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SermonNOTES Col 1 9-14 MH SHORELINE 05.21.06

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Sermon: MH:Shoreline May 21, 2006    Pleasing Jesus

Sermon Text:  Colossians 1:9-14

Steve Tompkins

 

Colossians 1:9-14 (ESV)
9And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Theme: Centrality and Supremacy of Jesus, and His Power to change our lives thru Gospel

Intro:

False teaching taking root, undermining the gospel. – Paul takes notice!

He is claiming superior spiritual insight, knowledge and experience.  He is saying that the Gospel is a good starting point, but its Beginners Stuff, merely the ABC’s, and its time to move on to maturity.

There are other things you need to know and do in order to really go deep in things of the Spirit.

If you really want TRUE WISDOM. 

TRULY MATURE

KNOWLEDGE OF THE DEEP THINGS

EXPERIENCE FULLNESS

VISIONS & DREAMS

DEEPER REVELATION

THIS RESULTS IN LEGALISM, ESSENTIALLY EMPTY RELIGION

PAUL says actually this will destroy your genuine Freedom and Joy that comes through the gospel.  It will not create deeper spirituality.  It will actually cut you off from our Head Jesus, and block the flow of his life – the transforming power of God through the gospel.

In Colossians 1:9-14 Paul continues his introductory remarks telling the Colossians that he is praying for them, and verbalizing the actual content of his prayers.   In this prayer we see the heart of the biblical gospel, and we gain vital clues as to how it is to be lived out in lives that are pleasing to Jesus our Savior and King. 

Colossians 1:9 (ESV)
9And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,

I like the sound of that! 

Key decisions . . . CAREER, EDUCATION, MARRIAGE, JOB, MONEY

To know God’s will and to have the wisdom and understanding to apply it well and live it out. 

Many Christians wrestle over knowing God’s will for their lives, and many of us have seen others get this wrong.  (Carol and praying at the morgue)  (Changing every 5-6 months)  (Vicki and leaving her husband and kids because GOD wanted her to be happy) (or Skye and Andrew to “live by faith” vs. work for a living)

  • sound interpretation of scripture,
  • wise advice
  • internal leading of the Holy Spirit

must be discerned in the context of Christian community through

As crucial as this is however, Paul is speaking primarily of the importance of knowing God’s will in the saving purposes and plan of God in Christ, and its implications for our daily lives and decisions.  Ie. The GOSPEL

--Knowing the gospel, Rooted in gospel,  Living in Gospel, Preaching Gospel to SELF

GOSPEL KEEPS US ON TRACK in PRACTICAL DAILY LIFE AND DECISIONS.

Read the passage RIGHTLY

Colossians 1:10 (ESV)
10so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord [BY FAITH ROM 1:17], fully pleasing to him [BY FAITH HEB 11:6], bearing fruit in every good work [ABIDING JN 15:5] and increasing in the knowledge of God [SURPASSING GREATNESS OF KNOWING JESUS  PHIL 3].

AND EVERYTHING I DO, IS OUT OF HUMBLE, JOYFUL, THANKFUL, RESPONSE TO GOD WHO HAS ALREADY POURED OUT HIS GRACE TO ME IN JESUS. 

BUT, here is what I actually do (without even realizing it):

I misread this whole passage! 

“Will of God” is something I must work hard to FIND and GET RIGHT

Passage:

Colossians 1:10 (ESV)
10so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord [WORTHY! I CAN’T HAVE TOO MUCH SIN IN MY LIFE], fully pleasing to him [NOT PLEASING IF THERE IS TOO MUCH SIN IN MY LIFE—MY JOB DESCRIPTION BEGINS WITH SIN MANAGER], bearing fruit in every good work [WORK HARD, DRIVE SELF] and increasing in the knowledge of God [STUDY/READING PROGRAM IN PLACE].

SOON I NEED STRENGTH AND POWER!!!!

Colossians 1:11 (ESV)
11May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,

I’M TRYING TO KEEP 15 PLATES SPINNING IN THE AIR AT THE SAME TIME.  I’m running around like mad trying to manage sin, prevent disaster, and impress God, or at least people that I’m a great Christian, bearing much fruit.

And, my “reading” of the text almost works:  Except for one little word—JOY.  I have no joy at all!  I’m exhausted. 

1. plate spinning [CJ Mahany: The Cross Centered Life]

            Bible reading program

            Memorizing program

            Discipleship program

            Inductive Bible study program and weekly small group

            Weekly accountability group

            Intercessory prayer meeting

            Evangelism program

            Fasting regularly

All of it is GOOD, some of it VITAL

BUT, slowly a shift takes place, from responding to Grace (MEANS OF GRACE), to earning Grace (performance-based relationship/// Acceptance vs. Condemnation

[Years ago—called to mnst, but plates crashing, not wanting to go to church at all, but . . . ]

North America:          

2. we have turned xty into a self-improvement plan, as if our goal is to become good and nice people.

3. In evangelicalism we have boiled everything down to some sort of Do-It-Yourself kit approach to spirituality of managing our sin--developing ourselves:

6 ways to raise kids . . .

5 keys to overcoming . . .

8 spiritual dynamics to . . . .

4 spiritual laws . . .

7 power principles . . .

spirituality of checkboxes (performance plans) that leave us empty and unchanged

So often, Christians begin in GRACE BY FAITH, but quickly turn xty into "do do do do"

THE RESULT IS:

Instead, weariness, burn-out, condemnation, borderline depression, and joyless hypocrisy 

Spurgeon says there are two types of religion in the world: those that say "do this and do that" and Jesus, which says "done"

Someone: Religion is advice with little story mixed in.  Xty, Gospel is Story with little advice

Gospel is NEWS,  GOOD NEWS about what God had done in Jesus!!

 

Colossians 1:12-14 (ESV)
12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

He has DONE it. 

            Qualified you

            Delivered you

            Transferred you – kingdom of Jesus – we are redeemed, forgiven (referring to the act of being freed from slavery (Israel under Pharoah) from Sin, Satan, Death

FORGIVEN – my sin not in part but the whole . . .     

THE GOSPEL (good news) I’m accepted by God in Jesus, therefore I obey Him: joyful response

RELIGION says, I obey (performance), therefore I am acceptable in God’s presence

Transferred to a whole new Kingdom—new reality—not just another “level” of the same thing

            Religion is RUN FASTER, JUMP HIGHER

                        NEVER ENDING TREADMILL OF PERFORMANCE

Gym: Treadmill illustration

                        Levels . . . I never arrive but am very competitive (so I burn out and quit!)

            BUT, what if the complete health/fitness/tone/flexibility of the FITTEST person in the gym could be FULLY IMPARTED to you???

  • Wouldn’t that be great??
  • Would that change everything?
    • Would you run the treadmill at a whole new level?
    • Athletic and physical activities of all kinds?
    • MOST of all: ATTITUDE – joy and gratitude (you would have fun!)

AND you might on the treadmill RIGHT NEXT TO SOMEONE who worked long and hard to get to the same level –

            Outwardly you LOOK THE SAME

            Inwardly you are operating from completely different REALITY, MOTIVATION, ATTITUDE

Now take 2 Christians sitting next to each other in church on Sunday morning . . .

BOTH ARE SEEKING to obey Jesus, read scripture, to pray, meditate and memorize, to serve and give generously, and be good members of their family, marriage etc.

BUT FROM TOTALLY DIFFERENT MOVITATIONS, and in the end with different ATTITUDES

The religious plate-spinning, treadmill-pounding Christian is seeking to stave off that nagging feeling of condemnation that is always threatening to ERUPT.  (SIN MANAGER)  AND WORK HARDER TO BEAR FRUIT AND EARN their place before God

 Without intending:  (Xty becomes a DIY program to be a good, nice, biblically moral, person). 

  • Joy dries up, and so does gratitude (feel guilty because you are not grateful enough)
  • Condemnation is always threatening to balloon on you
  • Some days you feel like giving up—and it scares you
  • Always looking for the answer, the program, the book, the sermon that holds the KEY

           

This is RELIGION, or LEGALISM.  It is subtle, and a great TEMPTATION because:

It is (Keller) the DEFAULT MODE OF THE HUMAN HEART.  

WE DEFINE OUR SELF-WORTH THROUGH PERFORMANCE.

Which means its so easy to start well by grace through faith, but get pulled off track – COLOSSIANS!!!

C.J. Mahaney in The Cross Centered Life: “Legalism is seeking to achieve forgiveness from God and acceptance by God through obedience to God.”

We end up CUT OFF from LIFE of the HEAD, from the transforming power of Jesus through the Spirit.

SO WHY DO WE LIKE IT?  WHY DO WE STAY THERE?

            Control!!!   Feels safe – We are radically out of control when dealing with the Living God.  And he is not SAFE. (Hebrews 10:31 “Fearful thing to fall into the hands of Living God”)

Paul’s prayer is that the Colossians would remain Jesus focused and gospel centered in the most practical way, in DAILY LIFE 

Colossians 1:9-14 (ESV)
9And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord [RESPONSE], fully pleasing to him [BY FAITH], bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God [BOSS OR FATHER]. 11May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Childers: Dawson Troutman's confession--used to think that from birth to conversion we needed the gospel, but from conversion to death we needed "discipleship."  Late he came to see we still need the gospel . . . always the gospel.  The gospel to free me from sins penalty (conversion), the gospel to free me from sins power (sanctification), and the gospel to free me from sins presence (glorification after death). 

Gospel is not simply a “message” which sinners need to hear. 

NOT just for beginners.

 The gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life, it’s the A-Z

            This is what Paul says

Colossians 2:6-7 (ESV)
6Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

What this means is that we are all need Jesus.  We all need the gospel.  Xn or non.

Romans 3:20-25 (ESV)
20For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. 21But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.

If you are not a Christian, you need to know the only way you CAN be released from CONDEMNATION FOR YOUR SIN is by placing your faith in Jesus and turning away from your sin. 

God sent his son, who lived the life you and I should live, but don’t

And died the death we deserve to die—but won’t if we place our faith in him, otherwise . . .

            Xty is not another tool in your belt for your personal program of moral improvement.

            Much better!  Good News that God has done it for you!!

If you are a Christian, you need the gospel.  Preach it to your own heart.

            Some of you feel condemned, because the plates have crashed – sin management

            Some of you feel close to God, but its because you’ve balanced your plates . . .

Come to cross—confess slipped into the Treadmill of Religion and legalism—great sin

Repent, believe, and celebrate.

Let Joy and Gratitude at the GRACE OF GOD reign in your heart, and YOU RESPOND

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

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