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.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Need of the Colossians in Christ.
Colossians 3:5ff

1. Paul's friends gave him reports of what was going on in the cities of Colosse and Laodicea.
2. He was aware of the false doctrine Christians faced there.
3. They needed everything he told them in this letter to directly combat the insidious dangers already at work in the church!
4. I believe, from what I read between the lines, that the worldly influence of idolatrous, misled people were already in the church.
5. These people claimed to have a higher knowledge than those poor Christians who had no formal education.
4. Too often now we are intimidated by those who purport to be wiser, more intelligent and successful, or better educated than we are.
5. Paul knew the power of their words, and he wanted to help the Colossians stay true to the Lord.
6. I'm sure he remembered Job's friends, and that even Job's wife, because of Job's suffering said, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!" (Job 2:9)
7. As young as Christianity was, Paul knew, and I'm sure the Holy Spirit revealed it to him, that a godly life is great protection from heretical doctrine.
8. I want to pick out some of the important points in this Scripture using the verses we read as the basis for our thought.

I. He urged them to live a Christ-filled life.

1. In v 12, he used the metaphor of "clothing" themselves with positive things. He listed seven.
(1) The first was compassion.
a. There are three words in Greek translated "compassion" or "pity" or "mercy," and frequently in the King James as "bowels of mercy."
b. The one used here is also used in I John 3:17, "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?"
c. Compassion in our own language means, "sorrow for the sufferings or trouble of another or others, accompanied by an urge to help; deep sympathy; pity." (New World Dictionary).
d. Here being as compassionate as Paul is like being clothed with a full-length coat, taking it off and giving it to a person who is shaking from the cold!
(2) The second virtue is kindness. The illustration I just used fits kindness, too. It is sharing with others what they need whether you feel compassionate about it, or not.
(3) The third is humility.
a. Until we begin to see God in His greatness, humility is an impossibility.
b. When we bow to God, we are beginning to be humble.
c. When we see others as equals, and their needs as equal to ours, we are experiencing real humility.
(4) the fourth is gentleness.
a. Most of us are gentle with our touch, but we probably need to work on being gentle with our words!
b. Nurses are famous for their TLC, tender loving care, but many of us have not yet developed that virtue.
(5) The fifth is patience.
a. I think of patience as the ability to wait for God to accomplish His goals in us and in others.
(6) The sixth virtue is in v 13.
a. It is "The golden rule" written with different words. (read it).
b. We need to treat everyone like we want to be treated (whether we are treated that way ourselves, or not). ill. The story of the old black man going to Atlanta on the train that Sandy read to us is a good illustration of this. He gave his ticket to a poor woman who didn't have a ticket. He gave it because she needed it. He didn't expect anyone to do the same for him, and they didn't, but he was okay with that!
(7) The seventh is the crowning virtue, I think. It is love. v. 14 says that love binds all of these virtues together in a Christian's life.
a. You remember that I Corinthians 13:13 says, "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
2. When your life is filled with these Christ-like virtues, it will naturally be filled with peace, too. (v 15), and we will be able to remain at peace no matter what the world and the devil throw at us!
(1) God laid translating the Scriptures into the language of the people on the heart of William Tyndale. He met opposition from church leaders in England and went to Germany, met Luther and completed his work there. In 1535 in Antwerp, he was arrested and imprisoned. He continued writing tracts from prison, one against Henry VIII and his divorce. In 1536, he was put to death near Brussels. His friend John Frith escaped and returned to England where he was burned to death. Thomas Cranmer, Nicholas Ridley, Hugh Latimer, and John Hooper all of approximately the same period of history, died by fire! (Walker, A History of the Christian Church, p. 361). These all died peacefully in spite of the inhumanity of the church leaders.
(2) Stephen, Acts 7:54-60, the Jews stoned Stephen, and he became the first Christian martyr. He cried out as he died, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." He had the peace of Christ that passes all understanding!
(3) You remember that the mother of James and John asked Jesus to allow her sons to sit on His right and left hands when He took His throne, don't you? James was killed with a sword at Herod's order, and he never denied Jesus! He was at peace with His Lord. His brother John lived perhaps to more than 100, but he spent time in isolation on the island of Patmos. God blessed him there with the book of Revelation!
3. All of these virtues result in the peace of our Lord resting on us, and altogether, they help us remain true to Jesus.
4. Someone said, "The best defense is a good offense," and that is true for Christians. Developing our Christian lives is a good offense against the attacks of Satan.

II. Christ Saves Us, and His Word Develops Us. v. 16.

1. Paul told the Colossians what they needed, and here, he tells them how to develop the virtues in their lives.
2. First, "let the word of Christ dwell in you richly" does not mean just memorize a bunch of Scripture!
(1) It means that we must allow the Word of Christ to change us!
(2) We can't do that unless we know it. There are five things we can do to know it.
a. Hear it preached.
b. Read it for ourselves.
c. Memorize the parts we need to use regularly.
d. Study it carefully.
e. Meditate on the meaning of the Words.
f. Share what we know with others.
g. Every person is different, and when we share God's Word, we learn far more than we will ever learn by ourselves.
3. It is in the "sharing times" that we can teach and admonish one another, v. 16, without making people feel guilty, and without our coming across as people who think they are better than anyone else!
4. When the Word of Christ dwells in us "richly," everything we do and say will be done in the name of the Lord Jesus! And we will be saying "Thank you, Lord!" without even thinking about it! It is a natural response from a Christ-filled person!

III. Our Changed Lives Produce Godly Actions. v 17.

1. We wonder sometimes why some Christians are not like Christ, or maybe we wonder why all Christians are not like Christ.
2. The answer is simple, they have not allowed the Word of Christ to dwell in them richly!
3. When we are filled, Godly actions result in our lives.
4. Family problems fade away for the most part, but we do need to say a home is not a Christian home until all the family members are Christian!
(1) If a father, or a mother, or a child is not a Christian, they are a constant spiritual problem for the family.
(2) We shouldn't shun them, but love them into God's kingdom!
5. Wives and husbands in a Christian home recognize the need for order in the family, and they work it out together.
6. Children are respected by their parents, and children respect their parents in a Christian home.
7. Servants (slaves) fit into the family workings well when Christ is their Lord and Master, but they can sometimes be home-wreckers if they do not know Christ.
8. Sloth, or laziness disappears when we believe we are doing a great work, and what can be greater than serving our Great God?
9. We could talk about this all day, but people, God's Holy Spirit will lead us in the right way when we let Him have the reins of our lives!
10. The only real change happens because we commit our lives to Jesus. He saves us, and we become new creations in Him. Then Godly actions happen every time we do anything at all!


1. One of the greatest problems facing Christians is our concept of living a Christian life.
2. Many of us think that going to church on Sunday is all we need to do.
3. Being a Christian is a full-time job! And God expects us to be full-time Christians!
4. In order to be a full-time Christian, we need to be God-conscious all the time.
(1) We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
(2) We need to feed on God's Word constantly, and His Word should live in our hearts and minds so that we will not sin against Him.
5. We need to develop the gifts of God's Holy Spirit. They are listed in Galatians 5:22,23; "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. Against such things there is no law."
5. These same gifts of the Spirit are listed as virtues here in Colossians 3:12-15.
6. When our lives are filled with these, we will be mature Christians and our lives will produce good works in the name of Jesus!
7. Look at your own life-history. Where are you right now in your spiritual development? Where do you need to improve?
8. Let's talk to the Lord about our need right now.

Emmanuel 9/10/2006 This message is much too long to be preached in one service. I finished only the first point today.


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