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Summary: Christmas 1(B) - Let the peace of Christ rule in humble hearts, with forgiving living, and by a gratitude attitude.

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LET THE PEACE OF CHRIST RULE (Outline)

December 30, 2007 -

CHRISTMAS 1 -

Colossians 3:12-17

INTRO: Gone. Gone. Gone. Family and friends have left, returned home and are gone. The presents are organized, put away, exchanged, and are gone from under the tree. Maybe even some have already put away the tree and other Christmas decorations. There is no more mess, fuss, and clutter. Following the hectic rush before Christmas comes a certain calm. All things are back in order. The rush and decorations may be gone but not the peace of Christ. The calm following Christmas is the peace of Christ that believers truly enjoy. The peace of Christ remains in us and with us long after the day of our Savior’s birth. Today’s text reminds us of the peace that Christ gives to us. It is a peace that the world cannot and does not provide. "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world"(JOHN 16:33).

Our theme:

LET THE PEACE OF CHRIST RULE!

I. In humble hearts.

II. With forgiving living.

III. By a gratitude attitude.

I. IN HUMBLE HEARTS

(please read the text Colossians 3:12-17

before reading the following.)

A. What is your impression of the verses listed above? They are joyful and upbeat. Paul is happy.

1. The reality – Paul is in prison in Rome. He is separated from family by thousands of miles.

2. To Paul it makes no difference. He knows God’s peace. In verse 15a Paul calls for peace.

a. These believers are also called to peace. b. Paul wants no rebellion or revolt on his part.

B. How are they to live in peace when the government has unjustly put Paul into prison?

1. These believers are reminded of God’s love, verse 12a. God chose them and forgave them.

2. Verse 12b. Sins are covered with Christ’s blood. Their lives are now clothed in humility.

C. Today we are reminded of God’s words for our lives. There is more. God not only speaks to our hearts he leaves us his example. We see the ultimate humble heart in the birth, life, and death of the Savior, Christ our Lord. In great humility Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem. Without turning back he resolutely set out for Jerusalem to face his own death – for us. Then the Lord Jesus invites to be close to him. "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light"(MATTHEW 11:29,30). Place your burdens on the shoulder of Jesus. Yoked together with Christ we find rest for our souls.

D. As believers we are to let the peace of Christ rule in humble hearts. Such hearts are quite noticeable in a society that is exceedingly proud and boastful. Just reread some of your Christmas greetings. A few letters may even forget that Christ is the celebration of the Savior’s birth. The football season is coming to the time of playoffs and bowl games. There is not much humility to be found there. "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God"(MICAH 6:8). Sounds almost the opposite of the attitudes of this world.

LET THE PEACE OF CHRIST RULE

in humble hearts and

also with forgiving living.

II. WITH FORGIVING LIVING

A. Even though Paul was in prison he had no animosity or hatred because of his situation.

1. He did not hold a grudge against the guards or God. Instead there was to be kindness, ver. 12.

2. Paul encourages these believers not to be vengeful but filled with forgiveness, verse 13.

a. The congregation was filled with vast differences. b. Look to Christ then look at others.

B. Again, the believers were not to learn only from Paul’s example, but especially Christ’s, verse 13b.

1. Even while on the cross Christ offered forgiving words. Jesus forgave his crucifying enemies.

2. Jesus’ forgiving was the greatest example of love, verse 14. Jesus’ love bound them together.

C. Today’s world acts as if they want to show love to others. But they look for love in all the wrong places. The world does not define love as Jesus does. Jesus reminds us that love is forgiving. In our modern world you really do not hear much about forgiveness at all. There is only place to learn about forgiveness – God’s word. "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding"(EPHESIANS 1:7, 8). This is love. This is God’s love for us to reveal to others. Love is forgiving.

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