "Brother Jim, you say that we should read our Bibles daily?" Yes. "Well, if we are not under the law, why continue to read the OT?" To me, I want to know where these covenants started, for one thing. I also think it is important to see examples of doing the will of God demonstrated by others and learn from those who turned away from God.
Paul talks about Old Testament circumcision with New Testament baptism. Notice the phrase "raised up." This is a strong allusion to the act of being dunked in water and thereby participating in the spiritual resurrection of Christ. This baptism symbolizes our death to the law as well as the death of our carnal natures. The putting off of the carnal flesh even as circumcision was also the putting off of flesh.
Our resurrection in baptism is through faith. The resurrection of Christ by the Father is a demonstration that the sacrifice of Christ was acceptable to God the father. Amen? Church, do we get this?
Colossians 2:13 KJV And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses.
Praise Jesus! Turn if you will to Ephesians 2.
Ephesians 2:1-2 KJV And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; (2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Romans 6:23 KJV For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I want you to think about this for a moment. There are those who teach that all men (and women) will enter into heaven. I hope you don't fall into that belief. We can look at many verses that prove that is not so. For those of you familiar with Matthew 7, we know Jesus said that belief is false.
If all men were saved, it could never be made to appear that we did really deserve to die. In spite of the cross, we, angels, and the universe would doubt it. The loss of some men through rejection of Christ sets that doubt at rest and proves to all eternity that those who are saved were by nature the children of wrath. Does that speak to you?
To me it says if all go to Heaven, why did Jesus leave His throne and come to this sinful place and die to save us? Why all this talk of faith in the Bible? Why would we have to be forgiving? Why love our neighbor? If this wasn't true, we could be murderous, thieving, backstabbing adulterous, lying scum of the earth and not worry about anything. Much like this world is living today.
Friends, God is real. Heaven is real. Hell is very real and many will go there. Mary did conceive a child by the Holy Spirit and that child was and is Jesus. He lived a sinless life, died on a cross was resurrected on the 3rd day and now sits with God the Father. The Bible is true, every Word of it and inspired from God. Jesus is alive today and has forgiven the sins of those who have come to Him. If you doubt any part of this, I suggest you be in prayer and repent and ask the Lord to direct you in His truth. Praise the One true living God who was and is and is to come. Halleluiah! ! Praise the King of kings, church. Praise His Holy name.
Colossians 2:14 KJV Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
What a powerful promise this verse is to us. Glory to God!! Friends, our debt to God has been canceled. The debt is death. This death is separation from God.
1 Corinthians 15:55-58 KJV (55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (56) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (58) Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Friends, I am about to close for today, but I want to make sure you get this. If Jesus is laying somewhere that no one has found yet, there would be no hope for you and me. The Gospel, (good news) would be meaningless. Yet my Bible tells me all who are in Christ will be made alive. Praise Jesus! Who will be made alive? Those in Christ. Those who have in faith called out to Jesus and repented of their sin asked Him into their lives to be Lord and Savior.
Friends, I pray that you have done that. If not, I would like to pray with you.
Paul said "Nailed to the cross." The crucifixion of Christ.
1 Peter 2:24 KJV Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. Praise Jesus!!
2 Corinthians 5:20-21 KJV (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
This Jesus loves you. He who was and still is rejected throughout the world. He is willing and able to save the worst of all men and women, but you have to ask. Maybe someone today listening or reading this message feels a tug at your heart. Have you asked Jesus to be Lord and Savior? Have you confessed your sins to Him? If this message is speaking to you and you know it is, please get in touch with me and I will pray with you and help you to get to know Jesus. Don't put it off, because tomorrow may be too late. We were never promised tomorrow. We cannot be certain what the next day may bring. With all the craziness going on in the world, we may never see tomorrow. Without the faith in Jesus and making that commitment to Him, we are doomed to hell and it is not for just a little bit. Eternity is forever. Jesus came to save us, so that we might have life and have it abundantly. We have that choice.
Leanna and I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas.