THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 6-8-03
LESSON TITLE: PAUL'S LETTER TO THE COLOSSIANS:
CHAPTER 3: "OUR PART IN STRIVING TO BE LIKE JESUS"
Good morning! Let me welcome each of you to our program this morning. It is always a privilege to have you with us to hear the Living Word of God. We are excited that you have chosen to give this time of sacrifice to our God. Won't you take advantage of every opportunity this morning to give your own reverence to God, as we together offer this time of worship to Him. May all things be done, to God, for God and unto His glory. Let's begin our offering to God with a prayer!
Today is the big day when we will begin our newly taped songs which were recorded last month for this program. Again, let me thank all of you for your help in serving God. It is always great to come together with brethren and friends to sing praises to God, especially when we are doing it for such a good purpose that will encourage others to know Christ better.
So this morning we want to begin with our first song of praise from our last taping. I hope you all will join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "Angels are Singing!"
(SONG # 1)
In Matthew 13:44, the Lord Himself made the following statement, "...The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." When was the last time you considered how valuable and special God's Kingdom truly is?
I love what Jesus said earlier about His Kingdom. Not only does the Bible tell us that Jesus would build His Kingdom and that He did build it, it further tells us just how precious it is and Why! Let me ask you first of all how many of us would be willing to die for someone else? Now let me take that a step further, how many of us would be willing to die for someone we don't like or who doesn't like us? What about your enemies, how many of us would be willing to step on the chopping block for them?
You see the reality is, Jesus Christ our Savior, was willing to do this very thing for all mankind. Even those who rejected Him and hated Him, were given the blessed hope of redemption through the shedding of His blood. But why did He do it, because He loved us and cared enough for us as His creation that we be given a chance to choose right from wrong. He wanted us to be true followers, not because we have to, but because we want to. Are we willing to serve our God out of a true love and devotion to Him as our Father above?
So now that we know what Christ has done and why, you might also notice from Jesus earlier statement, that the kingdom of God is a very valuable thing. But just how valuable did Jesus say that it was, so valuable that when the man found it he sold all that he had to be able to obtain it. How many of us have been willing to give up everything for the sake of God and His Kingdom?
Just how important is God's Kingdom to you. Have you done what it takes to have been translated out of darkness and into the kingdom of God as we read in Colossians 1:13? Are you a part of such a precious institution that God established through His Son - in that some day this very Kingdom will be delivered back to His Father in heaven, when all things have come to pass. Have you done what it takes to be a part of this wonderful opportunity so richly provided by our God?
As far as our discussion, we will be continuing our study together on, "Paul's Letter To The Colossians." Our specific topic today will cover, "Chapter 3: Our Part in Striving to be Like Jesus." So please stay with us and after our next song I will lead our lesson thoughts of the morning. Now let's join together in our second song of the day. The name of this hymn, "Softly and Tenderly."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ray Sullins
Thank you so much for continuing with us this morning. I'm now excited to go back into our study from God's Word. I appreciate those who have been with us on our study of Colossians as we've been looking over the past several weeks at this good book that Paul wrote here to the church, that is to the brethren who met and assembled at this place that we know as Colosse.
You know in the first chapter we saw a lot about the church, actually where Paul was helping them to know not only what the church was but really that Christ was the head of that church and really that He was the Savior of the body and how that each one of us has been put into that church, or that body that is really headed by Christ, our Savior, because of the great sacrifice that He made on the cross.
We also saw in the second chapter a great emphasis on how we really are to put away old things and to become new to become like Christ Jesus and to put away especially the old ways of the old law and those concepts of the Old Testament that we find there in order that we might be under the new law, the free law of Jesus Christ where we now are no longer bound by ordinances and such, but we have the freedom in Christ Jesus to live as He would have us to live and to serve as He would have us to serve under the new covenant, a covenant sealed with a better blood, a better sacrifice, that is the very sacrifice again of Jesus Christ, the shedding of His blood on the cross and how that blood now seals the covenant, the agreement that we make with Him under this new law that He has set before us.
And now in chapter 3 this morning, we look at further the concept of how we are to strive to be Christ-like by putting away those things that are of the world. I like really how the chapter there begins in chapter 3 and verse 1 where he begins again confirming for us that we are in Christ Jesus, those that are different. And he says in verse 1, "If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God." Here we have a depiction of the throne room scene where the Father is on the throne and Christ is at His right hand as the son of God and as we look at the throne room we are reminded as a concept or an idea that that is where our mind should be on good and godly and wholesome things. And thus he says that "if you have been raised..."
You might remember verses such as Paul's letter to the Roman brethren in Romans chapter 6 where Paul deals specifically with this concept of each of us as those under the new covenant have been raised in a way. Verse 4 says, "If we were buried in baptism as He was buried and died, then as He came out of the grave," verse 4 says that "we also walk in a newness of life."
In fact, verse 5 clarifies by saying, "For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection."
Verse 6 goes on to say, "Putting on the old man, becoming the new."
Here we find the very same terminologies as he moves on into verse 2 and says that "we must set out minds on those things above." Why? "For we have died," verse 3. "We have died to the old." We have put the old away, the old life that we have lived has been really crucified in a sense and placed in the watery grave of baptism and then when we rise up figuratively again, we are new creatures in Christ Jesus living according to His Will, dying to the old, living to the new.
Therefore he says, "So that when Christ does appear that we will appear with Him in glory." If we are in Him, if we have put away the old and we are new in Him, resurrected in the likeness of His resurrection through baptism, through obedience to confession and if we have done all those things that God has asked us, certainly He adds us to that body. He adds us to the church.
Then he gets more specific in about verses 5 through 7 as to what type of maybe actions that they should put away, things that they may have been involved in obviously in the past before they were Christians, but they had to put away when they began to follow Christ.
Verse 5 says that "they must put to death certain things." They must die and put them in the grave. What types of things, Paul? He says there "fornication." He says, "Uncleanness, passion, evil desires, covetousness, and also idolatry." He says there that we must put away things contrary to God's Will especially those things that we are acting on, those things that we are doing everyday that are the opposite of what God really wants and what He has commanded us through His Word.
In fact, he goes on in verse 6 to say that "it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come on the sons of disobedience." The Bible says that those who do these things are sons of disobedience and God's wrath will be on them. So Paul reminded the Colossians that "you left those things. You died to them. Don't be any longer sons of disobedience, but rather turn to Christ. Don't allow your actions to be involved in or be received as that which is unChrist-like.
Then he moves next into some attitude in verse 8 by saying, "Furthermore, you yourselves must put off," he says, "die to" early in verse 5 and now he says, "you also must put off." What type of attitude should we put off, Paul? He goes on to say there "anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language, everything out of our mouths that is wrong." He says also "don't lie to one another."
And why? Why is it in verse 9 that we don't do these things any longer? That we don't have these attitudes or say these things that are wrong? He says "because we have put off the old man," and notice "his deeds." We've died to the old, the old actions, the old words, the old ideas, the old thoughts. All of those have been put in the grave. They are dead to us now because we are new creatures in Christ Jesus and we have been raised," verse 3, "as Christ was raised from the dead."
Verse 10 confirms the thought about the new man as it says, "Putting on the new man and being renewed in the knowledge and in the image of Him who created Him."
So what are we striving to do? We are striving to be like God. What do we learn about God? We learn about God and His Word. We are striving to reflect the image of Christ, that which we learn from Him. Therefore dying to all of the old earthly and worldly things, actions, words, things that we think and do in order that we might be a new man in Christ Jesus.
And therefore in verse 11 he confirms again that because of this we are all one in Christ Jesus. There is no such concept as division as was mentioned also to the Ephesian brethren in Ephesians chapter 3 and verse 27 and verses 28 and following. But here he says, "There is neither Greek nor Jew." He says, "There is neither uncircumcised. There is neither circumcised. There is neither barbarian or any division in Christ." Why? Because all are one in Christ. We must understand that in Him we truly are one through the head Christ Jesus and His body and all one once again because we are founded in based in the same thing.
Then he spends the next several verses, about the next five verses talking further about this new man and really what this new man encompasses. He first says, "Die to the old. Put away these things," but now he says, "live like this." He says, "Be the elect of God." He mentions in verse 12 to be holy, to be beloved." In fact, he further says to "put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering, bearing with one another, forgiving one another, and if there is any complaint," he says, "forgive just as Christ forgave you, you must forgive also."
And then in verse 14 he says really it is all summed up just as I told the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 he says there that "love must be the bond, the bond of perfection. In all things put on love," he says. If we love, we're not going to have those things that are contrary that we talked about in action or attitude. If we love, we're going to have as it says here that tender mercy and kindness and long-suffering. We're going to be all those things to those around us because we are exemplifying once again Christ Jesus. Then when we do these things, we put these things on as Christ.
It says in verse 15, "Then the peace of God rules our hearts to which also you were called in one body," and it says, "be thankful."
God rules us and controls us and therefore we glorify Him as he says in verse 16 to "let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." There he says clearly that we praise God. We praise God how? Through song. What kind of song? Singing one to another, reciprocal at the same time, praising God at the same time one another teaching and admonishing one another to encourage each other, to give God the glory ultimately, but to help each other be better Christians, better servants walking according to His commands.
And why? So in all things, whatever we do, he says in verse 17, "Whatever we do whether it is word or deed, then all things will be done in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks by the authority of the Lord Jesus and giving thanks to the Father in heaven." So he says there that whatever we do, again whether it is actions or words or deeds, putting away the old, everything now that we do as the new man must be according to the authority of and by the authority of Jesus Christ. Where do we find that authority but from the Spirit and the revelation giving according to the Word of Jesus that was presented from the Father back in earlier times?
Finally we see a very familiar concept that is ended with, the same idea that once again in Ephesians chapter 5 is found as he talks there about the real responsibilities of husbands and wives.
He moves on in chapter 6 of Ephesians verse 1 to talk about children's responsibilities and if you'll notice there together with me, he mentions first of all that wives are to submit to their husbands in the next verse, verse 19, he says, "Husbands must love their wives." In the book of Ephesians 5, he talks about a mutual submission, a mutual care as we saw in chapter 6 and verse 1 of Ephesians he says, "Children must obey their parents in the Lord." Verse 21 is really a picture again of Ephesians chapter 2 and 3 and following where it says, "The father should not provoke their children to wrath but in the household," Paul says that we "do those things, we act in those ways and we say those things that surely will show whether we are a father, a mother, a child, a sibling, no matter what it is, no matter what responsibility we have, we will again exemplify Christ Jesus in these things." We will do what He has asked us to do and we will show ourselves to be worthy before Him.
Now next week we are going to get into the beginning of chapter 4 looking at some of the dealings with masters in the same context it will save the last few verses here from this chapter to really tie into that next week. But let me again reiterate the importance of today's lesson as we realize again putting away those things that are old and understanding that as Christians we have certainly died to everything whether it is action or word or deed, no matter what it is in life that is contrary to the Will of God and we have died through the death of the old man in baptism, washing away the old man in the cleansing and the washing away of sins in order that we might be added by the Lord to His church. Now that that has been done, we are new creatures in Christ Jesus. And as new creatures as we have seen here, the new man certainly exemplify Christ Jesus in all things so at the end of the day whatever we do in word or deed we certainly know that we'll do all in the name of the Lord. And by doing this, we know that God will be pleased and ultimately in the end we will certainly receive the great reward of heaven some day.
He woulSONG # 3 - "Victory In Jesus!")
Thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in giving this time to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God!
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What a privilege we have as Christians to strive to be more like our Savior Jesus Christ!