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March 15, 2021 2:00 am
If you have your Bibles please turn to the book of Colossians chapter 2 we are going to be looking in verses six through 15. Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving see to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world and not according to Christ, for in him the whole fullness of the deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him who is the head of all rule and authority in him.
Also, you were circumcised with a certain circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead, and you, who were dead in your trespasses and the end circumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame by triumphing over them in him. Let's pray heavenly father as we look at the text tonight. I just pray that your name is honored that you are glorified father teach us tonight from your word may the Holy Spirit move on us.
Keep my lips from Aaron. Lord, let your word be spoken and it's in Christ Jesus that I pray, amen, Paul is writing to the church at Colossae from prison, most likely in Rome and he is responding to reports of heretical teachings that the church is experiencing. This morning Eugene made the reference that there's two ditches and Paul is writing to the Colossians because they're finding themselves in one of those ditches and is called writing to call them back to where they should be, you know, we have a tendency you and I I think the least I do now I'm in my 50s. I wax nostalgically I think about the good old days if we could just go back. Remember when it was so much better. I had a friend at work one day and we were taught the church and he started waxing that way explaining how he longed for the day of the early church where they met in homes where the apostles teachings were right in front of them. Where we read in acts that they devoted themselves to the teaching of the possible, the breaking of the bread and prayers and how wouldn't that be so much greater. I started to think about that because it is so different than what we are as a corporate church, a large body.
In some instances, over a thousand members probably 30 people know each other and I'm thinking maybe as a point but as I look at Scripture. What I find is the epistle writings to those early churches are addressing the same issues that we have happening in our churches today. If you look at Galatians Colossians Corinthian Thessalonica. All those letters are being written to churches who are seven 1015 years old. Under this direct apostolic teaching and they are struggling with correct doctrine with correct faith. It doesn't matter that they met in the home or in a smaller church in a town.
The Colossians town glace at one time was a strong economic town because of Laodicea and other towns around it. It lost its prominence and became a smaller town account and that with the church that wasn't even founded by the apostle who wrote to it, but founded by a path for us who heard Paul came to the gospel in Ephesus and went to his hometown and preached and brought to life.
Those who were Christ's.
But we long, don't we. We remember the good of the old days and we long for. But we see that even in the early church. They struggle to the Colossian people.
Paul has been given reports and were not exactly what ditches they were heading towards. But it seemed like there was, as you read the letter some Gnostic or mystery teachings that are going on. There are some legalistic teachers teach teachings that may be going on and Paul right before this has just hammered home the preeminence of Christ to the church. It Colossian as we look today we want to remember not to long for, because the history of us the history of the church is one that tends to flock towards the ditch. Why is that because of that sin that still clings to us man in the church environment still has a determination at times that they allow sin to influence the way they look. Think of this in the New Testament several times from Pharisees to lawyers, to a rich fool. Men of walked up to Jesus and says say what must I do to be say they want something of themselves to brief be able to bring themselves right with God. Do we fall into that same trap. At times you know there are different research groups that go out and ask evangelical questionnaire Christians questions and they rate the level of our orthodoxy based off those questions. I used to always like to follow them because I thought they gave us great insight into the church but in 2018. The pew group. They did actually two surveys, one in 2016 where they asked the question in a way in which if it was asked. It was asking if a heterodox street heretical teaching was correct or not and what they found is that several of the people in the church had trouble identifying that it was a heretical teaching because of the way it was worded. They asked a question like, do you believe that the great and worthy Jesus Christ is God's first created being of the universe and because it was asked in that method. Evangelicals answered that question. 63% affirmative. In 2018.
They switched the wording of the questions and they asked the Orthodox question and asked if they agreed with it so they would ask, do you believe that Jesus is the son of God and a member of the Trinity and 91% answer and affirmative so when we start to talk about what's facing the church a lot of times were getting reports from outside when we can just look in the church itself and see the issues that are struggled with denominations in a nomination cultural influences that are seeping in and what is really neat is that the same things that that the church at Colossae is struggling with. Paul identifies and corrects. And it's useful to us today when he corrects the Colossians he also corrects Grace Church. He also points and teaches us where we are to be so as we look at this text tonight. I asked that you bear with me because one of the things that we do is we say statements like this because God has made Austin alive together with Christ, we must walk in him that is a great statement comes right out of this text because of God making us alive through what Christ did, we must walk in him, but we sitting in the pews need to know what it means to walk in him this morning Eugene took a very difficult text for us because we declare by faith alone and Eugene took James chapter 2, where it says is not by faith alone, but by works and he took the time and he explained to us how it is written, what it is written about how it goes together and tonight were looking at something very similar.
Paul, in his correction to the Colossians is very clear in verse six he says, therefore, as you receive Jesus Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him. He doesn't stop there, and many times we stopped because we have our little soundbite or our little bullet or are little trinkets to take along with us and to try to live out Paul is going to go on and explain to the Colossians into us how we are to walk in Christ.
I'm then asked that we look at three points tonight in those three points follow right after Paul tells us that we must be rooted and built up in him, so in order to walk in him, we must be rooted in him, and we must be built up in him, and the third point will be. We must be established in the faith, just as it were, was taught to them.
Looking at this first point, what does it mean to be rooted in Christ. If I were to ask what is the route we all know that route is from a plant drives itself hopefully deeply in the ground and from that root that whatever is attached vine tree, whatever receives its nutrition, its nourishment, it receives its protection and it receives its strength. When I moved to North Carolina back in 2006. I think it was either that spring or the spring of 2007 there was a tremendous rain storm that came through and that rainstorm drop tail. The winds were high and trees down.
We had our office on Kings Drive if you go down Kings Drive. It's just there's big trees lining the whole way down and probably four or five of those trees just toppled right over not split but actually just ripped up from the ground and rolled over. I was driving down the road we were stopped by a tree cutting crew and I asked them why would a tree that largely knocked over. Even the storm that we had and he said you see that root ball that came up. Do you see how thin it is. It had a lot of roots, but they all stayed surface level and as background saturated and got wet when the wind blew it was able to lift it, push it far enough in the canopy that was able to lift itself up out of the dirt because the roots did not penetrate down in the hold firm.
Paul tells us that we are to be rooted deeply planted into Christ. What does that mean will Paul gives us an explanation. He says, first of all, in verse six that we are to be rooted by looking to that faith that we received in verse six.
Then he tells us in verse eight to be rooted is to reject false teaching about Christ and about the gospel he says it this way.
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world how are we immune to this, especially in today's time with network news cable news with social media with Instagram. We have a flow of factual and nonfactual constantly bombarding us, you and I live in a time where there is more known facts available to us on a simple device that fits in our pocket than we have had in any time in our life. But there are also myths information, facts placed out there that can change and move our minds. I rooted these because I used to be able to sit at the table at dinner and I could be right all the time because nobody else knew and I knew that if I used the percentage it was even more if I said 74% did this everybody's like Hopewell Pinot.
Now they look it up and say J wrong I was. The misinformation back that now we don't even know the sources that hit us with misinformation, whether it be of church matters or world matters or local matters last night my wife was concerned because our son was out with his friends at the cookout in Concorde and alert came across that shots were fired and so she got on the phone with Ethan. She called and he said no it's cars backfiring because there's a bunch of kids with those resistor mufflers on again, we have to understand we are not different than the church at Colossae. We are constantly being inundated by issues we have men come into churches who preach the gospel is that is not the gospel of Jesus Christ there on our airwaves.
They tell us that we can hold God hostage. If we give of our money and plant a seed God is required to give back to us. He they teach us that if we have just enough faith than sickness and persecution will avoid us because God must protect us and they teach things very close to what the Scripture says, but they change it slightly so as we sit and look what is it that we are to be rooted up rooted in Paul doesn't just leave it that we are not taking captive. But then he tells us the opposite of what is to captivate us which is going to be seen in our third point, but look at verses nine through 15. Paul does not leave them grasp out what they are to be rooted in. They are to be rooted in the full working of Jesus Christ that he came as a man that he lived a perfect life that he gave himself over to die in our place and that God and Christ. God raised him from the dead to authenticate the show that he was truly the son of God. That's the gospel that was delivered at Colossae.
That's the gospel that is delivered to Grace Church that is the truth that we are to be rooted in Jesus tells us how to be rooted if you turn to John chapter 14, I'm sorry, John chapter 15 the first 12 verses Jesus says this I am the true vine, and my father is the vine dresser.
Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he picked he prunes, that it may bear more fruit already. You are clean because of the word that I've spoken to you abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. Keywords there is Jesus is explaining how were rooted in him.
If anyone does not abide in me, he is thrown away like a branch and withers and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me and my words abide in you asked for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you by this my father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so proved to be my disciples. As the father has loved me, so I have loved you abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my father's commandments and abide in his love these things.
I've spoken to you, that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you when the gospel is preached when you come to Grace Church and you hear that you are a sinner separated from God with no hope in an of yourself to be right when the Holy Spirit moves and uses that word and regenerates a heart you become as the Scripture tells us a new creation. We are different. Why are we different were different because we see when the Holy Spirit does that work. One clear thing I in myself have no way of being right with God outside of Christ.
That is what the Holy Spirit enables us to understand there is an unknown amount of prayer. There is an amount of Bible reading. There is an amount of giving to the poor.
There is nothing that I can do that makes me right because my sin is so vile and evil and wicked against a holy and right God and it is only by Jesus Christ and his work that I can have salvation.
Why did I go through that that last part. This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you as we look at what Jesus that the Jesus taught us here and think back to what Eugene was saying this morning about faith and obedience. What is the obedience that you and I are called to as Christians is to obey the commands of Christ. When Christ was approached and asked what are the greatest commandments. He didn't abolish any of them.
He said what Eugene reference that this morning. He stated the Shema. Deuteronomy 65 right love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself. It says later those are the two commands the Jesus in the New Testament when asked when tested, reaffirms, and what those two commands sum up is the whole of the moral law, the 10 Commandments to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your strength and all your might. Is Commandments one through four. They have no other gods before you know graven images do not profane his name and to keep the Sabbath holy and then to love your neighbor as yourself is verse commandments five through 10 to not kill to not steal to not commit adultery to not covet to not bear false witness. These commands are wrapped up in the two commands that we are to follow and we follow them because of love. It is through loving one another will how Jay is it possible how Jesus is it possible to love these people around me when they are so horrible. That's where the new creation part comes in when we understand that we were that vile. And Christ looked upon us, and even in our vileness loved us to the point of applying his blood to my sin.
There is no one who stands around us.
That is not worth our love and are called to serve minister and share the gospel with them.
John from YouTube or James from his writings said if a man stood in front of you with cold without a coat without money and you said go.
Hope it's good with you. What good is that. But it is not a social justice or a social gospel were looking at it just clothing the hungrier clothing the poor and feeding the hungry, though we should do that but we are to look on those who despise us with love because they are outside of Christ and what they face is the condemnation of a holy right just got you and I are to be rooted in the man and God who saved us he was the one who looked on black disgusting, vile individuals and said from the cross, forgive them father for they know not what they do.
That is what you and I have been changed into by his work.
That is what we are called to do to love others moving to the next Apollo shares with the church. We must be built up in him.
If we would flip over to first Peter chapter 2 Peter says this so put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander like newborn infants long for the purest pure spiritual milk, that by you may grow up into salvation. If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
As you come to him a living stone, rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen is precious. You yourselves like living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Whenever we are changed by the working of the Holy Spirit, we are brought into relationship that not only justifies us but it sanctifies us, the Holy Spirit will continue to build us to conform us to shape us as we are in the vine, rooted in him. The father will prune us. The Holy Spirit will take and conform us more and more into that image of Jesus Christ building us as a holy temple where he dwells in us. Paul when he was writing about sexual sin, I think it was to the church at Corinth says don't you realize that when you indulge in this that you bring Christ into it. You bring God himself into your sin because you are being made a dwelling place of the most high God. He goes on in his his corrections to other churches saying don't you realize that you are not your own but you were bought with a price. We need to. As Christians start living as men and women or young men and young women or children who heard and have been changed. We need to start living the life as the gospel has taught us to live, of wanting and desiring to be like Christ Jesus. I deal with sin, you deal with sin, you may have a besetting sin and we should daily drop to our knees and confess we should ask God to deliver us so that we no longer harm the image the honor of Christ Jesus our desire should be to be more and more like him, praying that the Holy Spirit continue this sanctification, which in a real neat way has already been accomplished. Also, if Jesus returns at this moment our justification, our sanctification, and finally our glorification are all completed in Christ Jesus.
But as we live this life God works in his people to make them more and more in the image of his son. When we try to think about being built up that simply means built upon her on a solid foundation is watching a a caddis catastrophes of engineering and they showed a bridge. I believe it was over in Ireland. The train had to go across every day. Is the bridge itself carried the train over body of water, and when they built the pilings they built the pilings down on to what they believe was bedrock but they put no protection so as the sea came in and out. They just battered the peers, and here they were on bedrock.
They were on a false bedrock and is that tide moved it shifted and one day the train cleared and right after it cleared because of the weight.
The whole bridge collapsed and they said that there were over 300 on the train and the engineer said how important it was for when you do a project like that that you drill down to ensure that you are on bedrock. Paul gives us the bedrock that we let it rest on in verses 13 and 14 of Colossians 2 he said in you, who were dead in your trespasses and sins, and then circumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands.
This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
This bedrock ties to the third point of being established in our faith. I want to read that one more time and just take note and you, who were dead in your trespasses and the end circumcision of your flesh, that all of us.
God made alive together with him and how did he do it, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us. Not that we were trying to build one. Or we might possibly have a record of debt against a Sunday there was a record of debt against J it was caused because of the sin that was in J it was caused because of the sin that Jake committed and it had a legal demand to it. Those who are sinners, and unrepentant. There is a demand there is a judgment. There is a finality that is coming that they will be separated from God outside of Christ. They will be sent to hell for eternity because that is the wage of sin. This he set aside, nailing it to cross when we read that it sounds like he took our sin, and he nailed it to the cross so we think abstractly of this polyp sin, but we need to understand what was nailed to the cross. Scripture tells us that Jesus became sin for us. It's not like Jesus was hanging there and around him.
Our sins were added. Jesus, we talk about this double imputation where we are imputed righteousness, but we actually had our sin imputed on to him. He became that vile, dark, disgusting sin that filled us to the point that God the father turned and Christ cried out my God my God why is thou forsaken me when we talk about being established in the faith that bedrock statement is our faith. It's the only thing that you and I have that Christ willingly, the God man truly God and truly man became my sin. Your sin he took it all upon himself reflected at to the point that God the father judged it and turned from him. That is how much God loves you.
That is how much Jesus loves you and so when Jesus says that we are to follow his command and his command is that we are to love one another, which then becomes our way of having works through our faith. That is what we understand to be the command.
We are to live. We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all her strength in all our might. Why because Jesus loved us. He died for us and he gave us eternal life, our work through this faith comes out of thanksgiving and gratitude. Paul says it in verse seven rooted up and built in him and established in faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving when we realize what Christ did when we realize what Christ does when we realize that Christ one. He is ours and he is in us. It should drive us to thanksgiving and worship. It should drive us to doxology my Lord and my God.
Thomas had no other words that he could say.
Unfortunately, in our churches. We like to preach that it's okay if you struggle with certain things just as long as you you think that yet you want to be right with Jesus you will be fine. That is not what salvation is we are people who left to ourselves would want to be saved in our sin. Jesus give me a free ticket. Allow me to sin, but that's not what regeneration is regeneration is when we become a new creation. We look on our sin with sickness and discussed at ourselves. Paul, probably the greatest theologian that we can ever point to the greatest lover of God as we see him in his missionary journeys in his writings right I Paul, the chief of sinners because he sees himself continually if it's not for Christ.
I am doomed.
Isaiah woe unto me. I am a man undone just taken apart in front of a holy and right God.
That is the faith that we are to be established in you know two weeks ago Steve McCullough preached and he he ended by saying that he wished that every day. Galatians 220 believers would just open and read, and I want to read that to you because this is the faith we are to be established in.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. Last week Rick Harper preached a preached on adoption in these words he used from Romans chapter 8 verses 12 through 17, so then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die.
But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live for all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back in the fear, but you will receive the spirit of adoption as sons by whom we cry, Abba, father the Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God and of children than errors. Heirs of God and fellow fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we made also be glorified with him. Paul when he wrote to the Colossian church. He is addressing error that there's they are dealing with.
They are heading towards ditches and Paul is driving home. What I would want to drive home to us as believers, we are to look to Christ be rooted in buildup in an established in that faith that he provides. You know, science teaches us that a man blindfolded cannot walk a straight line when I went to learn how to ride a motorcycle street bike.
I did a lot of dirtbike riding but back in like right around 2001 I went learn how to ride a motorcycle on the street and when they taught us.
They taught us when you come up to a curve look through the curve still looking for any of look through the curve. The bike will go where you're looking. The bike always goes where you're looking. I believe I got on their practice bike.
I got in the curve and I was struggling to get around it I had to stop at halfway through because I can hit the guardrail guy came and said just turn your head and look through the curve. Next time I did it. I looked through the curve and the bike went right through. I said why does that happen. He said because you always go where your eyes are looking you always go where your eyes and look when we leave here tonight where I start to look. Does a look to the world as a look at the politics our eyes need to be fixed on Christ.
Every moment of every day. We need to fix ourselves on Jesus Christ and his atoning work we need to fix ourselves on the love of God how much God loved us that he came and did this act because he had no reason to do it.
Our eyes need to be fixed on the word of God. We need to be rooted buildup in established and God has provided that through the Scripture, that we may be those things praises name thanks be to God he doesn't leave us here grasping, he gives us the instructions how we are to live a life that will honor Christ and honor God and the Holy Spirit.
Let's pray father we just praise you tonight for your word. As we come before you tonight. Lord, I just, I thank you for teaching that drives home to us how we are to live as Christians, you have made us a different people by the work of your son, you justified us you have sanctified us and continue to sanctify us in Lord. When you come in in your glory. We will be fully glorified and not because of any doing of our own Lord. Let us praise your name. Let us worship you for who and what you are and what you've accomplished the great deeds that you do, Lord, we praise you and we thank you and it's in Christ Jesus name we pray. Amen