Summary: The attitude of thankfulness due to God’s grace transforms both our beliefs and our actions.
AN ATTITUDE THAT TRANSFORMS OUR ACTIONS-Colossians 1:1-8
Proposition: The attitude of thankfulness due to God’s grace transforms both our beliefs and our actions.
Objective: My purpose is to challenge God’s people to become more thankful for what God had done for us in our spiritual life as we serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
Sometimes the news can be confusing! In our day of crime and global terrorism, we really need some good news. There’s a song from the 1970s recorded by Ann Murray:
There’s a local paper rolled up in a rubber band
One more sad story’s one more than I can stand
Just once how I’d like to see the headline say
“Not much to print today, can’t find nothin’ bad to say,”
Because–nobody robbed a liquor store on the lower part of town
Nobody OD’ed, nobody burned a single buildin’ down
Nobody fired a shot in anger, nobody had to die in vain
We sure could use a little good news today.
Well, now for some really good news–it is the truth about the Gospel of God’s amazing grace and the all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ. One day Epaphras came to Paul in prison and said: “I’ve got some good news and some bad news. Which do you want first?” The good news is, “Many have experienced the grace of God and are serving the Lord there and need your prayers.” (1:3) The bad news is that there are some people saying, “Christ is not the Creator, the Incarnation is not real & Christ is not enough. They give Christ a place but not the supreme place. You need something more.” (2:8-10) It was a negative outlook that stated, “God is far away, matter is evil and demonic forces are constantly threatening us.”
This church was located in what we now call Turkey, in the Roman province of Asia Minor, about one hundred miles south and east of Ephesus. The focus of our text today is the power of the truth of Christ to change us. He speaks of the transforming power of the Gospel in our lives as we come more to understand God’s grace in all its truth that changes our attitude from negative to positive. The word Gospel means "good news" and it is the good news of God’s grace. The word grace
means "unmerited favor." The good news is that Jesus Christ has paid the penalty for our sin and we can be set free through Him. We can be changed forever. Paul proclaims the absolute supremacy and sole sufficiency of Jesus. (Read 2:9-10).
1. Note an apostolic declaration of authority (v. 1) “Paul, an apostle of
Jesus Christ by the will of God”—He belongs to Jesus Christ, serving by a divine appointment, not self-appointed. This is the authority for his writing. Paul has confidence in his apostleship.
2. Note an apostolic estimation of the believers (v. 2a) “To the saints
and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colossae”-- Saints means that they are separated to God from the world and that as a result they should lead holy lives. Faithful brethren indicates that they are children of a common Father through faith in the Lord Jesus; they are believing brothers and sisters. They are in Christ, joined to Him as closely as limbs are joined to the body of which they are a part. It is by virtue of this union with Christ that they are both saints and brothers.
3. Note an apostolic salutation for the church (v. 2b) “Grace to
you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”-- Grace was a common Greek expression, while peace was the common Jewish greeting; and the words were used at meeting or parting. Grace pictures God stooping down to sinful, lost humanity in loving and tender compassion. Peace summarizes all that results in the life of a person when he accepts God’s grace as a free gift. The order of the words is significant: grace first, then peace. Grace (God’s work) comes before peace (our new relationship).
Thankfulness, then, means to rejoice in God’s presence for blessings freely received from Him. It is joy expressed in word and deed toward God for His grace. God’s mercies are new for me every morning; so I ought to always be thankful. There is a hymn that says "Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what God has done."
I. BE THANKFUL FOR A SAVING EXPERIENCE OF THE GOSPEL (vvs. 3-5) "We give thanks to…God…your faith…your love…the hope laid up for you”-- After Paul’s greeting in the name of God, there comes his gratitude to God for the Colossians. It seems that Paul always began his prayer with praise to the Lord and this is a good example for us to follow.