Friday, October 27, 2006

Colossians 1:1 – 14
“Real Christianity”

What is a Christian? Is it someone who goes to Church? An American? Someone who has had a “born again” experience?

I. The essentials of Christian life. (Three basics.)

A. FAITH in Christ Jesus (v 4)

1. Ephesians 2:8

a. We cannot work for or earn our salvation.

b. Two things:

1.) God’s grace (kindness) reaches into our lives (God takes the initiative).

2.) We respond. This is called “faith.”

2. Romans 14:23

a. Faith is the “active ingredient” of the Christian.

b. Our response to God transforms our actions.

c. Faith becomes the line between sin and righteousness.

3. Hebrews 11:6

***** Faith, our response to God is where it all begins. *****

B. LOVE for all the saints (v 4).

1. Christ like love.

a. Unconditional

b. Sacrificial

c. Cannot be offended

d. Doesn’t keep score

2. Begins with those closest to you.

a. Home

b. Church

***** Faith and Love compel us to lead a “changed life.” They alter our sense of life, that is called “hope.”

C. HOPE comes from the “gospel.” (v 5)

1. “Gospel” means “good news.”

2. People of hope have good news for the world.

3. Transformation that:

a. Produce fruit

b. Growth

4. By God’s grace... God says that people can be changed.

***** As our lives change we realize: *****

II. The practical Christian life.

A. Intelligent Christians.

1. (v 6) Hear and understand.

2. (v 9) God will fill u s with the knowledge of His will.

a. “filled” (lit.) “to be made complete.”

b. knowledge is according to what God gives us (not a total dumping of everything).

c. “full knowledge” of God’s will.

1.) Spiritual wisdom

2.) Spiritual understanding

B. Responsive Christian.

1. (v 10) “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.”

a. holiness, obedience

b. as Jesus would live

2. (v 10) “please Him in all respects”

3. (v 10) “bearing fruit”

4. (v 10) “increasing in the knowledge of God”

C. Strong Christians

1. (v 11) “strengthened with all power”

a. We often see ourselves as “weak.”

b. This strength comes from God’s strength

2. (v 11) “steadfastness” = endurance

3. (v 11) “patience”

4. (v 11) “joyously giving thanks to the Father.”

***** Faith, Hope, and Love are essentials so we can become: Intelligent (thinking and knowing God’s will), Responsive (living holy lives, doing God’s will), becoming strong Christians. All this gives the impression of the rescued Christian life. *****

III. The rescued Christian life.

A. From the old structures

1. (v 13) “dominion of darkness.” (lit.) “authority of darkness”

a. Darkness means we can see, wander aimlessly, run into things, hurt ourselves.

b. Darkness means we hide or sins instead of dealing with them.

c. Darkness is a general reference to being:

1.) A slave to sin.

2.) Under Satan’s dictatorship.

2. Old structures of thought that control us are broken.

B. “Transformed us into the kingdom of His beloved son.” (v 13)

1. Literally this means “moved” from one kingdom to another.

2. (v 14) “redemption”

3. (v 14) “forgiveness of sins”

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