MAY YOU STAND PERFECT AND COMPLETE IN THE WILL OF GOD
A. This morning we come to the end of the road in our trek through the book of Colossians
1. It was a trip that began on May 31, 2009
2. And will have taken 14 messages to complete
3. I hope you have enjoyed the time we have spent in this small book
B. If you remember we entitled the series – For The Love Of Christ
1. The study was intended to do two things:
a. First I hope you have seen the love of Christ as it relates to the church and to you as an individual
b. Secondly, I hope you have grown in your love of Christ through obedience to His word.
2. Paul has mentioned a lot of things that should have brought the light of the gospel to bear on our day to day life and shown that Christ shines bright through it all.
3. It is my desire for this church and us, as individuals, that we might live our lives For The Love Of Christ!
C. The title of this message, May You Stand Perfect and Complete In the Will Of God, comes from Col 4:12 where Paul is running through a list of greetings and he speaks of Epaphras: Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
1. This was his prayer for the Colossians – this is my prayer for us!
2. So as we close this series I would like to do two things
a. First, we will highlight some of what we have covered
b. Secondly, show the need for one another as we seek to live For The Love Of Christ!
3. So lets go to the Lord in prayer and then see what God will say to us this morning.
Let’s begin by taking a look back at some of
I. HIGHLIGHTS OF WHAT WE HAVE COVERED – For the Love of Christ!
A. In messages 1, 2, 3, and 10 we looked at Paul’s letter as it pertained to and focused on the church proper
1. Paul appreciated the church and recognized them for their love of the saints, blessed them, and prayed for them, Col 1:1-12
a. This was a church that had a heart for God – Paul knew it and so did the rest of the saints!
b. They were a church that was stead fast in the faith, abounding in love and joyous in the hope of Christ!
2. With all this going for them he wanted them to continue in unity, Col 3:14-17
a. A church in unity will have three characteristics:
1) The peace of God will rule over them
2) The word of Christ will dwell in them
3) And the name of Christ will be served by them
b. And so Paul encouraged them in Col. 3:17 …whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
3. Can you imagine such a church?
4. Folks, we don’t have to imagine, we can experience it right here!
5. Think for a minute – is this what Paul would say to us if he wrote us a letter? Even more importantly, is it what Christ sees today in us?
6. If it is not, then there is a cure – repentance
a. We need to repent of our selfishness, our lack of prayer and love
b. We need to make adjustments in our lives that lead us to fulfill the words of Paul in Col. 3:17 …whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
7. It all begins within our own hearts – how are we doing?
B. Then there was the word focused on our personal lives messages 5, 6, 8, 9, 11 & 12
1. We looked at a healthy heart and walk
a. We took note that we can determine our spiritual health by looking at what we do and say.
b. Does it line up with the word of God?
2. Are we set on doing His will and seeking the kingdom of heaven?
3. Is our family functioning as God would have it to be?
4. Are we seeking God’s glory or our own?
5. Now I know that many Christians think this is going over-board, saying something like, “Do you mean to tell me my life ought to revolved around God and His church?”
a. The answer to that question is “YES!”
b. What is more important?
c. You would think it is sports, scouts, music, parties, trips, and literally hundreds of other extra curricular actives.
6. We need to examine our lives and see if we have our priorities right – not in line with our wants but in line with God’s word!
C. And then of course there was the focus on salvation, messages 4 and 7 specifically
1. As far as eternal consequences go, these were the two most important
2. They spoke to the question, “Do you know Jesus Christ as Savior?”
3. Christ’s death on the cross was a work of reconciliation – that is providing a means to bring us back to God.
4. This is necessary because we are all sinners
a. You and I don’t become sinners because of something we do, we are sinners because that is what we are.
b. David wrote in Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
- He was not saying his mother did something sinful wherefore He was conceived – no, he was saying from the very point of conception he was sinful – as are we all!
c. And Paul wrote to the Romans, For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Rom 3:23
d. Hence we are dead to God in our sin - And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh… Col 2:13
e. It took a mighty miracle of God to bring us spiritual life
f. Listen to Romans 8:1-4 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
g. The Apostle John writes of this miracle in John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
h. When we come to know and believe that Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead we are well on our way to being saved.
i. This brings us to repent of our sinfulness and ask Jesus to save us – we read of this in Romans 10:9 & 13, That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
5. I would ask you this morning, do you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord?
6. Don’t let Him pass you by – if He is speaking to today, listen to His word and follow Him!
D. This is just a quick review of the high points
1. Have you dealt with them on God’s terms?
2. In the acceptance of God’s word concerning these things you will find the fulfillment of Epaphras’ prayer May you stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
With this recap completed I would like for us to finish our message series in the book of Colossians by taking a quick look at
II. THE NEED FOR ONE ANOTHER IN THE LOVE OF CHRIST
A. As you read the final 12 verses of Colossians 4 Paul makes mention of 8 people – all of whom have been involved with him in connection to the gospel in one way or another.
1. Tychicus – a Gentile who had been with Paul for many years and was now tasked to go and tell the churches of Paul’s well-being
2. Onesimus – a slave belonging to Philemon (of the book bearing his name) was also sent to make known Paul’s state to the churches
3. Aristarchus – a prisoner: we first hear of him in the book of Acts 19 where he is seized by a rioting mob for his faith and where he became a companion of Paul’s
4. Mark – a deserter, when things got rough on Paul’s first missionary journey Mark left him and Barnabas, which then caused some friction between Paul and Barnabas later, but all was well now and Mark would be a writer of one of the gospels.
5. Justus – an encourager
6. Epaphras – a prayer warrior
7. Luke – a doctor, Paul’s personal physician and close friend, he would write the gospel bearing his name and the book of Acts.
8. And the last Demas – a life with a sad ending, forsook Paul for the things of the world (2 Tim 4:9-10)
B. So what does this have to do with us?
1. Notice the wide variety of Paul’s companions
a. Jew and Gentile
b. Free and slave and prisoner
c. Educated and uneducated
d. Encourager & prayer warrior
e. Those who broke fellowship and were reunited
f. And even those who left him (and God) for the world.
2. This is a picture of us – all manner of people
a. It is not a matter of who we are, but rather who Jesus is and our relationship to Him.
b. Paul wrote to the Ephesians, I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephes. 4:1-3
c. If you are a part of the body of Christ, through salvation, this church (the body of Christ) needs you!
3. Get involved:
a. Be a part of a Sunday school class, come to Sunday morning worship and evening discipleship.
b. Start serving in some ministry function or on some ministry committee.
c. Become socially involved with other church members
d. I don’t want you to become a “Demas”
A. This morning as you reflect on what God has taught you and consider what He wants you to do, I would ask you to be obedient and faithful to Him and His church
B. Read and re-read this little book from time to time and see how it speaks to you and then For The Love Of Christ implement what you learn
MAY YOU STAND PERFECT AND COMPLETE
IN ALL THE WILL OF GOD