Sunday sermon Colossians 3:14-17
Good morning and welcome to FCC where we worship God is Spirit and in Truth, one verse at a time.
Thank you for that song service and for your faithfulness each week. And the same to the IT team and those that work with the children! Thank each one of you for your faithfulness to be that hands and feet of Jesus!
Well, guess what? Its going to be really hot today. In fact, they have us slated for a 109 today, Monday 113, and Tuesday 115 and 100s throughout the rest of the week.
Let us be prayerful because these conditions are difficult on us all.
Read Colossians 3:12-17
Read Colossians 3:12-17
Well, church we have come a long way. We have made our way through the first couple of chapters and in the next few weeks we we close number 3.
Last week our focus was on forgiveness and forgiveness is not an option.
The Lord commands us over and over to forgive.
In fact, forgiveness is the core of the Gospel.
“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love," Martin Luther King Jr.
Forgiving- charizomai -to cancel, to pardon, to gratify one with, to show kindness
Forgive-to send away, to let go, to give up a debt
And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.”
But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
This text is not teaching that in order to be saved, one must forgive others. If it did, salvation would be conditional, not about the finished work on the Cross.
However, it does teach that our relationship with God will be damaged if we refuse to pardon those who have offended us.
The Bible is clear that God pardons sin by His grace based on Christ’s work on the cross alone, not on man’s actions.
Our right standing before Him is established on one thing only—the finished work of Christ (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10).
The penalty for the sin that is rightly ours is paid by Christ, and we obtain it by grace through faith, not by any righteous deeds of our own (Ephesians 2:8-9).
No one will be able to stand before God demanding that his sins be forgotten simply because he has forgiven others.
Only when we are born again and given a new life through God’s Spirit by faith in Jesus Christ are our sins forgiven.
Therefore, Jesus is not referring to God’s initial act of forgiveness (reconciliation) that we experienced when we first believed the Gospel.
But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
Back in verse 2 Paul commanded us to set our mins on Christ, not on the things of the earth!
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
This means our focus is to be on Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
If we set our mind on the things above, then and only then will we be able to mortify the works of the flesh that Paul talks about in verse 5.
Without having our focus on Christ, without feeding our Spirit church, the flesh will always win out!
Paul instructs the church at Colossae to mortify or kill these that are in our flesh or members.
Fornication, sexual immorality
We cannot, or will not have victory over these areas of life without our focus being on Jesus, without having a personal relationship with God.
We also learned in verse 8 we are to put off our sticky graveclothes and we all have them
filthy language or abusive speech
we are not to lie to one another
Then we are to put on our grace clothes because we are holy, beloved, and elected by God church
tender mercies/ compassion
forbearance- which means to make room for other peoples faults
we are to forgive church
After we set our minds on Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, after we kill the deeds of the flesh and put off the old man (stinky graveclothes), we then put on the new man or garments church and live our faith out loud.
Before we move on, I wanted to remind you that there are some stinky graveclothes in our lives that will need the help of others to be removed
Let look quickly at the final verse when Brother Lazarus was raised from the dead after 4 days.
Look at what Jesus said to the boys here:
And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
Jesus asked the disciples to loose him and let him go church, now there is much greater meaning here than what I am giving us, but I think it is important that we all remember that we might have some graveclothes that need to be unwrapped by others.
I truly believe the reason why people DO NOT get free is because they do not allow others to walk with them.
We seek forgiveness church, we repent, but can’t get free because we need accountability at times with certain sins in our lives.
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
After we have put on the new grace clothes, we must have a belt that keeps it all together and that belt is love which is the bond of perfection.
The Word that Paul uses for love here is:
Love-agape-this is ultimate love that is self-sacrificing, that is unconditional, that care’s for others desires over-self, it is a steadfast love church that shows goodwill and kindness to others.
This love cannot be obtained or operated in, without a personal relationship with the Lord.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Nothing, absolutely nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God church
No suffering, no sickness, not trial, no distress, no bill, no famine, no person, no death, no life, nothing means nothing.
“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.”—Rebecca, age 8
“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.”—Billy, age 4
“Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French Fries without making them give you any of theirs.”—Chrissie, age 6
“Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.”—Terri, age 4
What does love look like to you?
The Love that we are talking about here took Jesus to the Cross church took Jesus to the Cross.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Read 1 Corinthians 13
Read 1 Corinthians 13
Church, The apostle envisions a man dressing his body with the flowing garments of the day, and then it occurs to the man that as beautiful and fine as his garments are, they can never be worn with comfort or grace until they are held in place by a belt.
So Paul adds the belt: “love.”
It is possible to have some of the five recommended garments and not have love, but it is impossible to have love and not have all of the five garments.
Bruce calls love “the grace that binds all these other graces together.” And that it is. The imperative thrust is continuous: keep putting on love over and over and over again.
May we never neglect “love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
The bottom line is that love produces harmony, it produces unity, and it is the bod of perfection church.
For without love church, we are a resounding gong and a clanging symbol
But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
But above all the other garments, we must put on love, it is the belt that locks the other garments in place.
The word used for “perfectness” denotes the accomplishment of an end that God has in view—that of making us like Jesus.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Paul concludes his look at the qualities that should mark the lifestyle of the new man by giving three priorities.
They are the outermost garments of the new man, those which cover all the others.
The new man is concerned with the peace of Christ, the word of Christ, and the name of Christ.
We will only get to the peace of Christ today.
So after we put on the new grace clothes, Paul is calling us to let the peace of God rule in our hearts.
But what does this look like??
Know God know Peace
No God No Peace
What is peace?
The peace that Pail is talking about here is not a peace that the world can give, it is not a peace that any amount of money can buy, or realtionship can give apart form Jesus it is:
Peace- eirēnē-(i-ray'-nay)- n. — the absence of mental stress or anxiety; especially that results from a proper recognition of salvations worth. The tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is. Security, safety, tranquility, and harmony.
The blessed state of men and women who follow Jesus will here on earth as well as in death.
This peace includes both the concept of an agreement, pact, treaty, or bond, and that of an attitude of rest or security.
“These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. 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.
Jesus gives us peace, and the peace that he gives is not of this world church.
Peace is a gift that he gives us and the only way it can be taken away is if we exchange the peace of God for something else.
If we allow our thoughts to consume us about a situation or circumstance, do you think we will have peace church or mental anguish?
I can still remember my first experience of this peace. Though I was not quite a teenager, I knew my sins were separating me from God. I had been under deep conviction for several months, for I had been attending a church where the gospel was very clearly preached. I knew that I was on the outside of the mysteries of spiritual life, and I wanted in. Finally one night, in a rustic chapel high in the Sierra-Nevada Mountains, I met Christ. I yet remember the aroma of that room, the cedar and the redwood, the expression of the man who talked with me, and the initial fullness of Christ’s peace. It saturated my whole being!
That night after “lights out,” I scooted down in my sleeping bag and switched on my flashlight. There I opened the tiny India-paper Bible which my grandmother had given me when I was seven years old and reread the verses that I had underlined in the chapel that night. The peace of God surged over me again and I knew I was at peace with God.
The word translated “rule” is an athletic term. It means “to preside at the games and distribute the prizes.”
Paul used a variation of this word in his Letter to the Colossians: “Let no one cheat you of a your reward or prize” ( Col. 2:18).
In the Greek games, there were judges (we would call them umpires) who rejected the contestants who were not qualified, and who disqualified those who broke the rules.
Umpires are the ultimate authority on the field church, they are the ones who make the call.
Here in Colossians 3:15a, Paul has given us an imperative to let God’s peace rule in our hearts, next week we will look at letting the Word of Christ dwell in us richly.
The peace of God should be“Umpire” of our hearts and our churches. When we obey the will of God, we have His peace within; but when we step out of His will (even unintentionally), we lose His peace.
Have you ever noticed when you make a decision and do not have peace in making this decision that things do not turn out well?
We must beware, however, of a false peace in the heart. Jonah deliberately disobeyed God, yet he was able to go to sleep in the hold of a ship in a storm! “I had peace about it!” is not sufficient evidence that we are in the will of God. We must pray, surrender to His will, and seek His guidance in the Scriptures.
Something else is involved: if we have peace in our hearts, we will be at peace with others in the church. We are called to one body, and our relationship in that body must be one of harmony and peace. If we are out of the will of God, we are certain to bring discord and disharmony to the church. Jonah thought he was at peace, when actually his sins created a storm!
Remember when the Jesus and the disciples were on a boat and a storm arose? Jesus was sleeping peacefully in the stern and the boys feared exceedingly because a storm arose?
Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
Their eyes were on the storm church, on the current circumstance and not on Jesus therefore, there peace left them and fear arose.
Fear and anxiety will paralyze you church.
The opposite of peace is not war but anxiety. War comes as a result of compounded anxiety.
When a Christian loses the peace of God, he begins to go off in directions that are out of the will of God.
He turns to the things of the world and the flesh to compensate for his lack of peace within. He tries to escape, but he cannot escape himself!
It is only when he confesses his sin, claims God’s forgiveness, and does God’s will that he experiences God’s peace within.
When there is peace in the heart, there will be praise on the lips: “And be ye thankful” (Col. 3:15). The Christian out of God’s will is never found giving sincere praise to God. When David covered up his sins, he lost his peace and his praise (Pss. 32; 51).
When he confessed his sins, then his song returned.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Anxiety is the very thing that strangles out the peace of God in our lives.
God desires us to have peace rule in our hearts, but apart from being fixed and focused on the Lord, this will not happen.
Who or what is the umpire of your heart church? Just because we are here, does not mean that we have the peace of God. Have you made peace with God?
Are there any announcements?
Remember that Judy’s Bibel study starts at 9:15 for prayer and 9:30 for study.
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
The Lord Bless You!
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