Living like Colossians

Let us look this morning at the people of the church at Colosse.
Colossians 1:1-14
[1] Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,
[2] To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
[3] We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
[4] Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,

The first thing we note is their faith was in Jesus. Not in their works or their religion but in Jesus.
The second thing to note is they had a love for ALL the saints. The more you learn of the love of Jesus the more you will learn to love those around you. The more you know about how unworthy you are the more compassion you will have for others.

[5] For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

The third thing to note is their hope was not in this world nor of this world. Their hope was in Heaven.
If you do not have faith in Christ then you have no hope laid up in Heaven.
The fourth thing is they learned of this hope through the hearing of the gospel. It is the hearing of the gospel which gives us salvation. The death, burial and resurrection of our Lord through which we have a hope laid up for us.

[6] Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:

The fifth thing to note is they were fruit bearing Christians. In other words they didn’t just talk the talk but they walked the walk.

[7] As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
[8] Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
[9] For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

They learned of these things through their minister Epaphras. Though they had all of these noteworthy things there was still more to learn and more to do. We as Christians should always strive to continue to grow in Christ.

We as Christians should seek the knowledge of God’s will.

[10] That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Walk worthy. The more we walk with the Lord the more we will exhibit the fruits of the Spirit, the more we will accomplish for the Lord and the more we will understand. The more we walk with the Lord the greater our hold on the eternal. The more we will grasp the eternal consequences of the things done in this life. We must renew our minds into thinking of the eternal and quit focusing on the temporal events and impact they have on our temporary existence in this world.

[11] Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

It is the crucible of adversity which forges a man’s character.
It is in our weakest moments we learn to lean on God’s strength. When we realize we are incapable of going it alone and rely upon God to see us through that we can experience His peace which passeth understanding. It is then and only then we can proceed through our trials with patience and joyfulness.

[12] Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

The fruit which we bear and the good which we accomplish is only achieved through denying self and allowing God through the Spirit work through us. It is not we who do things but it is rather our allowing God to take control and work in us. It is God which makes us fit and not we ourselves. The knowledge of God is what enables us to walk knowing everything which happens to us in this world is designed to make us a better Christian. We are to walk knowing our inheritance is not of this world. So here we have trials and tribulation but our inheritance exists in Heaven and it is from Heaven we shall obtain it.

[13] Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

It is the darkness of this world which prevents people from coming to God. The devil thrives in the darkness of peoples hearts and minds. We through the light of Jesus Christ have been delivered from the darkness and no longer belong to this world or the devil. We now are of the kingdom of light. As being partakers of the light we are to show this light to the dark world around us so they might have opportunity to come to the light as well.

[14] In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Jesus shed His blood so we might become Christians and if not for the forgiveness obtained we would have no means to be a child of God. It was not by any power of our own but through His forgiveness we are what we are.

Colossians 2:1-13
[1] For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;

The Christian battle is not an easy one. We are warring against powerful evil spiritual powers.

[2] That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
[3] In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
[4] And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.

It is through the power of our love for God and each other and through learning about God and His plans we are able to press onward.

[5] For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.
[6] As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
[7] Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

You cannot walk in Christ if you have not received Him. There are those who appear to walk for awhile but fall by the wayside most likely never received Him. But those who have must learn to walk “in Him’. In everything we say or do magnifying God and showing Him to those around us in every circumstance. We must learn of Him through the study of His word. We must be a thankful people chapter one taught us to be joyful and here we find we must be thankful.

[8] Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
[9] For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

Here we have the warning. We should not follow men but Jesus Christ as He is revealed through the Spirit and the teaching of the word of God. It is the doctrine of Jesus being God manifest in the flesh which separates many false teachers from true teachers.

[10] And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
[11] In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
[12] Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
[13] And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

It is the doctrine of the sufficiency of Jesus’ atonement which separates many false teachers from the true. God’s salvation is entirely from Him and through nothing we have done or will do. It is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which makes us born again and not we ourselves. We were spiritually dead in our sins before accepting Jesus as our Savior.

Col.3:[1] If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
[2] Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
[3] For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Now that we have died, been buried and resurrected with Christ we are to walk as children of God.
We have a new home and this world isn’t it.

[4] When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
[5] Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
[6] For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
[7] In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
[8] But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
[9] Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

These were the sins in which we were spiritually dead. These are things of our past and it has been buried with Christ.

[10] And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
[11] Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
[12] Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
[13] Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
[14] And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
[15] And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
[16] Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
[17] And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

This is how we walk worthy. This is how we walk in Him. We walk as Jesus walked with mercy and compassion, meekness and humility, with love and forgiveness.