COLOSSIANS 1

11 Outlines

 

COLOSSIANS 1:1-8

THANKFUL FOR OTHERS

 

As we begin a series on the Book of Colossians, it is none other than the Apostle Paul will teach us gratitude. He will show us how to be thankful to God for others.

 

We can find our attitude towards other Christians not always what it should be because:

·       Other Christians do things to hurt us.

·       Other Christians do things that mess up our plans.

·       Other Christians are sometimes people we don’t care for.

·       Other Christians sometimes hold varying doctrinal positions.

 

When Paul wrote to the Colossians, he was writing to a people that he had for the most part never met. He’d never been to Colossae. And to make matters worse, he was writing to people who were guilty of doctrinal error.

 

And yet, Paul was able to share that he was giving thanks for those people on a regular basis.

 

We will learn from Paul how to give thanks to God for others, as we realize that we can give thanks for:

(Please note that I gave background to the Book of Colossians and comments on Vss. 1-2 before preaching the outline. You will probably want to do the same if you are doing a series.)

 

THE MARKS OF SALVATION

 

Vs. 3 – Notice that there is no separation between prayer and thanksgiving. Paul says, “When I pray for you I thank God for you.”

 

Philippians 4:6 makes it obvious that prayer should always be accompanied with thanksgiving.

 

Philippians 4:6 - Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

 

Paul says in Philippians 1:3 - I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,

 

It should be our personal policy not to talk to God about anyone until we have thanks God for them!

   

There are certain marks or characteristics that generally accompany believers which we can thank God for.

 

·       FAITH – Vs. 4

No one is going to heaven without saving faith. We mean faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior.  We can be thankful when another person, no matter how cantankerous in our eyes, has made a decision to trust Christ for everlasting life.   

 

1 John 5:12 - He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

 

Rejoice when you can be thankful to God that someone else is going to join you in Heaven.

 

·       LOVE – Vs. 4

When we are saved we learn to love and appreciate other believers. We should have a reciprocal love agreement with other Christians. I am to love other Christians, and they are to love me.  I should be thankful for other believers because I love them.

 

John 13:34-35 - A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. [35] By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

 

As I am thankful for my physical brothers and sister, I should also be thankful for my spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ.   

 

·       HOPE – Vs. 5

 

Faith started it all in the past.

Love is what I operate with right now.

Hope looks forward to the future coming of our Lord and Savior.

 

We can be thankful that others besides ourselves have that precious hope we are looking forward to.

You and I aren’t the only ones looking forward to the glorious coming of the Lord Jesus. All Christians have this hope.

 

Titus 2:13 - Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

 

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 - For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. [16] For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: [17] Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

 

The Christian who is sick, the Christian who is hurting, and the Christian that might not agree without your theology also has the same “blessed hope”.

    

THE MULTIPLICATION OF SALVATION – Vs. 6

 

When the Gospel is preached the Gospel bears fruit.

 

Not only is their fruit of souls saved, but there are the “fruits of righteousness.”  People start living Godly changed lives and we can be thankful for that.

 

2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 - Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, [10] Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. [11] And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

 

There is also the fruit of the Spirit that will be evident when folks are truly saved.    

 

Galatians 5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, [23] Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

 

Be thankful when you hear of believers in other parts of the world.  The Gospel is still bearing fruit all over, although it is more evident in some areas than in others.

 

THE MESSENGER OF SALVATION – Vss. 7-8

 

Why did the Colossians have the salvation message?

It was because of a fellow servant in Jesus Christ by the name of Epaphras.

He ministered the Gospel faithfully to the Colossians.

Christians are saved because of faithful ministers.

People are growing in Christ because of faithful ministers.

 

1 Timothy 5:17 - Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

 

Make sure that you give thanks for the “faithful ministers of Christ” whom you know.

 

Let’s be thankful for other Christians this week:

 

THE MARKS OF SALVATION

Faith

Love

Hope

THE MULTIPLICATION OF SALVATION

THE MESSENGER OF SALVATION – Vss. 7-8

 

 

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Colossians 1:1-8

BREAKING THE ICE

 

Paul was writing to a church he did not know personally.  Notice how he “breaks the ice” to make these people feel comfortable in reading his letter.

 

FRIENDLY GREETING – Vss. 1-2

Paul wishes them God’s best, which includes grace and peace.

 

FRUITFUL MINISTRY – Vss. 3-6

They were thankful to God for the fruitful ministry that had been produced among the Colossians.

 

FAITHFUL SERVANT- Vss. 7-8

Paul had heard from Epaphras, evidently a pastor of that church, concerning the ministry in Colosae.

 

 

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COLOSSIANS 1:9-14

PRAYER LIST FOR OTHERS

 

In these verses I find a prayer list for others, meaning other Christians.

 

PRAY THAT OTHERS WILL BE FILLED - Vs. 9

Colossians 1:9 - For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

 

When someone is filled, they are just that, full!

God wants us to be filled with the knowledge of God's Will.

This knowledge of God's will be "in all wisdom and Spiritual understanding."

 

There is only one place that you are going to get that kind of knowledge and that's from the Word of God. We should be more excited about being full of the Word of God than we are excited about being full of food.

 

Read Psalm 119:97-100

When a person is in the Word of God:

·       He will be wiser than his enemies – Vs. 98

·       He will have more personal understanding of how the word applies to him than all his teachers. Vs. 99

·       He will understand more than the “ancients” which were before Him. – Vs. 100

 

Of course when one studies, reads, and meditates on the Word of God, he will be filled with the knowledge of His will.

 

Another way a person will be filled with the knowledge of His will is to be under the teaching and preaching of the word. 2 Timothy 4:2

 

A true preacher of the word will help you be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding because:

·       He will preach the Word to you.

·       He will reprove (refute) your errors.

·       He will rebuke you.

·       He will teach you.

·       He will encourage you

 

We can pray that others will get into the Word and under the teaching of the Word, and that they would understand the Word.

 

PRAY THAT OTHERS WILL BE FAITHFUL - Vs. 10

 

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing...and increasing in the knowledge of God;

What do you think it means to walk worthy of the Lord?

It is to conduct ourselves in such a way that we glorify the Lord and bring no reproach to his name.

Pleasing the Lord is the most important thing in the world.

Pleasing the Lord should be our daily goal.

 

The Bible talks much about the Christian's walk. As we practice these "walking" verses we will walk worthy of Him unto all pleasing. Galatians 5:16, 22-26, Ephesians 5:2, Colossians 4:5, 1 John 1:6-7

 

As we are faithful as we walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, we will increase in the knowledge of God.

 

It should be our goal to know God better. It was Paul's goal. Philippians 3:10, 2Peter 1:2-3, 3:18

 

Let us pray for others and ourselves that we will be faithful in our walk.

 

PRAY THAT OTHERS WILL BE FRUITFUL - Vs. 10 

 

...being fruitful in every good work...

 

Ephesians 2:10 - For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

 

Matthew 5:14-16 - Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 

Galatians 6:10 - As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

 

PRAY THAT OTHERS WILL BE FORTIFIED -Vs. 11

 

Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

 

In order for the things mentioned here to be true in our lives we must be strengthened by the Spirit of God.  Zechariah 4:6

 

Zechariah 4:6 - Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

 

Remember God’s power is awesome. Revelation 1:8

 

As God fortifies us, we will be able to have the following:

·        Patience or endurance

Perhaps Paul's challenge to Timothy is good here. 2 Timothy 2:3, Psalms 3:6

·        Longsuffering

When we are long suffering we put up with a lot from the hands of others.

 

·        With Joyfulness

This is the kicker.

It's easier to be patient and longsuffering and to grouse about it, than it is to be patient and longsuffering and to be joyful about it!

People will take notice when you are joyful through trials.

 

Nehemiah 8:10 …for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

 

·        Giving Thanks - Vss. 12-14 – We’ll talk about this next week.

 

Pray that others will be fortified by God’s spirit to endure.

 

So here is a prayer list for others and yourselves this week.

 

PRAY THAT OTHERS WILL BE FILLED

PRAY THAT OTHERS WILL BE FAITHFUL

PRAY THAT OTHERS WILL BE FRUITFUL

PRAY THAT OTHERS WILL BE FORTIFIED

 

 

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Colossians 1:9-14

A PRAYER LIST FOR OTHER BELIEVERS

 

PRAY FOR:

GOD’S WILL – Vs. 9

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

 

GOD’S WALK – Vs. 10

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

 

GOD’S WORK – Vs. 11

Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

 

GOD’S WORSHIP – Vss. 12-14

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: [14] In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

 

 

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Colossians 1:12-14

WHY GIVE THANKS? or NO NEED FOR TURKEY!,

 

Some people associate the giving of thanks with turkey! That's because they eat turkey on America's Thanksgiving Day.  Actually turkey is not necessary for us to be thankful. We don't have to wait until Thanksgiving Day to give thanks. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 

If you are a Christian, our text gives you three reasons for being thankful.

 

WE HAVE A RESIDENCE - Vs. 12

We have an inheritance with the saints in light.

 

WE HAVE BEEN RELEASED - Vs. 13

We have been released from Satan's kingdom and have been translated into the kingdom of Christ.

 

WE HAVE BEEN REDEEMED - Vs. 14

We have been redeemed by the blood of the lamb.

Our sins have been forgiven.

 

 

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Colossians 1:12-19

THE WORSHIP EXPERIENCE

 

This is a worship service.

Well, did you? Did you worship?

This is a worship service. Well, are you? Are you worshipping?

 

We sang contemporary choruses and traditional hymns. Did you worship?

We listened to special music. Did you worship?

We read Scripture. Did you worship?

We gave an offering. Did you worship?

We are sharing a message from God's Word. Are you worshipping?

 

Psalm 111:1 says, Praise ye the Lord. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.

 

Have you praised the Lord with your whole heart?

   

Psalm 100:2 says, Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

   

This morning have you served the Lord with gladness?  Did you come before His presence with singing that was on your lips and in your hearts?

 

John 4:23 says, But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

 

 Have you worshipped God in spirit and in truth this morning?  

 

Let's face it, there have been many times in our lives when we have come to church, but have not had a true worship experience.

Perhaps that is true for you this very morning.

I have found in Colossians 1:12-19 some verses that remind me how to go about having a true worship experience.

 

BE THANKFUL - Vss. 12-14

 

You will not have a true worship experience unless you are thankful to God.  These verses give us several reasons for being thankful.

 

Vs. 12 - The word "meet" in this verse means to qualify or make fit.

We can thank God who has made us qualified to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.

 

Our inheritance as Christians is one of being in the light of God's glory for all eternity. Heaven will be a place of glorious light. Revelation 21:23

 

Now think for a moment. You and I were not qualified to be part of the inheritance of light any more than I was qualified to attend Harvard or Yale!   

 

It is our sin that keeps us from being qualified to go to Heaven.

It is our God who has provided forgiveness in Christ so we can be qualified or fit for Heaven.

 

Vs. 13 - In this verse we are told that God has moved us.  And just as Dottie and I were thankful about the change in housing, we should be thankful about our change in kingdoms.

 

Before being saved you were in the kingdom of darkness. Ephesians 2:1-3

 

It is from this kingdom, this domain we have been delivered and translated us into Christ's Kingdom. God has moved us from the realm of Satan to the realm of his dear, or beloved Son.

 

Vs. 14 - This verse tells us how God made us qualified to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.

This verse also tells us why we have been moved from Satan's kingdom to the kingdom of God's beloved Son.

 

The reason for these things is the redemption that comes through Christ's shed blood.

 

When we were unsaved, in the kingdom of darkness, the kingdom of Satan, we were prisoners. We were dead in trespasses and sins according to Ephesians 2:1.  We could not free ourselves from the penalty of sin or the power of sin that made us slaves in Satan's Kingdom.

 

 

But the Lord Jesus came to earth and took care of the problem that kept us slaves.  He died for our sins. His blood was shed for our sins.  Because his blood was shed for our sins, He has paid the price that is sufficient for God to be satisfied.  And because God is satisfied with the payment for our sins, we are set free! 1 Peter 1:18-19

 

Not only have we been redeemed, or set free, we have been forgiven.  When we place our faith in Christ as our Savior, God  forgives us, based on Christ's shed blood.  When He forgives us, He sends our sins packing!   

   Psalm 103:12 - As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

 

If you are a Christian, you have every reason to be thankful as you worship.

God has qualified you to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light.

God has delivered you from Satan's Kingdom and moved you into the Kingdom of His dear Son.

Christ has redeemed you, set you free and forgiven you.   

 

BE THOUGHTFUL - Vss. 15-18   

 

One of our problems in worship is we don't think as we worship. As you worship, think or reflect on Christ. In these verses are some things to consider about Him that should help you to worship.

 

Vs. 15 - Christ is the image of the invisible God. 

             Jesus is the exact likeness of God. 

             Jesus is the manifestation of God.  

It is Jesus who shows who God is, and what God is like.

 

Jesus shows us a God who is compassionate, righteous, holy, merciful, loving and a host of other things! Study Jesus Christ and you study God. Know Jesus Christ, and you know God.

 

Not only is Jesus the image of the invisible God, but He is the firstborn of every creature.

 

Some people believe that this verse teaches that Jesus is a created being because it calls him "firstborn".

That just isn't so!

 

Charles Erdman said - "'Firstborn' here means two things: priority in time and supremacy in place or position. Christ existed before the Creation, but He held the rank commonly assigned to the 'firstborn', the rank of eminence and dominion." Charles R. Erdman, The Epistles of Paul to the Colossians and to Philemon, © 1966 by W. L. Jenkins, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Page 52

 

Now think! The Lord Jesus is worthy of your worship because He was preexistent to, and preeminent over everything that was created, including you.

 

Vs. 16 - Jesus is the creator!  God the Father placed the creation of the worlds in His hands. He created everything.

 

This verse is telling us:

If it's in Heaven Jesus created it.

If it's on earth Jesus created it.

If you can see it, Jesus created it.

If you can't see it, Jesus created it.

If it's an angel of any kind Jesus created it.

If it's a man or woman, Jesus created them.

 

John sums it up beautifully John 1:3.

Of course, the whole Trinity was involved in creation. But don't forget that your Savior is also your creator.

 

And don't miss the last phrase of this verse: all things were created by him, and for him:

 

Now think!

You were created for Him!  You were created so you would please God. You were created for His purposes. Are you fulfilling the reason for which you were created?   

And if He hadn't created you, you wouldn't be here.

If He hadn't saved you, you wouldn't have the hope of eternal life.

 

Vs. 17 - Notice first of all, that he is before all things.

Right away, we think of preexistence. We already saw that Jesus is eternal.  So Jesus existed before anything else existed.

 

But Jesus is before all things in another sense.

Jesus is before all things in rank. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Jesus is before all things in power. He has all the power in the universe.

Jesus is before all things in importance. He is God.

No wonder we should worship Him!

 

And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

He holds everything together!

   

Now think!

Jesus is the one who is before all things, around for all eternity.

He is the one is before all things as God!

And He is the one that holds things together.

Not only does He hold the universe together.

But He holds this church together.

He holds your family together.

He holds your life together.

 

Even when you think things are falling apart, He is holding things together. Isaiah 41:10

 

Vs. 18 - What happens when a person is decapitated? A person who is decapitated is dead!  Why?  Because the body needs the head in order to function. You can function without legs or arms but not without the head.

 

The head is necessary because it gives direction to the body.  The head contains the control center.   

 

Christ is the head of the church, which is His body. He is the one who gives direction. He is the one who is the control center. He is the source of the church's power.  Without Christ in control, the church, for all practical purposes is dead, useless.

   

Each Christian is part of the body of Christ, the church.  Christ is your head. Christ is the one who should give you direction. Christ is the source of your power. Without Christ in control in your life, for all practical purposes, you life is dead, useless.

 

And notice Christ's rank again. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead

 

He is the first person to raise from the dead never to die again.

He is superior to all those that will rise from the dead.

He is first in rank over all those who will rise from the dead.   

 

And notice God's purpose, that in all things he might have the preeminence. Philippians 2:9-11

 

Now think!

The Christian should already be bowing his knee in submission and confessing Christ as Lord.

As you worship, Christ is to be preeminent in your thoughts.

As you do anything, Christ is to be preeminent in your life.   

 

BE THOROUGH - Vs. 19

 

All fullness is found in the Lord Jesus.

All that is God is found in Jesus.

 

And it has pleased God that this fullness should reside in us. John 1:16

 

 If the fullness of God though Christ is already in your life, should you not allow the fullness of Christ to control your life?

   

I mean, what is better, you controlling your life, or God controlling your life?

We should be thorough in worship, allowing Christ to have full control.

Paul's prayer for the Ephesians (Ephesians 3:19) was that they would be filled with all the fullness of God.

 

You will be filled with the fullness of God if you are thorough.

Thorough in yielding to His will - Romans 12:1

Thorough in confessing your sin - 1 John 1:9

Thorough in requesting the filling of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18

Worship isn't complete unless it is total or thorough.

 

 

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COLOSSIANS 1:12-20

A COMPARISON

 

It is all too easy for us to forget just how wonderful our Lord and Savior is!  So, using Colossians 1:12-20, I want us to make a comparison between Him and us!

Hopefully this will help us to appreciate the Lord Jesus

 

WE'RE SINNERS. HE'S SAVIOR Vss. 12-14

Paul was explaining to the Colossians how he prayed for them.

One of the things Paul prayed was that the Colossians would be thankful.

 

Vs. 12 - Those who are going to Heaven are saints. God in his wonderful plan devised a way, that we as sinners, could be made meet or fit for a Heavenly inheritance.

 

Vs. 13 - Why did we need God to find a way to make us fit for Heaven?  Because of our sins, we are actually born as members of the Kingdom of darkness.

 

It is important to note that at salvation we were delivered or translated from one kingdom to another.

 

The word "translated" means deported from one kingdom to another. Often defeated people are deported. We were deported as well when we trusted Christ.  But our deportation is really a promotion from this black kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of God's dear Son, the Lord Jesus. This is a kingdom of light and life.  If we have a new kingdom, we also have a new king, and that's the Lord Jesus Himself. Philippians 3:20

 

Vs. 14 - Here is the reason why we as Christians have been transported from the Kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of light.

We have redemption!

Redemption means to pay a ransom and set one free!

Our debt was a sin debt!

 

Someone had to pay the debt, the ransom to set us free. Christ did this. Romans 5:6-9

It is this redemption that has set us free and transported us from the Kingdom of Darkness to the Kingdom of Christ!

 

Of course, the redemption that has made us free has made us free now!

We don't have to wait to go to heaven in order to be free from sin's power. John 8:36, Romans 6:14

 

And we are told in this verse 14 that with this redemption comes forgiveness. Colossians 2:13-14


WE'RE CREATURES, HE'S CREATOR Vss. 15-17

Colossians 1:15 - Who is the image of the invisible God

 

God is not playing "hide and seek".

God is not trying to hide from mankind.

He wants mankind to know Him.

The way we know what God is like is by knowing what Jesus is like. Jesus is the "image" of the invisible God.

An image is an exact representation and revelation. John 1:14, Hebrews 1:3, John 14:8-9

 

He that has seen Jesus has seen the Father.

 

Jesus shows us a God who is compassionate, righteous, holy, merciful, loving and a host of other things! Study Jesus Christ and you study God. Know Jesus Christ, and you know God.

Colossians 1:15

 

Some people believe that this verse teaches that Jesus is a created being because it calls him "firstborn".

That just isn't so!

 

Charles Erdman said - "'Firstborn' here means two things: priority in time and supremacy in place or position. Christ existed before the Creation, but He held the rank commonly assigned to the 'firstborn', the rank of eminence and dominion." Charles R. Erdman, The Epistles of Paul to the Colossians and to Philemon, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Baker Book House, 1966), p. 52

 

H. A. Ironside - "It is not that he is himself created, but he is the head of all that has been created." H. A. Ironside, Lectures on Colossians, (Neptune, NJ, Loizeaux Brothers, Inc. 1929), p. 42

 

Micah 5:2 - But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

 

John 1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

Vs. 16 - Please understand one thing. You exist because of Jesus Christ! He created all things!

John 1:3

 

Vs. 17 - In this verse we see Jesus' stability. He is before all things.

 

Yes, he is before all things in rank, He's King, but here the principle is time.  He is stable because He existed before creation, before His birth, before His death, before His resurrection. And notice the verb is in the present tense, not the past tense. Jesus continues to exist!

 

Just think. It is the eternal Son of God, who guarantees us eternal life. We can't lose.

 

Another way we see Jesus stability is because he holds all things together.

 

Jesus Christ does not change!

Hebrews 13:8 - Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

 

WE'RE SAINTS, HE'S SOVEREIGN Vss. 18-20

 

In these verses, Paul is talking about Christ and the Church.

The church is made up of "saints".

A saint is a person who has been set apart by God for God, based on the person's faith in Christ.

 

Vs. 18 - We have many body parts.

Each body part is distinct.

Each body part has a job, and each body part is important.

 

The church is made up of many parts, but there is only one head. That is the Lord Jesus Christ.

The word "head" in Greek can mean source and origin as well as "leader" and "ruler".

 

Jesus Christ is the source of the church.

He died for it. He arose for it. He ascended into Heaven for it, and He lives today for it.

Jesus Christ is the leader and ruler of the church.

 

The local church will either be a phenomenal success or a phenomenal failure.  Whether this church is a failure or a success depends on us. If our lives are successful, the church will be successful. If our lives are failures, our church will be a failure.

 

Success or failure centers on our recognition of the truths we are studying.

If I recognize His headship, it means Christ tells me what to do!

If I recognize His headship, that He is my sovereign, my King.

I let Him live through me.

As my body is dependent upon the head to tell it what to do, and for the motivations and strength to do it, so we are to be dependent on our Spiritual Head to control us. John 15:5

 

Don't expect this church to be successful unless you are personally willing to recognize His headship.

 

"who is the beginning" - Jesus Christ has priority in time and He is the originator of the church.

 

The church was His idea.  He has every right to tell us what to do!

The firstborn from the dead .  We saw this word "firstborn" a few minutes ago.  He is first in rank over creation because He created it. He is first in rank in resurrection because He arose to die no more.

 

that in all things he might have the preeminence - Another word would be "supreme" or "first place."

 

God's plan for you and I as Christians is that Jesus Christ would be supreme, having first place, being #1, having the preeminence.

 

Make sure that Jesus Christ is supreme commander in your life!

 

Fullness means "the sum total of all the divine power and attributes". To dwell here means to be at home permanently. All dive power and attributes are "at home" or comfortable in Jesus Christ.

 

John 1:16 refers to Christians!

He lives inside of us.

The deity of Christ lives inside of you and me. We are the temples of God! 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

 

I have the fullness of Christ living inside of me.  If I don't allow Him to fill and control me, I will have no Spiritual power or impact.

 

Vs. 20 -He made peace at the cross through His blood!

I am no longer God's enemy because of sin, but I am God's child.

All things are reconciled to Him.

He will rule.

 

He is my peace right now!

 

WE'RE SINNERS, HE'S SAVIOR Vss. 12-14
WE'RE CREATURES, HE'S CREATOR Vss. 15-17
WE'RE SAINTS (the church), HE'S SOVEREIGN Vss. 18-20

Jesus is your creator.

Is Jesus your Savior?

Is Jesus your Sovereign?

 

 

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COLOSSIANS 1:14-19

THE STAR OF THE SHOW

 

This morning, there is a show going on throughout America.  The show, is actually many shows meeting as the church.  Who is the star of the show?

 

Is it the song leader, worship team leader, choir director?

Is it a special soloist, a choir, or a visiting musical group?

Is it the trustees, deacons and/or elders?

Is it the pastor of the church?

Is it a guest speaker?

 

All too often in local churches there are those who wouldn't necessarily admit it, but they consider themselves to be the stars of the show.  And there are people in the congregation who attend church because of a musical personality or because of the talents of the preacher.

 

In reality, however, there is to be only one star of the show.  And that star of the show is the one whom we have gathered to worship and to serve, that is our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

When Jesus is the star, God the Father gets the glory. Ephesians 3:21

In order to help us focus better when we come to worship, and to help us understand why the Lord Jesus Christ is the star of the show, I turn your direction to Colossians 1:14-19.

 

HE IS REDEEMER - Vs. 14

Vs. 14 - You and I were under a death sentence because of our sins. Romans 6:23,

The Lord Jesus Christ, God's Son, died in our place for our sins. 2 Corinthians 5:21

When Jesus died for our sins, his blood was shed for our sins.1 Peter 1:18-19

 

The word translated "redemption" refers to someone being set free because of the paying of a price.  Because of the payment blood of Christ, the person who trusts Christ as Savior is set free from bondage to sin and set free from the punishment for sin.  

With redemption comes forgiveness for sins. The charges of sin against us have been dismissed!

 

There is only one requirement for being redeemed and forgiven.

You must trust Jesus as your Savior, your way to Heaven.

You must believe that it is He who died for your sins, and that He is your only hope of Heaven. John 3:16

 

HE IS REFLECTOR - Vs. 15a

   

So many times we have said, or heard it said, "He's just like his father!"  In the case of Jesus, this statement is absolutely true! 

 

Vs. 15a - He is the image of the invisible God.  Do you want to know what God is like?  He is the exact duplicate!  How can Jesus be an exact duplicate?  He is God in the flesh!

John 1:1-2, John 1:14, John 14:9

 

What a great privilege it is for us Christians to study and learn from the Lord Jesus who is the reflector of who God is.

 

HE HAS RANK - Vs. 15b

 

According to verse 15, not only is the Lord Jesus The image of the invisible God, but the firstborn of every creature.   

 

In many societies, current and historical, there is rank and privilege that goes with being the first born.

Jesus of course is eternal. He has always existed. John 1:2

 

Charles Erdman - "'Firstborn' here means two things: priority in time and supremacy in place or position. Christ existed before the Creation, but He held the rank commonly assigned to the 'firstborn,' the rank of eminence and dominion.  Christ is thus declared to be the universal sovereign." Charles Erdman, The Epistles of Paul to the Colossians and to Philemon, © 1966 by W.L. Jenkins, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Page 52   

 

The Lord Jesus Christ outranks us all!

In this church and in our lives, we are to treat the Lord Jesus as preeminent. He's the star of the show.

 

HE IS RESPONSIBLE - Vss. 16-17

 

Vs. 16 - The Lord Jesus is responsible for two things mentioned in verses 16-17.  The first thing He is responsible for is creation.

 

The things that we can see in Heaven, He created.

The things that we can not see in Heaven, He created.

The things that you can see on earth, He created.

The things that you can not see on earth, He created.

Please don't miss the last line of the text.

All things were created by him, and for him. Revelation 4:11

 

You were created by and for the Lord Jesus Christ.

He didn't create you to please yourself, or to please anyone else, but to please Him!   

 

However, when we do please the Lord, we and everyone else will be best served.

 

According to Romans 12:2 says that the will of God is "good and acceptable and perfect".

Proverbs 16:7 - When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

 

So, the best question you can ask yourself, especially when you are considering doing something different or questionable, is "Is the Lord Jesus pleased with what I am doing?"   

 

Not only is "The Star of the Show", the Lord Jesus responsible for creation.  He is also responsible for holding everything together.

 

Colossians 1:17 - And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

 

The Lord Jesus is the glue that holds the universe together!

And let me tell you something even more comforting than that.

The Lord Jesus wants to be the glue that holds your life together.  Just as molecules could fly apart if the Lord Jesus didn't hold them together, you life will fall apart if the Lord Jesus doesn't hold it together. 

The Lord Jesus is responsible for creating the universe and for holding everything together.

 

HE IS RULER - Vss. 18-19

 

Vs. 18 - In the New Testament the church is sometimes viewed as a body, the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:13, 27

 

Think of the head as the control center of the body.  There are several body parts that you can do without and still survive, but not the head.  That's where the computer is, your brain, that runs everything else!   

 

As the head of the body, the church, Christ is the ruler!

He is in control.  He has every right to tell you and I, and this church what to do! He is the star of the show.

 

He is the firstborn from the dead.  Again, we are thinking of rank.  He is first in position and authority when it comes to resurrection.  Nobody else's resurrection has been or will be as grand as His. Ephesians 1:19-23, 

 

Colossians 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.

 

When you get to Heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ will have preeminence in your life. He will be the star of the show.

What Jesus wants from us right now is for us to allow him to be in our hearts and in our church, what He already is in the universe, the preeminent ruler.   

He won't be truly the star of the show called the church, until He is the star of the show that is your life.

 

Colossians 1:19 - For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

 

All that is God is found in Christ.

He is the ruler.

He is the star of the show!

 

 

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Colossians 1:15-19

A COLOSSIAN CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS!

 

Paul reveals the message of Christmas in these verses.

 

THE PERSONALITY OF GOD'S SON - Vs. 15

 

THE PARTICIPATION OF GOD'S SON - Vss. 16-17

 

THE PREEMINENCE OF GOD'S SON - Vs. 18

 

 

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COLOSSIANS 1:20-29

RECONCILIATION

 

Reconciliation - When two people are at odds, differences are resolved and fellowship and friendship are either restored or established for the first time.

 

There have been times in your life when you needed to be reconciled to someone. Perhaps reconciliation was needed with your parents after you "blew it".  My Dad had every reason to be angry with me when I told someone else I was changing churches and didn't tell him.  But he confronted me, and eventually there was reconciliation.

 

Sometimes reconciliation has been needed between you and a friend or a brother or sister. Sometimes reconciliation is even needed because we've hurt someone we don't even know such as through a traffic accident.

 

Our greatest need of reconciliation has been with God.

We are sinners.

We have offended the holy and almighty God!

We do not deserve any of God's blessings.

We do not deserve forgiveness.

We do not deserve a home in heaven. Romans 3:10-18

 

That's the bad news.

The good news is, of course, that God long ago took the matter of reconciliation into his own hands and has provided that reconciliation to all who will trust His Son, Jesus Christ, who died for our sins.

 

We want to consider reconciliation as described by the Apostle Paul in Colossians 1:20-29.  Studying this passage is important because we will see:

 

THE MEANS OF RECONCILIATION - Vs. 20

 

Here we see how God provided a way of "peace" between Himself, righteous God, and sinful man. There was certainly need of peace! Ephesians 2:2-3

 

God provided the peace through the blood of His Son.   

Someone had to pay for our sins so God could forgive and take us to Heaven. 1 Peter 1:18-19, Romans 5:9

 

My friend the price for your forgiveness has been paid. All you have to do is accept this gift of forgiveness by faith. Romans 5:1

 

Not only did Jesus reconcile sinners to himself, but it tells us that Jesus has reconciled all things in Heaven and in Earth.

 

When Christ returns and reigns there will be complete submission to Him. There will be total peace with God in the natural world and in the world of men.

 

And we look forward also to the day when there will be a new Heaven and a new earth.

 

Revelation 21:1- And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

   

I believe that this is the time when Romans 8:21 will be fulfilled.

Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

 

Philippians 2:9-10 - That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; [11] And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord. However only those who know Christ shall have peace!

   

Revelation 20:15 - And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

 

The means of reconciliation of God to man and the means of reconciliation of everything in heaven and earth is the blood of Jesus Christ.  

 

THE MIRACLE OF RECONCILIATION - Vss. 21-23

 

Talking to believers, Paul now shows us what a great miracle reconciliation is for the one who has come to Christ.

 

Vs. 21 says that we were alienated from God. The word means estranged, or we would say separated from God. Our sins did that.

 

We were the enemies of God.

Even though we might have thought we loved God before we accepted God's forgiveness, we were in reality God's foes. We were hostile towards God!

 

Our hostility led to wicked works.

 

But now, He has reconciled us or changed us.

Final reconciliation takes place when Jesus reins supreme.

Current reconciliation has brought us peace with God now.

 

Vs. 22 - The work of Christ accomplished three things that are mentioned here.

 

·        He has made us holy.

    It is the same word that we get "saint from"

You might say that He has made us saints. The word means to be "set apart". Through Christ's death He has set those who believe in Him apart for God.

 

·        He has made us unblameable.

This word means "without blemish".

Just as the Old Testament temple sacrifices were to be without flaw or blame, we are without blame or blemish before God because of the Word of Jesus Christ.

 

·        He has made us unaccusable.

There is nothing that the accuser of the brethren, Satan, can accuse us with that will stick.

 

Not one accusation can keep me out of Heaven.

Not one accusation can stop God from loving me in Christ.

 

Vs. 23 - There's an "if" in this verse which, of course connects with the verse we just looked at.

This "if" does not mean that you can lose your salvation.

It means that if you are truly saved, you will become tooted and grounded in the Gospel and not moved away.

 

Someone has said, "If the Bible teaches the final perseverance of the saints, it also teaches that the saints are those who finally persevere in Christ. Continuance is the test of reality" John 10:27-30

 

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION - Vss. 24-29

 

When a person preaches or shares Christ he is involved in the ministry of reconciliation.

The preaching of the word of reconciliation causes people to believe on Christ and be reconciled to God.

 

Paul, in verses 25-29 gives us some characteristics of his ministry of reconciliation that I feel will be true of us as we share Christ or witness of Him today.

   

·        REJOICING IN SUFFERING - Vs. 24

How did Paul "suffer" for these Colossians?

Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles. That is, to the non-Jews.

As such, he suffered all sorts of hardships and persecution. At the time of this writing, Paul was in prison.

 

In the rest of this verse it may appear that Paul is saying that the suffering of Christ was inadequate, so Paul had to suffer some more!

 

It is only the work of Christ that pays for sin! John 1:29, Hebrews 10:14

 

In this verse Paul is not talking salvation, but service.  As a believer in Christ Paul had the privilege of suffering for Christ and his body, the church.  The word “afflictions” means distress, pressure or trouble.  

 

Philippians 1:29 - For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

 

2 Timothy 3:12 - Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

 

We will suffer like Paul when we dare to preach or witness for Christ. But like Paul, let us rejoice in the sufferings which are for the benefit of other believers.

 

·        REVEALING A MYSTERY - Vss. 25-27

A mystery in Scripture has nothing to do with "Murder She Wrote". It is not a "who done it?"

 

It is a "sacred secret", once hidden, but now revealed.

 

Vs. 25 - Paul was given a dispensation or a stewardship, or a responsibility. His job was to fulfill the Word of God in ministry to the gentiles.

 

Vs. 26 - This was a mystery, a sacred secret, hidden in the past, but now revealed to his saints.

 

Vs. 27 - The mystery is simply this.  Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Jewish Messiah, would indwell a church that is made up of people mostly like the Colossians, Gentiles!

 

Our hope of glory is that we have received Jesus Christ as our Savior the moment we believed on him and were reconciled to God. Our hope of Glory is that Christ indwells us! Galatians 3:27-28

 

And because Christ indwells us we are new creatures and we have a new and changed life!

2 Corinthians 5:17

 

This mystery may not mean a lot to you, but it is because of this mystery that you have equal access with God as any Jew does in Christ. And it is because of this mystery that you can walk up to any person and tell them that they can have forgiveness of sin in Christ.

 

·        Preaching the truth -  Vs. 28

The ministry of reconciliation is summed up in this verse.

It is preaching or proclaiming the truth.

It is to involve warnings.

And it is to involve teaching, not just scaring people.

This is done to present every person perfect in Christ.

 

·        Laboring in power – Vs. 29

No minister, not even Paul, was effective in his own power.

It is all dependent upon the gracious work of God's Holy Spirit.

So pray for your pastor that he will be properly empowered to reach the lost and minister to the saved.

 

And pray for yourself that you will be able to share Christ with those who need to hear the Gospel.

This is not only the Pastor's Job!

 

THE MEANS OF RECONCILIATION - Vs. 20

THE MIRACLE OF RECONCILIATION - Vss. 21-23

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION - Vss. 24-29

 

Rejoicing in suffering

Revealing a mystery.

Preaching the truth -  Vs. 28

Laboring in power

 

 

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Colossians 1:21-23

IT'S MANDATORY!

 

One of the problems we have in the church today is "easy believism". People feel that as long as they have walked an aisle, professed faith, and/or been baptized they are ready to go to Heaven.

The Bible is very clear that when a person has truly trusted Christ as Savior (John 3:36, Ephesians 2:8-9) change takes place (2 Corinthians 5:17). Our text shows us that if a person is truly converted, his or her lifestyle will change. It's mandatory.

 

OUR SIN - Vs. 21

This verse tells us what our lives were like until we were reconciled to God through Christ.

 

OUR STANDING - Vs. 22

If a person is truly born again he/she is now "holy, unblameable and unreproveable in his sight".

 

OUR STANDARD - Vs. 23

Because our standing has changed in Christ (Vs. 22) our standard of behavior changes as well.

Proof of salvation is being "grounded and settled" as well as not being moved away from the hope of the Gospel.

 

 

 

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