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Let's Praise His Name

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Colossians 1:12-18             Apr. 29, 2007

 

As I’ve mentioned before, I use to sail in the Merchant Marines, working in the engine room as a marine engineer.  Back in the mid 1980’s a fireman on my watch, shared with me how he practiced “out of body experiences”.

He claimed to have visited his sister, while sailing on a ship.  This visit was not a physical visit when the ship was in port.  This was spiritual, where his spirit left his body travel over the ocean and to her home.

He explained to me how I could have such experiences, by voicing a chant while meditating.  And if I found it hard to focus in meditation, I was to quote the Lord’s Prayer.

Recognize this truth:  The world will use your faith to give legitimacy to what they are saying or doing in order to gain you as a convert to their ideas or practices.

I had a salesman upon finding out I was a Christian, suddenly he was as well.  Until another salesman in passing spoke with him going to a bar that night.  People will say or embrace anything to get you to buy some product or simply to follow them. 

·    As far as the world is concerned, your faith is not a sacred trust, if they are not out right rejecting it, they will mock it by using your faith for their own purposes.

·    As far as the world is concerned, if Jesus actually lived, he was just a man and nothing more.  He is not the Christ, He is not Lord, and certainly not worth worshipping.

This was the same struggle within Colosse that caused Paul to write this letter.  Christ is not a good luck charm, a tool to help you focus or a means to gain favor with men.

Christ is to have first place in your life, you are to do His will and obey the World of God; you are to serve and worship Jesus Christ as God.  Your faith is to touch every aspect of your life that changes you into a new person.  Upon trusting in Christ we are to be a different person than the rest of the world.

We are to love the Lord our God with all of our Heart, Soul and Mind.  Jesus Christ is not simply some experience that we went through; He is God, and we are to embrace Him as our Lord as well as Savior.

Remember Paul’s words in 1 Cor. 6:19,20,  Ye are not your own, you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. 

Or as Paul says in Romans 12:1, “I beseech you brethren by the mercies of God that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

Simply put friends, our faith must mean something that is far more than just going to church for the purpose of respect-ability, or as a means of networking new contacts for a sales quota.

Paul’s earlier prayer was that we would grow deeper in our faith and our walk or life with the Lord.  And when as believers, we start to take our faith in Christ seriously, Paul now praises God.

Praising God is not limited to the fourth Thursday of November.  We ought always to be filled with a sense of praise to God every day:

I.      FOR OUR SALVATION. (Colossians 1:12-14)

Paul centers his thanksgiving on how God has made us “meet” or fit.  Literally, “God has made you worthy” to share in the inheritance of the saints.

In John’s Gospel, he tells us that Jesus came into this world as the Light or the truth we are to walk in.  Yes, this light involves the Gospel, but only in part. 

This light is the morality we are to live by, so as to please our God. It is the Word of God, and specifically the statutes and commandments, even the judgments of God that we are to hide in our heart so we sin not against our God (Psalm 119:11).

Understand being made “meet” of worthy to receive eternal life, is all because Christ has done a work in you through the cross, to “delivered us from the power of darkness;”  v.13, “and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.”

Christ has redeemed us from the power or authority of Satan to set us free, from the bondage of sin.  Thanks worth praising the Lord, for His death on the Cross.

But in this new found freedom we are given, it is not so we can live as we please, we are placed into the kingdom of God.  Jesus is our Lord and Master, He is our King.

A high price was paid in the death of Christ.  The word “redemption” comes from the Greek word “Lutroo,” meaning to loose.  We have by the blood of Christ, been purchased out of the slave market of sin, and set free or loose to now live for our new Lord and Master, His name is Jesus Christ.

Instead of looking to other things or experiences, that tack on faith as a good luck charm.  Let us look to the author and finisher of our faith with a heart of praise and thanksgiving by giving our hearts fully to our God for what He has done for us.

Furthermore, we are to give praise in giving thanks for:

II.     CHRIST’S WORTH IS SUPREME (Colossians 1:15)

The word “image” can be translated as representation or portrait.  Jesus Christ in the flesh, was the very portrait of the invisible God.

Phil. 2:6, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.”  In Hebrews 1:3 the author speaks of Jesus as being God says, “Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person…”  And yes even Jesus in John 14:9 said to see Me is the see the Father.

Jesus is not some stepping stone we are to walk on in the path of finding salvation.  He is far more than an aspect of our faith; He is supreme.  Jesus in His person embodies the living God; and we are to look to Him to fill our very being.

After trusting in Christ for salvation, He is to make us into a new creation, being conformed into Him.  Romans 8:29, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first born among many brethren.”  It’s not you or I that are important; it must be all about Christ.

The firstborn within a Jewish home had special rights and privileges, especially as it related to the inheritance.  Jesus is the firstborn within God’s family, that’s not to say He had a beginning.  Jesus is the firstborn due to the resurrection; He was the first.

We by faith in Christ; will follow Him in the resurrection being brought into the family of God as brethren.  So because of our faith in Christ, though we may die, John 11:25, “…yet shall he live.”  How so? 

·        Because of the supreme worth of Jesus Christ, who is the portrait of the invisible God. 

·        Because this our God, also became our substitute sacrifice dying for our sin at Calvary’s Cross. 

·        Because Jesus didn’t just die, He rose from the tomb in the resurrection as the firstborn.  Jesus’ worth is supreme.

And then we are to praise God and give thanks as:

III.    CHRIST IS OUR CREATOR (Colossians 1:16,17)

Some years ago a South American company had purchased a printing press from the U.S.  After it arrived they assembled it, but were not able to get it working properly.

So they wired the manufacturer, asking for them to send a representative that could fix the problem they were having with the press.

When the representative arrived in South America, the officials of the company were skeptical upon seeing him.  So they sent another wire saying “You man is too young, send a more experienced person.”

The reply that came back read: “He’s the designer who made the press.  He can fix it.”

Things aren’t always how they seem.  Remember God looks at the heart and not at the outward appearance.  When they looked upon Jesus, they saw a man, not God.  From Isaiah 53:2, “…He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.”

And yet He is the designer who made us.  Surely He is the one able to fix us.  O that we would be still and know that He is God; O that He would be exalted in our hearts.

Please recognize from the passage, it’s more than that Jesus Christ is the creator of all things: the universe, this world, and you and I personally.

He is the purpose behind all things; He is the Goal behind all of creation.  “All things were created by Him, and FOR him:  And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.”  With God there are no accidents, there are no mistakes, or unforeseen turn of events.

God knows the beginning to the end and is working all things “…together for good for them that love God and are called according to His purpose.” ( Romans 8:28)

We tend to get so worked up over this or that, we don’t see the good or value in; yet God is at work among us.

We tend to question how something can be of the Lord, because we can’t see as God sees, or because we can’t think the way God thinks; yet God is at work among us.

We tend to blame and fight among ourselves over things that have no eternal value; yet God is at work within us to bring forth an eternal weight of glory.

What we need to do, is learn to allow our creator to mold and shape us into the person He wants us to be; where we lay up treasure in heaven, rather than in this world.  Only then, will we realize how we are created “for Him.” 

Live life from this perspective:  Everything (including you) began with God and all things (including you) will end with Him.

Everything sprang into existence at His command, and all things are to respond in this life to His command.

This is why the Father sent His only begotten Son into this world.  To fix what was broken, to save that which was lost, to redeem the world of sin.  All because, He is the designer who made us.

And then we are to be filled with praise in:

IV.    CHRIST AS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH.  (Colossians 1:18)

When you and I Trust in Christ for salvation; we become part of the Body of Christ.  This is the work of the Holy Spirit who spiritually baptizes us by placing us into Christ.

This is a body or membership of believers, going back to Pentecost and including every last person who will ever get saved unto the rapture of the church.  This body is called the church where Christ is the head.

The word church means “assembly” or “called out ones”.  Where we here at Fist Baptist, are a local assembly within the larger church of Christ. 

Never-the-less, Jesus Christ is the head of this local assembly, and not anyone individual: either I as the pastor or anyone else.

It is the heavenly Father who gave to Christ such authority by virtue of the resurrection.  Jesus Christ “…is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead…”  The word “beginning” going back to the resurrection: not to creation.

What does it mean for us that Christ is our head?  We are to bow or yield to the will of Christ both as a local assembly of believers; but also as individuals.

Simply put: in everything we are to live giving Christ the preeminence over us.  We are to give to Christ first place in EVERYTHING:

·        In our Families

·        In our Church, Worship, Prayers, Service

·        On the Job

·        In our Time

·        In our Conversations

·        In the Music we listen to

·        In our Finances, and that includes the Tithe

By giving to Christ first place in everything, we are giving back to Him the love He has shown to us, seen in the Cross.  And where we fail to give Christ first place, we also lose our first love for Christ.

Give to Christ the praise and glory due His name, because of the love He has shown to us.

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