Summary: The Word is Your Life, part 5 Discipleship is a Community Project Colossians 3:15-17 1. The Word is to be Central in Our Community 2. The Word is to be Central in Our Relationships
The Word is Your Life, part 5
Discipleship is a Community Project
October 5, 2014
We are in the last week of our fall series, “The Word is Your Life,” to help you see and feel the necessity of making the word central in your life. We started by looking at the centrality of the word in our lives and I challenged you to read the New Testament in sixty days. Then we turned to Psalm one, “Loving God's Word is the Path to Life,” looking at the necessity of memorizing and meditating on the word. I challenged you to memorize Scripture and as a church family we are memorizing one verse per month over the next year. Today, we are looking at Colossians 3:15-17, Discipleship is a Community Project, looking specifically at letting the word of Christ dwell in us richly by teaching and admonishing one another.
Big Idea – The gospel changes us as we share the word with one another.
1. The Word is to be Central in Our Community
Almost every reference to the word in the New Testament refers to Christ or the gospel. Paul says the word of Christ because the Colossian church was being influenced by false teaching that undermined the person and work of Christ. His point is that the word of Christ, the gospel, is all we need for coming to faith in Christ and also growing in Christ. Paul tells us to let the gospel 'dwell among you richly,' meaning to let it occupy or set up permanent residence, becoming the dominating influence in your thinking so that the gospel has transforming power in the life of the church community. The gospel message is the central focus for the community because it not only saves you but sanctifies you. Is the gospel the dominating influence in your life? Be honest with yourself. If not then fight to make it so. But that is not enough for Paul so he adds, richly, let the gospel dwell among you richly. And because he is not just talking to individuals but the church community as a whole, the gospel is to dwell among us richly. The word is to be central when the church gathers together whether on Sunday mornings or over coffee. This is why preaching is the central focal point in our Sunday mornings together. Paul is telling us that when we gather together we are to let the gospel message dwell among us richly. There are things that you can do that will let the word dwell richly among us and there are things that you can do that will hinder the word from dwelling richly among us. You can let the word dwell richly among us by taking the word serious, recognizing that it is your very life. Recognizing that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Recognizing that you need the word to destroy the sin and the unbelief in your heart, and that it is only the eternal word that springs forth into eternal life. On the other hand you can do things that will hinder the word from dwelling richly among us by ignoring the word, letting other things distract you and plant the seeds of doubt and apathy toward the word. I hope this series has cultivated a sense of desperation for the word. We are to let the word dwell in us richly by making the word central in our relationships.
2. The Word is to be Central in Our Relationships
The manner or way the word of Christ will dwell in us richly is by 'teaching and admonishing one other in all wisdom.' God has seen fit that everyone who has put their faith in Christ can teach and admonish others as a means spurring each other toward maturity in Christ. In other words, discipleship is a community project. God has called all of us to engage in discipling others by teaching and admonishing. Paul and Jesus were speaking to the whole church, not just elders and teachers. There are requirements for elders and teachers who exercise a public teaching ministry but there is no bar for teaching and admonishing each other in our interpersonal relationships. This does not means that everyone has a public teaching ministry but everyone has the ability to teach and admonish others. I don't like that because it has the potential to disseminate all kinds of false teaching. I hear things all the time during open mike that are not true and outright false. Paul's goal for himself and elders was to teach and lead and work toward growth and unity among the body and addressing false teaching when it came up. The flip side of teaching is admonishing one another. Admonish means to warn and correct someone about incorrect thinking or behavior, to correct them. Many of us don't like that and get offended when someone wants to admonish us but it is a means of God's grace in your life. It is for your safety and protection. If you resist being admonished you are resisting God's grace in your life. But sometimes when we admonish others we do not do it well so Paul tells us to teach and admonish in all wisdom. That is doing it at the right time and in right way. Being gracious and humble when we speak to each other and approach each other.