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HCC- Sunday Service July 24, 2022

Colossians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  51:03
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INTRODUCTION
Let’s turn together
in our Bibles
to Colossians.
Colossians, chapter 1.
& we’re gonna read
verses 1 & 2.
Colossians
chapter 1
verses 1 & 2.
When you find that
in your Bible
Pls stand for
the reading
of God’s Word.
The Title
of today’s teaching is
A Salutation
to the Saints.
In Colossians 1:1-2
the Scriptures say:
Colossians 1:1–2 (LEB)
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
to the saints and faithful brothers in Christ in Colossae. Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
Today we’re gonna start
a series of messages
thru Colossians.
This letter is
one of my favorites
bcs it tells us so much
abt the message of the gospel
& the true grace of God.
We’ll spend our time today
learning abt the writer
& the recipients of Colossians.
PRAYER
Let’s pray
Lord, thank You
for Your Word.
Open our eyes
hearts & minds
to see the truth.
& give us the will
& the ability
to live out the truth
thru Your grace.
In Jesus name.
Amen.
In today’s passage
We see the standard
introduction
of an ancient letter.
These letters begin w/
an Opening Salutation
& the salutation has
three parts.
[Transition: The 1st part
of this salutation
Introduces us to…]
The WRITERS. (1:1)
Colossians 1:1 tells us:
This letter was written by:
Colossians 1:1 (LEB)
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God...
A man named Paul
who describes himself as
an Apostle of Christ Jesus—
wrote this letter.
An apostle is a messenger
Someone sent
by another person
to represent that person
in official business.
This man
named Paul
was a representative
of the most important person
who ever lived on this earth.
He was a representative
of Christ Jesus.
Paul had a special commission
frm God
to be a messenger of Christ.
Now
this man named Paul
is also called
Saul in the NT Scriptures.
He was once
a prominent member
of a Jewish religious group
called the Pharisees.
The Pharisees lived by
a strict set of
man-made religious rules
known as
“The Traditions of the Elders.”
These human traditions
separated the Pharisees
frm the Gentiles;
frm ritual impurities;
& frm non-practicing Jews.
That’s what the name
“Pharisee” means
“The separated ones.”
The Pharisees
thought their traditions
brought them closer to God.
But what they did not realize is
those human traditions
were actually separating them
frm God.
Jesus told them
on several occasions
that by their traditions
they were setting aside
God’s Word
& they’re worship of God
was in vain.
As we read in Mark 7:5-9
Mark 7:5–9 (LEB)
And the Pharisees and the scribes asked [Jesus], “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with unclean hands?”
So he said to them, “Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far, far away from me.
And they worship me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
Abandoning the commandment of God, you hold fast to the tradition of men.”
And he said to them, “You splendidly ignore the commandment of God so that you can keep your tradition.
Paul was one of these ppl.
He was was so zealous for—
so devoted to—
this form of Judaism
that Paul tried to destroy
The Church of Christ.
Paul persecuted God’s ppl.
Put many of them in prison.
Had them punished
in the synagogues.
Pursued them
frm place to place.
& even had some of them
Put to death.
Paul did everything he cld
to oppose the name of Jesus
bcs Paul thought
he was doing
God’s will.
Well, the Lord Jesus
had other plans
for Paul.
& Jesus revealed
this plan to Paul
in very dramatic way
as Paul was on
a dusty road
headed twd Damascus.
Paul tells us how this happened
in Acts 26:13.
Hes says:
Acts 26:13–15 (LEB)
“In the middle of the day along the road, O king, I saw a light from heaven, more than the brightness of the sun, shining around me and those who were traveling with me.
“And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Aramaic language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads!’
“So I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.’”
Notice Jesus says
Paul was persecuting Him.
This is important bcs
Paul was actually
persecuting the Church.
But Jesus is
so closely connected
to His Church
that He tells Paul
“When you persecute My Church
“You persecute Me.”
Jesus then goes on
In Acts 26:16-18
to give the reason
He appeared to Paul.
Jesus says...
Acts 26:16-18
Acts 26:16–18 (LEB)
“‘But get up and stand on your feet, because for this reason I have appeared to you, to appoint you a servant and witness both to the things in which you saw me and to the things in which I will appear to you,
‘rescuing you from the people and from the Gentiles to whom I am sending you,
‘to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’”
Paul was chosen by God
to be an Apostle—
A representative of Jesus—
Who wld carry the message
of the gospel of Christ’s kingdom
to the Gentiles.
& who are the Gentiles?
Gentiles are non-Jewish ppl
frm every nation.
Jesus commissioned Paul
to take the gospel
of the Kingdom God
to every non-Jewish nation
thorough out the earth.
& thru the message
of the gospel of the kingdom
Paul wld turn ppl
Frm the power of Satan
to the power of God.
Frm the kingdom of darkness
To the kingdom of light.
Bcs in this kingdom
ppl can have their sins
taken away
& have a share
in the glory of Christ
thru faith in Christ.
That was the will of God
for Paul.
APPLICATION
Now
You & I are not
& cannot
be apostles
like Paul was.
But God
has given all of us
a similar mission.
Thru the message
of the Gospel of the Kingdom
God calls all of us
to be saved frm
the power of Satan
by the power of God.
God calls all of us
to come out of
the kingdom of darkness
& into the kingdom of light.
& once we’re in the kingdom
we’re given the privilege
of sharing in the task
of turning other ppl
frm the power of Satan
To the power of God.
& bringing others
out of the kingdom of darkness
& into the kingdom of light.
& right now
we have more opportunities
to do that in this community
than we’ve ever had bfr.
We—
as a church—
have always been
active in
the Goshen community.
But the devastation
of the recent disaster
has created a unique
situation for us.
A lot of ppl we might’ve
never met
& ppl who never knew
we were here
are coming to us
for help.
& I blv
God has placed
this group of ppl
in this community
in this body of believers
at this time
to show this community
what it looks like
to live in the kingdom of God—
what it looks like
when ppl follow Jesus.
Ppl are coming
for physical help—
Yes!
& we know
that’s not
their greatest need.
But by meeting the physical need
we open up opportunities
to talk to them abt their
spiritual needs.
Thru our contact
w/ the community
Monday-Saturday
We can introduce
a lot of ppl around us
to King Jesus.
To invite them
To come out of
the kingdom of darkness
& come into the kingdom of light.
To encourage them
To be freed
frm the power of Satan;
& find life
& peace
thru the power of God.
Everything the world needs
they’ll find
in the kingdom of Christ.
So, as ppl continue
to come to us for help
Let’s be sure
we’re not just giving ppl
what they need physically.
We have so much more
to offer ppl
than physical food
& physical drink.
Let’s make sure
we invite them
to come & eat
the living bread
that came down frm
heaven
So they can live forever.
Let’s invite them
to drink frm the living water
that Jesus will give them
so they’ll never thirst.
Let’s invite ppl
to come & experience
the spiritual blessings
they can only find
thru a relationship w/ Jesus
in His Church.
Now
as we look back
at the greeting
in Colossians
we see that Paul
the Apostle
was not alone
in writing this letter.
At the end of Colossians 1:1
Paul says he was also w/
Colossians 1:1 (LEB)
...Timothy our brother...
Timothy was a young man
probably in his early 40s
who embraced the faith
under Paul’s
ministry.
Timothy closely imitated
Paul’s faith
& way of life in Christ.
& eventually Timothy became
one of Paul’s co-workers
in establishing churches
throughout the world.
Timothy was so much
like Paul
that in 1 Corinthians 4:16-17
Paul cld say to
the church in Corinth
1 Corinthians 4:16–17 (LEB)
...I exhort you, become imitators of me.
Because of this, I have sent to you Timothy, who is my dear and faithful child in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ Jesus, just as I teach everywhere in every church.
Several times in his letters
Paul urges ppl to watch him
& imitate him
& other godly
ppl in the Church.
Timothy was one
of those ppl.
That's a much
Message than what ppl
so often say
in the modern church.
Ppl say things like:
“Keep your eyes
off of men
& women
in the Church.
“& instead
keep your eyes
on Jesus.”
Or
Don’t look at
how the members
of the church live
“Look at Jesus.”
Those things sound
really humble
& really spiritual.
But statements like that
are complete nonsense.
Bcs do you remember
we saw earlier
how close Jesus is
to His Church?
To persecute the Church
is to persecute Jesus.
Well, the truth is
The only Jesus
ppl will ever see
is the Jesus they see
in the members
of His church.
We cannot separate
the ppl of the church
frm Jesus.
Jesus is the head
of the church.
The church is
His body.
& members of the church
are the members
of His body.
So when ppl
look at the members
of the church
they shld see Jesus
in all of us.
& that’s why Paul
told the churches
To watch Him
& to imitate him
Bcs he was imitating
Christ.
Paul lived
a righteous
holy & faithful life
Just like Christ did.
& Paul trained Timothy
His dear & faithful
son in the faith—
Paul trained Timothy
& every other
member of the church
to follow in his footsteps.
So, Paul cld tell the churches
To watchTimothy.
& Imitate Timothy
Bcs Timothy’s life
was a reminder
of the way of life
Paul taught
& lived out
in all the churches.
Timothy faithfully followed
the Apostolic Traditions
The teachings
& practices of Faith
Just as Paul
passed them dwn
to him.
& you & I
must learn
to do the same.
APPLICATION
The Church is
Christ’s body
in the world.
We’re his hands.
His feet.
His mouth.
& how
members of the Church live—
How we speak & act
How we treat ppl—
is either bringing ppl
closer to Christ
Or driving them
away frm Him.
So, we
who profess to be
followers of Jesus
need to constantly
ask ourselves:
Do we use our hands
as Jesus wld use His hands?
To bring hope
help & healing
to those in need.
Do we use our feet
as Jesus used His feet?
To walk in obedience
to God’s commandments
& lead others
to do the same.
Do we use our mouths
to say what Jesus
wld say?
Speaking words of
truth;
light
& life.
The only Jesus
the world will ever see
is the Jesus they see
in you & me.
So, let’s be like Paul
& Timothy
& learn to model
the example
of godly men & women
who are themselves
models of Christ.
Let’s learn to live such
good, uprightly
& godly lives
that we’ll be able to say
to others
what Paul says
in Philippians 3:17
Philippians 3:17 (NIV)
Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.
Let’s make every effort
to become models
of the Christian life.
So that when the world sees us
they see Christ in us.
Alright
So in the 1st part:
of the Salutation in Colossians
We see the Writers
of Colossians were
Paul
who was appointed
by the will of God
to be an Apostle—
an official representative
of Christ Jesus.
With Paul
is Timothy
who was Paul’s
dear & faithful son
in the faith.
[Transition: Let’s look now
At the 2nd part of Paul’s salutation
Where we learn...]
The RECIPIENTS. (1:2a)
In Colossians 1:2
Paul tells us he’s writing
Colossians 1:2 (LEB)
To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ in Colossae.
Colossae was one of
three important cities
in the Roman province of Asia Minor.
The other two cities
were Hierapolis
& Laodicea.
Paul mentions
both of those cities
in his letter to the Colossians.
The land around these cities
was very fertile;
& the ppl very wealthy.
at one time
these cities were
Bustling w/ business
& Countless cultures came
to them
to engage in trade.
But by the times of the NT
Colossae was a relatively
unimportant twn
frm an earthly perspective.
But frm God’s perspective
There was an
open door in Colossae
to advance His kingdom.
Paul did not plant
The church in Colossae.
That honor was gvn to Ep-a-phras
One of Paul’s partners
whom Paul sent to Colossae
on his behalf.
As Paul says in
Colossians 1:7 (LEB)
...you learned [the gospel] from Epaphras, our dear fellow slave who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf...
Many years bfr Paul wrote Colossians
Ep-a-phras preached the gospel
in Colossae.
& the Church in Colossae
was born.
& we don’t know exactly how long
The church had been established
bfr Paul wrote this letter.
But Paul heard
That this church
was starting
to have troubles.
False teachers
had slipped in
among them.
& there were at least
two dfrnt groups
of false teachers
who were attacking
the Colossian church.
The 1st group
were known as Judaizers.
They followed Paul
& his ppl around
& after churches were planted
these Judaizers tried to get
Non-Jewish converts to Christianity
to follow the Law of Moses.
They were especially concerned abt
Circumcision:
Food Laws
& Sabbath Days.
The other group of false teachers
were Gnostics.
These ppl came frm
within the church
& began to teach
that Salvation comes thru:
Hidden wisdom
Hidden knowledge
& extremely harsh treatment
of the physical body.
Both of those groups
were in serious error.
Both of those groups
were trying to lead
the church in Colossae
away frm the true gospel.
So, Paul
puts pen to parchment
to remind the church in Colossae
abt the true gospel
& the true grace of God.
To remind them
Who they were
In Christ.
& How to live
In Christ.
Paul’s purpose in writing this letter
Is to encourage the church
To hold on to
& keep living out
The true gospel
as they’d been taught.
Now, I want you to notice:
In Colossians 1:2
Paul calls the Colossians
Colossians 1:2 (LEB)
...the saints...
What does Paul mean
when he calls
God’s ppl saints?
The NIV does a good job
bringing out Paul’s meaning.
It says:
in Colossians 1:2
Colossians 1:2 (NIV)
To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ.
& in Colossians 1:4
Colossians 1:4 (LEB)
…we heard about your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all the saints...
When we combine these two verses
We see that in Paul’s mind
The saints are
Those men & women:
Who are God’s
holy ppl.
Who have faith
in Christ Jesus;
Who are faithful
to Christ Jesus;
& who have love
for all the saints.
To say this another way
A saint is someone
Who is a member
of Christ’s body
By being a member of His Church;
& who is faithfully following
Christ’s commands
& loving God’s ppl.
Those are the recipients
of Paul’s letter to
Colossae.
APPLICATION
Nearly 2000 years have passed
since Paul wrote this.
But this letter is just as relevant
To the saints today
as it was in
the 1st century.
Paul not only wrote this letter
To the saints in Colossae
He also wrote this letter to
to the saints in America;
to the saints in Ohio;
to the saints in Goshen.
This letter is written
to all of
God’s saints.
There’s so much in Colossians
abt the true gospel
True grace
& the true Christian life.
So I want to encourage you
to do what I’m doing.
Read or listen to this letter
over & over;
Along with Paul’s letter
to the Ephesians.
Saturate yourselves
w/ these two letters
Until God’s words
in these letters
become a part of you.
& if we’ll also practice
the things we learn
in these letters
Then I can guarantee
no matter where we are today
our lives will
change for the better
every day
as we become
more & more like Jesus.
will never be the same.
Alright, we’ve talked abt
The writer of Colossians;
& the recipients
of Colossians.
[Transition: Let’s look now
At the 3rd & final part
of Paul’s salutation
to the Saints.]
The GREETING. (1:2c)
At the end of Colossians 1:2
Paul says...
Colossians 1:2 (LEB)
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
Grace.
Peace.
Those two words
come up again & again
in Colossians
& in Paul’s other letters.
Those two words
are the core
of the gospel
of God’s Kingdom.
The gospel teaches us:
It’s thru God’s grace
which God give us
in Christ
that we have peace
w/ God.
Now we’ve gotta
be sure
when we talk abt grace
that we define grace
the way the Scriptures
define it.
For example
we see how Jesus
defines grace
in 2 Corinthians 12:9.
Jesus said to Paul…
2 Corinthians 12:9 (CSB)
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.
I want you to notice
the words in red:
My grace.
My power.
Christ’s power.
Both Jesus & Paul
use grace
& power interchangeably.
Jesus says His grace
is sufficient
for Paul’s weakness
Bcs Jesus’s power
is made perfect
in weakness.
Paul says
It’s in our weaknesses
That Christ’s power
Christ’s grace
resides in us.
When we’re weak in ourselves
The grace of Christ
Makes us strong.
So, God’s grace is
Christ’s incomparably great
divine power
at work in God’s ppl.
& this
is what Paul means
in Ephesians 2:8-10
when he says:
Ephesians 2:8–10 (LEB)
...by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God;
it is not from works, so that no one can boast.
For we are his creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, so that we may walk in them.
God saves us
thru His grace
thru His power;
not by our own power
not by works we do
in our own strength.
No!
God saves us
thru the miracle
of rebirth
which is brought abt
by God’s grace
God’s divine power
when we’re baptized
into Christ.
God then
continually gives us
His grace
His divine power
to obey
Christ’s commands
& so do the good works
God created us
to do in Christ.
That’s what Pauls
praying for
When he says
in Colossians
Grace to you
frm God our Father.”
He’s praying
for God’s divine power
to be at work in God’s ppl;
To enable God’s ppl
To live lives
that are worthy
of the Lord;
& pls the Lord
in every way
by doing the good works
God created us to do
in Christ.
& this is not
a one-time thing.
No!
We’ve gotta rely
on God’s grace—
God’s divine power—
every moment of our lives.
We cannot live
as the ppl God
created us to be
in Christ
w/o God’s grace.
So, like Paul
we shld make
praying for grace
for ourselves & others
our constant habit.
It’s as simple as saying:
“Lord give us
your grace.”
& when we have
God’s grace
& thru God’s power
we’re walking in
God’s will for us
by obeying Christ’s commands
we’ll also have
God’s peace.
CONCLUSION
As we close
We’ve seen today
that the writers of
Colossians are
Paul
who was an apostle
of Christ
& Timothy
Paul’s dear & faithful son
in the faith.
We’ve seen that
the recipients
of this letter are
all the saints
not just in Colossae
but the saints everywhere
in all times.
& that means
This letter was written
to you and me.
& if the Lord is willing
In the coming weeks
we’ll learn
abt the many treasures
we gain in Christ;
As we dive deeper
into Paul’s letter
to the Colossians.
PRAYER
Let’s all stand for prayer
Lord we thank You
for calling ppl
like Paul the Apostle
into the ministry.
& thank You for
carrying him along
as He wrote this precious letter
thru which
we can learn Your will
for our lives.
Lord
take the truths
we’ve learned today
& plant them
deeply in our hearts.
& Lord give us grace.
Give us Your divine power
to live out those truths.
In Jesus name.
Amen.
FINAL BLESSING
May the Lord....
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