Colossians

SERMONS PREACHED FROM THE BOOK OF COLOSSIANS BY REV. MIKE JONES

PRAISE GOD FOR GOD’S PEOPLE Colossians 1:3-8

FALSE IDEAS ABOUT GOD’S WILL Col 1:9-10

CHRISTIAN OBJECTIVES Colossians 1:9-10

AIM OF ATONEMENT Col 1:12-23

CELEBRATE THE CROSS Col 1:19-23

CHANGING CHARACTER-Col 1:28

17 WAYS TO PRESENT EVERY MAN PERFECT IN CHRIST Colossians 1

POWER TO PERSEVERECol 2:21-29

IMPORTANCE OF INTEGRITY Col 3:8-12

PUTTING UP WITH PUT DOWNS Col 3:13

TEN THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW Col 4:6

PRAISE GOD FOR GOD’S PEOPLE Colossians 1:3-8

Four things we have to get people to believe: the Bible, the Blood, the Body, the Blessed Hope.

We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; 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: As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit (Colossians 1:3-8).

Things we should Thank God for about God’s Bride, Body, Believers: [We can talk about how bad people are or about how blessed we are to be associated with them]

1) Genuine concern for each other- “Praying always for you”

2) Manifested Faith that is talked about- “Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus”

3) Fellowshipping Love which is shown- “Love which you have to all the saints” (Meals given)

4) Anticipated Hope- “The Hope which is laid up for you in heaven, as you heard in the gospel”

5) Fruit producing life- “Brings forth fruit, as it does also in you, since the day you heard of it”

6) Truthful recognition of Grace- “Knew the grace of God in truth” (Grace and works together)

7) Spiritual maturity- “Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit”. The Holy Spirit will either convict or comfort you. (Not just emotions but the Holy Spirit at work in your life causing you to love the “unlovable”, care for the careless, and act like Christ would act).

Reason we have churches and support missions:

Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily. (Colossians 1:25-29).

FALSE IDEAS ABOUT GOD’S WILL Col 1:9-10

Col 1:9-10 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; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

APRIL 9, 1989 NIGHT SERVICE GRACE 4-13-89 G&G / April 17, 1994 9am Grace 7-11-96 G&G

Paul’s Prayer here shows that The Will of God allows us to:

A) Walk Worthy of the Lord unto all Pleasing- Please God

B) Being Fruitful in every good work- Bear Fruit

C) Increasing in the Knowledge of God- Learn about God

You can’t ask for 3 greater goals than that. Why then do so many people fail to commit themselves to God’s Will for their lives?

The Problem is that many people have a false concept of what God’s Will is and how you Determine it.

Men Falsely say that God’s Will is:

1. Dangerous- Somehow it will harm you or cause you a great deal of pain if you obey God– If I commit myself to God He will make me be a Preacher or Missionary {There are worst things, you know!!})

The Truth: It’s Dangerous NOT to do God’s Will. Do you want to face God with a wasted life and unused talents??

2. Distant- God’s will does not involve youth. It’s something for older people to be concerned with.

The Truth: Get in God’s Will as soon as possible. A little veer at first can cause a big deviation in the long run. The Longer you delay the lest useful you’ll be.

3. Divided- God has a Good, Acceptable, and Perfect Will (Rom 12:2) and most people don’t want to be dedicated enough to chose God’s Best so they settle for the “good”.

The Truth: God has One Will that is Good, Acceptable, and Perfect; Don’t settle for cheap substitutes [Remember the man during the Civil war that wore a Blue Coat and Gray Pants so he could please everyone; and then both sides shot him!!].

4. Difficult to Discover- It’s almost impossible to determine what God wants you to do.

The Truth: God reveals His will thru His Word, thru the Urges of Life {What do you WANT to do?}, and by Faith (We don’t live by Explanations but by Promises. Many people want to understand God’s Plan before they will follow it. But the Truth is that when we follow God’s Plan then we begin to understand it. God is not obligated to explain Himself to us but He will make Plain the Path He expects us to take).

A) It’s God’s Will that we do our job well- Eph 6:6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart See I Pet 2:15

B) It’s God’s Will that we Live a Holy Life- I Thess 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification , that ye should abstain from fornication:

C) It’s God’s Will that we Trust Him in all Circumstances- I Pet 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

ARE YOU DOING GOD’S WILL?

CHRISTIAN OBJECTIVES Colossians 1:9-10

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; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; (Colossians 1:9-10).

What do I want God to do in your life? What are my objectives for you as a Christian? Remember- “He who aims at nothing normally hits nothing”

1) Walk worthy of, and pleasing to, the Lord you serve means to live and conduct your daily manner of living in a way that would please and honor God.

2) Produce fruits of good works because of your relationship with, and responsibility to, God. Fruit is a natural occurrence as we allow the Holy Spirit to function in our life. Good works are the result of the fruits of the Spirit (The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: Galatians 5:22-23) changing our character and conduct.

3) Increase in the knowledge of God means we seek a fuller, deeper, clearer acquaintance with, and recognition of, God.

Here are some ways to DELIGHT THE DEVINE with your life:

• It delights God when we want to understand and have a real relationship with Him: Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD (Jeremiah 9:23-24).

• It delights God when we obey His Heart as well as His Word: And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams (1 Samuel 15:22). When will we learn that God does not just call people to “make a Decision for Him”? He calls them to “become His Disciples”. It is not just about having Faith to believe Jesus is the Son of God. It is about Faith producing Works which will carry forth the plan and purpose of God.

• It delights God when our lives show His Truth and Love: A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight (Proverbs 11:1).

• It delights God when we communicate with Him: The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight (Proverbs 15:8).

AIM OF ATONEMENT Col 1:12-23

Col 1:12-23 (P1597) giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. 21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation– 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

Paul had been showing the Colossians that Christ is the PREEMINENT One (Not just the Predominant One among many (Christians don’t have AN answer; we have the ONLY ANSWER). He does this by showing that Christ is our SAVIOR, Our CREATOR, the HEAD of the Church, and the BELOVED of the Father. That means Christ defeated Satan, Made the World, Established the Church, and is Equal to God.

I. WHAT WE WERE VS 21

A) Alienated – Out of harmony, unfriendly, estranged. We were “apart from” God. God had one point of view and we had another (There is a way that seems right unto man but the end thereof is the way of death. My ways are not your ways says the Lord). This is why we must REPENT. We must learn to see things from God’s Point of View.

B) Enemies- “At War with” God. We served Sin, Satan, and Self and refused to submit to God. Our Rebellion was so bad until we would go to Hell rather than allow God to be God of our Life.

1) Where- In our Minds. The source of sin was not surface conditions; it was corruption deep in our heart and mind (Remember that Jesus said Adultery, Murder, and Covetousness take place in the Brain before the Body!). God will judge our hearts, not as man judges.

2) How- By Wicked Works. Thought becomes Actions.

WHAT I AM IS WRONG- Sin is missing the Mark for God. Shooting your arrows into the Dirt. Jesus said the target was Love God above all as center and Love Neighbor as self as outer rim

WHAT IS DO IS WRONG- Trespasses. We cross the line into forbidden territory (Whatsoever is not of faith is sin). We fail to follow God’s guidelines.

WHERE I AM GOING IS WRONG- God wants me to Go to Heaven. He has made every provision for me. The door is open but I am the only one who can walk through.

II. WHAT CHRIST DID- Reconciled us to God. Brought us back into Holy Harmony. Made a way that God and I could be at Peace again.

How did He do this? By His death on the Cross- Without the shedding of Blood is no remission of sins. It is not the Character of Christ, nor the Conduct of Christ, that saves us. It is only the Cross that can make peace with God.

III. WHY HE DID IT-

A) To Produce a Holy People: Set apart FOR God

B) To Make us Unblamable: Without FAULT. God sees us as pure in Christ (Don’t make more of your faults than God does!)

C) To Make us Unreprovable: Beyond Satan’s Accusations

IV. WHAT IS REQUIRED OF US- Holding Out by Holding ON

A) Continuation- If you continue in the Faith

B) Stability- Established and Firm, not moved from the hope held out in the Gospel

We are saved by Faith without works and we must live by Faith

Since it is possible to leave the Rock and lose everything, let us be:

1) Grounded- Able to short circuit Satan’s doubts

2) Settled- Good Foundation. Dig Deep into the Word and Work of God

3) Be not moved from the Hope held out in the Gospel. Don’t allow anything to “Pull you away”

False Doctrines- In the last days many will come preaching many doctrines that appeal to men’s emotions and intellect

Fleshly Desires- Riches will choke the word. Riotous Living will bring us to Hog Pens. Self Righteousness will give us a false hope.

CELEBRATE THE CROSS Col 1:19-23

Col 1:19-23 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

NIV– For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation–if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

Does it seem strange to you that Christians have a holiday to celebrate a death?? Does it make sense that we call the day our Savior was nailed to a cross GOOD Friday?? It does when you realize what really happened on that Fateful Friday.

CONDEMNATION: Man will Naturally choose the wrong way. Children have to be taught Right, not Wrong. Weeds come naturally; crops require work.

THE CROSS PAYS OUR SIN DEBT- WE ARE NO LONGER CONDEMNED

CONSEQUENCES: The Payment for sin does not spare us from the consequences of sin in this life. Drunk’s liver, children of divorce, missed opportunities.

Remember the God looks at the MOTIVATION behind our actions. One man plunges a knife into you to kill you, another to heal you.

THE CROSS SHOWS US SELF-DENIAL WHICH KEEPS US FROM SIN AND IT’S CONSEQUENCES.

CONFLICT: Salvation and Sanctification do not mean we won’t have to battle sin and tempation. Jesus was tempted in the desert and before the cross. We are tempted by lust, anger, covetousness (ads), depression.

THE CROSS SHOWS GOD’S ABILITY TO CONQUORE SATAN ON HIS OWN “TURF” AND TERMS. NOW THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS COME TO GIVE US POWER IN THE BATTLE. GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN YOU THAN HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD.

The Shed Blood pays for our CONDEMNATION. Confession deals with our CONSEQUENCES. Holy Living deals with CONFLICT/CRAVINGS.

It’s hard to celebrate the PAIN OF THE CROSS

It’s hard to celebrate the PLAN OF THE CROSS- We want to be Happy and carefree. Not dying to self and taking up a cross.

It’s easy to celebrate the PERSON OF THE CROSS-

His Love that sent him there

The Payment that He made there

The Human that suffered there- caring for the thief and his mother, thirsting, questioning- “Why”

The “Godness” he displayed there.

Father Forgive them, they know not what they do

Into your hands I commend my Spirit

When the Centurion saw Christ die, he said, “Surely, this was the Son of God”. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. (Mat 27:54) In his case the Cross showed him who Christ really was.

Your eternal destiny henges on your belief about wheather or not Jesus is the Son of God- He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:12-13)

WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO BRING YOU TO CONFESS:

SEEING THE RESULTS OF REBELLION- When Nebucadnezzar threw the Hebrew Children into the furnance- He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God (Dan 3:25).

REVEALING OF SECRETS- When Nathanael met Jesus after praying under a fig tree, Jesus told him what he had been doing -Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. (John 1:49)

God Reveals Secrets THRU THE WORD- But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 20:31)

DON’T HARDEN YOUR HEART:

PHARISEES: And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. (Mat 27:40)

UNCARING: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (Heb) 10:29

CHANGING CHARACTER-Col 1:28

The word Character is not found in the Bible. I use it here because it is a commonly understood word. Character basically means “The Moving Principle behind a Person’s actions”. That means we’re talking about changing WHY a person does things.

You can change WHAT a person does through Conditioning (Pavlov’s dog) but all the training falls apart if conditions change (It astonished me how many “good” boys who were raised in church and were will thought of at home became drunkards and adulterers when placed in that type of environment overseas.).

The Goal of Christianity is to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus (Col 1:28). We are to Teach them to Observe all things Jesus commanded (Matt 28:20) and by continuing in the Word they become Disciples (Jn 8:31).

This is not simply a matter of stopping certain things. A man who simply stops doing wrong creates a vacuum of restlessness in his life. Given the opportunity, the man will go back to the old ways and be even worst than at first (Matt 12:43-45. Also II Pet 2:20-22). Therefore the Christian Teacher seeks to show how TO live as well as showing how NOT to live.

This changed Character is achieved by the application of Three Basic Principles:

I. NEW LIFE (You cannot change the character of a Dead Man- you may change his appearance but not his character)

A) Saved by Faith in the substitutionary Sacrifice of Christ as revealed in the Word of God (Eph 2:8-9, Rom 10:9-10).

B) New life is then imparted by the indwelling Spirit (Tit 3:5, Rom 8:9).

II. NEW LAW

A) A new Law is now at work in your body (Rom 7:25) (An empty balloon falls to the ground because of the Law of Gravity. Put Helium in it and there is a new Law- the fact that Helium rises. Unless held, now the balloon will rise).

B) The New Law is more powerful than the Old (Rom 8:2). (This means that we have not only been set free from the PENALTY of Sin. We have also been freed from the POWER of Sin (Rom 5:1 and Rom 6:14). The Sinful Nature is still present but I no longer have to obey it (Rom 6:16).

IMPORTANT! Many seek an experience that will free them from the Ability to sin. This is not possible as long as we dwell in this fleshly body. The Sin Principle remains but it’s ability to Control us has been broken by the indwelling Spirit. (While I was in the navy I was subject to obey the rules and orders given me. They still have rules and orders today but I no longer obey them because I no longer under an obligation to do so!

III. NEW LIVING

A) We Must now Live by the Power of the Holy Spirit- Rom 8:1, Gal 5:16. This is not SELF effort: They that are in the flesh cannot please God (Rom 8:8). All of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags before God (Is 64:6). It is not a matter of trying to do better but of Yielding to the Spirit. As we yield the Spirit produces the Life God expects of you (Rom 8:14). THIS IS ABUNDANT LIFE! Being Properly related to the Spirit so that it is no longer I but Christ living in me (Gal 2:20).

B) The Spirit will produce Fruit in You. (Gal 5-22-23) Your responsibility is to be attached to the Vine (Jn 15:5).

Do you see what’s happened?? We’ve gone from a man trying to do better while refraining from doing bad to the Spirit Producing the fruit of Godliness in us. The first is outward change; the second is Character change. The First is frustrating and tiring (like trying to keep your fist clinched); the second is joy and peace in the Lord.

A BIBLE EXAMPLE OF CHARACTER CHANGE: Ephesians 4:20-32

1. Put off the old way of Life vs 22 NEW LIFE

2. Be renewed in the spirit of your mind vs 23 NEW LAW

3. Put on the new man vs 24 NEW LIVING

USED TO NOW
lie vs 25 speak the truth
continue in anger vs 26-27 give it no room
Steal vs 28 work to give
Talk Bad vs 29 talk to build up
be Like vs 31 be Like vs 32

(Notice the Change involved, Take the man who stole. It’s not enough to just stop stealing. The stealing is a result of a selfish desire to have things without laboring for them. This is a problem of heart. Under the leadership of the Spirit this person should work (This does away with the tendency to laziness the person has shown) and be a sharer of the things he has earned with those who are unable to work. (This is a change from a SELFISH heart to a SERVING heart).

Notice that vs 30 summaries all of this when it says to not Grieve the Spirit. A Christian Grieves the Spirit when they don’t allow Him to produce His Fruit in their life. When we allow the Spirit to work in our life we will be changed from the inside out; and that is what God expects!

CHARACTER VS APPEARANCE- (1 Sam 16:7) But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

17 WAYS TO PRESENT EVERY MAN PERFECT IN CHRIST Colossians 1

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,

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;

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:

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;

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;

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

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

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

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

15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

1. __Find God’s will and Get to doing it (vs 1)____

2. _Realize Peace comes from Accepting Grace vs 2

3. _Get and Be a Prayer Partner vs 3

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POWER TO PERSEVERE Col 2:21-29

The life of a Pastor is filled with Tragedies and troublesome circumstances as he tries to help people deal with marital problems, serious sicknesses, and the normal difficulties people face; but one of the saddest things any Pastor has to face is when a Christian turns back on the Lord. This is a “Double” problem for the Pastor since the Backslider not only turns BACK but also turns AWAY from the only real Help he has.

I want us to look today at What Happens when a Person looks back after putting their hands to the plow; at how such a Tragedy could happen; and, finally, I want to see how we can be Faithful to the end.

I. What a Backslider loses: In Relation to-

A) The World- His testimony and character. He is considered a coward and a traitor; people don’t even name their dogs Judas!! The world will try to get you to turn away from Christ but they will be repelled if you actually do so.

B) The Church- Some of the saddest words in the Bible are Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, (II Tim 4:10). A Backslider abandons the Fellowship of the Body of Christ and His Work in the Body of Christ. He turns his back on two of the main things every person needs; Help and Purpose. And the Church has to function without a “finger”.

C) The Lord-

1. His Love for Christ Rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

2. His Power to work for Christ – Samson

3. His Fruitfulness- Mark 4:18-19 And these are they which are sown among thorns, such as hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. (And Remember “Fruitfulness” was the way God judged whether you were pruned or placed in the fire!! John 15:2)

4. His Peace- Peter went out and wept bitterly. David Prayed Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit (Ps 51:12).

5. Eventually His Soul- James 5:19-20 Brethern, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

II. HOW A PERSON BECOMES A BACKSLIDER- Example of Abraham (Gen 12)

A) He left Bethel (House of God) “By easy Stages” vs 9. Gradually the Fires of Faith cool until one day you notice only ashes instead of flames.

B) Problems (Famine) came to him and he sought a worldly answer instead of resting in the Lord (Went to Egypt to live) vs 10

C) He began to rely on His Ability to handle problems instead of seeking God’s directions (Told Sarah to say she was his sister) vs 13

The Word never takes root in some hearts, has only a limited root system in others, but many people become distracted and then distrustful before finally becoming disbelieving (Mark 4:14-20).

ARE YOU “EASING” YOUR WAY BACKWARDS???

If Backsliding is so harmful; and even a “giant” like Abraham had to content with it, how can we (mere “normal” Christians) hope to avoid it’s traps?? The answer is found in one of the most dynamic concepts in the New Testament- Christ IN YOU, the hope of Glory.

The Sin Problem is not a simple Problem; not only is it fatal (Wages of Sin is Death), but it is also highly infectious!! Jesus on the Cross deals with the PENALTY of Sin but it takes Jesus living in you to deal with the PRESENCE of Sin!

Here are some things to know to “cut the Power on”:

1. The Source- IN Christ (Gal 2:20) Are You “Plugged In”??

2. The Switch- Faith Are you “turned On”??

3. The “Substation”- Knowledge. Do you have a “Battery” Christianity that runs down regularly; or are you constantly Connected??

To Begin: He cannot have Faith in what he does not know!

To Claim: Eph 1:17-19 Paul prayed for vision to comprehend what the Christian has in Christ.

God has provided Pardon and Power for the Christian Life. Don’t turn down either! “Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the World”. Hold on to God’s Unchanging Hand

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When funds are low and debts are high,
When you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit.
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit
Life is odd with it’s twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow-
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man.
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup.
And learned too late, when the night slipped down
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out-
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you can never tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit-
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.

IMPORTANCE OF INTEGRITY Col 3:8-12

Col 3:8-12 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (P1599)

(Scale in front of Sal’s sink)

ONE OF THE GREATEST HINDRANCES TO THE SPREAD OF CHRISTIANITY TODAY IS THE DAILY LIVE OF CHRISTIAN PEOPLE.

1> They say they have the greatest news in the world but they are afraid to share it.

2> They say Christianity is an Abundant Life but they miss Church for the smallest of excuses and seem to look with longing at the well watered valleys of Sodom that the world presents to them.

3> The world has begun to look at Christianity as just another religion among the many religions of the world- If it makes you happy then that’s fine but it may not work for everyone. One of the reasons for this is the FAILURE IN INTEGRITY AMONG PROFESSING CHRISTIANS- Mag arts

We Believe that man was Formed by God, Deformed by Sin, and then he is Transformed by Christ. We believe that Christianity means we have forgiveness for sins and a NEW LIFE in Christ- 2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

But Christianity seems to have become more TALK THAN WALK and No amount of positive talk will remove an ruptured appendix. Or No amount of garden shows on TV will weed your flowers. Duty must go with Doctrine or we simply become people who are “ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”.

That’s Why Integrity of Christian Life is so important. Integrity: “The State of being complete. Honest and upright living”. John said, 3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

1. Integrity should remain steadfast in spite of circumstances- Job 2:3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.

2. Integrity is a guidepost on the highway of life- Prov 11:3 The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

Even Heathens can have Integrity- When Abraham lied about Sarah being his sister to King Abimelech it was the Integrity of his heart that keep God’s Judgment away- Gen 20:6 And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.

NOTE- Sin destroys the DESIRE for Integrity- Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Integrity is one of the greatest things a man can give his Children-Prov 20:7 The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.

Compromise of Integrity

1. Violates those who Trust You-

2. Violates Your Own Self and Values

3. Violates God

Integrity comes from the Heart. The Heart is changed thru the Person of Jesus Christ and the Power of the Holy Spirit. God will sanctify for His use WHATEVER YOU GIVE TO HIM. That’s what services like this are all about.

I’m not saying you have to be perfect, none of us are. I’m saying you must learn to WEIGH as well as WASH. Washing away your sins should also include living a new life for Christ.

PUTTING UP WITH PUT DOWNS Col 3:13

11-22-92 9am Grace G&G

Have you ever been called “four-eyes”, “Snaggle Tooth”, or a “nerd”? I HAVE! Have you ever been told you were no good or you couldn’t do something? Hurts doesn’t it!

All of us like to receive Praise; and that’s what we stress at Thanksgiving. But, sadly, many of us get more “Put Downs” that we do Praise. Why does this happen? What should we do when it happens to us? How can we avoid doing it to others?

Our Key Verse today is Col 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you (P1599). Keep it in mind as we look at “Putting up with Put Downs”.

I. WHY DO PEOPLE USE PUT DOWNS AGAINST OTHER PEOPLE??

1) Self-Centered- This Person feels that they build themselves up as they Put other people down. They don’t consider what it does to the one who is put down. They are only concerned with being the center of attention.

2) Bad Self Image- They Bring others down because they feel down; and “misery loves company”.

3) Insecurity- These find it easier to put people down that take the risk of building relationships.

4) Good Natured Talk between friends- CAREFUL! The most common problem in marriage is the words spoken in fun that the other one takes serious. Learn what areas are off limits.

II. HOW CAN YOU LEARN TO BUILD UP: Acts 20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

1) Know what people like and need to hear- Girls are sensitive to their looks and weight. They like being treated like a lady. Boys love to be compliments on something they’ve done and it kills them when someone makes fun of what they say or the way they do something.

2) Be Sincere- Flattery that seeks to manipulate a person does harm. Paul said “Knowledge Puffs up but Love Builds up”.

3) Show Appreciation- A good “Thank You” works wonders.

4) Invite others into your life- This shows that you value them as a person.

5) Apologize the Proper Way- Not-“I’m sorry I yelled at you but your deserved it!”. Instead-“I’m sorry, can we be friends”.

6) See the Person you are trying to build up as God sees them- valuable enough for Jesus to die for.

Prov 16:24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Eph 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

1 Th 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

James 3:7-10 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8 but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.

TEN THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW Col 4:6

Ten things you need to know about 10 things you need to know!!

10 COMMANDMENTS:

1. Thou Shalt have no other Gods before me- Put God First

2. Thou Shalt not make unto thee a graven image- Do not try to make God as you want

3. Thou Shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in Vain- You cannot disrespect God and still respect God.

4. Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy- If you do not come apart then you will eventually come apart! Even God took a day off!

5. Honor thy Father and Mother- Respect for authority begins at home

6. Thou Shalt not Kill- Man’s breathe is in God’s hands; not yours.

7. Thou Shalt not commit adultery- Some things are more than the physical act

8. Thou Shalt not steal- What is theirs is not yours

9. Thou Shalt not bear false witness- Do not misrepresent the truth

10. Thou Shalt not covet – Do not try to keep up with the “Smiths”

9 FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT- (Gal 5:22-23) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, {23} Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

8 SOULS WERE SAVED FROM THE FLOOD- (1 Pet 3:20) Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

(Mat 7:13-14) Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: {14} Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

7 DESCRIPTIONS OF CHRIST BY ELDERS- (Rev 5:12) Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

6 WINGS ON A SERAPHIM (Is 6:2- 2 cover face, feet, fly). 6 Water pots of stone turned to wine (Jn 2:6)

5 LOAVES OF BREAD TO FEED 5000, 5 VIRGINS WHO HAD NO OIL – 5 SENSES- SEE, HEAR, FEEL, SMELL, TASTE

4 PARTS TO WELL ROUNDED PERSON- (Luke 2:52) And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Mental, Physical, Social, Spiritual

3 PARTS OF GOD- Father (Thought Salvation) Son (Bought Salvation), Spirit (Wrought Salvation)

2 STATEMENTS EVERYONE NEEDS TO MAKE- I am a Sinner, God I Surrender, Lord

And finally, Only 1 LIFE TO LIVE, TWILL SOON BE PAST; ONLY WHAT IS DONE FOR CHRIST WILL LAST. What are you doing with the life God has given you??