2008.11.02 God's People Respond - By Living for Christ Col 2 6-7
God’s People Respond: By Living for Christ
November 2, 2008
· How many of you have a dog? How many of you walk your dog regularly? How many of you like walking your dog?
· I’ve never had a dog, but my grandma has a dog; its small & white and a bit yippy – it’s a grandma type of dog. But my grandma loves that dog. Now my grandma is in his upper eighties and she faithfully takes her dog for a walk, often twice of day.
· If you were to see my grandma taking her dog for a walk, you would quickly notice that Her walks are not all that brisk – one would likely consider her walk quite slow, my grandma walks the same path each day – it rarely changes. Missy has become quite accustomed to the speed at which they travel and the path they take on their walks.
· Missy is accustomed to her master, to the speed of her master, to where her master leads her.
· The bible is clear that we all walk, believer and unbeliever; the believer and the unbeliever have different masters and thus walk differently. the Apostle Paul in our text in Col 2 today – he instructs us how we as believers are to respond to our Master – how we are to walk in Him – to live for Him.
· Let me ask you this question…are you accustomed to walking with your Master, are you accustomed to walking in Him, in Christ truly living for Him ….or is this something that is foreign to you – that you have no idea what that would be like to walk in Christ, to really live day in and day out for Him….or maybe as you ponder this question you realize that you should be accustomed to Christ but for any number of reasons – you are distant from him, you have not allowed him to lead you and guide you but rather you’ve been walking outside of him.
· This morning we are going to look at the instruction Paul gives to the believers at Colossae on living for Christ.
· God’s People Pray
· Christ Supreme
· God’s People Minister…Proclaiming Christ –
o to make the Word of God fully known,
o proclaiming by warning and teaching everyone in all wisdom that we may present everyone mature in Christ
o proclaiming in His strength….For this I toil, struggling….
o Encouraged, unity, assurance of faith.
· Paul is now challenging us as to how we are to respond. So…God’s People Respond: By Living for Him….
So let’s read Ch 2:6,7
· Therefore, when you start with a therefore you need to back track just a bit…..what I have recapped….
· Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord…(verse 6a)
1. God’s People Respond: By Receiving Him
· We can all understand the concept of receiving…
o Ladies maybe you are thinking of a receiving blanket that you wrap a newborn or an infant in and what do you do naturally after the young babe is wrapped – you bring them close – you draw the infant near, you receive them near to you.
o Or guys maybe you’re thinking of the football game you’re going to watch this afternoon – where the receiver catches the ball, he receives the pass and what does he do naturally after catching the ball….he brings that ball tight into his body, he draws in near to himself – you protect it.
o Now if you couldn’t relate to either of the two previous illustrations…then you will understand the aspect of receiving gifts, birthday or Christmas gifts. I’ve never been to a birthday party where gifts have been brought and the person said ‘no’ I refuse to receive them
· This word for receive truly means to receive near, or to associate with oneself.
· Paul is writing to believers so he is making reference to the fact that they have already received Christ – they have understood the gospel message (….explain gospel message).
· So as the Colossians have received near to them the message of grace, the gospel… they have been willing to associate themselves with Christ – as they have received Him – they are claiming that they are with Him. Paul is just reminding them of that commitment they made earlier.
· Paul is very specific as to who they received…Christ Jesus the Lord (verse 6b)
· Paul could have said – as you have rec’d Jesus….but he didn’t, he gave two very important descriptors of Jesus.
· Christ – the Messiah, the Anointed One – the one who was to come and save his people…
· "He (Andrew) first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ)." (John 1:41, ESV)
· So Paul gives Jesus the title of Messiah…then he calls him Lord.
· Lord – meaning the master over all, the owner, the ruler
· So in essence Paul is saying that you have received, but in receiving you have surrendered, b/c Jesus is the master, the owner You can’t just add on Jesus to your life, receiving is not tacking on….no if we truly receive him then we are willing to subject ourselves to the master….that’s the picture Paul is giving us and that’s what he is reminding the Colossians about.
· Read…verse 6….
· There is the receiving of Christ, but then there is the walking that goes with the receiving. It’s not just believe and receive and continue living the way you were
2. God’s People Respond: By Walking in Him
· Now I am not trying to say that our walking (or our living for Christ) is what will determine whether we receive Jesus….it’s not works based salvation
· Eph 2:8-10
· James 2:14, 17-18
o Works justify us before man
o Faith justifies us before God
· So our faith (that receiving of Christ) and our walking in Him our living for Him go hand in hand.
· Paul is saying that being a Christian requires you to walk in Christ, to live for Him
· Paul says you started in faith and you must continue in faith – it is not just a one time thing, a one time commitment
· The Greek word for walk is per-ee-pat-eh´-o; and is an active verb – denoting a continuous action. We need to constantly and continually walk in Christ.
· When I think of walking in Him – I think of John 15 – when Jesus says….(read v4,5)
· Apart from me you can do nothing….isn’t that sobering & humbling – with all your skills and with all your abilities you are nothing apart from Him. It’s only as we walk in Him that he can use that which he has gifted us for His glory.
· God wants you to be close to Him – to abide in Him
o Marriage rel’ship – if you are not walking in Him then your marriage is going to suffer – it will produce the fruit of selfishness – apart from Christ we seek our own – our selfishness flourishes.
o Husbands – do you know what the Word instructs on your Biblical role, how you are to love your wife….you can’t do it on your own, your marriage will suffer…..Likewise wives do you know your Biblical role – are you searching the Scriptures on how you are to fulfill your role as a biblical wife.
o Please husbands and wives stay connected to the vine, read the Word
o Other rel’ships at work and with family are you seeking to walk in Christ, to allow the Lord to lead you in these rel’ships.
o Young Adults – those 13 and older…are you seeking to have wholesome rel’ships with others….are you trying to do this in your own strength? It is impossible to be holy walking apart from Him.
· Ladies and Gentlemen: – how do you know how to walk in Him….it comes from the Word. The Word gives us the instruction we need….the Word is living and active it is not just a book. It has the power to transform lives….If you are not diving into the Word and striving to grow deeper from your time spent offering your devotion to Him – then it is hard to expect that you would walk in Him. Remember this walking is a continuous action…so we need to be continuously in the Word. It is our fuel to walk, without the Word we are weak.
· 1 John 2 is a good summary of what I have shared with you it goes like this, "Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked." (1 John 2:4-6, ESV)
· Do you still want to know how to walk in Him, walk as he walked….read the gospels and learn from the Word how Jesus lived
3. God’s People Respond: By Being Rooted and Built Up
· The concept of being rooted denotes being strengthened. The Greek tense of this word gives the idea that this is a once for all type of action….the picture of salvation – you’ve been planted in the right spot
· As Christians we have been planted in the good soil and as our roots grow we will be nourished by the Lord….rooted in Him.
· Our strength comes from the Lord. Roots allow the tree to withstand the storms, the heat, and the wind and likewise when we are rooted in Jesus we also will be able to withstand the storms of life (the trials, persecutions, health issues, financial strains), the times of drought and the blistering wind so that we are not blown about by every wind of doctrine. We can stand firm in Christ, when we are rooted and strengthened by Him.
· Paul also uses the illustration of being built up….The Greek here denotes more of a continuous action. To be built up – we are building on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ. To edify to grow – this is the process of becoming more and more Christlike.
· Luke says in Acts 20 “I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up.” (Acts 20:32).
· Being firmly rooted and built up in Him will result in your faith being established. It is hard to move a tree that is established and it is hard to move a structure that is built on the solid rock.
4. God’s People Respond: In Thanksgiving
· We have much to be grateful for, much to be thankful for.
· Paul says in Col 1:12 -
· If we walk in Him and if we are rooted in him and built up in him – our faith will be established and this will result in thanksgiving.
· The next time you are out walking your dog or the next time you see someone walking their dog, may you be reminded of this biblical truth – to Walk in Christ. You see most dogs enjoy walking with their master (tail wagging, tongue hanging out), they will go wherever the master leads, they are so happy just to be with their master. If this is how dogs respond to their master, surely we can do better than that.
· If Jesus is not your master, then you need to receive him. You need to turn from your sinful ways, repent and ask God to forgive you. Believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and that only through Jesus can you be made right before a holy God. By God’s grace through faith you can be saved from your sin and in your surrendered state live for him…you can pray right where you are and ask God to come into your life.
· And if you do know Jesus as your master – you are a believer let me ask you this:
· Do you enjoy walking with your master – walking in Christ (do people see that Jesus is the greatest part of your life), will you go wherever the master leads (signifying absolute surrender to Jesus), are you overjoyed just to be with Jesus to have a relationship with Him?
· Dogs if they are fortunate they get to go for a walk once or twice a day.
· We have the privilege of walking with our Master Everyday allday long, in fact the master encourages to walk with him all the time, but it is often me and you who decide that we want to walk it alone…You and I both know from experience that when we walk alone – that is when sin sets in and trouble and the heartache comes.
· I exhort you to have your confession of faith in Jesus Christ be matched by your continual walking in Him, abiding in Him – living for him
· There is no greater experience as a believer than to walk in Him, to truly walk with Him, living full out for Christ Jesus the Lord!