Summary: Larry King was famous for interviewing the biggest celebrities just a few decades ago. But King was interviewed on a New York City radio program was asked, “Larry, if you could meet God and ask Him one question, what would it be?” Larry King, who was a Jew, said, “Do you have a son?”
Today, I want to speak to you about “How Do I Keep from Getting Down.”
We are moving verse by verse and sentence by sentence through the New Testament letter of Colossians together. Here are some key background facts to better understand Colossians. You can move through the four chapters of this little letter in around five minutes or less. I encourage you to set aside about ten minutes or so to read through Colossians at least twice. As we are sheltering in place, God help us if we only binge watch TV. Let’s aim to use this time to study God’s Word together.
Background Facts to Colossians
Paul is likely in Rome under house arrest when he writes the letter to the Christians at Colossae (Acts 28:30-31). How do we know Paul is in prison? In Colossians 4:10, Paul speaks about a fellow prisoner. The last verse of the letter says this: “I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you” (Colossians 4:18).
Paul has never met the believers in Colossae face to face (Colossians 2:1). This letter was written around 60 AD, so it’s been around 30 years since Jesus has died and resurrected. This is among the last of letters as he will die in around 3-4 years after writing Colossians. The first Christians who read this letter were blue-collar people who worked for a living.
Today’s Scripture (Passage Read Before Sermon)
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And 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, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister” (Colossians 1:15-23).
Keep Colossians 1 open before you, will you?
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You’ve just heard the most famous passage of the book of Colossians. The text is deep and I cannot explore all of it in depth but I will happily touch the surface with you. I invite you to download the message notes to follow along with the message today alone with the communication card. I have some background notes on the book of Colossians there that you’ll want to see.
Today, I want to speak to you about “How Do I Keep from Getting Down.” Hold that question for a few moments because in order to help you, I need to introduce you to someone first.
1. He’s Someone You Can Trust
1.1 Religious Firehouse
Imagine you are a firemen – sounds like fun, right? All the trucks are washed, no one’s house is on fire and no one is need of medical attention. Your shift gathers for a meal around the table when someone brings up your religion. You had worked together with most of the guys for years and you knew that not everyone was religious but you were surprised to learn that one of the new guys was a Ladder Day Saint, or a Mormon. The day shift has a wide assortment of men from various background and rough personalities. The day shift included a Muslim as well as a Jehovah Witness alongside several people who didn’t practice any sort of faith. While you get along with everybody, the guys know you are serious about your Christian faith. When they ask you why you take Christianity so serious, you say something to the effect, “I am Christian because of Jesus Christ. He lived a perfect life and died for my sins.” After a brief awkward silence, the Engineer is Muslim and offers his opinion first, “I think Jesus is a prophet like Abraham, Moses, or Isaiah. He is not God but he deserves our respect. Mohammed was also a prophet of God and he was God’s greatest prophet. I don’t believe Jesus died on the cross as God saved him from this terrible tragedy.” Some banter goes back and forth when the Mormon Newbie speaks up, “Jesus was the first born child of Elohim. He is our elder brother. If we are really good and follow the Church’s teaching, then we can become a son of God just as Jesus is a son of God.”