THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 6-1-03
LESSON TITLE: PAUL'S LETTER TO THE COLOSSIANS: CHAPTER 2: "PUTTING AWAY THE OLD TO SERVE JESUS"
Let me welcome each of you to our program on this wondrous Lord's Day morning. I hope all of you are well and that you are prospering greatly, in your physical lives according to what you are giving to God spiritually. It is wonderful to be a part of God's family and to have opportunities such as this to come before Him and learn more about what He wants of us, as well as praising His name through song. As we begin our homage to God this morning, won't you bow with me in prayer?
Have you ever considered where we would be without the Bible! Just how would we know our God and learn about who He is without this book of books? What a great blessing it is to have a book directly from God that gives us all the answers that we need in this life. A book that provides for us all things which pertain to life and Godliness!
Our first song of the morning deals with this most precious of books. In fact, it is the greatest literary work which was ever written. Won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together the song, "Give Me The Bible!"
(SONG # 1)
A mighty statement is made in 1 Samuel 2:2, which tells us a lot about the wondrous God we serve. There we read, "No one is holy like the LORD, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God." Did you catch all of this important exhortation?
Yes, God truly is holy! In Leviticus 11:44, God said, "For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy." Notice that God is our Lord and He is holy. Furthermore, we are to be holy as He is holy.
The next thing Samuel confirmed was that God alone is God. David confirmed this very thing in Psalm 86:10, there he stated, "For You are great, and do wondrous things; You alone are God." Certainly the Bible tells us that God is the only true God and that there is none other beside Him through which we can be saved.
Finally, take note how dependable our God is, earlier we read, "Nor is there any rock like our God." Let's read what Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 32:3-4, there it says, "For I proclaim the name of the LORD: Ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He." Yes, God is our Rock, who can be counted on for all we need or require in this life. All those things of a physical and spiritual nature have truly been promised by our God.
Have you forgotten the almighty God which you are required to serve today? Have you forgotten how great He is? Or maybe you need to begin to reap the great rewards from a faithful service in His Kingdom. Whatever your need may be, respond to His call today, and do so according to His Will, not your own.
This morning, I will be leading our lesson thoughts of the day, as we continue our study together on, "Paul's Letter to the Colossians." Our specific lesson of the day is entitled, "Chapter 2: Putting Away The Old To Serve Jesus." So stay with us and after our next song together we will return with this study from God's Word. Now let's return to our singing. The name of the next hymn, "To God Be The Glory."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ray Sullins
I hope you have your Bibles this morning. I've already turned to the book of Colossians where we'll be studying together once again. It's been good in the last week as well as today to be able to go to God's Word and to be able to study from this very, very good book from Paul, Paul an apostle, a man of God who certainly was writing here to individuals that he loved very much, that he cared about , that certainly he was interested in their physical welfare, as well as certainly their spiritual welfare that is as they followed Jesus Christ.
We've already been able to see so far in relationship to chapter 1 that really Christ Jesus truly is the son of God and that He has preeminence. There are several verses there that we might again just think about and reiterate the concepts which are given to us in verse 13 of chapter 1 that talks about how "we are brought out of darkness and translated into the kingdom of your son." As well as around verse 18, we find the concept of "Jesus Christ being the head." The head of what? The head of the body, which is the church. And again, the one given preeminence in which all things are now placed under. Why? Because it is through Him that all things exist as those verses that follow go on to tell us. So certainly here in the book of Colossians chapter 1, we are reminded who Jesus is and how that through His great sacrifice, the blood that He shed that certainly He is the one who reconciles us, those of us who are here on this earth, men who desire to follow the Father in heaven. He reconciles us to the Father through His gift, that is again the shedding of blood so that we might all have not only forgiveness of sins but so that we might be called children of His.
So as we look at this Jesus who is the son of God, the one who certainly was being professed by Paul and as he encouraged the brethren to stand firm and strong on Jesus and to know Him as deity, as the one who in the flesh was God and who really the fullness of all things was found in.
Then again, we come to chapter 2 where he continues to encourage the brethren to follow this Jesus. You might notice the first several verses there, verses 1-3. Basically again reminded the brethren there at Colossi to do what God has asked them to do. And why? I believe that they can do that. Verse 1 tells us that "I want you to know what a great conflict or struggle I have for you and those in Laodicea and as for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, that their hearts may be encouraged being knit together in love and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding to the knowledge of the mystery of God both of the Father and of Christ in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." If you notice here again Paul talks about his great longing to again to come and to see these brethren face to face and allow them, many of them, to see his face and to be able to be encouraged and strengthened through his ability to teach them further about the great mysteries of God that now had been revealed through the Word and through the gift of the Holy Spirit as He led, that is God, through the Holy Spirit, led these different apostles, these different workers in His kingdom.
Then in verses 2 & 3, he again reemphasizes the fact that it is through Jesus that all these things are possible. He seems to say that you obviously already believe in the Father, but you also need to believe in the son, the Father and the son. The mystery not only pertains to God in heaven the Father but also to again Jesus Christ, the one sent in the flesh, His son. "It's in these things that we have," as he says there, "all assurance, that we are knit together, that we have the love that we need, that we are strengthened."
Then in verse 3 as he says that "we are able to know all those hidden treasures." Verse 2 ends with the concept of Jesus Christ. Then it says, "it is in whom we know the things that we need to know, in whom we have the treasures that we need to have and really the knowledge and the wisdom that God as provided us."
He then immediately goes into verse 4 to a warning in telling them really to be aware and to watch out because there still were those who obviously even at Colossi were trying to lead them away from the true path and the right way of Jesus Christ being the son of God and the requirement that was necessary that they would follow what Jesus said and only what He said. Verse 4 says, "Now this I say, lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words." He says, "Rely on the mystery. Rely on the hidden treasure that has been given to you. Rely on that which you know about the Father and the son. Rely on all of these things that are yours that have been given to you through me and others, through the Holy Spirit. Rely on them and don't let anyone to persuade you with other types of words or to confuse you. Be strong. Stand with Christ. Stand with the Father and stand with those words that have been revealed to you." Then he again reemphasizes the need that they have to walk in a proper way.
In verse 5 he says, "For though I am absent in the flesh I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ as you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord so walk in Him." There you have it again. Walk in Christ. Walk in the ways that I have heard and that I know that you're walking in. Why? Because as he says in verse 5 because "you are in good order. You do have good faith. You are steadfast."
But why are they able to be these things? Well the verses to me again clearly indicating the fact that it is because of Christ Jesus. Because of His gift, His strength, His life that He lived. It is through these things again that all things have come to pass. They mysteries have been revealed. The treasures are there. And as we've now seen that they have opportunity to walk as Christ and to walk in Christ. Why? Because they've been told through the Holy Spirit exactly what they should do and how they should do it. That's why as it says in verse 7 that "they then can be rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith as you have been taught abounding in it with thanksgiving." He says that you can be strong. You can be courageous. You can be counted as worthy. You can be built up and to be one who is completely established and founded in those things that God has asked you to do. Again, you can do this. Why? Because of Jesus. I believe that is the context here, the concept of really not turning to man and philosophies of what we want and what we desire.
But again, it all goes back to one place and that is Jesus Christ. And why? Because in chapter 1, we see that He has been given the preeminence. He is the head. Because of Him, all things are. He is before all things and in the beginning and on and on and on and on we could go about the deity of Christ and the importance of Christ. Why? Because as the son of God, the Father in heaven loved us enough to give His own son to die on the cross, to be given that preeminence. And who better to have in that position than Jesus when He was willing to make that sacrifice as God in the flesh and die the cruel death there at Calvary?
But you see again, I find that Paul is still having great concern about them and about the false teachers around because again in verse 8 he reminds them again to watch out and beware as he says, "And beware lest anyone cheats you through philosophy and empty deceit according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the Word and not according to Christ." Evidently in that day, as well as we are aware today, there were those who were trying to deceive and to turn away and to cause people to follow their own desires and their own wants and their own philosophies and their own concepts about Christ when really Paul says here that they are not about Christ at all. Why? Because they are not according to Him. You know, we can go out onto the streets and shout "Lord, Lord" all day long and we can even do things in the name of the Lord but "until we do the Will of the Father," Matthew 7:21, "we're really not doing what God has asked." And this is what Paul is saying here. Don't be deceived. Don't be mislead. Do what Christ has asked you to do and do it His way as He asked and don't be deceived. Don't be drawn away. Don't give into traditions of men and doctrines of men and don't allow yourself to be pulled in the wrong direction but stand strong with God. And why? Because again in verses 9 & 10 he says, "for in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily and you are complete in Him who is the head of all principality and power." There again, our completeness, our purity, our perfectness, our ability to be everything that God wants is summed up in one thing and what is it again? In Christ Jesus. Why? Because He is preeminent. He is the son of God. And He is the one and I love the verse here, verse 9, that says that really "the fullness of the Godhead, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit all were really clearly seen in as He lived on this earth." Jesus exemplified who God was, the entirety of God, the fullness of the Godhead, and He did it once again so that we might know God's true love for us and so that we might be left a pure example and follow Him as we should.
Now after it he again reiterates the need to stand strong and to stand with Christ and to not turn away to the things of men and traditions of men and doctrines of men and philosophies, but to be what God wants and do it His way. Why? Because Christ is the son of God and He has the ability as the head of the church to be the one who is considered as being honored.
But then in verses 11 and following, we begin to see some even further cautions we might say against legalism, against those maybe of the Jewish faith and against those who may have been caught up in those things that really weren't of Christ but were trying to make them of Christ as the Jews often did, as they wanted many of the fleshly things of old to be brought in and to be adhered to by Christians who were actually under a different covenant. And we see that evidently because in verse 11 he says there that "we have a circumcision." And in verse 11 he says that "our circumcision is not made of hands, but by the putting off of the body of sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ." He says, "Don't be caught up in the legalism of old and the fleshly things and the fleshly circumcision." He says, "Understand with Christ that it is through Christ and His blood that was shed that we are spiritually circumcised and seen as sons through a spiritual sense, not through a physical." And then he goes on to explain that in verse 12 and tells us how we put off that filthy spiritual condition, or really the condition of the flesh that we don't need as spiritual individuals in God, as he says there in verse 12, "we do it by being buried with Him in baptism in which you also were raised with Him through faith and the working of God." If you'll notice in the passage here, it's very similar to what we read in Romans chapter 6. Overall the idea being given there in Romans chapter 6 by the same author, Paul, to the Roman church that we do die to the old man and we rise to a new creature. And how do we do it? We do it because we symbolically are buried in the blood of Christ in the water, the waters of baptism. We die to the old man and we leave the old man in the grave and when we rise we are new creatures. New creatures who are covered spiritually in Christ Jesus. Circumcised in Christ.
That's why in verse 13, he uses similar terminology to Roman 6 when he says that "you being dead to trespasses and the uncircumcision of the flesh, he has made alive together with him having forgiven you all the trespasses." He says that "God forgives you now through the blood because you make yourself dead in the watery grave of baptism. You died to the old and you rose to the new. And in doing that," basically he says that "we have been made whole and pure."
Thus in verse 14 he says, "We need to put away the old, the handwriting of ordinances, the old law, the things that were against us," he says, "and contrary to us and we need to understand that they were nailed to the cross." Why? So that the way could be made for Jesus Christ and the new covenant. Having been able then to triumph over all the fleshly ideas that are mentioned in the following verses such as by judging us by food or verse 16 says, "regarding festivals or new moons or Sabbath." He says, "We are no longer bound by the old ways and those things of the old law but rather they were a shadow of things to come," verse 17, "but the substance," he says, "is Christ." You see again, it is all about Christ. It is not about the acts of the old law. But now in Christ Jesus he says, "It is all about Christ." And he says, "Therefore, don't allow the Jews and others to come in and cheat you with false things. Don't allow those who claim to be angels to do that which are contrary. Don't be caught up in the further things that are wrong and the self-imposed religion and the wisdom of the world and false humility and the things that people do to their flesh to say that they are of God," but he says, "do what Christ has asked you to do and exemplify in your life as well as look at the lives of those who claim to be Christians and see really if we're circumcised of the spirit of Christ or whether what we're doing really is just of a fleshly nature." Because the reality is that if what we're doing is only based in the flesh to be seen and for our own benefits and because of what we feel of old and because of the old law, he says, "If those things be true, brethren of Colossi, then you're really not doing what Christ has asked you to do."
So today, let's learn the lesson that we must serve Christ, that we must serve Him because He is head of the church and that as He has preeminence, we must put away all those things that do not pertain to the new law.
(SONG # 3 - "Amazing Grace!")
It was certainly great to have you with us today. Thanks be to God for this opportunity we have had to come before His throne this morning. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we join together in this service to God.
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Isn't it wonderful to know that God has given us a better and greater law to serve under today? Thanks be to Jesus, that through His blood we can now take part in this new and perfect covenant!