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Summary: In order for you to experience the fullness of Christ in your life you must decrease so He can increase.

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July 22, 2012

Morning Worship

Text: Colossians 2:8-10

Subject: The Fullness of Being In Christ

Title: Increase

As we move forward in our Year of the Harvest Revival I have to tell you that I am finding out more about my own faith than I ever have before. I am really being challenged in some areas and I am digging deeper into the word of God to see where this revival is going to take me personally. I cannot open the bible anymore without seeing something that is an advantage to me if I will just accept it at face value and not try to put any theological spin on it.

Sometimes I think that those who have Bible training are at a disadvantage. For those of us who have taken bible classes, we have generations of believers who have studied the original languages and the history of Bible times and they can tell us what certain passages mean and what they don’t mean. The truth is that almost every commentary that has ever been written has been written with a preconceived bias from a theological standpoint. For instance, reformed theologians will tell you that God has predestined things to happen and no amount of prayer can change God’s mind – that if something happens in your favor after you pray, it is because it was going to happen that way anyhow. Ammilenialists look at end-times scriptures from a preconceived notion that the rapture and the millennial reign of Christ are only a figment of someone’s recent imagination. Still others say that miracles and healing and the gifts of the Spirit are not for today.

Listen to me. I know that those “theologians” are a whole lot smarter than I am. I know they have years of study behind them with doctorate degrees and they have it all figured out. But they are not in a revival that proves God’s Word to be true and we are. They aren’t experiencing the manifestations of the Spirit – we are. They are relying on the knowledge – we are responding to revelation.

I have been praying, “Lord, how do we get to the place where we see more miracles, more healings, more manifestations of the Spirit?” And the answer is that if we are going to be more, do more or experience more, we have to be less. In John 3 and verse 30 we read a profound statement from John the Baptist, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Turn with me to Colossians 2 verse 8-10, 8See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. 9For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.

I believe this is God’s Word…

I believe it is for me…

I accept it as mine…

And I appropriate it to my life today…

We are going to look at three things this morning to help us see what must happen for this revival to continue for the years to come. 1) The source of your understanding… 2) the source of your faith… 3) the source of your authority… the key to all of these is the source.

Everybody say, “I have a source… and it’s not me…”

I. THE SOURCE OF YOUR UNDERSTANDING… 8See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. There is a lot in verse 8 to break down. 1) 8See to it that no one takes you captive… The word translated “take captive” or “spoil” in the KJV, means to be led away or seduced. It comes from the root word that means to be stripped… 2) … through hollow and deceptive philosophy… literally empty delusion… it sounds really good but it has no foundation in truth. For instance, Freudian psychology tells us that we do not have to take responsibility for our actions – that there is an ultimate root cause for every decision that we make, whether it is the decision to live for God or the decision to walk into a movie theater and kill 12 people. Whichever we chose it is because of the influence our parents had on us and it is not our fault. 3) …which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world… The deception that comes from human traditions is the most dangerous kind. Why? Because they deal with the temporal and with the circumstances of life and are not based on spiritual truths. Human tradition says there is no hell, no judgment, no right or wrong… Human tradition says everyone goes to heaven, God would never send anyone to hell (if there is such a place), and that all religions lead to the same place… the basic principles of this world say that it’s only wrong if you get caught and look out for number one. Matthew 24:10-11, 10At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Who is the source of human traditions and the principles of this world? It is the god of this world… 4) rather than on Christ… In 1212 a French shepherd boy by the name of Steven claimed that Jesus had appeared to him disguised as a pilgrim. Supposedly, Jesus instructed him to take a letter to the king of France. This poor, misguided boy told everyone about what he thought he had encountered. Before long he had gathered a large following of more than thirty thousand children who accompanied him on his pilgrimage. As Philip Schaff records it, when asked where they were going, they replied, "We go to God, and seek for the holy cross beyond the sea." They reached Marseilles, but the waves did not part and let them go through dry-shod as they expected. It was at Marseilles that tragedy occurred. The children met two men, Hugo Ferreus and William Porcus. The men claimed to be so impressed with the calling of the children that they offered to transport them across the Mediterranean in seven ships without charge. What the children didn’t know was that the two men were slave traders. The children boarded the ships and the journey began, but instead of setting sail for the Holy Land they set course for North Africa, "where they were sold as slaves in the Muslim markets that did a large business in the buying and selling of human being. Few if any returned. None ever reached the Holy Land." Two cunning men enjoyed enormous financial profits simply because they were willing to sacrifice the lives of thousands of children. Steve Farrar, Family Survival in the American Jungle, 1991, Multnomah Press, pp. 60- 61. Those poor children were not able to distinguish between the truth of God’s Word and so - called spiritual experience. It is imperative that the source of your understanding is based on the Christ of the bible and the Bible of the christ. No theologians. No commentaries. Just God’s Word and the truth contained in it.

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