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A Letter for Then and Now, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
March 14, 2022 7:05 am

A Letter for Then and Now, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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When you engage in a conversation with someone who promotes cultic believes it takes tremendous wisdom to callout the heresy.

And that's because heretics are skilled at twisting the truth may find clever ways to disguise their beliefs affect much of what they say sounds quite Orthodox today on Insight for living trucks. One doll presents a brand-new teaching series through Paul's letter to the Colossians, and on this first program helps us understand the critical importance of theological purity and how to expose heresy.

The title today study a letter for Dan and Colossians is one of the letters Paul wrote while he was under arrest, chained to a Roman soldier in Rome awaiting trial. That's what's called a prison letter Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon are all prison letters twice as at the end remember my chains as you pray for me. Remember I'm checking now. Colossians 11 through eight. This letter is from Paul chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus and from our brother Timothy. We are writing to God's holy people in the city of Colossae who are faithful brothers and sisters in Christ.

May God our father give you grace and peace will always pray for you and we give thanks to God the father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God's people, which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the good news this same good news that came to you is going out all over the world it is bearing fruit everywhere. By changing lives just as it changed your lives, from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God's wonderful grace you learned about the good news from Apple press.

Our beloved coworker. He is Christ's faithful servant and is helping us on your behalf is told us about the love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you sure to download his searching the Scriptures. Studies by going to inside world.board/studies.

Another message from Chuck called a letter for then and now I'm constantly impressed with the relevance of the Bible. Amazing that something written in the first century would speak volumes and specifically to the needs of the 21st century. There is a right of the causes operating between two worlds. And that's where we are.

We look at the truth recorded in this first century and we realize it may have been written then, but it has everything to do with how we live now if I can tell you this I've learned over the years of ministry that is never my task to make the Bible relevant. My job is not to convince you of the relevance of the Scriptures it's too deliver the message and get out of the way and you realize how it is spoken directly to some need you may live with that. As a matter of fact you can be sure of at least three benefits of from your time spent in the Bible.

Number one, you will encounter the truth. You will have to wonder because the Bible never lies. It will never lead you astray. You will never give you false information, you will get the truth and only the truth from the Scriptures. Now that means. Secondly, you will also be made aware of what is not the truth, you will come across sections as we will. In this letter to the Colossians that would represent heresy even though there were people in that first century who taught with persuasive abilities and with a great appeal to the intellect, saying, go here. Don't go there believe this don't believe that Paul writes to say that that's not true. You need to be aware that that's camouflaging the lies, the better you get to know your Bible more you will understand truth and I might add, the quicker you will be able to decipher heresy, that which is of the truth which brings up 1/3 benefit you will gain discernment to know the different as you grow up you discern right from wrong truth from error. The better you get to know your way through the Scriptures of the more discerning you will become.

And when you hear that knock on your front door and you open the door and someone is there to tell you about their religion and their having a class over here were people are coming in.

They would like to invite you and of course they're going to be quoting verses from the Bible. More heresies are promoted from verses out of the Bible than any other method you will discernment as you talk further with them and have the intelligence to address things that deal with their religion, you will realize this is not the truth will have the discernment now let's see, with all that for the next few minutes.

Let let me do a brief analogy between then and now.

I will approve on your outline for you to write these things down if you want to and only that, but this might come to your mind later, and you may want to use it must start with embracing truth, embracing truth written back then equips us to defend the faith. Now show me someone who really knows his or her way around the Bible and I will introduce you to the same person who is able to defend the faith, not an argumentative way, not in an ugly matter, but in a calm intelligent and deliberate fashion just simply reveal the true and expose the when you embrace the truth written, then you will be better equipped to defend the faith. Now here's the second acknowledging heresies back then reminds us of similar heresies going on today as you see those things emerge and you find your friends falling captive to them or under the sway of them are beginning to support that false ministry you will be concerned because you realize that's just like the heresy we solve right here in the letter to the Colossians that's on Paul's heart and part of the reason he wrote the people of Colossae and other brings us to the third maintaining discernment, maintaining discernment from truth written back then keeps us alert to false teaching. Now maintaining discernment from truth written back then.

In this case the first century. Colossians keeps a sort of false teaching.

Now let me put it this way, the better your discernment. The quicker you can spot a phony. The better you know the the pattern of a five dollar bill, the quicker you were able to spot a counterfeit five dollar bill, I came across a humorous story.

It's a true story, but it it's funny and and it it it illustrates how false religions do not conduct themselves limited read this to you. It's about the Italian sailing team that were racing in the America's Cup.

The race that particular year was held in Australia. Okay on one of the days off. The Italian racing team decided to rent a jeep and going to the outback in Australia to enjoy the scenery and to see if they could get a glimpse of the first time of a kangaroo or two they'd never seen a kangaroo. The team had been completely outfitted by the Italian designer Gucci J stay with this. They were Gucci jackets that carry Gucci bags and they all have been given Gucci watches really are. The Jeep in the outback trucking along as her driving there.

All of a sudden a kangaroo pops up in front of them and they run into it, knock it flat is apparently did all know the team members all jump out to take a look. Somebody said in the group. You know, at least we could take a picture. The driver suggested well before we take a picture. Let me put my jacket on the kangaroo and also put my bag over her shoulder and put my put my watch on them so you beat look like he's using Gucci guy okay so they do this. Unfortunately, just as they got all that on the kangaroo rendered to the woods wearing the jacket, carrying a bag having to want. Unfortunately the driver's keys and wallet with his American Express card were in the jacket. Kids are just dear fellow kangaroos as they look at them and they say well where you get to Gucci jacket and not by what time is it, and by the way you got keys to a Land Rover and American Express card. We tried the kid is a kangaroo. Okay, a five-year-old would know it's kangaroo so the Gucci salesman is not a member of the judge and racing team. It's obvious the business weren't all that nonsense as he runs back in the woods you think false religions are going to be that obvious you will be taken in via overnight then operate like that vacuum usually some no extra charge. Second Corinthians 2nd Corinthians chapter 11. Now these verses will grab your attention. Second Corinthians 11 back a few letters okay verse 13 what Paul writes these people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as kangaroos were Gucci close no, they disguise themselves as apostles of Christ will contact they were robes like apostles like bishops where rodents they were the collar they got a pulpit got people listening to what he says further. I'm not surprised even Satan disguises himself as a kangaroo and Gucci outfit know as an angel of light that so it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Pay attention to verses like that or you will be taken in by the persuasive charisma of those representing that which is false. Don't be afraid of calling the false false. Don't be afraid of identifying heresy as Harris Paul certainly isn't back to the letter to the Colossians. This look at this Paul's letter is addressed to people who live in the little community known as Colossae near Laodicea.

Not far from higher up a list in the center south-central section of what we know today as Turkey known then is Asia or Asia minor little village.

Paul had never been the Colossae is not even mentioned in the book of acts and the travels of Paul. It's it's a letter that goes to church with Paul is concerned about them because they're getting invaded by the Gnostics will learn about them later. Those who said you believe that that low-level intelligence stuff.

Let me take you to a level that will make you think you will see a whole new Vista of true the people of Colossae or are surrounded by that kind of of of heresy. And Paul writes that to address this kind of thing there is not only a massive religious confusion in Colossae. Does that sound like today, there is not only empty philosophy represented by those of false teaching.

Is that true today. You better believe it. There was mysticism just like today there was legalism. Just like today in the truth was being ignored.

Just like today that this letter were getting ready to start. Talk about relevant. In fact, I prepared you a chart on the other side of your outline. We this is called a horizontal chart you read from left to right. The details of it as it relates to the particulars on the left and the shaded area. The writers Paul.

The date is around A.D. 6062. The theme is the supremacy and the sufficiency of Christ.

That be the theme because if Christ is supreme and sufficient.

You don't need anything else, and don't be afraid to think that you have Christ you have God's all in all nice concerns at the do with empty philosophy is in Judeo state legalism and Eastern mysticism and pious asceticism, and he says to them. Don't be taken in by look at the second chapter right here on the second section see if there under Jesus Christ our Lord. Since Christ is our Lord. Don't let anyone let anyone. Don't let anyone, don't let it what about doing their I'm taking it right out of the letter. Look at chapter 2 verse four. Don't let anyone deceive you.

Chapter 2 verse four verse eight. Don't let anyone capture you with empty philosophy, verse 16. Don't let anyone condemn you that it sounds like the same thing but it's different in the Greek the next verse, verse 18.

Don't let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial in the worship of angels and while a minute since the apostle verse 20. You have died with Christ, who has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world you will always have people judge you need to give up this stop doing that or in order to be spiritual. You must start doing this you must always do that in the list will go on a call, legalism is nothing you it's been going on since the first century, and even before the and asceticism you will be told to look pious to conduct yourself in a way that has a hound dog look if you're really spiritual slip your shoulders. Yes, we pastors look this, learn to walk like that down this is called asceticism and you give up all the nice things because you are really spiritual nonsense.

It's nonsense you get the backbone to say that when you study the letter to the Colossians, it will free you because the truth is designed to set you free. There's a chart hang onto it will return to itů Now let's get at it back in chapter 1 going to go right through this letter. He begins with a warm greeting and I love it I love it that he doesn't yell at him at the very start concerned about him, but he greets them in a gracious way. The letter is from Paul but I don't you like it in the first century how they wrote letters they told you right away who's writing it ever got delivered somebody and they like to write so there's eight or 10 pages going all away the ends world yeah figures Frank. Is this what you didn't know what you got them in the New Testament in the first century children on the front.

I'm Paul. The letter is from Paul even tells us the your recipients on writing verse two to the city Christians in the city of Colossae you're not left with guesswork when you read your Bible. Don't try to make it mystical.

Don't make it difficult just like you read a novel just like you read a history book biography, just read your Bible that same manner. The letter is from Paul who is Paul well he is chosen by the will of God to be an apostate lofts, one sent forth with the message God told them to be as old when he was on the road to Damascus. God set them apart to be one of those special messengers called an apostle. So he introduces himself and he and in the end he did defines his role as an apostle and apostle of Christ Jesus, and also Timothy's there with so I would imagine Timothy is coming to visit Paul while he is under arrest in Rome so he includes Timothy probably Timothy Newsom people from Colossae so renames him verse two, we are writing to God's holy people in the city of Colossae hi Diaz H a GIOS hi Diaz means set apart for God's glory translated holy great your set apart to God's glory right there where you live wherever you're from debit to be from Colossae you're among God's holy people. Your set apart for God's glory under something. When you think about your role in your neighborhood. You know what it doesn't mean you look holy, don't start that all all that nonsense that that that is unholy. That's nonsense that calls attention to you that Jesus is would you break or when you fast, don't look like you're doing without clean yourself up fast. We don't brag about your holy because that's who you are, not what you look like their holy people in the city of Colossae look at what else your faithful brothers and sisters in Christ that gracious of him to start like that.

I'm Paul the apostle of zip along here with Timothy and I'm writing to you who are set apart to God's glory happen to live in Colossae, your faithful.

We have the same fraternity same daddy he's called God the father which means were brothers and sisters, and best of all were in Christ we are in Christ things people do the same thing are equal to each other. When you tune a whole roll pianos you have one tuning fork, you know to the piano and then to the next one on the basis of the first piano you go back to the fork and each one to do the same for is in perfect attunement with one another wherein Christ. That's the one thing we have in common in many levels, and with this wonderful blessing that God our father give you grace Congress in peace, shalom Gordon praise has Greek roots. The word peace has Hebrew roots.

The Greek word is Irene a but it really goes all the way back to the ancient days of the Hebrews and it means personal well-being for God our father give you great grace. This spontaneous unmerited favor this sovereignly bestowed lovingkindness. May you know that in me you will operate in the realm of personal well-being. I love the way he start you know why because it is so warm since he starts by saying faithful friends in class, set apart to God's will. May you know his grace and his very first message.

The brand-new study in Colossians you're listening to the Bible teaching of Chuck Swindoll and Mrs. Insight for living. To learn more about this ministry. Visit us well, earlier today we were Chuck reinforces deeply felt conviction about the relevance of this ancient book, the timeliness of Colossians truly speaks for itself.

As Chuck said it's not my job to make Colossians relevant for our audience. The Bible is relevant. My job is to present the truth and get out of the way and those convictions are evident in a helpful book. Checks written for you, as a complement to this new study and pleased to point you to his living insights commentary on Colossians.

This book, which also includes his commentary on Philippians and Philemon belongs in your collection of Bible study tools to purchase a copy right now go online to workaholics if you're listening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8888 11 hear me say that Insight for living is made possible not to the purchase of resources, but the voluntary contributions of our monthly companions and all those who get one-time donations. We are always pleased to add more monthly companions to our team because nothing will accelerate the mission of Insight for living more effectively than the predictable steady income from our monthly companions. Plus as a monthly companions. Your consistent giving is channeled directly into providing this daily program and the many other resources provide in that way God is using you to spread a fragrance of his grace all there's a number to call us listening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8888 or sign up Join us again tomorrow when Chuck Swindoll continues his brand-new study in Paul's letter, the Colossians right here on Insight for living. The preceding message letter for then and now was copyrighted in 2014 and 2022 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2022 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. all rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited

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