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March 30, 2022 7:05 am
From Chuck Swindoll B stroll the word of God and keep worshiping Christ is one thing that you can count on in the realm of that which will lead you astray. It will always include those two things it'll move you away from a cheerful study of the Scriptures and also the worship of the Lord Jesus Christ you ever feel ashamed when a legalist targets and calls you out, pointing a finger at you. He criticizes the way your training your children or citing the dangers of your personal liberties. She gives you a mini lecture on the consequences of your sinful behavior. Well today on inside for living Chuck Swindoll teachers from Paul's liberating wisdom to the Colossians in the second chapter of the apostle said don't let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial explaining what that means. Chuck describes what he calls living forgiven living free, and we begin with appropriate our father that we come in none other. You are the only true God, you are our creator. Having made this earth and all things pertaining to it and the magnificent heavens above us the seas around us in the depths of the heights we acknowledge you Lord as our creator as well.
You have given us our temperaments. You have sovereignly chosen our past.
The parents you gave us the homes in which we were reared. The siblings are brothers and sisters are families are grateful we are our father, that you are our creator.
You are our guide were never left to our own devices but when we seek your direction.
You were there to provide that on our own we have helplessly lost our way.
But you were there as our guide to direct our steps to lead us in the paths of righteousness for your namesake. You are the great and holy one forgiving us of all our sins because of your son's death on the cross. Thank you for your grace, your father for demonstrating it again and again in giving us what we do not deserve can never repay. Thank you father for being our creator and our director and the giver of grace. You are as well. A mighty Fortress. You protect us, you care for us. You watch over us and we praise your name for that because of these and a thousand other reasons we are prompted to give to you the only one deserving of our worship and our praise.
Through Christ our Savior.
We offer up these words and we released to you these gifts in the name of Jesus for his sake alone. Everyone's email site for living. 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 with the Colossians phase was a group of legalistic coaches 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 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 mornings first.
Don't let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies are set so he starts by saying anybody act as your judge that would be addressed to people who are legalists 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 your not engage in the kind of pious self-denial that they are urging you to be engaged in.
That's mysticism and the furnace 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 uses don't keep on following their rules that will enslave you.
So Paul writes these words in the latter half of the second chapter of book Colossians to help them know that there truly free. 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 eat or what you drink, or for not celebrating certain days, new moon ceremonies or sentence in the ancient days, the Jews live their lives according to certain diet and in keeping with the responsibility of observing certain days. But when Christ came and as Christ died, he set us free from that law which he fulfill. He says in verse 70. These rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come in. Christ himself is the reality so living under 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 date. Interestingly, as a result of his resurrection, which was on the first day of the week, the day of worship was moved from the shop which is Saturday to the first day of the week which is Sunday, and as a result, we meet worship and to celebrate the faith.
On the first day of the week, not the seven day is that you for all those years did so under the wall. Christ came to fulfill all of the law and in here and we have a new day of worship, of which we observe in and we we we hardly think how it once was because of the change that he is brought.
I observed among my friends who are living legalistic lives that there is often a kind of a joyless nest about that. There is a lot of fear connected to. I like the one with the way one man referred to it. We talked about the diet, he said.
Now I need to warn you, you eat too many Twinkies and you will no longer be twinkle toes is too many slickers are not a laughing matter.
So you gotta use your mind you gotta use your brain when you think about dietary discipline, but you don't address your diet based on what is written in ancient day you base your diet what is written in the days following the resurrection and ascension of Christ. Now that we are under grace. We don't live our lives according to what is being eaten. What we drink or the celebration of certain date.
So much for legalism then returns to mysticism, verse 18. By the way, I should miss this. 17. These rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come, and Christ himself is the reality. Look at the next morning. Don't let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels saying they have had visions about the spring. One of the common teaching among the mystics is the whole idea of vision and you get these visions in very unique ways, often late at night or in the hours of when you are alone and these people were urged to seek that out and to follow that kind of teaching the result of course is a self-made pride see how we end verse 18.
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. I love that I love the freedom in those words. Just as he said earlier he forgave all our sins into verse 13 so he says in this 20 of verse he has set you free. Paul returns to that great theme of Christ memorably mentioned in a previous message in Colossians that anything that draws you away from Christ. Experience is to be questioned anything that diminishes the person of Christ. Anything that would place all of that under wraps or make less of it. Trivialize it is the word is to be looked at with a jaundiced eye Christ has come. Christ is the head Christ as our guide. Christ is the one whom we follow and we we do not wait on God provisions.
We have we have all the directions we need right here in this book we don't rely on him to give us the middle of my directions true dreams or visions such teaching will lead you astray and I warn you of that.
So the focus is on Christ, who is the head and all of us are joined together with him. His being the head and in the third subject would be the asceticism I hear he warns against that which will enslave you by trying to live in in the deep and and extreme disciplines of life. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world such as, don't handle this. Don't taste that don't touch these thing such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. These who were ascetics and encourage such were strong on on the rules of personal discipline. Their rules according to verse 23 that seem wise, but they require strong devotion and pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. Look at that list right here is a series of things that he uses to analyze asceticism. They are man-made rules, not from God.
They seem wise, but they accomplish nothing deep within us.
They only create pride or what he calls pious self-denial and then thirdly failed to produce purity and victory. They provide no help in conquering a person's evil desires.
We want that which will help us that which will deal with our old nature that which is able to lead us into victory and those are not the things that we are able to produce in and of ourselves. So that leaves us now with the question, how we know where to live, forgiven we know that were to live free. But how do we do that. How does that work its way out in the Christian's life now living in the dispensation of the church now living under grace, and not under the law. How do we conduct ourselves in a way that pleases the Lord Jesus Christ suggests three very practical suggestions number one, be strong in the word of God and keep worshiping Christ, be strong in the word of God and keep worshiping Christ if there's one thing that you cannot count on in the realm of that which will lead you astray. It will always include those two things it'll move you away from a careful faithful personal study of the Scriptures and also the worship of the Lord Jesus Christ. The word of God and it will be diminished in the emphasis and the person of Christ will be devoted so that's why essay to begin to live forgiven and free. You need to know what the word of God is teaching and then you need to remember that our worship focuses on Christ is the second suggestion, refuse and resist all other substitutes refuse and resist all other substitutes keep choosing Christ there is no substitute for the word of God, and there certainly is no substitute for the sum of God refuse and resist all other substitutes I have been eminently blessed in my life in so many ways, not the least of which has been the joy and the privilege of serving under mentors and being influenced by those who helped shape my thinking every one of my mentors.
Everyone has been strong in the word of God and a worshiper of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thought about that while preparing these thoughts for you today. I've been blessed to have those around me and those teach me, especially in the formative years. As I was learning my way. Each one of those men knew the Scriptures and was a continuous student of the Scriptures and second, they were strong in their faith in Christ.
How grateful I am for that larger refuse and resist all other substitutes. The third, don't be afraid to risk living your life unshackled, don't be afraid to risk living your life unshackled, remembering that your best master is Christ we are a bondslave to him and to no other. I love the way Paul wrote this in Galatians and my one who lives to please people, or do I live to please God.
Surely the verse Galatians is just before the letter to the Ephesians. Look at chapter 1, Galatians and verse 10. Galatians 110. Obviously writes I am not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal. I would not be Christ's servant Murray that last sentence again if pleasing people were my goal. I would not be Christ's servant you what I would be I would be a doormat to people. Furthermore, I would never know what it's like, because you can never please them all. It's impossible to please everyone else. So my goal is to please the Lord Jesus Christ and in doing so he teaches me to be kind to be gracious to be loving to be understanding not to be harsh in my freedom not to be proud of the fact that I am free but to walk in humility, and not use it as a tool to take advantage of others so that verses stood out for years of my life, for reasons I'll not get into now back to my original question for you or you really and truly forgiven or you really and truly free yet suitable, is absolutely because of Christ what he is done for you and what he is willing to do within you, I came across a wonderful story that illustrates this beautifully. It took place back when Abraham Lincoln was still a lawyer had not yet gotten into politics and had not been involved in the presidency.
He was of a young attorney and he visited us slave market in his community back in the days when there were sleeps, he saw a lovely African-American woman being auctioned off to the highest bidder's heart went out to her. He noted the anger in her eyes and could imagine what she was thinking and then she looked in his direction and she must've been thinking there's another white man who will buy me and use me and then discard me is happened to be the highest bid that day as he walked away with his newly purchased quote property. He waited until they were some distance away from the slave market and then he turned to the woman, and he said to her you were free your free yeah she said what what is that mean what it means you're really free was that mean I can say what I want to say yes. He replied, smiling. You can say whatever you want to say was that mean that I can be whatever I want to be just whatever you want to be your free doesn't mean the young woman said hesitatingly I can go wherever I want to go yes your free you're really free. You can say and be in go go wherever you want to go will then she replied with tears welling up in her eyes, and I think I'll go with you. I love the story, not only because of the surprise ending because she realized she was one worth being with here is one who won't take advantage of. Here is one who wants me to be truly free. I never want you to trust in Christ because you are afraid of what would happen if you don't, I don't want fear to be your motive what the attraction of Christ to be his person's death is sacrifice for you which is why we observe the Lord's table regularly is a reminder of the sacrifice he paid for us that he has completely freed us. That explains why we want to be with him. The reason you are forgiven is because of the death of Christ on the cross.
The reason you are free is because of his grace that a set you free. You may be in this room today in and honestly have to say I I have never trusted in this master. I've never believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. I urge you, at this moment to do so now, don't put it off another another moment believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. You will be saved.
Remind you who know Christ. A valuable it is that you bring your life before the Lord Jesus and you claim the forgiveness that is yours. You walk in the light as he is in the light.
You will have fellowship with him. Thank your father for the Lord, our Savior, your son, thank you for what he has done on our behalf for his forgiveness and for the freedom that it provides worship you in a very special way as we remember his death, and as we do so till the end of our days or until he returns for his thank you for his body given for us and for his blood in the name of Christ. You're listening to the Bible teaching of Chuck Swindoll. This is insight for living, Chuck titled today's message living forgiven living free.
This represents message number six in a 10 part teaching series and to learn more about today's study for this ministry. Visit us firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, you will be pleased to learn that Chuck is written the complete commentary on Colossians. In fact, this hardbound volume includes his commentary on Philippians and Philemon as well. This is the kind of book you likely spread open next your Bible as you dig deeper into the satisfying letter from Paul to purchase a copy of the living insights commentary on Colossians go to insight.org/offer or call us if you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888 in the last several months we've heard from thousands of friends all around the world who've affirmed the value of Chuck's Bible teaching many have told us they can trace their listening back 10, 20, 30 years and more. In fact, a friend left a message on our website. That said, thank you very much Pastor Swindoll for your life-sustaining messages. I've been listening to since the early 1990s. May God's favor continue to manifest in and through your life.
I love worshiping with you every morning here in the Philippines. Well, this kind of feedback motivates us to keep forging ahead not only here in North America but in all 195 countries of the world, but we could proceed without the support of listeners like you who financially sustain insight for living either through one-time donations by becoming a monthly companion you can partner with us by calling us if you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888 or to give a donation today online. Simply go to insight.org/donate spot on advice from a seasoned coach Thursday 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. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited