Colossians: Alive in Christ

berries and leavesPublic Reading: Colossians 2:6-15

An audio file of sermon can be found on the PRV website.

Background Review

  • Before we jump into today’s passage, we need to remember the context for the passage
  • It is easy to simply read a passage within the Scriptures
    • There are great things there
    • A lot of times they can stand alone
    • Yet each verse is built upon another
    • They are also built upon the history of who wrote them, to who they were written too, etc.
    • Colossians, if we recall, was written by Paul and Timothy
      • Paul penned the book, but Timothy was there with him as seen by verse 1:1
      • They are writing to a church group they have never met
        • But has heard about
        • One of their friends started the church
        • Outline so far
          • 1:1-14 – Paul and Timothy telling the church what they had heard about them
            • Offer their prayers
            • The passage underscores how we are to rejoice with what God is going around the world
  • 1:15-23 – this was a great poetic piece outline the supremacy of Christ
    • Paul and Timothy are stating the basics
    • Reminding us that the basics are really where it is!
  • 1:24-2:5 – In fact, Paul goes go after this poetic piece to tell the church that it all about Jesus
    • Suffering on behalf of the church
    • Suffering to see the message of Jesus spread throughout the world
    • This brings us right up to our passage for the week

Alive in Christ

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

  • As the saying goes, if you see the word “therefore”, ask yourself what is it “there for”
  • Therefore, because it is in Jesus that “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” are hidden (vs 3)
    • Continue to live in him, rooted and build up on him
    • The EVS and the Kingdom NT ways to “walk in him” or “continue your journey in him”
    • Following Jesus is not a Sunday morning thing
      • It is not a rules, a do this or don’t do this thing
      • It is a heart change
      • It is a way of life
      • A way of living
      • This is why Paul goes on in vs 12  saying that we were buried with Jesus and raised with Him again
      • We are new creatures!
        • We are no longer the same person we once were
        • Yes, we have the same memories
        • Our heart is different
        • Our motivations are different
        • Yet a lot of times we don’t live that way
        • We allow the philosophy – the teachings of this world to govern our lives
          • This is why Paul says

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

  • There is a battle going on right now for your mind
    • You may be a child of God
    • You may be ‘saved’ and will go to heaven
    • But are you going to be effective for God’s Kingdom right now in 2014
    • A lot of us have bought into the empty philosophy of the stories around us
    • We come up with different reasons why we are still breathing
      • We say that we are here to be good parents, grand-parents
      • We have to help our kids
      • We are here to work and have a good life
        • Everything is going to burn in the end, so why don’t enjoy live now?
        • You can’t take anything with you, so let’s have some fun now?
        • Oh, I believe in Jesus, I go to church…. I’m a child of the Lord
        • But are you changing the world?
          • Are you actively asking Jesus what he is doing around you?
          • Are you actively pursuing His mission to bring His Kingdom into this area?
          • This is more than forcing everyone to go to church?
            • This is more than having guilt that you didn’t do xyz?
            • I’m taking about the journey of joining Jesus, you know, the guy who Paul talks about in vs 9 and 10?

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.

  • Everything that was God the Father was in Jesus
  • All RULE and AUTHORITY belongs to Jesus
  • Who wouldn’t want to join with Him in changing the world?
  • Friday night I was out with some friends from work
    • Was telling them stories of following Jesus
    • They thought I was nuts!
    • What I was saying about going to the ends of the world to help someone
      • To love on them
      • To bring them medical help
      • That was dumb
      • That was not right
      • They, in my mind, fell trapped to the empty deceit of human tradition and mindset
      • Why oh why do we settle for less?
      • God is not looking for great people
        • He is looking for willing people
        • I am simply a rock farmer from Oklahoma and Texas who said “yes” to Jesus
          • I’m up here speaking no because I’m special
          • But because I said “yes”
          • I will step out in faith and give it a try
          • That is all Jesus is asking us to do
          • We are, after all, joint heirs with Jesus
          • Children of God almighty
          • Our past – the mistakes, the crap, the sins, the mistakes, – ALL of it – has been nailed to the cross

13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

  • Jesus has set us free
  • The chains that used to bound us has been broken
  • I love verse 15
    • He put to shame the rulers and authorities of evil
    • I know the world looks crazy
    • I know we have to eat
    • But that’s the thing, following Jesus and working is not mutually exclusive
      • Why is the ground so hard?
      • Why does crap happen?
      • Because our forefathers rejected God and decided to do things their way
      • When we plow a field, we are to pray over that field.
        • Pray down God’s mercy, love, peace and joy over that field
        • Pray not just for rain and sunshine – pray that the dirt will be different
        • That those who walk by – that the animals who go there will be different
        • Pray to be made fully alive in Jesus
        • This doesn’t mean that we won’t experience pain or suffering
          • Paul, after all, just reminded the church about how much he had to suffer for this message
          • Allow me to on record to say that you WILL experience pain and suffering
            • Crap will happen
            • It will continue to happen
            • But doesn’t mean that the message of a new life isn’t true
              • What it mean is that we are living in tension
              • Between to ages, this current age and the age that is to come
              • We are to fight for the age to come
                • While living in this one
                • Quote by Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

As Christians we are always in tension – in anguish and at the same time in bless. This is mad, ridiculous. But it is true – accepting the dark night just as we accept the brilliance of the day. We have to make an act of surrender – if I am in Christ, there are moments when I must share the cry of the Lord on the cross and the anguish in the garden of Gethsemane. There is a way of being defeated, even in our faith – and this is a way of sharing the anguish of the Lord. I don’t believe that we should ever say, ‘This cannot happen to you.’ If we are Christians we should go through this life, accepting the life and the world, not trying to create a falsified world.

But, on the other hand, the Christian is like someone who lives in three dimensions in a world in which the majority of people life in two. People who live freely and within a dimension of eternity will always find that something is wrong, they will always find themselves being the odd man out. The same problem was faced by the early Christians when they said that their only king was God. People turned round to them and said, ‘If you say that you are disloyal to our king’ and often persecuted them. But the only true way of being loyal to this two-dimensional world is to be loyal to the three-dimensional. If you really live in three dimensions and do not simply live in two and imagine the third, then life will be full and meaningful. The early Christians were able to do it and Christians today are also able to do that.

  • The early follower of Jesus changed their world and ours
  • Let us be the kinds of folks that will leave a mark on the face of history because we changed the world
  • We changed this community, we did the impossible!!
  • Let us run after Jesus so that on that day when we see him face to face with nothing in between us
    • On that day, may his words to be “well done, good and faithful servant!”

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