Summary: What we were and are because of Christ.
Strength for the Journey
If you got a letter from someone in prison a man you personally have never met and he stepped on your toes about surrendering to the Lordship of Christ how would you respond?
That’s exactly what happened here. Paul head led Epaphras the pastor of the church at Colossae to faith in Jesus and Epaphras started this church. Paul focuses in this first chapter on the Lordship of Jesus Christ. He pulled no punches on the supremacy of Jesus. He preached hard just as I did last week to you because he knew that there are many things that will deceive, distract and dilute the Christian into thinking that Jesus can be a church thing but not our everything.
He spends the next three chapters showing the reasons why Jesus has to be first in our lives. Chapter 2:1-10 he says philosophy can poison the mind of believers and dilute the lordship of Jesus. How many of our youth have gone on to secular universities and been deceived by philosophy?
Chapter 2:11-11-23 he says that legalism will creep in and distract the believer from the Gospel of Grace. How many of churches demand things of believers and cause hard hearts of legalism?
Chapter 3:1:11 he writes that carnality worldliness will slowly seep into the believer’s life and dilute the believer in their walk with Jesus and ultimately make them ineffective for the cause of Christ.
He ends the letter with the family and if you have faithfully made Jesus your Lord then and only then will we have Godly homes and impact the generations to come.
See if we are going to make it on this journey of faith in Christ then Jesus has to be everything we are. He’s the one who provides Strength for the Journey. So Paul reminds them and us of that here in our text today he explains that by making 4 statements concerning them and himself notice them with me.
I. What you were (v.21a)
If you were saved as an adult you probably understand this truth better than those of us who were saved younger. You understand what your life was like before Jesus. And then that day came when you knew you needed Him
But if you were saved young imagine with me today, please think for a moment where you would be and what you would be like without Him. What would our lives look like without Christ?
The Bible says we were alienated. Estranged from God and separated from spiritual blessings. Why? Notice two truths:
A. Because of position
We were separated from God because of sin.
When the now-famous poet Elizabeth Barrett became the wife of Robert Browning, her parents disowned her because they disapproved of the marriage. Their daughter Elizabeth, however, wrote almost every week, telling them that she loved them and longed for a reconciliation. After 10 years, she received a huge box in the mail that contained all the notes she had sent. Not one had been opened! Although these "love letters" have now become a precious part of classical English literature, it’s really sad to think that they were never read by Elizabeth Barrett’s own parents. Had they looked at just one, the broken relationship with their daughter might have been healed. All of us are alienated from God because of sin, but God gave His son and wrote us this love letter His Word and He changed our position.
B. Because of practices
There is an enemy of the mind and that’s why the Bible says in Romans 8:7, “The carnal mind (mind of the unbeliever) is at enmity against God.” An unbeliever must Repent or change his mind in order to be saved.
The “wicked works” of sin comes from being deceived in the mind. This is true for the unbeliever and believers in Jesus Christ.
What’s difficult is to have people understand that the enemy is lying to them because they are deceived.
How many people are still angry and bitter of a past hurt from parents, or lived ones and fail to forgive. They now write someone off if they fail one time. The enemy has the ensnared and they must see the deception.
In the book The Bait of Satan John Bevere states, “If you are offended and in unforgiveness and refuse to repent of this sin, you have not come to the knowledge of the truth. You are deceived, and you confuse others with your hypocritical lifestyle. No matter what the revelation, your fruit tells a different story. You’ll become a spring spewing out bitter waters that will bring deception, not truth” (The Bait of Satan Bevere, pg. 19).
We must change our minds and forgive. Then we can become who God wants us to be.