Summary: The first in a series of nine messages from Colossians. Deals with God’s design for the New Testament Church.
Sermon by: Dr. Todd Morris
Text: Colossians 1:1-8
Title: The Church as it should Be (#1 in series in Colossians)
Date: July 7, 2002
Introduction: This morning we begin a series in the book of Colossians. This is a rich book, one of Paul’s richest letters to the churches. In this letter we find a deep source of truth concerning Christ.
Paul was in prison when he wrote to the church, and in many ways it begins as a thank you note because Epaphras had brought news from Colossae that had ministered to Paul and brought him joy. He was overcome with thanksgiving for what God was doing in the church and he writes to express his joy.
What caused Paul to have such joy? What was going on that caused the joy bells of his heart to ring? What was it about these Christians that created such joy in the heart of this apostle of God?
I THEIR STRONG FAITH IN THE SAVIOR (1-4)
A. Paul calls them, “saints and brethren in Christ.”
B. They were genuine. They were real. They weren’t playing a game.
C. Paul rejoiced because these people were faithful to Christ.
D. The measure of a man or woman’s sincerity is his or her faithfulness to the things of God.
E. Their strong faith refreshed Paul’s soul as he heard of their prayers and their giving.
F. The great British preacher Charles h. Spurgeon said of faith, “A little faith will take your soul to heaven; great faith will bring heaven to your soul.”
II THEIR SINCERE LOVE OF THE BRETHREN (4)
A. What a great reputation for a church to have!
B. Love is the badge of discipleship (John 13:35)
C. It is love that proves we’ve passed from death unto life (I John3: 14).
D. Love should begin with those closest to us and spread outward.
1. Love in our homes
2. Love in our churches
E. Love ends strife and build fellowship
F. Churches need to be places that resonate with love.
III THEIR SURE HOPE OF HEAVEN (5)
A. Heaven was real to these faithful believers.
1. They knew this world was not their home.
2. They longed for and lived for heaven.
3. They were laying up their treasures in heaven not on earth.
Conclusion: Beloved that’s what the church of the Living God should be: a body of believers known for our great faith, our great love and our great hope.
Such a church will refresh others as the Church at Colossae refreshed Paul. The world is filled with people looking for such a church. They have grown tired of the coldness and deadness of the average church. They are looking for a church that is alive in faith, alive in love and alive in hope. Unfortunately the average church today has lost sight of what it exists for. It has become a meeting place for the cold and indifferent. Even many of the so-called lively churches are just looking to expand their roles with people who are just like them. They aren’t like the church at Colossae, “loving all the saints.”
Beloved, if you are here this morning seeking that faithful, loving hope filled church, I believe that your search can end right here.
Church family, in many ways Abney embodies this Church at Colossae that refreshed Paul, but we haven’t completely arrived yet. There are still many who need to be refreshed by seeing our faith at work. There are still many who need to be refreshed by feeling the love of this body. There are still many who no nothing of the hope of heaven that we have as we look to the future. Let us commit here, this morning, to be the church we ought to be faithful, loving and hopeful.
Dear friend visiting with us, don’t you want to become a part of a fellowship like the one I’ve described this morning? A church so full of faith that we would look to the future and expand our facilities in order to minister to a greater number of people, a church full of love for one another and the people of this community, and a church waiting with breath taking excitement for our coming Lord. If that’s the kind of church you’re looking for I invite you to come this morning and unite with this church.
If you’ve never be saved, just step out from where you are during this hymn of decision and say, “Pastor, I need to be saved,” and one of our trained counselors will share with you how to be wonderfully and gloriously saved. If you’ve been saved and are a member of another church but believe God is calling you to serve here, come and we’ll take care of all the details for you.