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My Debt is Cancelled Through the Cross

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MY DEBT IS CANCELLED THROUGH THE CROSS
INTRODUCTION:
LAST WEEK, WE LEARNED THAT GOD, THROUGH THE SACRIFICE OF JESUS ON THE CROSS, MADE A WAY FOR SINFUL MAN TO BE RECONCILED TO HOLY GOD.
THIS WEEK, AS WE CONTINUE TO LOOK AT THE CROSS, AS WE ARE MOVING TOWARD THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS, I WANT US TO LOOK AT THE FACT THAT OUR PENALTY FOR SIN HAS BEEN REMOVED THROUGH THE CROSS.
WHEN WE THINK OF PENALTIES, WE USUALLY THINK OF IT IN A COUPLE OF WAYS.
ONE IS THROUGH THE LENS OF FINANCES.
WE MAY HAVE A LATE FEE, OR MAYBE WE WERE LATE ON A PAYMENT, AND FEES HAVE BEEN ADDED TO OUR ACCOUNT BECAUSE OF OUR UNWILLINGNESS, OR INABILITY TO PAY THE DEBT.
THE OTHER IS THROUGH THE LENS OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE.
MAYBE BECAUSE OF SOME CRIMINAL ACTIVITY WE WERE INVOLVED IN, WE NOW FACE THE POSSIBILITY OF JAIL TIME, A FORCED CAPTIVITY FOR A WRONG WE COMMITTED.
BOTH OF THESE ARE REALLY GOOD WAYS TO LOOK AT THE POWER OF SIN IN THE LIFE OF A PERSON.
ON THE ONE HAND, SIN CAUSES US TO BUILD UP A DEBT, AND NOTHING THAT WE HAVE THE CAPACITY TO DO IS ENOUGH TO WIPE OUT THAT DEBT.
THERE IS NOT ENOUGH RETRIBUTION WE CAN PAY, NOT ENOUGH GOOD DEEDS TO OUTWEIGH THE BAD DEEDS, NOT ENOUGH MONEY WE CAN GIVE, TO PAY OFF THE DEBT THAT SIN ACCRUES.
ALSO, BECAUSE OF SIN, WE ARE GUILTY OF TRANSGRESSIONS FOR WHICH WE CANNOT CLEAR OURSELVES.
THEREFORE, SOMETHING HAD TO DONE.
SOMETHING THAT WOULD MAKE A WAY FOR SINFUL MAN TO BE RESTORED TO RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH HOLY GOD.
WHAT HAPPENED WAS THE CROSS.
AND SINCE THE VERY MOMENT THAT JESUS DIED ON THE CROSS, ALL THE FORCES OF HELL HAVE BEEN WORKING IN CONCERT TO CONVINCE PEOPLE THAT IT WAS ALL JUST AN ELABORATE HOAX.
THIS IS WHAT THE APOSTLE PAUL IS WRITING ABOUT TO THE CHURCH AT COLOSSAE.
WE WOULD DO WELL TO LISTEN TO AND HEED THESE WORDS, WRITTEN IN THE CONTEXT OF THE FIRST-CENTURY CHURCH, BUT JUST AS APPLICABLE TO THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY CHURCH.
LISTEN TO WHAT PAUL SAYS ABOUT THE CROSS.
1. THE WORLD WANTS TO TAKE YOU CAPTIVE OR KEEP YOU CAPTIVE.
a. – 8 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.
i. THERE ARE REALLY TWO ASPECTS TO THE CAPTIVITY THE WORLD SEEKS TO IMPOSE UPON PEOPLE.
1. ONE IS TO KEEP CAPTIVE THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW CHRIST.
2. THE OTHER IS TO TAKE CAPTIVE THE HEARTS AND LIVES OF THOSE WHO DO KNOW CHRIST.
ii. AND PAUL IDENTIFIES THE PRIMARY SOURCES OF THIS ATTEMPT AT CAPTIVITY AS PHILOSOPHY AND EMPTY DECEIT.
1. THE WORD PHILOSOPHY IS THE COMBINATION OF TWO GREEK WORDS:
a. PHILO – LOVE OR LOVER
b. SOPHIA – WISDOM
c. AND IT WAS AND IS PRIMARILY AN EFFORT TO KNOW OR UNDERSTAND THINGS BY THE LIGHT OF NATURAL REASON ALONE.
d. AND IT REJECTS THE NOTION OF THE SUPERNATURAL AND PROMOTES THE IDEA THAT THERE ARE ONLY NATURAL CAUSES OF THINGS.
e. PHILOSOPHY WAS AND IS SKEPTICAL RATHER THAN FAITH-BASED.
2. SO THE WORLD TRIES TO LURE PEOPLE AWAY AND TAKE THEM CAPTIVE BY REPLACING THE NECESSITY OF FAITH WITHOUT SIGHT WITH NATURAL REASON.
3. IT ALSO SEEKS TO TAKE PEOPLE CAPTIVE BY SHEER DECEPTION.
a. DECEPTION IS EASY ENOUGH TO DEFINE.
i. IT IS THE KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT IS RIGHT, BUT THE PROMOTION OF WHAT IS WRONG.
4. THIS IS THE PROBLEM PAUL WAS ADDRESSING IN THE CHURCH AT COLOSSAE, AND THIS SAME PROBLEM EXISTS FOR THE CHURCH TODAY.
iii. THE MOST SERIOUS BLUNDER OF THE FALSE TEACHERS AT COLOSSAE WAS THAT THEY WENT ABOUT THEIR SPIRITUAL LIVES WITH ONLY NATURAL INSIGHT.
iv. THEY DECEIVED THE PEOPLE AND THEREFORE, THE PEOPLE DID NOT GO TO GOD TO LEARN OF HIM, NOR DID THEY LEARN FROM THE REVELATION OF CHRIST THAT WAS AVAILABLE TO THEM.
v. TODAY’S CULTURE IS MUCH THE SAME:
1. WE WOULD RATHER LISTEN TO OPRAH OR CHOPRA THAN LISTEN TO THE REVEALED TRUTH OF SCRIPTURE.
2. WE WOULD RATHER HAVE OUR EGOS STROKED BY SOME SMOOTH-TALKING TV PREACHER WHO NEVER SPEAKS OF SIN AND NEVER PRESENTS THE GOSPEL…
a. WE LOVE THE IDEA THAT WE ARE BASICALLY GOOD PEOPLE.
b. BUT THIS PHILOSOPHY IS IN DIRECT CONFLICT WITH THE TEACHINGS OF SCRIPTURE.
b. WHAT WE NEED TO RECOGNIZE IS THAT APART FROM THE FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST, WE ARE COMPLETELY WITHOUT HOPE.
c. BUT THANKS BE TO GOD!!!
2. BECAUSE IF YOU ARE IN CHRIST, YOU HAVE BEEN REDEEMED.
a. – 9 FOR IN HIM THE WHOLE FULLNESS OF DEITY DWELLS BODILY, 10 AND YOU HAVE BEEN FILLED IN HIM, WHO IS THE HEAD OF ALL RULE AND AUTHORITY. 11 IN HIM ALSO YOU WERE CIRCUMCISED WITH A CIRCUMCISION MADE WITHOUT HANDS, BY PUTTING OFF THE BODY OF THE FLESH, BY THE CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST, 12 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.
i. FIRST OF ALL, JESUS IS GOD.
1. IN HIM THE WHOLE FULLNESS OF DEITY DWELLS BODILY.
a. THIS PAST WEDNESDAY, I WAS ENCOURAGING EVERYONE TO SHARE THEIR FAITH.
b. AND I MADE THE POINT THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO USE BIG THEOLOGICAL TERMS IN ORDER TO SHARE YOUR FAITH.
i. YOU JUST NEED TO TELL OTHERS WHAT JESUS DID FOR YOU.
c. AND I SAID, “YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE ABLE TO EXPLAIN THE HYPOSTATIC UNION.”
2. BUT IF YOU NEED TO, IT’S RIGHT HERE, BECAUSE THE HYPOSTATIC UNION IS THE JOINING OF THE DIVINE AND THE HUMAN IN THE ONE PERSON OF JESUS.
a. IT IS THE TERM THAT EXPLAINS .
3. SO JESUS IS GOD.
4. AND BECAUSE HE IS GOD…
ii. HIS DEATH IS SUFFICIENT TO SAVE YOU.
1. IT SAYS THERE THAT YOU HAVE BEEN “FILLED WITH HIM,” WHICH IS PROBABLY BETTER TRANSLATED “MADE COMPLETE IN HIM.”
2. AND THAT YOU HAVE BEEN CIRCUMCISED BY HIS DEATH.
3. THE WORD CIRCUMCISION USUALLY IDENTIFIED THE MORAL PRINCIPLE WHICH CHARACTERIZES HUMANITY (FLESH).
iii. SO THE STATEMENT “YOU WERE CIRCUMCISED WITH A CIRCUMCISION MADE WITHOUT HANDS, BY PUTTING OFF THE BODY OF FLESH, BY THE CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST” REFERS TO PUTTING OFF THE FALLENNESS OF HUMANITY AND NOW BEING GUIDED BY THE MORAL INSIGHT THAT COMES FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT.
iv. THE PERSON WHO IS IN CHRIST HAS BEEN TRANSITIONED FROM A FALLEN STATE TO A REDEEMED STATE.
v. AS GOD LOOKS UPON THOSE WHO ARE IN CHRIST, HE SEES THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF HIS SON, RATHER THAN THE SINFULNESS OF THE INDIVIDUAL.
vi. HIS DEATH IS SUFFICIENT TO SAVE YOU.
b. THE PERSON WHO IS IN CHRIST HAS ALSO BEEN BURIED WITH HIM IN BAPTISM AND RAISED WITH HIM THROUGH FAITH.
i. NOW THIS DOESN’T NECESSARILY REFER TO WATER BAPTISM, ALTHOUGH WATER BAPTISM IS A PICTURE OF THIS.
1. WHAT THIS REFERS TO IS WHAT HAPPENS AT THE MOMENT A PERSON COMES TO FAITH IN CHRIST.
a. AT THAT MOMENT, THAT PERSON IS IMMERSED – BAPTIZED – INTO CHRIST, AND IS RAISED FROM ETERNAL DEATH TO ETERNAL LIFE.
c. AND SO PAUL SAYS ALL THIS TO DRIVE HOME THE POINT THAT IF YOU ARE IN CHRIST, YOU HAVE BEEN REDEEMED.
3. BUT HOW DID ALL THIS HAPPEN? GOD NAILED YOUR DEBT TO THE CROSS.
a. – 13 AND YOU, WHO WERE DEAD IN YOUR TRESPASSES AND THE UNCIRCUMCISION OF YOUR FLESH, GOD MADE ALIVE TOGETHER WITH HIM, HAVING FORGIVEN US ALL OUR TRESPASSES, 14 BY CANCELING THE RECORD OF DEBT THAT STOOD AGAINST US WITH ITS LEGAL DEMANDS. THIS HE SET ASIDE, NAILING IT TO THE CROSS. 15 HE DISARMED THE RULERS AND AUTHORITIES AND PUT THEM TO OPEN SHAME, BY TRIUMPHING OVER THEM IN HIM.
b. IF YOU ARE IN CHRIST, THROUGH THE CROSS:
i. GOD MADE YOU ALIVE WITH CHRIST.
ii. GOD CANCELED THE DEBT YOU HAD ACCUMULATED.
iii. GOD DISARMED THE RULERS AND AUTHORITIES WHO SEEK TO DECEIVE YOU.
1. NO LONGER TO WE HAVE TO LISTEN TO EMPTY PHILOSOPHIES AND DECEPTIONS OF THE WORLD.
a. WE NOW KNOW THAT HUMAN TRADITION CANNOT SAVE A PERSON.
b. WE NOW KNOW THAT THE ELEMENTAL SPIRITS OF THE WORLD CANNOT SAVE A PERSON.
c. WE NOW KNOW THAT ONLY CHRIST CAN SAVE A PERSON.
CONCLUSION/APPLICATION:
SO WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW, IN LIGHT OF THESE TRUTHS?
IF YOU ARE A CHRIST-FOLLOWER:
YOU SHOULD MAKE A RENEWED COMMITMENT TO LIVE AS A REDEEMED PERSON SHOULD LIVE.
YOU SHOULD MAKE A COMMITMENT TO SHARE YOUR FAITH.
YOU SHOULD TAKE STEPS OF OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST.
IF YOU ARE NOT A CHRIST-FOLLOWER:
YOU SHOULD REJECT THE DECEPTION OF THE WORLD.
YOU SHOULD CONSIDER THE CLAIMS OF SCRIPTURE.
AND YOU SHOULD ASK JESUS TO SAVE YOU.
HOW DO I DO THAT?
INSIDE OF YOUR BULLETIN…
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