Summary: God has a plan for you to know exactly who you can be in Christ.
February 3, 2008
Text: Colossians 1:9-14
Subject: The Fullness of Christ
Title: Living Like You Mean It
When our girls were little and played softball I used to help with their teams a little. I never wanted to be one of those coaches who insisted that their kid pitch or play an important position even though they weren’t really capable of it. I just wanted our girls to do the best they could wherever they played. I did my best to encourage all the kids. I tried to applaud them when they did something right and instruct them when there was a way to do something better and even correct them when they made mistakes.
The apostle Paul would have made a great softball coach because that is exactly how he pursued his pastoral and apostolic ministry. As he wrote this letter to the Colossians he was in prison. The city of Colosse had once been an important city in the Greek/Roman culture, but when the road system was changed the city was bypassed and it lost its importance. It had become a second-class city. It is in fact the most insignificant city to which Paul had addressed a letter. And there was a reason for it. They were doing some things well that deserved praise. They were doing some things, which could be done better, and they were doing some things that needed to be corrected – NOW! Two specific things that had crept in were Gnosticism and Legalism. Gnosticism taught that salvation came from knowledge – and not just intellectual knowledge but knowledge of spiritual experience that was derived from spiritual experiences based in the occult. The legalism that they were practicing was not Judaic legalism but a form of it also stemming form occultic practices. In each case they were trying to add to the grace of God by adding to the simplicity of the gospel. That is the purpose of the letter – to correct false teaching that had come forth in the church.
In verses 3-8 Paul reminds them of the gospel that they had accepted and how their love and faith has been told him by Epaphras. He tells them that the gospel they accepted has reserved a place for them in heaven. That same gospel is changing the world (6).
In verse 9 Paul says that he has not stopped praying for them and that takes us to where we want to be tonight. God has a wonderful plan for your life and He has revealed it to us through the words of Paul.
Let’s look at how Paul prayed for that church to see what we can expect from our Christian experience.
I. FILL YOU WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL… (9) God wants us to know what His will for our lives is. Are we able to do that? I know we are supposed to. “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” If we can’t know God’s will for us how can we know how to do it? Jesus said that it is the same on earth as it is in heaven. So every description of heaven we have we concerning life in heaven God’s desire is that it be that way on earth too. How do you do that? You won’t find God’s will by looking at things of the world. Romans 12, 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. God doesn’t want us to just have head knowledge of His will for our lives. It is spiritual understanding… through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 1 Corinthians 2:9-16, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” - 10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.£ 14The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: 16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.