Category Archives: Colossians

Truths about Christ

Here is a break down of one of my favorite passages in Scripture – Col 1:14-20. My Living Room did this in the beginning of the school year and it was very helpful. This list of 15 truths about Christ is great to reflect on while striving to live a gospel-centered life.
1.    In him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
2.    He is the image of the invisible God.
3.    He is the firstborn of all creation.
4.    By him all things were created.
5.    All things were created through him.
6.    All things were created for him.
7.    He is before all things.
8.    In him all things hold together.
9.    He is the head of the body, the church.
10.   He is the beginning.
11.    He is the first born from the dead.
12.    In everything he is preeminent (surpassing over all).
13.    In him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.
14.    He reconciles all things to himself, whether on earth or in heaven.
15.    He makes peace by the blood of his cross.

Nick

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The Team (Colossians 4:7-18)

One thing that is overlooked in the study of Paul’s ministry is the team that built around him. The mission Paul was on could not have been completed by just him. There needed to be a team of equipped and called men and woman to carry out the mission.

In this passage we see several Christian’s named in regard to the mission of the early church. We need to understand that we were called for a purpose. Romans 8:30 says that God predestined us and as a result as called us. Colossians 3:1-4 states that we have been risen in Christ, therefor the purpose of our lives are now Christ.

Here is a list of Christians on Paul’s ministry team mentioned in the passage:

  • Tychicus –carried the letter to the Colossians. Also reported Paul’s activities to them.
  • Onesimus – was a converted slave.
  • Aristachus
  • Mark
  • Justus
  • Epaphras –was in prayer constantly for the Colossians
  • Luke – wrote the Gospel of Luke
  • Demas
  • The brothers in Laodicea
  • Nympha –ran a church out of her house
  • Archippus

It is important to see that in VI and in your Living Rooms, we are called to work together as a team as we carry out God’s mission for us (Romans 12: 3-8).

Think about how God used ordinary people to help change the world.

  • Are you allowing God to use you for his purpose?
  • Are you an active member of your community, or do you just let the leaders do everything?

Love God for giving you unique gifts and pray that he would show you how to use them in and through your community.

Live on mission with your community knowing that Jesus is the Head of the body.

Men – Understand that it is time to man up and lead the war. The Spring semester is usually spiritually low. The men of VI need to stand up and fight the good fight as good soldiers if we want to make any impact.

Nick

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Strategy in Prayer and Mission (Colossians 4:2-6)

This passage is sick.

Paul opens by instructing the church to be steadfast in prayer. Not only that but to be watchful to the people, situations, and things they are praying about. This seems like an obvious task but is one that is neglected. The call is to be alert to how God is moving through our prayers. We are to look to see how He answers prayers and be thankful for His work in our lives even if prayers are not answered how we anticipated. Romans 8:28 claims that God works all things together for the good of those who love him.

He then asks the believers to pray for opportunities to proclaim the Gospel. Paul was the champion of missionaries. His life was committed to preaching God’s Word. He knew more then anyone else that his ministry was solely dependent on the Spirit leading him along with  the doors God chose to open and close for him. He pleads with the Colossians to be in prayer for opportunites to preach the Word. He then goes on to tell them how they should be missional. He calls them to conduct themselves wisely and make the most of the time that has been given to them. He also urges them to have their speech be soaked in the Gospel.2

Paul was extremely strategic with his ministry. He understands that his mission is not only rooted and dependent on prayer and the Spirit. He was always looking for opportunities to preach the Gospel and made sure that he was positioned and postured in a way that would illuminate the Gospel. His calling to the Colossians is to take their presence in their culture seriously.

ThinkDo you pray for Gospel opportunities with people in in your life?

Are you alert to how God is moving and answering prayers?

Are you just in the culture, or are you in the culture strategically searching for ways to be on mission?

Love – God for his guidance Our mission as a ministry and as individuals fully relies on God’s sovereign calling and direction.

Live – In prayer, watchful of God’s guidance in our lives. Look for Gospel opportunities and conduct yourself wisely as you strategically place yourself in classes, coffee shops, clubs, jobs,  parties, and hang-outs.

Nick


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Gospel-transformed Relationships (Colossians 3:18-4:1)

In this passage Paul address several types of relationship and how we are suppose to live in harmony with one another through the gospel. He addresses husbands, wives, fathers, children, servants, and masters. A major problem facing society is the inability for people to get along with each other. This rings true for Christian’s as well. I’m convinced that these are some of the toughest roles to maintain a loving, Biblical relationship with. Over the years some of the most difficult and frustrating relationship have been those with my  partents, siblings, females, those in authority over me (bosses, teachers, coaches), and those whom I’ve been put in authority over.

Only striving to obey the first part of what Jesus says is the greatest commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37) is a mistake Christians make. We many times forget the second part: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). There is a huge emphasis in American Christianity on our personal relationship with Christ. The reality is that Christianity is not just personal; it is relational as well. When one becomes saved, they not only have a new life in Christ, but a new family is Christ as well.

A travesty within the church that in many ways we allow our culture to define and shape our relationships with one another. As Christ followers we are to not have our relationships defined and molded by the social standards and norms, but rather influence the culture we are in through our relationship with one another as well as those in society.

Read over the passage and….

Think
about the ways our society contradicts the roles in this passage. Ponder the implications of these roles in your own life.

* How does this play out in my life as a woman?
* How does this play out in my life as a man?
* How do I obey my parents in everything?
* How can I submit to my authorities?
* How can I lead the people God has allowed me to lead?
* How can I illuminate the gospel through my relationships?

Love each other the way God commands us to.

Live and work out these roles with one another striving to live as God desires us to.

Nick

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Butterfly Effect (Colossians 3:1-17)

The text for this week’s LR is Colossians 3:1-17…..

Have you ever wondered if that when a butterfly sees a plain white moth, it boasts because its wings beautiful and filled with many colors? Or if that majestic butterfly looks at the caterpillar with a snobbish, elitist, or prejudice attitude?

Other then genetics, what does the butterfly does not have anything to boast about over the moth. The butterfly did nothing that the moth failed to do to make it’s wings brighter. It did not work out more, go to a tanning booth, or read more issues of GQ to gain its beauty. Even the genetics it has been blessed were not earned by the butterfly, but were rather chosen by God.

Likewise, what right does the butterfly have to think it is an any way better then the caterpillar? It was once also a caterpillar and did nothing of it own doing to get rid of its old self and break from the cocoon into its news self. The only reason it is what it is, is because that was it’s Creator’s plan for it to be so.

I still get butterflies... by aknacer

And so if I may, because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the regeneration and rebirth that it brings to the lives of those who have faith in it, we  find ourselves in this Butterfly Effect. (No, I am not talking about the cheesy Ashton Kutcher movies) I am saying that we were like the lowly, creepy, disgusting caterpillar that could try and try all day long but could never become a butterfly until God stepped in and took control of the process.  And now because of the mind-blowing power of the Gospel, we caterpillars can become what we were always intended to be….some gnarly looking butterflies!!

The Bible says that we were once completely dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1), unable to comprehend spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:14) and that we would still be there if not for the amazing act of love of Jesus on the Cross, which then allowed the Holy Spirit to open our eyes and awaken our hearts to see our desperate need for God’s salvation in our lives. That is, we were our old self, apart from God, and now are our new self, united with Christ.

How then, does our new self differ from our old self?

To answer that I think we must first remind ourselves again how we became our new self. The answer is provided in verse  1 of chapter 3 in Colossians, “If then you have been raised with Christ…” We died with Christ when he went to his grave and we were raised with him during the resurrection!!! Because of Jesus alone, we died to our old self and were given a new life in Him. So since we did not do anything by our own power to “earn” or “deserve” this new life then we must not succumb to pride or idolatry that gives us glory and robs it from God.

If Christ is our ALL, then we do not consider ourselves better because of the color of our skin or our nationality.

If Christ is our ALL, then we do not love money more then we love His grace.

If Christ is our ALL, then we do not boast about our intelligence or athletic ability.

If Christ is our ALL, then we do not love sex more then we love intimacy with God.

If Christ is our ALL, then we do not think more highly of ourselves because of our church attendance record, quiet times, prayer life or service to the needy.

If Christ is our ALL, then we do not praising our favorite sports team more then we love praising our savior.

So since by the will of God, Christ IS our ALL we can put on our new self and run to him and follow his ways because he first loved us.

So since by the will of God, Christ IS our ALL and because he first loved us, we can put on our new self and love others, have patience with one another, forgive our brothers and do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Think everyday, every hour, every minute about the gospel of Jesus Christ and how that effects your life.

Love those around you (even the people you don’t like), because Christ loved you….even when you were a caterpillar!

Live as your new self, because as my boy Justin would say, “The old Me’s dead and gone…dead and gone…ohhhh!”

Kyle

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The Gospel vs Religion (Colossians 2:16-23)

palenque11One of the main enemies of the Gospel is religion.

Religion is “seeking to achieve forgiveness from God and acceptance by God through obedience” – C.J. Mahaney

“Religion is the default mode of the human heart” – Martin Luther

Religion is what the church in Colosse was dealing with. They were trying to earn God’s favor and acceptance through dietary regulations, worshiping angels, and refraining from pleasurable (not sinful) activities. 

There are several issues that stem from religion. Here are a few:

Religious people say, “I obey-therefore I’m accepted.”

Religion is motivated based on fear and insecurity. 

Religious people obey God in order to get things from God.

Identity and self worth are rooted in one’s ability to be a good, moral person.

Religion leads to pride if someone is succeeding morally. 

Religion leads to guilt and shame if someone is failing morally.

Paul instructs us is in this passage to let no one pass judgment or disqualify  on us based on religious practices. In verse 20 Paul claims that in Christ we have died to the elemental spirits of the world. He then goes on in chapter 3 to tell us to seek the things from above, where Christ is seated. Romans 8 claims that there is no condemnation for those in Jesus. We have been set free by the blood of Christ on the cross. There is no more work to be done to atone for our sins. Col 2:14 says that Jesus took the record of debt that stood against us and was nailed to the cross with it. In our place. For our sins. Our Penal Substitutionary Atonement. 

Take a second think….. if this is true, then why are we trying to make ourselves right with God by the things we do? or don’t do?

Isaiah 64:6 says “our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.” A more accurate translation is bloody  rags. If this is offensive to you, then the point has got across. God isn’t impressed with our moralism. 

In Colossians and throughout scripture we are urged to see and follow Christ through the lenses of the Gospel. 

Through the Gospel we start to see things a different way:

“I’m accepted-therefore I obey.” 

 I obey God to get to God-to delight and resemble Him. 

The Gospel motivates us out of joy. 

Identity is rooted in the fact that simultaneously  I am sinful and lost yet accepted in Christ.

The gospel leads to hope, life, and freedom from Satan, sin, and death. 

 

Think about areas in your life that you are religious. 

Love Jesus for dying on the cross for the punishment of your sins so that you don’t have to try to earn favor with God.

Live knowing that there is nothing that you can do that can separate from God’s love through the cross of Christ (Romans 8:37-39). You don’t have to try to earn God’s favor. Jesus already did it for you.

 

Nick

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Jesus vs (fill in the blank) (Colossians 2:6-15)

In Genesis 2, after the creation, God instructs Adam not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God tell Adam that by eating of it, he will die. The amazing thing is that this is the only limitation put on Adam. Other then that, he is free to do whatever he wants and is in perfect relationship with his Creator. Here we have a beautiful picture of God loving, guiding, and walking with Adam. A life we all long for and desire… perfect relationship with God. 

In the next chapter Satan comes onto the scene in the form of a serpent. He speaks to Adam’s wife, Eve, and says “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not ear of any tree in the garden’?” (Gen 3:1). Satan then goes on to tell her, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen 3:4-5). Shortly after, as we all know, Adam and Eve believe Satan, disobey God, and eat from the tree. 6-serpent1

There will always be a message preached to us. In Genesis our first parents were told by God not to eat of the tree, and were told contradictory, to eat from the tree. In the New Testament church, Satan was still preaching to God’s children. This time instead of taking the form of a serpent, he took the form of false teachers. Paul instructs in Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”

The reality for us today is that Satan is still very much at work preaching a gospel contending the good news of Christ. Genesis 3:1 says that Satan is very crafty. He came to our first parents in the form of a serpent and to the first church planters in the form of teachers and prophets. Today he comes in many different forms. The Internet and media outlets have been used as platforms for both truth and heresy. 

The truth is, there will be preaching. The question is: who will you choose to listen to?

God desires for us to believe in his good news. In Mark 1:15, Jesus invites us to “repent and believe in the gospel.”

Think  about the ways Satan communicates his false gospel to you, and why you believe it. (Col 2:8-9)

Love  Jesus for dying on the cross so we don’t have to believe and live by Satan’s lies.

Live  knowing that you are rooted and filled with Christ who has triumphed over the serpent.

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