Sunday, April 16, 2017

Paul's Epistles – Colossians - Part 9: Final Instructions

Paul's Epistles – Colossians - Part 9:
Final Instructions
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

- Listen to the audio of this sermon, as well as many others at House of Faith Church

SERMON INTRODUCTION

Paul’s letter (Epistle) to the Colossians was a letter to correct Heresy.

Heresy is having an opinion which is in opposition to true doctrine. In other words, the Colossian church had, as many other early churches, fallen prey to false doctrine.

THE COLOSSIAN CHURCH
We see a mixture of Judaism, Gnosticism, Asceticism, Angel worship, etc.

Judaism would be the adherence to Old Testament teachings while ignoring the completed works of the cross.

Gnosticism is the belief that “secret” knowledge existed, specifically that the world was created by a lesser divinity, and ruled by an emissary of the remote Supreme Being. This belief system, which was carried over to Christianity, placed God the Father as the Supreme and Jesus as the lesser ruling divinity.

Asceticism is the severe self-discipline and avoidance of all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons.   The doctrine that a person can attain a high spiritual and moral state by practicing self-denial, self-mortification (embarrassment and shame – “mortified”) and the like. Rigorous self-denial; extreme abstinence; in a severe nature.

The heresy, destroyed the Supreme lordship and sovereignty of Jesus Christ, it dethroned Him, destroying the mediator-ship of Christ, making Him only 1 of a multitude of mediators, (such as the Hindu belief in avatars, a manifestation of a deity or released soul in bodily form on earth; an incarnate divine teacher.)

However, we know Jesus is so much more than that, He was, is and always will be God.

Last week we discussed the Christian Household…
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TODAY’S SERMON
Instructions for a Christian Household

SCRIPTURE REFERENCE Colossians 4
Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.
10 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) 11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me.12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.
16 After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.
17 Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.”
18 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

The overall message of this epistle to the church is;
The Supreme Glory, Deity and Dignity of Christ Jesus”.

I. MASTERS, YOU HAVE A MASTER IN HEAVEN
a. Masters, provide for your slaves (LIT. servants)
                                                                 i. There are approximately 10 or more Hebrew and Greek words that have been translated into “servants” or “slaves” in bibles, depending on your translation

                                                              ii. Knowing the difference is important


                                                           iii. In days past, pro-slavery proponents misused scripture to prove slavery was not only right, but approved by God
1. Diakonos – minister, deacon, servant
2. Pais – young servant
3. Oiketes – house servant
4. Diakoneo – minister, administrator, deacon, service rendered, wait, waiter
5. Duolos – bond servant, slave
6. Sunduolos – fellow servant
7. Also words for servant, servant-lad, bond woman, bond man

                                                            iv. Here it is used in the Literal Translation as SERVANT

1. Or, voluntary, subjection, subservience, bond-servant, employee


b. That which is just and equal
                                                                 i. Just – by character or act, implying innocent, holy, to provide righteously

                                                              ii. Equal – in likeness or condition

                                                           iii. In other words, provide the same conditions for your people (servants, employees, those you oversee), the same conditions in holy and righteous considerations that you expect


c. Knowing that you have a Master in heaven
                                                                 i. However you treat those you oversee must be treated with the equal and just way your Father in heaven has treated you.

                                                              ii. This scripture alone disputes the evil atrocities of slavery from early American (as well as other countries) history.


II.      DEVOTE YOURSELVES TO PRAYER
a. Be watchful and thankful and pray for us too

                                                                 i. Devote yourselves to prayer, be watchful…
1. Don’t let your prayer habit fade away

                                                              ii. And thankful

1. Most prayers should be thanksgiving, not wants, or vain prayers willed with our will

                                                           iii. And pray for us too!

1. We should always pray for others, especially those who are doing God’s will and work, for they are the ones who will be met with most opposition.


b. Pray I may proclaim the gospel clearly as I should
                                                                 i. Being able to share the gospel in a clear and understandable manner should be the goal of us all

                                                              ii. The gospel may not be easy for all, but it is simple!


c. Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders
                                                                 i. More instruction on taking the simple, clear message to others who need it

                                                              ii. “be wise”
1. Many scriptures tell us to “be smart” about our conversations
2. Attacking someone with the gospel, bible or scriptures will win no one to the Lord
3. We must be wise in how we communicate our belief to others
4. How we shine as a light with our behavior
5. How we reach out to others


                                                           iii. “Make the most of every opportunity”
1. Any time you meet someone, there’s a chance to share Christ

                                                            iv. “Let your conversations always be filled with Grace seasoned with Salt”
1. Grace – meaning your conversation is gracious and pleasant

2. And where appropriate, add “salt” which is the incorruptible Word of God

3. We are not to argue, fight, confront, be aggressive, but kindly and graciously converse with others, sharing the Truth of God’s Word


III.   FINAL WORDS TO THE COLOSSIANS
a. I will send brothers to inform you

                                                                 i. Paul was going to send believer’s who had spent time with him to the Colossian church to help and inform them of what was happening with Paul and his ministry.

                                                              ii. He had already sent a few, and planned to send more.

                                                           iii. One of them was even an escaped slave from Colosse who was a believer and would return to let the church know what was happening in Rome.


b. Fellow prisoners send greetings
                                                                 i. Paul also mentions many other Jewish and non-Jew prisoners who sent their greetings back to the church as well.


c. Share my letter with other churches
                                                                 i. Paul finishes his letter with a benediction and a request that this letter be shared with the church, as well as with the church in Laodicea

                                                              ii. This notes the importance of the contents of this letter as well as the fact that the letter pertains not just to the Colossian church, but any and all Christian churches.



CONCLUSION – Colossians instructions

In conclusion of Paul’s epistle (letter) to the Colossian church, Paul has clearly demonstrated the supremacy of the Son of God, squashing the false teachings and false doctrines which here brought in by outside influences.

He has shown how we obtain the spiritual fullness of Christ, meaning Spiritual Maturity.

How we have freedom from man’s laws and rules as our moral compass, obeying Christ’s teachings and the Word is our objective.

Paul has instructed how we are to live as those who were made alive in Christ, leading our lives as such as well as our homes in a Godly manner, teachings us how to be husbands, fathers, wives, mothers, and children of God.







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