Sunday, September 27, 2020

Sharing the Good News

 Col. 4:2-6  All of us have the responsibility of sharing the gospel.

Vs. 6 - conversation = speech, witness

(Using Paul's 'Prayer Requests' as a guideline for Personal Evangelism)

I.  Pray for opportunity  (to share the gospel)

Note:  Col. 4:3 - "that God may open a door for our message"
Point:  a place PRE-PLANNED by God  

So.... (A)  Pray for opportunity to share the gospel
        (B)  WATCH for that opportunity - be open to it, be perceptive to it

II.  Make the most of every opportunity (to share the gospel) - take advantage of the opportunity
Note: last part of vs. 5

so... I)  pray for and watch for opportunities
      II)  RESPOND to those opportunities  (ie:  share!)

Question:  Does sharing the gospel make you nervous?  hesitant? - Most Christians get that way.
See 1 Cor. 2:1-3  (this is the Apostle Paul)

III)  Pray for a clear presentation - of the gospel
examples:  Bridge illustration   Wordless book   Personal testimony = (I know.  I believe because of what I know)

"Objection!!  I just don't know enough!!"
Answer = If you are saved, then you know more than the lost person!!


(1) The gospel must be presented (in whatever form) - lifestyle is NOT enough!!  - Lifestyle doesn't say one thing about Christ dying for sins.

Therefore (2)  You must be prepared - NOT to answer every question!  But to answer why they should accept Christ. - 1 Pet. 3:15

Question:  What about ... Luke 12:11-12
Answer = Be prepared AND THEN let the Holy Spirit lead you!!

(3)  This is a Moral obligation - Col. 4:4 - last part ....."as I should"!!  - something you are supposed to do.

Add:  (4)  This is part of healthy Christian development - Philemon 6 

Note:  Your job = present the Gospel Clearly!!
Your job is NOT to save them!!!  

IV.  Be wise in your witness (ing) 

How???  (A)  Col. 4:6 - "full of grace" - 1 Pet. 3:15 b
the Gospel is offensive!!   That doesn't men you must be offensive!

             (B)  vs. 6 - "seasoned with salt" ???  palatable?  tasty?  pleasant? OR acceptable?? - not trying to win an argument, trying to win a soul.

Examples:  Jesus and Apostles - presented the Love of God without omitting the Judgment of God - they didn't take out the eternal judgment.

 Presenting the Gospel requires........

(1)  Personal willingness - you must decide if you will do it.

(2)  Personal preparation 
    mental preparation - 2 Tim. 2:15 - "study to show 'self approved..."
    spiritual preparation - because you are instrument of the Lord

(3)  The Presence and Assistance of the Holy Spirit
which is promised to those who will go!!! - Matt. 28:19-20 - "go an I'll go with you"

Bottom line = do you believe salvation, gospel makes a difference?    makes an Eternal difference?

Then.... why not more determined to share??
             why not more prepared to share??

Closing Scripture:  Matt. 9:35-38

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Instructions for the Christian Household

 Col. 3:12-17 - Good words!!  (Agape love - binds all this together)

Now practical application to Family Life!!    Col. 3:18-4:1

This = familiar passage  - example:   Marriage and family series
Parallels with Eph. 5 & 6   Includes slaves and masters - predominant in this period!  This written about the same time as the letter to Colossians; delivered by Tychicus

Topic = submission, obedience, leadership, and proper relationships - within the Christian Family!  

Application = simple

wives - submit
husbands - love
children - obey
fathers - nurture
slaves - serve
masters - provide

Simple to comprehend, maybe difficult to practice.

I.  Wives Submit
article  - "no where in the scripture does it tell women to submit"

On one hand = correct; not told to "submit" to men in general!
However, does say "submit to your husband!  - Eph. 5:22-24

meaning is NOT mindless, spineless character - see "Proverbs 31 woman"
Rather = let him take the lead.   (if he won't???  Compare "honor your father and mother")
Example:  Abigail and Nabal - 1 Sam. 25

II.  Husbands Love .... ie  (agape)  

Point = not to love her according to your notion (or culture, society)
Point = Love her AS GOD loves
Examples:  John 3:16, Eph. 5:25, 1 Cor. 13:4-8

*husband also to submit ... to Christ, to his role, position, duty, etc.

III.  Children Obey - "for this pleases the Lord"
is important enough to be one of the 10 Commandments - Deut. 5:16 with Eph. 6:1-3  (note Deut. 21:18-21) - written to nation as a whole, not necessarily individually

IV.  Fathers Nurture
do not .... embitter, exasperate, provoke, irritate .... to the point of bitterness, discontentment, anger, despondency, rebellion

(on) Parents ... don't exercise your authority so rigidly that works against what you're trying to accomplish
Example:  preachers kids

V.  Slaves Serve - more on slavery in Philemon (1 Cor. 7:21)
for us = Employees, workmen ..

(1) Serve (work) well...
(2) ... out of reverence for the Lord ... (if your boss is a jerk doesn't justify you being a jerk.)
(3) ... as if working for Him!

AND ... you will  be recompensed, rewarded - Eph. 6:7-8

VI.  Masters Provide - for us = employers - Col. 3:25 with Col. 4:1  Eph. 6:9 - at the BEMA All will be rightly judged!!

Note.... how Eph. passage begins - Eph. 5:21  (submit to one another)

Note... how timeless and universal is this application!  Because... we (fallen humans) tend toward ..

(1)  self - interests  (what we want)


(2) Rebellion against anything that hinders that pursuit.
Illustrations:  (1)  Adam and Eve & the garden and the forbidden fruit
                    (2)  The church nursery
                    (3)  The current presidential election

So... to all the household , Paul says.... Col. 4:2

be prayerful - you'll need the Lord's assistance to fulfill your role!

be watchful - selfishness and rebellion come in Many Disguises  (and they sneak up on you!!!)

be thankful - for what you have what He's done (and (doing) for His Word, instruction, Holy Spirit, Church

AND ... for your Christian home!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Col. 3:15-17

Colossians = "Put off, put on principle" - Paul writing to the church as a whole

Intro:  Col. 3:12-14 - lead up to today's text

Col. 3:15-17

I.)  Let Peace Rule  
Definition:  quietness within an individual
                 harmony withing the Body - (one another) (universal church)
Absence of tension, strife, feeling of contentment - "Rest"

Here = the Peace of Christ - ie:  the Peace He gives - John 14:27 - internal peace and calmmness in spite of what's going on around.

2 Observations:
                        (1)  let peace RULE - ie:  govern, decide, control, direct  (Greek word = referee, umpire of the games)
Point:  let His Peace .... Sway your decisions  (internal)
                                    determine your actions   (external)

                        (2)  LET peace Rule = allow/permit ... indicates choice!
Question:  How?  example:  someone tells you to stop worrying.  How do you stop worrying even if you want to?
Answer:  Phil. 4:6-7 - put off anxiety!!  BY  putting on prayer, petition, thanksgiving

Example:  We say:  "If I had His peace I could respond properly."
                He says:  "Respond properly and you'll have my peace!"

Note Also:  Col. 3:15 - "to this you are called" - ie:  peace within oneself and (context) Peace within the Body.  This peace should be a characteristic of Christian people.
Matt. 5:9 - "peace makers" - not peace lovers, preachers, seekers.

II.  Be Thankful - Col. 3:15, 16, 17 - written 3 times here.  7 times in Colossians, 50 times in Paul's writings!
"Give Thanks" = one of the most repeated commands in Scripture!!
Classic Text by Paul - 1 Thess. 5:16-18
Side note:  for every reference to "be thankful" 0 (attitude),
                there are 50 references to "give thanks"  (action!!!)  - Do it!!!
This is God's will for you - give thanks in all things.

III.  Let the Word dwell in you 
Dwell - (1) Be Present within you
            (2)  be at home within you
The idea = present and welcome!!! and at home.

This requires:  (1)  exposure to the Word - 2 Tim. 2:15
                      (2)  openness to the Word - contrast the Pharisees:  were well educated with the Word, but were not open to the Word when Christ presented the meaning to them.

Col. 3:16 - use the indwelling word .... to....
          (1)  teach one another - ie:  share knowledge, insights, experiences
          (2)  admonish one another = challenge to proper behavior

All of us have something to Offer
All of us have something to LEARN
         (3)  Worship with one another = "Psalms, hymns, spiritual songs"
Songs that:  inspire, instruct, challenge, encourage
And songs that ... HONOR GOD
Comparison:  Old Testament Sacrifice - Ex. 23:15 - no one is to come before God empty handed
                     New Testament Sacrifice - Heb. 13:15
On one hand, not all Christians are singers,
However, all Christians are worshipers
Question:  What do you BRING to the worship service?
When you come, do you bring Anything, or just come to get?   (Welfare Christian)  
Worship is not only about what we can receive.

IV.  Do all in His Name - Col. 3:17
Which  = Recognizing Him AS Lord
               Acknowledging His as your Lord - (personal)
                     in obedience/ in service
              Honoring Him
              Promoting Him
          by what you do, and by what you don't do....

So...... Let Peace Rule
           Be Thankful
           Let the Word dwell within
           Do all in His name

Next week = application of this within the Christian household!

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The Christian Work Ethic

Labor Day = federal holiday - established in 1894 by Grover Cleveland to honor the American worker, laborer (common worker)

On one hand, not a religious holiday
However, Biblical themes abound here!

Christian work ethic ... term is relatively new - only been around about 15 years.  However, the concept is as old as Adam.

By Definition = A)  A Moral View of work - (right/wrong)   Note:  very few Christians give much thought to the rights and wrongs of work.

                        B)  Based on Scripture - (revelation of God's will) - this is not just philosophy

So ... Some Biblical basics:

#1.  God is a working God. - Gen. 2:2-3, Psm. 19:1, John 5:16-17 - "the work of my Father"

#2.  He created man in His (working) image. - before the fall:  Ge. 2:15  After the fall - Gen. 3:17-19

Work is not part of the curse/  rather .. the curse put toil into work.
Comparison:  created to walk.  and NOW - uphill!!

#3.  This is the Old Testament View (given to the prophets by God)
Ex. 20:9, Prov. 10:4-5 (wealth comes from work.  Not always.  Depends on the times, the economy, etc. but as a rule), Prov. 10:26, 12:11 (get rich quick schemes), Prov. 18:9, 20:4, 22:29
Summary passage - Prov. 24:30-34

#4.  This is reflected in the teachings of Christ - (who came from the working class)
Example:  parable of the talents - Matt. 25:24-26

#5.  This was practiced and taugh by the Apostles - (early Christian doctrine) - 2 Thess. 3:6-13

Notes:  (#1)  work is not always sweat and callouses) 
examples:  computer work, teacher, student, stay at home mom

           (#2)  - (elements of the Christian Work Ethic)
honesty, integrity, dependability, giving your employer "work" has many related moral issues!!!! an honset day's work, giving your employee a fir day's wage, quality workmanship, productivity, self-discipline, personal responsibility, family and community obligations
Issues of wealth:  building wealth, sharing wealth, laying up wealth ... on earth,  IN HEAVEN!!
Building the Kingdom... here, now, supporting His church,  REST from work (Sabbath)
Can easily be applied to:   how you work at ... marriage, child raising, family ...
Example:  Prov. 31 woman, "wife of noble character" - model of Biblical Work Ethic

       (#3)  This is more than a philosophy of work - it is a moral issue (issue of right and wrong)
A Christian should develop their WORK habits according to God's directives.

(Some) reasons to work well...
#1.  To provide for your family - 1 Tim. 5:8  (talking about people who are capable)

#2.  To provide beyond your family  - Eph. 4:28
example:  "poor tithe" - every 3rd. and 6th. year

#3  for Personal satisfaction/fulfillment - (self-respect)
Eccles. 2:10, 2:24, 3:13

#4.  To honor God - John 17:4, Col. 3:23-24

#5. to expand His Kingdom  (eternal results!!)
     by supporting Kingdom work, by setting an example - acts 20:34-35 (Paul)
     by earning respect  - 1 Thess. 4:11-12


1)  In a fallen world, work will still be toil.  Even Christian work, ministry.
Examples:  Day Camp, AWANA - 2 Tim. 4:7

2)  Your work performance can NOT gain you salvation.  Eph. 2:8-10
Should be the results of salvation, not the means of salvation!

3.)  hard work alone does not merit eternal rewards.  1 Cor. 3:12-15 -
tested for .... what you did,  how you did it,  why you did it.

4)  (clearly) Your work matters  (it Makes a Difference)

5)  Your work "in the LORD" makes an eternal difference.  1 Cor. 15:58 - Paychecks matter, Eternity matters MORE!!!