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Summary: This message is intended to encourage us to examine our own spiritual lives and then that of the church in light of Paul’s words to the church at Colosse. Are we helathy?

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FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST

A MESSAGE SERIES FROM COLOSSIANS

The Heart And Walk Of A Healthy Church, Col 2:1-7

INTRODUCTION:

A. Col. 2:1 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;

1. Here are the words of a man passionate about God’s people

2. Though Paul had never met this church face-to-face- he says he was in “great conflict” for them

3. The Greek word translated “conflict” in this verse is the word we get our word agony from.

4. In other words Paul was telling the church that he wished they could know how he agonized over them.

B. We must remember that Paul is writing to a church, that according to his words in Verse 5, is in good order and strong in faith.

1. But they were under a great strain – false teachers were present and trying to give sway to a different view of Jesus Christ

2. They had a Gnostic view of things: They believed that matter was evil, so they did not believe

a. That God created the earth

b. They did not believe in the incarnation

c. And they did not believe Christ was enough.

3. So Paul is writing this letter to encourage the church to stay true to the gospel they had been taught.

C. Maybe, now you can understand why Paul was agonizing over this church, full of Christians he had never met.

1. He wanted the best for them and the best was to be found in Christ and in obedience to Him.

2. In his book entitled In the Pit With a Lion On a Snow Day, Mark Batterson wrote a statement that struck a cord with me

a. I’ve always believed the truth it states, but I guess just seeing it in on paper made an imprint on my mind,

b. He said, If you were always to act in your best interest, you would always obey God.

3. So Paul continues to pray for them and asks God to strengthen them and make them a healthy church.

D. As I agonized over this mornings scripture passage (it was and is a very difficult passage to unravel) I really began to think about our church

1. As a pastor I feel much the same way Paul felt for the church at Colosse

2. I don’t want us to be removed from the simple yet grand truth of Jesus Christ.

3. I want us to be found complete in Him and be a healthy church.

4. So I wondered, How healthy are we? Individually and corporately as the church

5. Paul mentions two aspects of a healthy church: heart and walk

a. Is our heart healthy?

b. Is our walk healthy?

6. As we look at these two aspects of a healthy church you should

a. First examine yourself – are you healthy?

b. Then examine the church – is it healthy?

7. We will begin with the heart and then move to the walk.

PRAY

In his agony over the church at Colosse, Paul writes concerning

I. A HEALTHY HEART, Col 2:2-4 I want their hearts to be encouraged and joined together in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding, and have the knowledge of God’s mystery--Christ. In Him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden. I am saying this so that no one will deceive you with persuasive arguments.

A. Paul begins by mentioning their heart

1. Now Paul was not talking about a literal heart

2. The word heart as used in scripture refers broadly to the inner person

3. Often encompassing his mind and emotions, and on occasions referring specifically to our faculty of thinking, the mind

4. So when Paul says I want their hearts to be…, he is referring to their general person, the inner man, the way they think and even feel.

B. So note what he says, I want their hearts to be encouraged and joined together in love,… Paul wanted two things for them:

1. First, Paul want then to be encouraged

a. The Greek word is very general and has a wide rage of meaning: Other translations ascribe strength, comforted, braced, and courage to the context

b. I think this passage found in Ephesians clarifies what Paul is saying to the Colossians, That he (God) would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; Eph 3:16

2. Secondly he wants their hearts to be joined together in love

a. He encouraged the Colossians to stand unified.

b. The only way that could happen was if they loved one another.

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