Monday, June 15, 2009

Worthy of the Lord

Colossians 1:1 – 14

“Worthy of the Lord”



I.          Eternal life requires us to respond to God.


            A.        Faith in Jesus Christ. [v 4]


                        1.         Faith is the basis of all action.


“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- [9] not by works, so that no one can boast.” [Ephesians 2:8 – 9]


                        2.         Anything not done in faith is “sin.” 


“…everything that does not come from faith is sin.” [Romans 14:23c]


3.         Faith is the “active ingredient” which is the line between sin and righteousness.


“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” [Hebrews 11:6]


Faith is our response to God is where it all begins and is the foundation for all our life.


            B.        Love for all the saints. [v 4]


                        1.         Christ-like.  (Unconditional, sacrificial, un-offend, brave.)


“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” [1 Peter 2:21]


                        2.         Love is the expression of obedience.


“But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: [6] Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” [1 John 2:5 – 6]


            C.        Hope comes from the gospel. [v 5]


                        1.         The gospel produces transformation.  (produces fruit, growth [v 6])


                        2.         God says that people change.


“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” [2 Corinthians 5:17]


II.        Spiritual growth requires prayer. [v 9]


            A.        For intelligence:


                        1.         [v 6] Wisdom and understanding.


                        2.         [v 9] Knowledge of His will.


                                    a.         “Filled” literally means “to be made complete.”


                                    b.         Knowledge is what God gives us.


                                    c.         “God’s will”  (spiritual wisdom and understanding)


            B.        For sensitivity to God:


1.         [v 10] “Live a life worthy of the Lord.” (holiness, following Jesus example)


                        2.         Please God.


                        3.         Bear fruit.  (fruit of the Holy Spirit, souls saved)


            C.        For strength:


                        1.         [v 11] “strengthened with all power”


                        2.         Exercise is the key to strengthening…


                                    a.         great endurance (only in difficult or trying circumstances.)


b.         patience (only in difficult or trying circumstances.)


c.        joyfully giving thanks to the Father [v 12] (ESPECIALLY in difficult or trying circumstances.)


Joy is the proof of our relationship with God.  Think about it: we have been “qualified” and “share in the inheritance.”


Because we have eternal life, we see spiritual progress.  The progress transforms our loyalties requires God to intervene to rescue us.

III.       Transformed loyalties God’s intervention (sometimes violently). [v 13] 


“But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. [29] "Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man's house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house.” [Matthew 12: 28 – 29]


            A.        Rescued from old structures.


“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.” [Colossians 1:14]


                        1.         The idea of “dominion” is control (authority).


                                    a.         The biblical expression is “slaves to sin.”


                                    b.         Old structures control our thought process.


                        2.         We move from the tyranny of sin to the Lordship of Jesus.


“That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. [10] For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” [Romans 10:9 – 10]


“Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.” [1 Corinthians 12:3]


            B.        Transferred to new structures.


                        1.         Literally we are MOVED from one kingdom to another.


2.         We have “redemption.” (Bought back)  (Ill. Of Hosea… told to marry an “adulterous wife” as an illustration of Israel’s relationship with God.  Yet God had plans to do whatever was necessary to win His people back.)


                        3.         We have “forgiveness of sins.”


a.         Extreme love means Jesus had to die for our salvation… it was, is, and always will be the ONLY way for us to have forgiveness.


                                    b.         That means that all sorts of NEW things have to happen.


“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” [2 Corinthians 5:17]


“He told them this parable: "No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old one. If he does, he will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old.” [Luke 5:34]


To consider:


            1.         Do you believe and trust that Jesus died to provide the ONLY means of

your forgiveness (redemption)?


2.         Has faith changed you, so that you are able to declare (publicly) that Jesus is Lord (of your life and Lord of all)?


            3.         Is your life governed by love for God and others?  (How so?)

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