Summary: Before digging in to battle the false teachings that were creeping into the church Paul tells the truth about the gospel and its positive effects. Sometimes, it seems that people know what we Baptist are against rather than what we are for. We need to cha
Intro: In his book "Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life", Pastor Charles Swindoll tells a story about the 19th Century agnostic Thomas Huxley (some of you might know that it was Huxley who promoted Darwinism and Humanism in his attacks on Christianity). Huxley was in Dublin and was rushing to catch a train. He climbed aboard one of Dublin’s famous horse drawn taxis and said to the driver -"Hurry, I’m almost late ... drive fast". Off they went at a furious pace and Huxley sat back in his seat and closed his eyes. After a while Huxley opened his eyes and glanced out the window to notice that they were going in the wrong direction. Realizing that he hadn’t told the driver where to take him he called out ‘do you know where you’re going?’ The driver replied "No, your honor, but I am driving very fast’.
Following false religions and having false beliefs will take you no where very quickly. This is where the church in Colosse was headed and this was the reason Paul wrote to the church.
Before digging in to battle the false teachings that were creeping into the church Paul tells the truth about the gospel and its positive effects. Sometimes, it seems that people know what we Baptist are against rather than what we are for. We need to change that view by letting the world see what we are for. One thing we stand for is prayer.
I. A Faithful Christian Prays for Others (vs. 3-4a). Paul and Timothy pray for these faithful saints and when he prayed they took the form of prayers of thanksgiving.
One thing I love about Paul is the fact that often, he begins with Christ. He may deal with other topics, but he always brings it back around to show how God gets the glory. Here he doesn’t begin with flattery for the good they have done – he begins by pointing them to Christ.
He starts by giving thanks to God [read vs. 3-4a]. Every Christians needs to start their day by giving thanks to God and not only for another day of life, but for fellow Christians in the world. A Faithful Christian Prays for Others. Paul is thankful for their faith in Christ because the faithful are not distorting the Gospel like some are doing in town and in the church.
Paul recognizes and in a sense is teaching them by this wording that it is God who should get the thanks for what He has done. Salvation and all of its parts are ultimately a gift from the Lord therefore he writes, We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What is Paul Thankful for? Paul is thankful for their faith in Jesus Christ. Remember this letter is to those set apart (holy) namely the faithful believers
(vs. 2). The faithful do not distort the gospel. They do not blend Christianity with other religions and world views. The faithful obey the commandments.
When many in the world believe that the Bible, Islam’s Koran, and Book of Mormon are all teaching the truth, but from different views or various portions of the truth – the faithful are steadfast in their believe that Jesus Christ is the only Truth. The faithful are a beacon of light in a world of darkness.
Illustration. The captain of the ship looked into the dark night and saw faint lights in the distance. Immediately he told his signal man to send a message: “Alter your course 10 degrees south.” Promptly a return message was received: “Alter your course 10 degrees north.”
The captain was angered; his command had been ignored. So he sent a 2nd message: “Alter your course 10 degrees south – I am the captain!” Soon another message was received: “Alter your course 10 degrees north – I am seaman 3rd class Jones.”
Immediately the captain sent a 3rd message, knowing the fear it would evoke: “Alter your course 10 degrees south – I am a battleship!” Then the reply came: “Alter your course 10 degrees north – I am a light house.”
Christian – You are the light house! We live in a world that wants Christians to just shut up and hide in a closet. Much of the world wishes that Christians would just go away so they can believe what they want to believe and not feel guilty. They feel guilty because Christians have within them the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin. But, God is calling for Christians to be that light house. He is calling YOU to be that beacon of light, hope, and grace in a dark sea of lost religions.
Paul is praying for believers, other Christians are praying for you, for Christians around the world to stand faithful during difficult times. You should be praying for other Christians so they can face a world that just wishes they would go away and hide under a rug. There was a time when homosexuals hid in the closet, now they are coming out and trying to force the Holy Spirit and Christians to get into the closet.