After reviewing Paul's final greetings in his letter to the Colossian Church where he singles out Onesimus for encouragement, we launch into a quick study of the letter to Philemon to read the rest of the story.
The incarnation is celebrated at Christmas, but few appreciate the full significance of God's intervention in our lives. Using a Christmas theme, this sermon examines:
- Long Lay the World in Sin and Error Pining
- Till He Appeared
- And the Soul Felt Its Worth
Our Tidewater Region took Colossians 4:2-6 as an opportunity to hold a night of prayer. Listen in and have your own personal time of prayer!
As Paul asserts in Colossians 3:17, "whatever you do, in word or work, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus," he now trains his sights more specifically on the everyday work life of slaves and masters. This prompts a deeper study into work for this sermon. If we don't serve Jesus in our work, we can fall into the Error of the IDLE or even the Terror of the IDOL. The sermon concludes with a look at the Dignity of the IDEAL. Colossians 3:22-4:1
Paul depicts our conversion in Christ with a sartorial metaphor. We put off the old self in the flesh and put on Christ as chosen, holy, and dearly loved children of God. Colossians 3:12-17
Paul describes sin through the eyes of a gracious God to the Colossians and to us. He considers their impurity, idolatry, and the attendant wrath of God as he likewise describes how we are Made New through the work of Jesus. A study of Colossians 3:5-11
It may seem faster to tackle sensual indulgence through extra measures of discipline and asceticism, but Paul warns the Colossians that such an approach lacks any value in restraining sensual indulgence. So what's the solution? The Gospel. Paul calls the Colossians to set their sights and desires to a bigger "yes," to a grander sensation that is theirs (and ours) in Christ. Break the cycle of "pænitentia" through this Gospel message in Colossians 2:16-3:4.
Paul protects the Colossian Church from the empty deceit of vogue philosophy (perhaps mixed with Judaizing demands) by pointing back t0 Jesus, the real fullness of Deity who has paid our debts in full. Colossians 2:8-15 (try mousing over the Scripture reference)
While Paul has not personally met the church in Colossae (or Laodicea), he has heard about them from his friend Epaphras. As a result, Paul begins to contend fiercely for these churches in prayer. He also sends them this letter in which delineates these seven marks of a healthy church.
Paul, suffering for the Church, rejoices that he aligns himself with Christ's suffering for the Church. He also marvels that he may reveal the great mystery of Christ, namely Christ in you — even to Gentiles. Such good news drives him to strive to make this known to all.
Paul invokes a hymn of high Christology to safeguard the Colossian Church against encroaching heresy.
A Letter to Charles Fuller:
Some years ago radio evangelist Charles E. Fuller announced that he would speak the following Sunday on "Heaven". It was to be broadcast on radio. During that week he received a letter from an old man who was very ill. Here is part of that letter:
"Next Sunday you are to talk about "Heaven". I am interested in that land because I have held a clear title to a bit of property there for over 55 years. I did not buy it. It was given to me without money and without price. But the donor purchased it for me at a tremendous sacrifice. I am not holding it for speculation since the title is nontransferable. It is not a vacant lot.
"For more than a half-century I have been sending material out of which the greatest architect and builder of the universe has been building a home for me, which will never need to be repaired because it will suit me perfectly, individually, and will never grow old.
"Termites can never undermine its foundation for it rests upon the Rock of Ages. Fire cannot destroy it. Floods cannot wash it away. No locks or bolts will ever be placed upon its doors, for no vicious person can ever enter that land where my dwelling stands, now almost completed and ready for me to enter it and abide in peace eternally without fear of being ejected.
"There is a valley of deep shadow between the place where I live in California and that to which I shall journey in a very short time. I cannot reach my home in the City of God without passing through the dark valley of shadows. But I am not afraid, because the best friend that I have ever had went through the same valley alone, a long, long, time ago and drove away all the gloom. He has stuck by me through thick and thin since we first met and became acquainted 55 years ago, and I hold His promise in printed form, never to forsake nor to leave me alone. He will be with me as I walk through the valley of shadows, and I shall not lose my way when He is with me.
"I hope to hear your sermon on "Heaven" next Sunday from my home, but I have no assurance that I shall be able to do so. My ticket to heaven has no date marked for the journey...no return coupon...and no permit for baggage. Yes, I am ready to go and may not be here while you are talking next Sunday, but I shall meet you there some day."