Colossians Part XVII – The Supporting Cast (4:7-18)

November 20, 2011 in

No project is the work of any one person. This is especially true of Gospel ministry. Our Lord Jesus Christ commissioned us to disciple the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to observe all the things that He commanded. Such a task is far beyond the capacities of any one man or congregation – the entire body of Christ is called to work together to accomplish the objective. And it is this supporting cast to whom Paul draws attention in the closing of his letter to the Colossians. Behind and alongside Paul served many others who made possible his work of preaching the Gospel and establishing churches among the Gentiles.

Colossians Part XVI – Prayer and Witness (4:2-6)

November 13, 2011 in

Today we reach the end of Paul’s section on the contours of love. Paul urges the Colossians – don’t only love one another, love the broader church by praying for me and love those who don’t yet know Jesus by walking before them in wisdom. These two commands of prayer and witness call us up short as modern evangelicals in America – we are largely prayerless and don’t do well at witnessing. Why is this?

Colossians Part XIV – Even as Christ Forgave You (3:12-15)

October 30, 2011 in

An essential part of learning to live in community is having some way of dealing with the inevitable sin and friction that will arise. Leaders will sin against the congregation; the congregation will sin against the leaders; and congregants will sin against one another. Being made a part of the new man, the new humanity in Jesus, hasn’t exempted us from the presence of sin. We still wrong one another and we need to know how to deal with it. Paul gives us three commands today that help us understand what to do: love one another, bear with one another, forgive one another. How does each of these commands help us learn how to deal with sin in our midst?

Colossians Part XIII – The Earthiness of Being Heavenly-Minded (3:12-17)

October 23, 2011 in

Today Paul enters into his discussion of what it means to be heavenly-minded. While he began his exhortations by urging the Colossians to “put off” various forms of earthly-mindedness, he now urges them to “put on” heavenly-mindedness. But what we find when we examine Paul’s description of “heavenly-mindedness” is that it is very earthy. Heavenly-mindedness affects the way I interact with other members of the body of Christ, affect my marriage, my family, my employment; indeed, it affects every dimension of my life. So let us explore the earthiness of being heavenly-minded.

Colossians Part XII – The Old Man and the New (3:5-11)

October 16, 2011 in

As we observed last time, Paul urges the Colossians to put away earthly-mindedness – our penchant for sin and selfishness – and to become truly heavenly-minded – to embrace a life of Christ-likeness, of love. In Christ we have been  delivered from the old way of life, the way of life in which, like Adam and Eve, we lived in rebellion against God and his law; we have been delivered from that way of life and have been brought into a new way of life, the way of life in which, like Jesus, we live in joyful submission to God and love one another. It is this fundamental transformation from the old man to the new that Paul discusses today.

Colossians Part XI – Put to Death Earthly Mindedness (3:5-11)

September 25, 2011 in

The opposite of heavenly-mindedness is, of course, earthly mindedness. So what does it mean to be earthly-minded? Today we explore the first dimension of earthly-mindedness – sexual perversion. Precisely because God is the Creator and Designer of our sexuality, He takes its enjoyment and corruption seriously – and so should we. So what does this mean for our sexuality?

Colossians Part X – Heavenly Mindedness (3:1-4)

September 18, 2011 in

What exactly does it mean to be heavenly minded? The Apostle Paul in the text before us today exhorts us to “think on things above, not on the things of the earth.” What does this mean? Various explanations of Paul’s words, of what it means to be heavenly minded, have been given by both Christians and non-Christians throughout the centuries. What does Paul’s admonition mean for us? Just what does it mean to be heavenly-minded?

Colossians Part IX – Let No One Judge You (2:16-23)

September 11, 2011 in

The question is not whether we will judge; the question is on what basis, by what standard, will we judge something to be praiseworthy or despicable, righteous or unrighteous, good or bad. And it is this question which Paul forces the Colossians to answer. The false teachers in Colosse were endeavoring to judge the Colossians for their behavior based on a false standard – portions of that standard were a holdover from the ceremonial laws of the OT while portions were simply human traditions derived from the tradition of the elders. But both standards are false standards for those in Christ – and so Paul urges the Colossians to refuse to be held captive by them. So what can we learn from his exhortation?