Summary: Details how the reality of Christ’s supremacy in all things brings certain characteristics to the Christian Life.
The Supremacy of Christ:
The Nature of the Christian Life
Text: Colossians 1:9-14
Illustration: Farmer called to preach. Sitting under a tree sees letters P and C in the clouds. Decides it means “Preach Christ.” Sells farm and equipment goes to preach. He was horrible. After a sermon a neighbor came to him and said, “Are you sure God wasn’t trying to tell you to Plant Corn?”
Paul is beginning a 218 word sentence that ends at verse 20.
The Christian’s life is characterized by:
II. The Knowledge of God’s Will (v. 9)
Quote: Henry Blackaby - Experiencing God – The question is not “What is God’s will for my life? The question is “What is God’s will?” Once I know God’s will, then I can adjust my life to Him.
Quote: A full knowledge of God’s will is not possible for the finite mind.
Isaiah 40:13-14, 18 – Who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor? Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding?... To whom, then, will you compare God? What image will you compare him to?
1 Corinthians 2:9 – However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" --
Yet, our highest attainment is reached in knowing and doing the will of God.
1 Samuel 2:35 – I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his house, and he will minister before my anointed one always.
The Gnostics or pre-Gnostics touted a “secret” or superior knowledge. (cf. Romans 8:6 – sinful mind=death; mind of the Spirit=life)
Illustration: Knowing God in many ways is like trying to define a kiss. A great deal is lost in the translation, it is something you must really experience before you begin to understand it.
A. Spiritual Wisdom – this is not an abstract, theoretical learning or knowledge that may be possessed or boasted by a nominal Christian. It is the practical application of the standards of God by which one regulates behavior
B. Understanding – “spiritual insight” – a right appraisal of a situation, a clear vision of what needs to be done in each instance.
Ephesians 5:17 - Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
While special knowledge of God is not needed, a knowledge of Him is. It is vain to try to serve God without knowing what He desires of us
Acts 11:10, 14 – This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again….He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.’
Romans 12:2 - Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Illustration: Many of us are like the little boy who told his mom he was going to grow up to be a preacher. He said, “I figure I’ll have to go to church all my life. And it’s harder to sit there than stand up an holler.
Illustration/Quote: M. Blaine Smith - Knowing God’s Will - We can be free from fear that: 1) God may not give us all the information we need to decide within His will; 2) I may not be able to understand God’s will if He does convey it to me; 3) A past decision made in faith may later be found to be outside the will of God; 4) My sin may ultimately cause me to miss God’s plan for my life.
Sometimes the greatest test of faith is not which door to step through in faith, but will you by faith step through a door in at all.
III. The Power of God (v. 10-12) – walk worthily in the power of God
A. Bearing Fruit (v. 10) – the meaning being that the Christian life is to exhibit continual fruitfulness, not only bearing the fruit of good works in this life, he should at the same time experience personal spiritual enlargement.
B. Growing in Knowledge (v. 10) – True knowledge of God’s will is inseparable from walking conformably to it.
C. Being Strengthened (v. 11)
Illustration: “In accordance with” is stronger than “by” or “from” or “of.” When a multimillionaire gives “of” (by or from) his wealth to a good cause, he may be giving very little, but when he donates “in accordance to” his riches, the amount will be substantial. The Holy Spirit gives not only “of” but in accordance with.”