Audio Sermon: ReceiveChrist
Notes from this past Sunday’s sermon:
Have you ever been looking for something when it was right there in front of you in an obvious place? I know I’m not the only one to have been looking for my glasses with them up on my head! Christians are looking for many answers today. There are church questions (how can we grow, where is the commitment, how can we expand our fellowship). There are individual questions (I feel far from God, how can I experience revival, why do other people seem close to God and I do not? How do I overcome the sin in my life?) I admit I do not know all the answers – but I do know that we can be guilty of looking for our glasses when they are right on our heads!
Some of the Colossians had been persuaded to believe that they were not saved, not spiritual enough, not close to God – by some teachers who were looking to gain/profit from them through their confusion. Paul wrote to strengthen their faith and point them to the answers that would help them. They were doubting their faith and thinking that maybe there was something else that would really give them a connection with God.
Paul’s answer: Receive Christ as Lord (6) and Continue in that life. (Read Colossians 2:6–15) What does our life look like when we receive Christ as Lord?
1. DEPENDENT ON CHRIST (7). Agricultural Image: Grow Deeply in Christ (7a). Be Rooted in Him – like a tree with roots deep in the soil. When storms come, trees that have weak root systems are in danger. Trees that have a deep root system formed out of years of adversity and drought are among the most secure. They survive
because they had to struggle… they reach deeply and boldly for water. When we are rooted in Christ we have the means to grow into maturity and strength.
Jeremiah 7:7-8 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Architectural Image: Build your life on Christ. Like a solid, permanent foundation of a building. Dependence in the faith comes when we can have security to plant both feet on solid ground.
Thankfulness Thankfulness is a good test of our spirit. A thankless attitude is not focused on Christ.
Scattered throughout Paul’s letters are admonitions to be thankful. How grateful are we to be able to depend on Christ?
2. FOCUSED ON CHRIST (8)
Exalt Him above captivating and deceptive philosophy. There are all kinds of philosophies that influence us through the media and the culture around us. Just a few examples of contemporary worldly philosophy…
*Worldly views of Sin – basically that there is no such thing as sin. Whatever you think is right for you is right, but I do not have to embrace your view of right or wrong.
*Worldly views of Humanity abound. Acceptance of homosexual relationships as normative, the influence of Darwinism, loss of sexual restraint.
*Worldly views of Religion – the health-and-wealth prosperity gospel that offers up a false hope that the Bible never does. The abuse of power that takes it’s cue from worldly systems. Trusting in our religious acts to save us, rather than Jesus Christ.
When we are focused on Christ, these lose their luster…and power.
Exalt Him above Human tradition. For the Jewish Christians, that was the traditions handed down by their fathers. For us it has to do with what we have received in the church. What do we value more? Our heritage? The way we have always done something? Or Jesus Christ?
Exalt Him above the work of our Enemy. There is no question that Satan is active in world. But Satan is not more powerful than Christ! No angel is more powerful than Christ. Christ can have no rivals – they are all inferior!
All these are challengers for the allegiance of the Christians. Paul’s challenge is to continue living in the Lordship of Jesus Christ no matter what
3. TRANSFORMED BY CHRIST (9-13). Those who receive Christ are transformed by the indwelling Christ (9-10). Though we are not generally as familiar with the concepts of covenant and circumcision and how they were a part of the Jewish heritage… here Paul lifts the transforming power of Christ into the picture (11-13). Spiritual Transformation is God’s Work. This is the spiritual reality of baptism … unseen by human eyes. (Buried with Christ, Raised with Christ.) In baptism the believer says, “God, please by the power of Christ make me clean from sin, make me dead to sin, give me new life in Christ.”
4. VICTORIOUS IN CHRIST (vv. 13–15). When we have received Christ and continue to live in Him, we depend on Him, we are focused on Him, we are transformed by Him, and this results in the triumphant Work of God (13b-15). God made you alive with Christ. God forgave all your sins. God rejected the charges against you. God nailed them to the cross. All followed by a victory procession!
The answers to our spiritual questions aren’t found in unusual spiritual knowledge or in the latest book or spiritual mystic or our own good deeds. Look up on your head, there are your glasses! “Jesus is the answer for the world today!”
Receive Christ: Be dependent on him, Focused on Him, Transformed by Him, and Victorious In Him!
Thanks for reading.