Colossians – Week 3

Well God has great things planned and we
get to see them unfold one of my favorite concepts about God is in the
passage then and in history and the interplay is in the passage that we’re
gonna look at today in our study and if you got to hear Pastor David sermon it
links hand-in-glove with something he said toward the end of the sermon that
I’m excited to get to as well so with that let’s start our class study on
Colossians the entire church is studying this at all of the campuses if you’ve
got your booklets it gives you some insight we’re covering the same material
but we’re doing it out of a different approach in a sense simply because I do
better teaching the stuff that I kind of prepare myself and so I’m excited to get
to do that with you I do hope that you’ve brought a Bible if you’re looking
at your iPhone and you’re doing Instagram that’s a no-no but if you’re
looking at your iPhone because you’ve got your Bible on there that’s a yes yes
if you’ve got a tablet that’s a great way to get it get your pen out or
however you make notes open to Colossians chapter 2 that is our goal if
you’re new to the Bible Colossians is in the New Testament that is in the the
last part of the Bible the way it’s organized that starts out with the
Gospels Matthew Mark Luke and John then we have a history book of the church
called Acts then we have a collection of
letters from Paul there there they’re ordered you know scholars don’t know why
they’re ordered the way they are did you know that it’s kind of interesting there
are two main theories one is that he wrote it from the most important
churches are that they’re ordered from the most important churches to the least
important churches it’s kind of disappointing if you’re one of those at
the end and then the personal letters after that the other theory is it’s from
the biggest ones to the littlest ones which it happens to be as well nobody
knows but Colossians at any rate is right there after Romans first second
Corinthians Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians so it’s down
there toward the end of the church letters it was not a huge Church in
itself in terms of being a metropolis it was one of three churches in the Lycos
Valley and what’s now Turkey and of those three towns in that Valley it was
the smallest of the three so that’s I’m telling you just to give you time to
find Colossians chapter 2 that was all filler hopefully you found it so here’s
your first question for today what satisfies your heart what satisfies
your mind where do you find satisfaction where is the source of joy in your life
what makes you happy and joyful where do you find the answers to the nagging
questions of life I’ve been trying to find out how people answer that I’ve
been trying to find out volume up please yeah yeah Mick Mick can’t find it
Mick is tried in a lot of different places and Mick is not finding any
satisfaction I mean some people think they’re gonna find satisfaction in
money if I can just have enough money I will be satisfied get on the internet
and you will find all sorts of people who will tell you that they’ve got the
answer to whether or not you have enough money to retire when I was 23 years old
I graduated from law school and I took my first job I was getting paid an
astronomical sum it was huge I did the math I was making thirty thousand
dollars a year and I did the math and figured out I was 23 if I lived
carefully I could retire by age 28 [laughter] making $30,000 a year and putting side
enough for retirement because I knew living carefully I could live on about
$10,000 a year I’ve done that all my life so I just needed to save enough to
where I could come in at about ten thousand dollars a year until the day I
died now I want to tell you if you told me this year I had to live on $10,000 I
would go get another job because I would not be able to do so we have two
children in college you can’t breathe for $10,000 but there are a lot of
websites that will tell you this I don’t trust them
that’s why I go to Dale but you you don’t you don’t think for a moment
please that if you’ve got enough money you’re going to be satisfied Mick still
sings that song Mick has lots of money now some people don’t look to money for
their joy they don’t look to money for satisfaction they look in more practical
places and don’t get me wrong there’s a certain level of joy Pappacito’s is good
for about an hour and a half but then reality sets in and even comfort food
doesn’t give you full joy and full satisfaction life’s answers if you want
them what do you do do you look at your horoscope in the newspaper for life’s
answers I hope not what were those Catherine Catherines not in here is she
she’s she’s like dying and has some shower or something I don’t know but we
had some like chopped cheese sticks or something as a game or a Ouija board oh
yeah that’s really gonna give you some answers to life how about that magic
8-ball I knew that was a fake I got it at a
birthday party when I was nine I said are you real and I turned it upside down
and said no what satisfies your heart in your mind where are you gonna find your
Joy’s where are you gonna find your answers to life’s questions let me
suggest to you we should look in Colossians chapter 2 verses 1 through 5
this is one of these things that here I brought my Greek New Testament because
by golly I just thought y’all would really enjoy reading it in the Greek
cell oh hello no it means I’m on tour I wish I’m willing I’m willing for you to
know he says for I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for
those at Laodicea I told you there were three towns in the Lycos Valley one of
them Colossi getting this letter the second Laodicea the and that’s the
biggest one then that had kind of a suburb Laodicea was ten miles from
Colossi another five miles down the river was Hierapolis and and
actually this letter goes to them too you can see in chapter 4 verse 13
there’s a reference to the church there as well so at any rate we’ve got Paul
writing and he says I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and
for those at Laodicea the word for struggle by the
way is the Greek word a I don’t write it on there it’s not big enough AGON
and then you put the ending on it generally another a alright
a oh we get the word agony from it it’s
actually fittingly an exercise word as in I’ve been running for two miles and
I’m in agony it means a struggle it means an endurance fitness chore it’s
it’s um drop and give me twenty for some of us drop and give me a 1/2 it’s it’s it’s
that marathon or half-marathon or 5k for some of us it may be walking to the car
but it’s the idea of this exertion that you’re doing for some driven reason you
don’t have to exercise you choose to exercise or not Dr. Bob told me one time
he said Mark I’ve started doing curls and I said really
we were we were eating at the time and he says yeah and he picked up his diet
coke and starts doing this with it there are different ways to exercise but what
Paul’s saying is is I’ve chosen to engage in a struggle for you I’ve chosen
to wear myself out for you I want you to know how much I have chosen to struggle
for you and for the people at Laodicea and for everyone look at this who has
not seen me face to face Paul hadn’t met him he’s struggling he’s exerting
himself he’s working for them he’s in agony
for them never having seen many of them I think that speaks volumes about Paul’s
character but I also think it speaks volumes for the message Paul’s
delivering how many of you took an economics class at some point in history
okay then you all remember father Guido Sarducci
5-minute college degree he says in in the five minutes I’m gonna tell you
everything you remember after five years anyway economics supply and demand
that’s all you’re gonna remember after five years you passed your economics
well there’s one other thing maybe you remember do you remember this term
opportunity costs it’s the idea that I have 24 hours today most of you do too
and I can choose to spend 45 minutes up here talking to you but it costs me
something now it doesn’t cost me money I don’t have to pay you most of you to
listen checks in the mail Dale I don’t have to pay most of you to listen what
does it cost me it cost me the opportunity that I could be doing
something else with that 45 minutes you with me okay Paul has a limited number
sheets of stationery can’t go to Office Depot and buy some more
this stuff’s expensive in his day he doesn’t have the clickety click pilot G2
pen he’s got to find the ink and the writing utensil the odds are he
got someone else doing the writing because he’s in prison and he doesn’t
really have a lot of light so he’s got to find a secretary to do
the writing so he has chosen to do a letter to that church that he’s never
seen and tell them I’m struggling for you I can’t tell you how great I’m
struggling for you and if I’m getting that letter from Paul in prison knowing
he’s never even been to our church I’m gonna pay attention because I know that
he’s got something to say or he would not spend his opportunity on us so let’s
pay attention he starts out he says I’m doing this so that their hearts may be
encouraged that they may be knit together in love to reach all the riches
of full assurance of understanding and knowledge of God’s mystery which is
Christ now I want to we got to keep going and and here’s the problem and the
reason I was gonna bring the Greek if you’ll notice he’s got this really long
sentence I mean this sentence started with verse 1 this sentence ends with
verse 5 it’s really really long and if you were
to diagram this sentence it would be brutal to have to do I diagrammed it it
was brutal and I thought well I’m gonna show them and then I thought well I’m
not sure I have it right so I’m not you go diagram it yourself and then we’ll
compare but I can tell you what we’re talking about here or what Paul’s
talking about Paul says I want you to know this great struggle that I have
even though I haven’t seen you face to face now I want you to know it because
this is my concern I’m writing you because of this I want your heart to be
encouraged I want you to be knit together in love and it’s agape as the
word is using their agape love to reach all the riches of full assurance of
understanding and knowledge of God’s mystery God’s mystery oh do you know the
Greek word for mystery its mystery mysterion God’s mystery
what’s mystery not in the sense of whodunit there are two different Greek
concepts words for mystery ones like a whodunit like Oh Oh the mystery of the Pernille and Sherlock Holmes or whatever no no no no this isn’t that
kind of a mystery this is a secret that hasn’t been unfolded until later in time
so what was the secret this is what David Fleming mentioned this morning in
a sermon David asked this question how did God save Abraham how was Abraham
saved through faith it says it in Genesis over and over says it three
different times that God would count Abraham’s faith
as righteousness now here’s the question Abraham had faith but where does Abraham
here let’s draw it here is Abraham I’m working on my drawings I’m getting
better that’s Abraham except he’s probably got
a beard and he may have had like some hair he might have had a man bond probably not now this is Abe Abraham
Abraham bless his heart has a problem it’s called sin you see that same book
that talks about Abraham talks about sin Adam and Eve sinned they fell they’re
cursed they’re dying they’re destined for
obliteration if someone doesn’t rescue them from
their sin God says I’m going to do it through the seed of woman or offspring
of woman God says to Abraham I’m going to do it through your seed but meanwhile
Abraham’s got to accept this by faith so Abraham has faith that God is going to
take care of his sin but Abraham does not know how God is going to do it for
Abraham it is a mystery on how God will do it we live on the other side of the
empty tomb we live on the other side of the cross of Christ Messiah Yeshua we
live on the other side of the mystery we now are over here there that’s us
and we can look back and see the mystery we can see the solution to sin we can
see the salvation of God it is in The Anointed One the Messiah the Christ if
you use the Greek word for anointed it is in Jesus it is in Yeshua you can
write his name in Hebrew yeah you go yes you not probably incident hey Yeshua
that’s Jesus and that’s what Paul’s saying here Paul is saying I want you to
be encouraged your heart should be encouraged
you should be comforted you should be excited
you should have joy because as you’re knit together in love not only for the
love we have for each other but the love of God that knits us together the love
that sent Jesus that we reach all of the riches of the full assurance of
understanding and knowing God’s mystery which is Jesus see when we understand
what Jesus has done we understand we are now right with God we now can pray to
God we don’t have to go through a priest we don’t have to wait for a festival we
don’t have to find any intermediary other than the intermediary that truly
paid the price for our sins the mystery that was hidden for the ages that we now
see in him are hidden all the treasures of
wisdom and knowledge you don’t need to look anywhere else you don’t need to
look to money you don’t need to look to a Ouija board a horoscope or a magic
8-ball you don’t need to look any further then the God who made you who
loves you who redeemed you in Jesus and he says I’m telling you this because I
don’t want you deluded with plausible arguments I don’t want someone deluding
you with something that might involve oh you know it kind of makes sense I want
to see you in good order I want to see the firmness of your faith in Jesus so
if we go back to the power point what satisfies your heart and your mind
money’s not gonna do it hamburgers aren’t going to do it the zodiac is not
gonna do it Mick come back to us try Jesus and you’ll have to lose that song
you have started saying I couldn’t find any satisfaction till I tried Jesus try
Jesus try Jesus try Jesus and now I’ve done on a found satisfaction I mean we
could we could rewrite the song but we didn’t so here’s what he adds here’s the
last little add-on that he says so therefore get the therefore always want
the there force therefore as you received Christ Jesus the Lord so walk
in him rooted and built up in him and established in the faith just as you
were taught abounding in Thanksgiving I really like those words rooted and built
up and established in the faith those are three
different pictures in the Greek the first picture is is one of tree roots so
you’re gonna see where I am your roots of your tree the roots are in Jesus but
then he uses a building term so instead of roots I might consider that the
foundation let’s let’s do a foundation he’s saying your foundation is Jesus but
then he’s saying your structure what’s been built up okay I’m really getting
good at this drawing stuff I don’t know if you all realize that or not it’s kind
of hard to realize by looking but I’m getting good all right your foundation
is Jesus your building that you’re built up is Jesus so where do you want to stay
in Jesus and that’s the image he’s got with these words so he says as you
received Jesus you’re rooted your foundation is in him you’re built up in
him so live in him be established in the faith that’s the goal now if we go back
to the PowerPoint he’s got a warning coming up and I want to give you the
warning if you live in something that’s false it’s gonna bind and handcuff you
you cannot do what you need to do you cannot be who you’re supposed to be
you can’t live the life you’re supposed to live you can’t enjoy the life you’re
supposed to enjoy you can’t serve the way you’re supposed to serve you can’t
function the way you should function if you’ve been deluded by a falsehood now Paul’s falsehoods that he’s talking
to the Colossi church about are not the same kind of falsehoods that we so
readily fall for today unless you understand the root causes of those and
the root ideas behind them I’ve got to cover this in four minutes so I’m not
gonna go into depth but I still want you to look at it it’s in Colossians 2:8
through 15 Paul says I want you to see to it this is an imperative in the Greek
blippo I want you to see to it I’m ordering you make yourself diligent that
no one takes you captive by some philosophy some empty deceit don’t be
deluded according to some human tradition according to elemental spirits
of the world it was a hyper spirituality false view of divinity dualism stuff
that we need to get into maybe one day but not right now
mmm it’s not according to Christ that’s the key and and I want to tell you I
don’t care what the delusion is I don’t care what the philosophy is if it’s not
rooted in Jesus Christ it’s false it will handcuff you
it will it will inhibit you it won’t make your life better it will ruin your
life it will leave you empty and hollow and and destitute spiritually and
emotionally it’ll leave you without the resources that you need to do this thing
we call really living and Paul says it he says look in Jesus look what’s in
Jesus the whole fullness of deity dwells that’s what incarnation means God had a
problem God wanted unity with sinners but God’s moral perfection would not
allow him does not allow him to be united with moral imperfection so God’s
got to do something but it’s got to also be a human endeavor it’s the human sin
so God becomes man and conquers the grave and the sin and pays the price
that man has to pay for man’s sin atoning for us the whole fullness dwells
bodily and you believers in Jesus have been filled in him didn’t say he’s
filled you hear Paul saying you’ve been filled in him when you’re in Jesus you
have been filled with what God has for you he’s the head of all rule and
authority in him you were also circumcised not with a circumcision
that’s not made with hands this isn’t a bris but it’s by putting off the body of
the flesh we’ve been circumcised in the sense that
we’ve been cut off from the sinful life that we had before doesn’t mean we don’t
sin no we’re still in the old man uniform but from an eternal sense we’re
set free and we’re clean and there will come a day where we’re all pure again
and God’s working on making that day a reality daily as he continues to
transform us into the image of his son he says this is why you were buried with
him in baptism that’s another illustration you were you
were buried you were raised brand-new through the faith and the
powerful working of God who raised him from the dead
you know this is what God has done and if we don’t realize it then we’re
walking around deluded if we go back to the PowerPoint this delusion or these
are the handcuffs we’ve got a chance to be with the fullness of God we’ve got a
chance to fellowship with the eternal one we have a chance to take our
direction in this life from the author of all good things who on earth wants to go eat from a
dumpster when instead they’ve got the best food of the world in front of them that’s what it is what dufflepuds are we to use a term
out of CS Lewis’s Voyage of the Dawn Treader Voyage of the Dawn Treader
singular what duffle pugs are we if we have a chance for the fullness of life
and instead we slum around for the nothingness of some cheap imitation that
does not satisfy that misleads that that’s that’s the choice and what Paul
is saying is these falsehoods will handcuff you so I want you to know Jesus
I want you to know Jesus I want you to know Jesus because he’s the one who set
you free he’s the one who makes you okay with God and in the last point in
Chapter two that I really want to underscore with our our last five
minutes or so is this Paul cares about this because what we believe affects how
we live it affects our practice you want to
believe there’s a God it will change the way you live you want to believe you
have sin it will change the way you live you want to believe that God loves you
enough that he’s chased you down to try to to not only deal with your problem
but get your attention I was about a five year lawyer I was
working for a man named Ernest Cannon five six year law you’re right in that
range and Ernest we had an assistant I don’t remember her name now
Ernest main assistant was Jan Manning she works for me now she’s great and and
this other assistant was good too but this other assistant had a problem that
recurred she Ernest would call her in and tell her things to do and she would
sit there and say okay okay okay and it would drive Ernest crazy because
he would want her to make notes because he would be afraid she’d forget and I
just can’t tell you how many times I remember sitting in Ernest office when
this assistant would come in and Ernest would say I need you to file this and
then I want you to send out these interrogatories and then I want you to
notice this deposition and she’s sitting there saying okay and Ernest would look at
her and he’d go [laughter] and she said oh oh yes yes Mr. Cannon
should start writing it down you next day I need you to do this this she
checked yes sir okay I envision Paul doing that right now it’s like guys gals
please pay attention see one of the emptiest hollowest diluted diluting
philosophies out there for us is the wheel of time that just keeps rolling
it’s called take your glasses off and don’t notice God it’s called get
distracted by life and then all of a sudden God doesn’t seem so important
then all of a sudden he started thinking gee is that just something that I used
to believe because I was young I mean after all this world so much bigger than
I thought when what’s really happened is as you’ve
continued to grow you’ve taken your eye off the prize you’ve gotten distracted
so your world doesn’t seem to have room for God as much but it’s not that
there’s not room in the world for God is that you’ve changed your direction and
your thoughts and so what Paul is saying here is if you’ve been captured by one
of these other philosophies or approaches to life come back it will
affect how you live it will affect what you do and it will not lead to happiness
for you and it will not lead to fulfillment and it will not lead to the
joy that comes from Jesus and so what what you look here’s he ends it this is
where he says it Colossians 2 16 through 23 he says look don’t let anyone pass
judgment on you questions of food and drink with regard to a festival a new
moon a Sabbath these are shadows of the things
to come substance belongs to Jesus so don’t let someone disqualify you
insisting on you know making life miserable so that you can be holy that’s
asceticism or worshipping angels the idea that there’s someone else worthy of
attention whether it’s Moses or or anyone for that matter going on in
details about visions puffed up without reason by a sensuous mind not holding
fast to the head to Jesus from whom the whole body nourished and knit together
through its joints and ligaments grows with a growth that’s from God so don’t
grow cold to Jesus because you’re enticed by something else if with Christ
you died to the elemental spirits of the world why as if you were still alive to
the world are you submitting to regulations if some of the people there
were into this legalism don’t touch that don’t handle that don’t chase that these
are just human precepts and teachings they appear to be wise they appear to
promote a self-made religion an asceticism a severity to the body but
there are no value here’s let me put that into plain and
simple 21st century English with the PowerPoint here it is Paul saying Jesus
is not about rules Jesus is about a relationship I don’t mean that the
relationship doesn’t have obligations but my sweet wife and I have a
relationship and there are obligations that go with that there are things I
will do with my life because I love my wife there are things
I will not do in my life because I love my wife but we don’t have some rulebook
that we live by I guess sorta we do
there are a couple of things that I’m pretty sure of rules for me but you get
the idea you know and and and then what we’re doing for God and Jesus didn’t
following the rules it’s an opportunity and a privilege to show that we honor
our Lord and we love him and we need him and we believe him and so yes the world
may say here’s your answer but if the answer from Jesus is something different
we’re going with the answer from Jesus I had a friend call me the other day a
lawyer called me and he said to me he said look I want to destroy these people
over here and I said to him why what what’s it gonna do what good’s it gonna
do and he said for revenge because of what they’ve done an eye for an eye and
a tooth for a tooth and I said well that’s a good way to have a blinded
toothless world in we that’s if there’s merit in the case let’s pursue a case
with merit but if we’re just doing it out of vengeance I I don’t I don’t want
to sign on to that parade and the the the the thing about our life is is we
believe that the directions Jesus gives us are good things for us to follow
that’s to chart our course if we don’t follow those things we’re not following
them to merit God’s love heavens how much more love could he have for you
than to die for you he’s already got the love for you he didn’t wait for you to
follow all of his rules to come give his life for you him giving his life for you
was his love for you was never based on what you do it’s always been based on
the fact that he made you it’s about who he is so when we do we
don’t do to win his love we do because we have his love and we trust him that’s
what this is all about for Paul and if you’re living it any other way you’ve
been deluded by a philosophy so we hear your points for home satisfaction joy
and answers they’re found in Jesus the truth it’s found in Jesus so you want to
find the truth about Jesus to learn it and our last point for home.if will
strengthen our relationship with Jesus the effects in our own lives will
multiply you know this is the whole thing about the giving campaign at
church I’m writing those Torah devotionals y’all know during the week
just wrote the one where Moses told the where God told Moses you have the
Israelites give to build the tabernacle according to their heart the generosity
of their heart there’s not a rule this is not a rule for us this is an
opportunity to walk in faith but that’s what all of this stuff’s about I mean
we’re just trying to figure out how to honor the Lord and I want to do that
with my life I hope that you will join me as we continue to study Colossians
can I bless you and then we’ll go Father in the name of Jesus I asked your
blessings on my friends here and everyone listening to this message lord
I do pray that you will reveal your truth to them that they will see you for
who you are that they will follow you as their Lord their Savior their God and
that they will walk in the fullness of your blessings learning more and more
what you’ve done for us and watching you multiply that in our lives as we walk in
faith with you I pray in your name amen God bless you guys

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