Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Time of Formation by John.

Colossians 2:1-10

1. We believe salvation comes like the snapping of your fingers.
(1) The moment you say yes to Jesus, He says yes to you.
(2) And perhaps the most beautiful thing about God's gift is it lasts forever.
2. Paul seems to be saying something a little different here, and in Galatians 4:19,20 which says, "My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!" (The message title comes from this passage).
(1) There may be a time when we believe, but not completely, not sufficiently. (We may be like the seed planted in the shallow soil, Matthew 13:3-6. The plants sprang up quickly, but the sun scorched them and they died because they had no roots!)
(2) There may be a time when we have committed our lives to Christ in word, but our commitment is too shallow. Our commitment can't be deeper than our belief. ill. Demas did not stay. (II Timothy 4:10.
3. That is, A Time of Formation, the time we need examples supporting our new stand in Christ.


1. Paul, without any pride on his part, was aware he was God's example to both the Colossians and Laodiceans.
(1) God revealed to him how many things he must suffer for Christ. Acts 9:16.
(2) People suffer for numerous reasons, some good and some bad, but Christian suffering always has a good reason.
a. Believers, we need to know God is not playing games with us.
b. He loves us far more than we deserve, or ever can deserve, but He doesn't drop his requirements of discipleship for any of us!
c. Paul's life demonstrated how serious a thing salvation is!
(3) God has examples for us, too.
a. Phil. 1:6. "Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
b. Phil 2:13. "For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."
(4) This is part of the sustaining work of the Holy Spirit.
2. Why was Paul willing to suffer as an example?
(1) For Paul one motive for suffering probably would have been sufficient, but he had more.
(2) God commanded it, and that would have been enough for Paul. His obedience acknowledged Jesus as Lord!
(3) Paul stated in vv 1,2 that the Colossians and Laodiceans knew how great a struggle he had for them. That's another motivation. Paul knew they were watching him! (Doesn't it motivate you when you know someone is watching you?)
(4) The other side of that motivation was, Paul knew someone would lead these new believers astray if he did not give them a good example!
a. When someone you love and have invested your time and ability in fails, it's a great consolation to know you've done all you were supposed to do!
b. It's a great joy when they embrace your example and remain true to the Lord.
(5) Paul wanted to be sure he had cause for joy! vv 4&5: "I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is."
3. We need to remember that each one of us is the finest Christian some lost person knows!


1. All of us like to think we can live our lives the way we want to, and it won't cause anyone else to suffer.
2. But we can't! Romans 14:7 says, "For none of us lives to himself alone, and none of us dies to himself alone."
(1) We aren't born in a vacuum, and we can't live or die in a vacuum.
(2) Others are connected to us both by family and circumstance.
3. Each of us is an example to someone.
(1) Are you aware people watch you?
a. You are the best sermon some will ever know. ill. On my 40th anniversary in the pastorate, I received a lot of letters, but one really caught my attention. It was from a man who is younger than I am. His mother told him he could go anywhere I did and could do anything I did! I not only never knew it. I never suspected it! And I am sure I was never worthy of that distinction!
b. Is the sermon your life and your words preach enough to save others?
c. Is the sermon of your life enough to please the God who called and saved you?
4. What should you stop doing right now, so some of those watchers will be saved and cheat hell?
5. What should you start doing right now that will cause some watcher to come to Jesus?


1. We've been talking about Paul, and Christians today, now what about you?
2. Do you believe in Jesus? Has believing in Jesus changed anything in your life?
(1) When a person is saved, he is a new creation. II Corinthians 5:17 & 18 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:"
(2) Dr. Theron Price said, "The faith that falters and fails had a flaw from the first."
(3) The "flaw" in your faith may be Christ is not yet formed in you.
(4) The only distance long enough to travel with Jesus is all the way!
(5) Hold nothing back! And I can guarantee Jesus will not only give you a home in heaven, you have His pledge of the Holy Spirit right now! II Corinthians 5:5 says, "Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." II Corinthians 1:21,22 says, "Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come."
3. Now, if you are here and you don't believe the Bible, you don't believe in Jesus, and perhaps you don't even believe there is a God. What about you? ill. A group of health officials came to my high school years ago. They gave everyone who would take them, smallpox vaccinations. I had never seen anyone with smallpox, and I still never have, but I took the vaccination. When the health nurse came back later and took my temperature and looked at my arm, she said, "Wow! It's a good thing you got vaccinated! If we had a smallpox epidemic, you would have died!" You see, I didn't have to believe smallpox was even a real disease! If it had come, and I had caught it, death would have been just as certain!
4. Suppose God is real. Suppose the Bible is true. Suppose Jesus really did die for your sins. You'll stand before God one day, and He will say Why didn't you believe in Me? Why didn't you believe and receive My Son? Why didn't you accept the good examples I put before you? You had every kind of warning and persuasion and refused every one! Depart from me into the outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth!


1. God set Paul as a beautiful example of what it means to be sold out to Jesus!
2. All around you are people who are good examples of the reality of God, the truth of the Bible and the love of Jesus.
3. Are you ready for a spiritual vaccination against hell and the devil?
(1) You can die to this old world and the devil now, and you'll never have to worry about the future again.
(2) Let Christ be formed in you.
4. Salvation does happen just like the snapping of your fingers. It's that quick! But it may take a long time for you to come to that place where you can say yes to Jesus. ill. A great preacher and teacher was asked to tell some college students just what commitment to God really is. He said, "Take a blank sheet of paper. Now sign your name at the bottom, and ask God to fill in the top! Are you ready to commit yourself to Jesus like that?

Emmanuel 11/22/1987
Emmanuel 8/20/2006


Post a Comment

<< Home