Summary: We need to bring the Good News about Jesus to our community.
THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT CHRIST
Text: Col. 1:1-8
1. Our world is desperately in need of some good news. Suzanne Jennings wrote this song in 1999:
I woke up Monday morning, walked out on the lawn
My eyes were barely open, and my mouth began to yawn
Picked up the daily paper, every single headline said,
That this ole world is full of trouble, and I wished I'd stayed in bed.
Sometimes the bad that's goin' on's enough to bring you down.
Turned on my television and began to flip on thru
All 100 channels, On Demand, and Pay per view
Not one message had a meaning that was good in any way
Just before I wrote the whole world off, I heard the Father say,
"Don't forget what I have promised, you can overcome it all!"
Well my knees began to shake, and my heart began to beat,
And a funny new sensation worked its way into my feet
The Spirit of glad tidings came from somewhere deep inside,
And holdin' back the flood was just like holdin' back the tide.
I couldn't help but circulate to everyone I know.
I'll spread this talk all over town about the peace and joy I've found in You, good news!
This story is about to break and blessed are the feet that take the Truth, good news!
I'm slippin' on my gospel shoes--Cause I've got good, good news! (Words: Suzanne Jennings, performed by Gaither Vocal Band, 1999).
2. Proverbs 25:25 (NLT)
25 Good news from far away is like cold water to the thirsty.
3. What's so good about the Good News?
A. It Gives Us Hope
B. It Changes Lives
C. It Changes How We Treat Others
4. Let's stand together as we read Col. 1:1-8.
Proposition: We need to bring the Good News about Jesus to our community.
Transition: One of the most important things about the Good News is...
I. It Gives Us Hope (1-5).
A. Confident Hope
1. Paul begins this letter with, "This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy."
A. PAUL BEGINS HIS salutation identifying himself as "an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God."
B. He does not write as a private interested party but as Christ's apostle who speaks with authority.
C. By identifying himself in this way Paul is not trying to establish his badge of rank or to put his readers under his thumb.
D. His authority is not increased by the use of the title apostle, just as it is not reduced when he omits it or substitutes "servant" or "prisoner." Being an apostle is simply what he is.
E. When Paul says that his calling as an apostle came "by the will of God," it reflects his basic conviction that Christ called and empowered him to carry on a divine task that was entrusted to only a few.
F. In the Old Testament, God appeared to prophets and sent them forth to proclaim the word. In Paul's case, Christ appeared to him and sent him out to proclaim a particular gospel.
G. He did not decide to go into the apostolic ministry but understood himself to have been set apart by God from his mother's womb to carry the gospel to the nations.
H. His authority was unique since it derived directly from Christ, but Paul did not see himself as set apart for high office from which he could rule the roost and issue divine directives.
I. God assigned him a task, not a status (Garland, NIV Application Commentary, The – Colossians and Philemon, 39-40).
2. After identifying himself names the church he is writing to, "We are writing to God’s holy people in the city of Colosse, who are faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. May God our Father give you grace and peace."
A. Paul greets the church as "holy and faithful brothers in Christ."
B. Holiness has to do with being set apart from the world unto God and does not imply that these believers belong to some exalted echelon of saints.
C. As God has made Paul his own as Christ's apostle, so God has made the Colossians as his covenant people in Colosse.
D. The word "holy" (or "saints") was applied to Israel in the Old Testament, and Paul intentionally includes Gentile Christians under this category. It means that they also belong to the eschatological people for whom all the promises apply.
E. Paul customarily identifies the recipients of his letters as "saints," but he does not usually address them as "faithful." This expression most likely refers to their steadfastness under pressure.
F. Their faith is not teetering on the brink of extinction, trapped in error, or at the mercy of those hawking false teachings. They are holding fast to the head, and Paul only warns them about others who do not. Their faith is not perfected, however, and Paul wants to buttress it further and revitalize their growth.