Summary: We have all we need with Jesus for our walk with God. We don't need works or traditions along with him, just Jesus.
1. Orange You Glad!
...the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit. Colossians 1:5-6
As a young man, Anthony Rossi emigrated from Italy. He sailed into New York harbor, but his plans were to move to the South and become a farmer. One day he visited the library at 42nd Street and 5th Avenue and found a book on agriculture. He sat down to read it at one of the long tables. Another book was sitting there, entitled The Life of Christ. Rossi, who knew little about Christ, began reading it and was transfixed. The next day he purchased a Bible and became engrossed in its message.
Rossi became both a Christian and a farmer. He's remembered today as the citrus king of Florida and the founder of Tropicana orange juice in Bradenton, FL in 1947. He became a leading Christian businessman in the twentieth century, a man whose legacy far exceeds the "100% pure squeezed sunshine" that made him famous.
There are many books in the library, but only the life of Christ can truly change us. Only the Bible can produce lasting fruit in our lives. God's message can transform you into someone you could never become on your own. He brings true sunshine to your soul.
Be honest. Don't look back. Keep looking ahead.... And, above all, listen to God. Have faith in God. Let Him guide you. Anthony Rossi
2. Colossians 1.1-8
a. There are "amazing" things from time to time -- gramophone; I-Pod; spectacular athletes; inventions such as computers (New + Old); fax machines; AC;
b. Note verse 6 -- Bearing fruit; growing; grace; hear/understand -- all over the world
c. This verse could start a quest in our lives for a fresh view of God's grace and our response to it
3. We must take God and his grace from theoretical to experiential and practical -- embodied in Jesus
4. Because of Jesus:
I. We Can Have a Proper View of God
7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him." 8 Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." 9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
A. Jesus showed us the Father by His Life:
1. Purpose -- Matthew 20.28
The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
2. Holiness -- I Peter 1:15-16, "But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: 'Be holy, because I am holy.'"
3. Obedience -- Philippians 2.8 -- "And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross!"
B. Jesus Showed us the Father by His Words -- Matthew 7:28-29, "When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who authority, and not as their teachers of the law."
II. We Can Have a Proper View of Grace
A. Incorrect Views
1. Brother John -- grew up in the church; has known the 5 steps of salvation as long as he can remember; In his maturing, he has always been careful to live right and faithfully; seldom misses church assemblies; led some people to Jesus in his earlier days; LATELY has grown judgmental -- he watches for people in his congregation and imagines why they may be absent from time to time; the only good Christian is one who is like him; he only appreciates fire and brimstone, judgmental preaching; HE has determined who is IN and who is OUT of the kingdom; HE determines HOW things should be done; he seems happiest when he is unhappy; people with struggles have no place in his life; the only people with whom he is happy are the ones most like him; he is no longer interested in bringing people to Jesus because they probably can't cut it any way; HIS circle of the saved gets smaller every year, soon he will be the only one in it; people around him have become uninterested in hearing of his faith;