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March 29, 2022 7:05 am
Today from Chuck Swindoll you really believe that you are free, which means that you really live to please God and not people. You may say you are, but it's been my observation that most Christians are not most of us are more sensitive to what other people think and say what God said one of the common missteps for those who follow Jesus Christ as an attempt to earn God's favor by following man-made rules by avoiding simple pleasures. We mistakenly believe that we've advanced our status with God. I'm your host Bill Meyer today on Insight for living Chuck Swindoll reminds us that sometimes our false piety. Our attempts at self-denial do little more than frustrate the gospel of Jesus Christ provides a way to escape our performance driven faith. Chuck is teaching from Colossians chapter 2 and he titled today's message living forgiven folder today you will find an outline which will guide us through our timing is God's word.
Colossians chapter 2 we were in the first part of the second chapter last time. Today we continue on in this letter as we cover the last half of the chapter will be reading for you versus 13 through 23 of this little letter Colossians. I hope you are traveling with me from one week to the next reading the letter through each week. You may wish to spread that through four days of the week 04 chapters. You may wish to read it all in one evening or one setting. Whatever you will find that so much of God's word will just become clear to you, as a result of repetitive reading is such a treasure to have this God's word with us and we always water treated with respect, knowing that there were those whose lives were given that it might be preserved. Rereading Colossians 213 through 23 from the new living translation chapter 2 verse 13 begins you were dead because of your sins and because of your men because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities.
He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross so don't let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or sabbaths for these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come in Christ himself is that reality don't let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud and they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body, for he holds the whole body, together with its joints and ligaments and it grows as God nourishes it. You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, don't handle. Don't taste, don't touch such rules, or mere human teachings about the things that deteriorate as we use them. These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline, but they provide no help in conquering a person's evil designs insight to search the Scriptures with Chuck Swindoll. Be sure to download his searching the Scriptures. Studies by going to inside world.org/studies and now the message from Chuck called living forgiven living free. I pulled my shelf this week. That made me smile and the deeper I read into it and came across some rather unpredictable questions. The board made me think I was pushed away from the safe and the predictable into the realm of well the unexpected. Here are a few those questions. Where would we be today if Abraham had carefully weighed the pros and cons of God's invitation and decided that he would rather hang on to his medical benefits. Three weeks paid vacation and retirement plan in the city of is a second. What would've happened at Moses and listen to his mother's advice to never play with matches and live the careful, cautious life, steering clear of all burning bushes and another what Paul had concluded that the life of a Pharisee.
While not everything a man dreams for was at least predictable and certainly more stable than following a voice he heard on the Damascus Road after all. People hear voices all the time and really knows whether it's God's voice, or just one's imagination. And what a minute. I came up with a couple on my own. What Jesus had considered all the sacrifice and the pain and the mistreatment he would have to endure in coming to this planet to die for us and stayed where he was saved and adored by multiple billions of angels and not common died for us and well read it. What Mary had responded to Mary did you know with.
I do know is not worth it. What would that be like if she had done so rather than responded with I am the Lord's servant. Whatever the Lord's plan for me. I am willing to do now that I have you thinking outside the box. I have a couple or three questions for you personally.
Question number one speaking to you who are Christians, do you really believe that all your sins are forgiven past, present, and all of them yet future. Which means you operate your life without humiliation or guilt or shame you really believe you are fully forgiven. There's a second, do you really believe that you are free, which means that you do not live up to someone else's expectations of you that you really live to please God and not people you really believe that you are that free, here's the here's the clincher. Are you willing to risk living like that, I mean living forgiven living free. You may say you are, but it's been my observation that most Christians are not theoretically we think of ourselves as forgiven, but practically speaking, a number of God's people live under a cloud of guilt. Theoretically we say we are free, certainly free to please the Lord God and not others. Yet, I've observed that most of us are more sensitive to what other people think and say.
Then what God thinks and says see Brown put it this way. You further. Christ has made you free, but you may have told others of your freedom. You probably use the concept of freedom in your own witness to those who don't yet know Christ.
Sometimes, however, I fear that we defined freedom in a way that restricts and binds more than it frees. I think it's a great comment. He continues a lot of what we call freedom isn't real freedom at all.
Furthermore, the similarity between real freedom and the freedom experienced by many Christians is the difference between a taxidermist and the veterinarian like about in both cases you get your dog back. While you do get your dog back one collects dust while the other jobs and slobbers and barks. Picture the difference. The kind of freedom.
Most Christians talk about is the feel of a stuffed doll, one that winds up as a hood ornament on your car, not a living animated real dog slobbers in the backseat of your car. When Jesus said, you are free because the truth has made you free. He used the term that means liberation from bondage.
The idea of exemption liberation from the control of other persons or some other arbitrary power over you. The reason I bring all that up is because the last half of the second chapter of the letter Paul wrote to the Colossians has to do with both subjects. Verses 13 to 16 have to do or verse 13 to 15 have to do with being fully forgiven versus 16 through 23 have to do with being truly free. The first one. If you will notice from my outline has to do with a vertical rescue, but God is done for us, the other has to do with the horizontal relief. The goddess provided forest with think about both of them.
He begins in this 13th verse by talking about those days when we were lost his first three words tell us this, you were dead, meaning spiritually dead, you were dead because of your sins and because of your sinful nature that had not yet been cut away. He admitted earlier this idea being spiritually circumcised, and he carries that same thought into verse 13 when he says in our lost condition. We were under the domination of our spiritual nature. It was not yet controlled by the spirit of God and then he continues on about talking about our conversion.
Then he adds, God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. I want you to know those words in your Bible, or whatever your version may read it comes close to those words. He forgave all our sins. We need to believe that he goes further as he explains it, he that's Christ canceled the record of the charges against us and he took it away meaning the record he took it away by nailing it to the crawl. In this way, he adds, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross. That's what we frequently refer to the cross before we were saved.
We had no ability to restrain the sin nature within us.
We were driven by we were addicted to those actions.
We couldn't stop ourselves. We were by nature, narcissistic everything was about us.
We did what pleased us we cared little about what pleased God. Then the Lord reached into our heart and forgave us as we trusted in him. The Lord Jesus for eternal life.
When he forgave us he canceled the record of charges against us, he took it all away, nailing it to his cross.
He disarmed the spiritual rulers that would be the did not. The demonic forces in the heavenly, and he announced that victory over them on the cross. Paul would say all you Christians in Colossae have been fully forgiven. When you have come to Christ. You are fully and completely forgiven. Now the question is do you really believe that or you're really willing to live forgiven, and all the goes with it. Stopping all the man-made jilted shame that you bring on your cell all the pleading for forgiveness. If you're Roman Catholic, are you willing to give up going through your beads regularly reminding yourselves of the things you do not do and the things you are not or you willing to trust God for what he says and no longer pleading with him to forgive you of your sin, you do not have to earn his favor. You do not have to keep hoping that he will forgive you, it says he forgave all our sin, admittedly you and are still alive. We still have an old nature which means we sometimes barked and jump around and slobber none of that will ever change as long as we have this old nature, and because of God's grace. He continues to forgive us, living, forgiven, opens the door for us to live our lives free with the Colossians phase was a group of legalistic cultists name Gnostics and they did not teach them forgiveness. They did not teach them freedom and so Paul wrote to them so they would understand the difference between what they were hearing it from the others around them and what God has said and written ultimately in his word, so we move from the subject of forgiveness to the subject of claiming our our freedom.
Look at what he says in in in the warnings first. Don't let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon seller ceremonies are set so he starts by saying no to anybody act as your judge that would be addressed to people who were legalists. I'll say more about that a few min's in the next morning is in verse 18. Don't let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels. This would be of the subject of mysticism. Don't let anyone disqualify you because you do not have the visions that they say you should be having ugly.
You're not engaged in the kind of pious self-denial that they are urging you to be engaged in.
That's mysticism and the third is down in verse 20.
Why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, don't handle.
Don't taste and don't touch that would be the teaching of asceticism and eases don't keep on following their rules that will enslave you. So the first warning is a warning against being judged by legalists. Verse 16, the second warning is against being disqualified or letting those who would do so condemn you and disqualify you in as a teacher mysticism and the third would be don't keep on following the rules of those who would enslave you buy urging of asceticism. This a great time for me to warn all of us that there are those who who who still live today in hopes of bringing us under this kind of living. There are those who do not want us to be free and I love the way Eugene Peterson writes of this in his book a traveling light. There are people who do not want us to be free. They don't want us to be free before God accepted just as we are by his grace.
That's forgiveness. They don't want us to be free to express our faith originally and creatively in the world they want to control us. They want to use us for their own purposes they themselves refuse to live arduously and openly in faith but huddled together with a few others and try to get a sense of approval by insisting that all look alike and talk alike and act alike, thus validating one another's work. The goes on and on. In that same subject. Paul is teaching against that kind of living and that kind of teaching I am and I realize when I got on the subject that some of you have come out of a background like this. I find that many.
I daresay most Christian were reared in the legalistic kind of setting a quite likely from your own parents or from some church that you once attended that, if not actually handing out a list at least you learned the list because of the frequent mentioning of those things that you're not to do and and those things are not to take place in your life and if they do, you're not as spiritual as you otherwise could be and should be much of that results in what I often call toxic religion in the all speak very candidly here and say that one of the reasons that I was so determined years ago to begin a church was to be able to set a foundation that would be based on grace and end, and not based on the rules and regulations of people it is that it is almost impossible to find a church that really teaches and really believes in grace and encourages that kind of living because it's risky about some take advantage of it. Yes, it's true. Some will, some new, is it worth it still worth it.
The up the apostle teaches grace and in virtually every one of the letters he writes and he knows that there is risk and it but the risk is greater than for me to try to control everyone. My list or are expecting that kind of lifestyle based on man-made rule doesn't mean there are no lists lists found in the Bible or or or or listed were to follow court but listed.
We hand out to one another or not. So we need to guard against that kind of thinking and that kind of teach. That's why the apostle writes what he does to these people who are sort of in limbo wondering what they should believe they've heard one thing from the teacher at the press who we mentioned earlier, and now they're hearing the same thing for Paul, but they begin to hear much more from those around them who were promoting legalism and mysticism and asceticism. Paul writes these words in the latter half of the second chapter of book Colossians to help them know that there truly free. So let's go back and look at number 16. Don't let anyone condemn you the word suggest the idea of judging you for what you each or what you drink, or for not celebrating certain days, new moon ceremonies or sentence, i.e. in in ancient days of the of the rules had to do with diet and had to do with days. Both are mentioned in that 16 verse, Paul nullifies that kind of teaching in the ancient days, the Jews live their lives according to certain diet, and I up again and and in keeping with the role or responsibility of observing certain day, but when Christ came and as Christ died, he set us free from that law which he fulfilled and in light of that we no longer concern ourselves with what is being eaten or drunk or or what is being celebrated by way of day. He says in verse 70. These rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come in.
Christ himself is the reality of living under the the leadership of Christ and the influence of the Lord's death, burial and resurrection.
We are freed from the restriction on diet and the restriction of certain we're just getting started in the study of Paul's counsel to the Colossians, so please keep listening because Chuck Swindoll has much more to say about what he calls living forgiven and living free.
You're listening to Insight for living and to learn more about this ministry. Visit us email@example.com will all your learning begins by listening to these daily programs. It doesn't need to adhere as we continue the study and Colossians. I'll point you to two collateral resources Insight for living has developed an interactive study tool that chuckles searching the Scriptures, and there's a sequence of study notes prepared for every sermon you'll hear in this Colossian series, including the one you heard today.
It's interactive because you can actually take notes online or print out the PDF for safekeeping. We invite you to point your friends to this free resource as well take a look and discover what's available to you by going to Insight.org/studies if it's a book you're looking for that I please to remind you that Chuck wrote a living insights commentary on Colossians. This book, which also includes his commentary on Philippians and Philemon is laid out in a format that's clear and easy to understand and Chuck provides historical background so that you understand the context of Paul's letter. Plus, it's written in the engaging style that's become a hallmark of Chuck's teaching to purchase a copy of the commentary on Colossians go to Insight.org/offer or call us if you listening in the United States called 800-772-8888 we rely on your support to make these daily Bible studies with Chuck possible and if it's been a while since you've responded to. You've never stepped forward with the contribution we invite you to give a donation today by getting us a call if you're listening in the United States called 800-772-8888 or give a donation firstname.lastname@example.org/when Chuck Swindoll continues our study in Colossians right here on Insight for living. The preceding message living forgiven living free was copyrighted in 2014 and 2022 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2022 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. all rights are reserved worldwide.
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