Jesus Christ Our Savior!
Colossians 1: 21-23
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
Paul is highlighting what Jesus has done for the people at Colossae so they will consider what their culture is asking them to leave.
This also functions as a healthy way to see why folks are not currently following Jesus for their life. As such, they should be made stronger in their understanding of what is going on when folks pressure them to abandon Christ.
In this passage we see salvation from three different viewpoints:
- We pursued something for life other than Christ before.
- Now we pursue Christ for our life.
- In the future we will continue to pursue Christ for our life because:
John 6: 68-69 “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
Before they found Christ,
- You Once Were Alienated from God
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.
- Our thinking was corrupted
- God is either not there or is uninvolved or uninterested.
- My personal moral standard is adequate
- I compare myself to others in order to be confident
- Relativity rules the day. The trouble with the social sciences.
Ephesians 2: As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
What is behind living for the pursuit of pleasure, pride and possessions? It is the spiritual forces of darkness.
Matthew 6: 23 says it this way: 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
If your thinking was corrupted before, why should you listen to arguments of people whose thinking is corrupted?
Just because people have insight into one area of knowledge does not mean that they understand a relationship with God.
- Our actions invite judgement
God really will judge people. I hear people declare that God has no right to judge them because He is not more obvious. People talk about not caring whether God will judge them. This is just a declaration of unbelief in God. If they believed God were there then they would care about judgement.
God is there. God is creator. God has a purpose for creation. What does not fit it’s created purpose dies and is removed. Once people reject this understanding of God, they enter the Romans 1 cycle. Their thinking does not improve over time apart from following the revelation of God!
Romans 1 and then the cycle goes, bad thinking produces bad actions which produce profoundly bad thinking, which produces incredibly bad actions, which produces an inability to think well at all, which produces actions that produce wrath. From the very beginning of the Bible, this is the first message. God is creator. We are to pursue His created plan. When we do not we develop our own plan and the result is a spiral into chaos and then judgement.
- Alienated people need help!
You are a blind man in a room with no light. Even if you have light you won’t see. God gives you the ability to see. Then God gives you light. In your own experience you can see this. Jesus says, “No one comes to Him unless the Father draws them.” He says this in the context of people that He has just done a miracle for rejecting Him because He has said something that offends them. The cultural pressure of their understanding overwhelmed the message of Christ to trust Him first.
You were once alienated from God, but you are now…
- You Are Now Reconciled to God by Jesus v.22
22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—
- Relationship to the Creator
Christ’s literal physical death is for your sin. Do you want to sin some more? That makes no sense. Do you want to abandon the sources of your righteousness? Where else will you go? God will have to not be there in order for you to be ok.
Hebrews 10: 19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings,
The cure for legalism!!
- Relationship to the Source of all Truth
How am I to live? What is good for me, for my family, for my culture both now and in the future?
What character qualities do I lack?
How does God work in my life?
What can I expect the Holy Spirit to do in me?
How can I grow?
I am the light of the world.
I am the truth.
- Relationship to the Source of all Blessing
What is the blessed life?
24 “‘“The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’
What is the relationship of money, success and pleasure to blessing?
I came that you might have life! And that life more abundantly that ever you could! John 10:10
If Christ is on the throne of your life, then all of the interests and desires in your life will be in balance to His rule. So, we must continually submit to Christ as ruler of our lives.
III. You Must Continue in Your Faith
23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
- Consequences of not believing
The short answer is death.
Eternal Security of the Believer
Preservation of the Elect
If you plan to not believe in Christ what is that?
Hebrews 6 people cannot be renewed to repentance. How can that be remedied? Of what value is that?
See faith as an act of the will, not the emotions or even thought. Just choose to follow Christ.
Faith of a mustard seed
Lord I believe, Help my unbelief!
Judas did not submit to the Redemptive plan of Christ.
- Expect some resistance from others
Family: Jesus did. John 7: 7 After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. 2 But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, 3 Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. 4 No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
6 Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil.
Government: The Beast
Religious people/systems: The false prophet
Economic entities: Babylon
You can’t legislate morality. You’ve heard that one right? Well, it’s said by those who disagree with the moral standard. Should we legislate against murder, theft, rape, kidnapping, assault? Those are all moral issues. How are they different from any others? They are not.
- The gospel will not change
God works the way that He works. There will never be any need to move away from Who Jesus is and what He has done for us.
Read the Sermon on the Mount!!
Jesus talks about blessing,
religious activities that strengthen us,
submitting to God’s rule in our lives,
treating others as we would like to be treated and so on.