Col 3_15_17 Supremacy of Christ in Christians Life
Text: Colossians 3:15-17
Title: New Life in Christ (Part 3) “Supremacy of Christ in the Christians life”
Theme of the book of Colossians: Jesus Christ: The preeminent and all-sufficient Savior
Theme of Text: A person that has been raised will make Christ supreme.
Proposition: Live with Christ as your focus.
Often people wander through life not knowing what to do with themselves. Many Christians do the same thing. They live as if they had a blindfold on and walk around not knowing where to go. The only advice or direction they get is from other people with blindfolds on. Many people in the world, including Christians, have no focus. They don’t focus on Christ.
In Colossians 3:1-4, Paul exhorted those that are “risen with Christ” to think on things above. Paul was simply saying to make Christ the focal point of your life. Those four verses, 1-4, are the introduction to a passage on practical Christian living. Then, Paul explained the things that a Christian should “put on and put off.” In Colossians 3:5-14, Paul listed things that are not to be found in a Christian’s life, and then he listed the Christian characteristics that a believer should have. In our text today, Colossians 3:15-17, Paul is saying: Live with Christ as the focus of your life. Paul is telling people to make Christ the driving force of their life. Everything that a believer does should be done in the name of Christ. Paul had a correct focus. He knew that he had the peace of Christ in his heart, and the Word of Christ was constantly in his life, so it was easy for Paul to do everything for and in the name of Christ. Christ was his focus!
1. The Peace of Christ
A person that has put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ to forgive them of their sin and to save their soul is a person that is at peace with God. Christ died on the cross and paid the price of sin with his blood. Through Him, we can have peace with God. Without Christ, the wrath of God will judge. Therefore, the peace of God should rule and unite Christians.
~Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (Phil 4:7; John 14:27; Ephesians 2:14)
Peace In 8% Of History- Everyone is concerned about peace- Peace talks.
Only eight percent of the time since the beginning of recorded history has the world been entirely at peace. In over 3,100 years, only 286 have been warless and 8,000 treaties have been broken in this time. —Christian Victory
Ill/App: Many people believe that they can have peace in their life apart from God. The world leaders thinks that one day, they will be able to create a peaceful world. That is not true! In Matthew and Mark, Christ said there would be rumors of war. Even though people cry out for “peace,” there will be no peace apart from Christ. You cannot calm your soul and mind to have inner peace. Only Christ can give peace with God and complete inner peace.
a. The Peace should Rule you
The peace of Christ should rule in your hearts. There are two stages to peace. First, peace with God happens when your sins are forgiven and you are reconciled to Christ. Second, the peace of Christ is placed in the hearts of his children. John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. This is a deep inner peace that is completely connected to the Holy Spirit. God can only give this peace. In fact, Paul says in Philippians 4:7 that if you are in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, then the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. The peace of Christ will guard your heart and mind through Christ and then it can rule you.
The Peace of Christ, which is intimately connected with the Holy Spirit, is to be the “umpire or ruler” in your heart. The word used for “ruler” has to do with athletic contests. The ruler or the umpire is the one that presides over the game and controls the way things happen in a contest. The Peace of Christ is to be the umpire, the one that guides and controls the believer’s decisions. When you disobey a command of the Lord walk out of His will, you should be convicted and have the umpire- the peace of Christ- tell you of your problem.
Appl: Some of you may be out of the will of God, so you don’t know the peace that Christ gives. If this is true about you, maybe it is because you have not focused your mind on Christ and you have not trusted Him. Isaiah 26:3 tells us how to have peace: You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Peace results from the forgiveness of sin, and then a mind that is focused and trusting in Christ.
b. The Peace should Unite you
When you are at peace in your heart with Christ, then you should also be at peace with your fellow man and especially those in the church. We have been called to one body- our church. When you are harboring sin in one area of you life, you can bring discord to the church.
Illustration: Do you remember Achan from Joshua 7? The children of Israel were commanded to go into Jericho and defeat the city. They were commanded not to take any of the spoils or goods from the victorious battle. Achan disobeyed and stole and deceived by taking spoils from the city. Then, Israel went to battle with Ai. They lost the battle because of Achan’s sin, but in Joshua 7:11, God said that “Israel has sinned.” The whole nation was under judgment because of one mans sin. The peace of God that had been in the nation was gone because of one man’s sin.
~Our church can have problems and not be able to go forward because of one persons sin. Without the peace of God, we cannot be united as a church. Is your sin keeping other from being unified as a body?
Trans: Because of Peace with Christ, we can and should let the word of Christ live in us! That will help us as we seek to keep Christ as our focus.
2. The Word of Christ
The “Word of Christ,” which is what the original Greek manuscripts say in this verse, is simply the revelation of Christ to man. That is the Holy Scriptures or the Word of God. The Word of Christ probably has an emphasis on the specific teachings of Jesus, but it includes the whole Bible. Christians should cherish the Bible. It is the source of truthful teaching about Jesus Christ. The Bible must become a part of your life.
a. The Word should Live in you
The idea that Paul is trying to get across is that the Word of Christ should be “at home living richly or extravagantly in your life.” The Word should have its resident in the lives of Christians. Scripture should saturate the mind and life of a Christian. How does that happen? It doesn’t happen by accident or chance, nor does it happen by church attendance. I think Psalm 119:11 explains how to have the Word living in you. Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. The word that is kept in your mind can be meditated upon day and night. If it is to be in your mind, then you will do what 2 Timothy 2:15 says to do: Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Ill: You should be like a sponge. A dry sponge soaks up lots of water. When it is squeezed, water comes out of it. It then needs to be soaked again. You should be like a dry sponge soaking up the Bible so when pressure comes, the Bible comes out.
Illustration/Application: Reading Time
~ We don’t think we have time for God’s Word. I bet that most of us spend on average one hour or a day watching tv, playing video games, surfing the net, reading magazines, or just using our time unwisely. ~Half the books of the Bible can be read in ten to forty-five minutes each, and many of them can be read in less than twenty. The entire Old and New Testaments can be read aloud slowly and with expression in less than seventy-one hours. (That is also 1 hour a day for 71 days.)
~One single, normal issue of the Sunday paper contains as much reading matter as the entire New Testament. Thousands of people read the Sunday paper through every week. The number of Christians who read the New Testament through every week, or even one book of the New Testament every week, is probably small!
When the Word of Christ is dwelling in the life of the believer, then the Holy Spirit has the ability to work in your life. Let me explain by reasoning. The Holy Spirit inspires the Word of God. When a person puts God’s Word in their heart, then they are putting the very thing that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, you have the Words of the Holy Spirit in you since the Holy Spirit himself inside you. If you allow that to happen, then you know that the Holy Spirit will control you.
b. The Word should Teach and Admonish you
If we allow the Word of Christ to dwell in our hearts, we will be able to teach and admonish each other. This means that we gives instruction both positively and negatively. We will give positive truth as well as warnings against bad behavior.
“Other books were given for our information; the Bible was given for our transformation.” Listen to what the author Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
How do we do this? We will teach each other in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Music is one of the best ways to teach and admonish others. Through godly music, you can hear scripture and the great doctrines of the Bible. Music also is an easy way to remember truths. We can memorize some biblical music and sing it back to God. What are these psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs?
Psalms refers to the Old Testament psalms put to music. The early church did most of its singing directly from the book of Psalms, using various tunes familiar to the congregation. The psalms primarily speak about the nature and work of God, especially in the lives of believers. Above all else, they magnify and glorify God.
Hymns refers primarily to songs of praise, which exalted God, in that they specifically praised the Lord Jesus Christ. Some New Testament passages were used as hymns in the early church. Could even be Colossians 1:15-20.
Spiritual songs were probably songs of testimony that covered a broad category that included any music expressing spiritual truth.
~In the church today we could classify renditions of Psalms 23 and 84 as psalms, the song “Christ Arose” as a hymns, and the song “I have decided to follow Jesus” as spiritual songs. The intent of the writer here, however, is simply to give liberty for all kinds of musical expression to exalt the Lord. (John MacArthur, Ephesians.)
Illustration/Application: Someone once said that to live a successful Christian life involves attention to three books: God’s Book- the Bible, the pocketbook, and the hymnbook. A Christian that has God’s Book in his heart and running his life will allow God to control his pocket book, and he will be singing constantly songs from the hymnbook. Some even use a hymnbook in their devotional time to sin and praise God.
Appl: Are you listening to “spiritual songs” that glorify and praise God or are you listening to worldly songs that talk about sex, love, immorality, drugs, and violence? I’m sure that 90% or more of the music on the airwaves is not God honoring! If you fill your brain with the world’s filthy music, then you will have that trash running through your mind, but if you have good, godly music based on God’s Word, then you will have Scripture running through your mind.
c. The Word should Come out of you
When the Word of Christ is dwelling in you because of reading, meditation, and memorization, then it come out of you through your voice, but especially in singing. In the New Testament the word “Singing” is always used in relation to praising God (see also Col. 3:16; Rev. 5:9; 14:3; 15:3). -God wants His children’s singing to come from a Spirit–filled and Word filled heart —whether the voice that makes the sound is rough and unpolished or smooth and highly trained, it doesn’t matter. Every believer is capable of singing the praises that God puts in his heart. -You don’t have to have the best voice in the world, just sing praises to God. If it’s good enough for God, then don’t be concerned about what man thinks. A life that is Spirit and Word filled will be overflowing with grace and thanksgiving in song.
Illustration: Singing Religion
Christianity is a singing religion. Atheism has no songs. It has nothing to sing about. The funeral notices of Robert Ingersoll, the noted agnostic, stated, “There will be no singing.” In contrast, the psalm singing of Christian martyrs going to their deaths in the arena alerted the Roman Empire to the fact that a new and revolutionary force was coming into being. When the pleasure-bent populace saw the Christians singing as they fearlessly entered the amphitheater where hungry lions awaited them, they were filled with awe. Heaven is vibrant with song: “And they sing the song of Moses … and the song of the Lamb” (Rev. 15:3). —Walter B. Knight
Trans: If you have peace with Christ in your heart and the Word of Christ in your life, then you will want to have the name of Christ controlling you. Christ will be your focus!
3. The Name of Christ
A Christian is a person that has accepted Christ as their Savior from sin. They are making Christ the Lord of their life. A person cannot accept Christ and have another “lord” or “master.” Man cannot serve two masters. Therefore, a Christian should be compelled to live for Christ and controlled by Christ. To be called a Christian is to identify with Christ. Living for Christ is a constant, moment-by-moment responsibility of the Christian.
a. Identification with Christ should compel (motivate) you
Whatever is done should be done in the name of Christ. That should compel you to be living for him.
Ill: Names in English don’t mean much. Many times, babies are named by their parents according to how the name “sounds.” Sometimes American parents name their babies after a certain person or a Bible character, but the name is not very important. In Chinese, I think names have a little more meaning and importance than Americans names do, but still, I don’t think that the emphasis that is put on names today is not very much. In the ancient world, a man’s name was extremely important! If you have accepted Christ as you savior, then you bear the name of Christ. You are a “Christian.” That name brings identification: we belong to Christ.
App: Since you are identified with Christ that should motivate and compel you to live for Christ. We belong to the greatest name on all the earth: Christ. Christians should constantly follow 1 Corinthians 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Whatever we do should be for Christ and his glory.
b. The Authority of Christ should control you
Because we are Christians, that means we belong to Christ and are under his authority. We should live in accordance to His will. Jesus Christ is our authority; he should control your life. As Paul says in Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. Christ’s authority should control our thoughts, our actions, and our complete life!
Appl: Where have you been taking the name of Christ? Everything should be done in Christ name and for Him. Does that scare you and convict you because of what your doing, or does that encourage you to live for Christ? Are you marring (destroying, defaming) or magnifying the name of Christ. Colossians 3:4 says, Christ who is our life. Is Christ your life?
c. Christ should make you thankful
Now, I have purposely skipped something in these verses. Each of these verses talks about being thankful. v. 15 We are to be thankful because of the Peace of God, v. 16 we are to sing with thankfulness in our hearts to the Lord, and v. 17 we are to be giving thanks to God through Christ. A life that is at peace with God is reason for great thanks. The Word of Christ is reason for thanks. The name of Christ should automatically bring thanks! Think of the Apostles, in Acts 5:41, is says that they were rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. They were rejoicing and thankful to the opportunity to suffer for the name of Christ! If your life is not marked thankfulness to God, then you have problems on your focus. You need to make Christ the center and focus of your life!
Paul wrote each one of these verses to show the preeminence and supremacy that Christ should have in the Christians life. Christ is the center and focal point of the Christian faith. We have the Peace with Christ so that we can study the Word of Christ; now you must live your life to exalt the name of Christ. You must live with Christ as the focus of your life!
Ill: Are you wandering around looking for a purpose and focus in your life? You might be like that person with a blindfold on that is living life with no purpose and aim. You might just be asking advice from other blind people. You need to have Christ remove the blindfold of sin so you can have peace with Christ and then he will give you the peace of Christ. Then commit yourself to the Word of Christ so you can live your life with the focus of magnifying the Name of Christ.