Wednesday, February 20, 2019

ROOTED AND GROUNDED IN JESUS CHRIST

Rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ

In this particular passage Paul starts out warning his readers that he did not desire anybody to beguile them with enticing words. At this point in my Christian journey I have way to many checks and balances to allow someone to do this to me but I am speaking to a large enough audience where Christians are at different points in their walk with Jesus Christ. It does not hurt if we pray to God that this trap does not happen to us because this will steal our fellowship with Jesus Christ.

Paul explained that he could not be with them in his flesh but was with them in spirit. When I know a person is with me in spirit I receive much comfort. Paul did this with joy but what he really wanted was for them to be steadfast in the Person of Jesus Christ.

He reminds them that since they accepted Jesus Christ as Lord being serious Christians these believers in the Son of God were supposed to walk in Him. We were rooted and grounded in the Lamb of God who died for our sins but we are also built up in Him because we are established in the faith. This is how we were taught so hopefully if we were under sound biblical guidance we really should be thankful. Most people were not taught properly and that is difficult because even if we were blessed with good teaching it is still going to be hard to continue and abide in Jesus Christ. There is also another point I would like to make --- a person has to have the will to do this in their spirit.

Once again the Apostle Paul warns them that no person spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit so if you see a theologian mixing philosophy with the Bible that should be a red flag. Do not get concerned with the traditions of men and do not get caught up with the rudiments of the world but be driven to stay in the yoke of Jesus Christ. Remember in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Hopefully we are complete in Him who is the head of all principality and power.

Paul also encourages his readers to throw away the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ. To do this requires determination and courage but that is what God wants from us so we should desire to be obedient to Him.

The last verse I will be going over is verse twelve which in the most basic terms says as Christians we were buried with Jesus Christ but we also were risen with Him only because the Son of God rose from the dead on the third day after He was crucified on a cross for our sins. Let me just quote the original text so you can read this passage for yourself and perhaps make reference to it if need be in this particular biblical study.

(4) "And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. (5) For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. (6) As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: (7) Rooted and built in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. (8) Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (9) For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. (10) And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power: (11) In whom also ye are circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: (12) Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead." Colossians 2:4 - 12. 

Once again another Apostle cautions a group of Christians against deceivers. Paul uses words such as beguile and entice because if this happens Satan spoils souls that are on the recipient end of the deception. The devil can not really ruin us unless he cheats us but we have to agree to the deception. Satan knows a good fight is never fair. Be careful of enticing words mixed with flattery because the minions of Satan are waiting to put a stamp on false theology, sin or just plain being in a situation that we respond in the most ridicules way and end up having to apologize for our behavior. 

There is an antidote against seducers which is to be strongly rooted in Jesus Christ. Christians need to realize that they ( past tense) accepted Him into their hearts but we need to consent to our Lord and listen to Him in every relation and capacity. It has to be obvious that we as believers in Jesus Christ are to walk in Him daily and incorporate our communion with the Lamb of God that died for our sins. If we walk close to Jesus Christ the more firmly we will be rooted in Him and then we will walk "In Him." If we are rooted in Jesus Christ we will be built up in His peace and power but it would have to be overwhelmingly obvious that we are to do this with the spirit of thanksgiving. Remember who we were and the emptiness that was in our hearts.

Paul was extremely concerned that these Christians would be spoiled through philosophy, vain deceit, the traditions of men and the rudiments of the world as opposed to following Jesus Christ. All these satanic things that Paul mentioned are vain and deceitful. Do not mix philosophy with Christian principles because your mind will become alienated from Jesus Christ. If my faith is about what another person believes then we have turned away from following Jesus Christ. 

Paul talks about the ceremonial law but the shadows of this are found in the substance of Jesus Christ. They were searching for the Shekinah glory and the presence of God but now we have that in the Person of Jesus Christ. Verse nine says, "For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." The fullness of the Godhead dwells in Christ literally not figuratively. Circumcision was the seal of the covenant but we are in Christ and are circumcised in the Son of God. This was made without hands. This did not happen by the power of a person but by the power of the Spirit of God. Maybe this is why Paul spent some time writing about all these different types of deceptions. He was saying they are just people with false theology.

The Jews had this false impression that they were complete in the ceremonial law but we as Christians are complete in Jesus Christ. The ceremonial law had defects in it but all those imperfections are made up in the gospel of Jesus Christ who is the head of all principality and power. The Son of God has no defects or imperfections. It should give us tremendous comfort that Jesus Christ is Lord and the head of all powers in heaven and earth. 

Verse twelve talks about us as true Christians being buried with Him in baptism but we were also risen with Him. Both are signified by our baptism. This is the circumcision made without hands because it is through the faith of the operation of God through His Son Jesus Christ. In this baptism Jesus Christ desires to be our God and we should want to be His disciple. We should also be so touched by this wonderful grace that we want to die to sin and live a righteous life before God.

If you feel that the Apostle Paul deliberates a good case and want to come and be right with God then now may be the time to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your very own personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting Him into your life. By doing this your name will be written in the Lamb's book of life. This is an eternal decision but all the more reason we are to take our walk with the Son of God who is Jesus Christ down here on earth very serious.


God bless you,
 


Bob D.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

JESUS CHRIST IS THE CENTER OF OUR HEARTS

Jesus Christ is the center of our hearts



Paul rejoiced in his sufferings but it was for those that he ministered to so complaining at this point in his life was not on the pecking order. This Apostle had some kind of affliction in his body but his love for the church far surpassed his pain. This is a rare attitude that many servants of God do not have because the Holy Spirit has to put this in us through our willingness to have this degree of love. God made Paul a minister but it was for them and for all practical purposes for us because this Apostle wanted to fulfill the word of God.

Paul spoke of a mystery that was hid for generations but was now made manifest to His saints. He wanted them to know that one of the truths made known was God revealing the riches of His glory which is Christ in us our hope of glory.

It is very interesting to me that Paul as a preacher used the term warning every man before he talked about teaching every man in all wisdom. The warning is the fact that most people are unfortunately going to die in their sins and Paul was extremely aware of this truth. On the good side teaching Christians the Bible was for the purpose of presenting every man perfect in Christ Jesus.

Paul made sure that he let his readers know that he was laboring for Jesus Christ which was very much part of his spirit. He was doing his part of bringing in the harvest --- are we? Trust me when I say this we don't want to be found not working for Jesus Christ at the rapture of the church. This is the very least we can do considering everything God did for us through His Son Jesus Christ.

Let us face the facts because Paul knew many people. He pours his heart out to all these different groups that he cares for very much because he wanted their souls comforted being knit together in love and being rich with full assurance in understanding the word of God. The Apostle also talks about the mystery of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. We know many of the answers regarding this divine reality but I can relate to the Apostle because sometimes it works better for me to see these truths as a mystery. 

The very last verse I will be going over is one of the most popular verses in the Bible. "In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." It is pretty obvious we are to be seeking Jesus Christ everyday for wisdom and knowledge? Let me quote the original text in the Bible that I will be going over and I certainly encourage you to read it and perhaps make reference to this passage if you need be in this particular study of the Bible. 

(24) "Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflications of Christ in my flesh for His body's sake, which is the church: (25) Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; (26) Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from greerations, but now is made manifest to His saints: (27) To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (28) Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: (29) Whereunto I also labor, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily." Colossians 1 :24 - 29. 

(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; (2) That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; (3) In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:1 - 3.

There are different types of ministers. Paul was a suffering preacher. He did get persecuted for the exact reason of preaching the gospel to them. The thing with the Apostle Paul is he rejoiced in his sufferings. Fill up that which is behind is difficult to interpret but he seemed to be saying that his spirit was filling up with the fullness of the Holy Spirit and as a result Paul was with them in his heart very deeply with Godly affection.

I pointed out that Paul used the word warn before teach. Human beings are very prone to walk down the path of destruction. It is just in us because that is our nature. When the Apostle warned people that were amiss he desired them to get right with God. Paul approached his ministry with warning and teaching combined into one. This should be our aim because both are pertinent to our well being with God and other people. We need warnings because we do not want to offend God but if we don't grow with grace and knowledge then we will never be balanced in our growth. When we were a child (small) but older (bigger). Small of course being associated with warnings and bigger being associated with growing in grace and knowledge. I think we would all agree if we are always being warned we are still a spiritual child.

Paul also confesses that he was a preacher of labor. I put my insight in on this subject that we do not want to be the unprofitable servants because of fear. We should be using our gifts to bring in the harvest before Jesus Christ comes for His church. Paul wanted to do good. God is looking at our heart. One of the reasons the power of God was working in Paul was because he did this work with "Heart" and was very effective because obedience comes before comfort.

Paul talked about the mystery that was hid from the ages but was now made manifest to the saints. This is the riches of the glory of God among the gentiles. Jesus Christ was in them who was their hope of glory. The base of our hope has to be in Jesus Christ. I think it is a very thought provoking subject that people who went to hell and came back to tell their story often said, I was suffocating because the air was very thin, the odor was beyond horrible, I was hungry, I was thirsty, I wanted to go to bed but could not, I was burning in flames and demons came over to torture me but the worst thing was I had no hope. When Paul gives this principle to have strong hope in Jesus Christ then grasp on to this with all you have because this is a precious truth we have in our beloved Savior and Lord. What is the evidence of this special hope? It is the Holy Spirit working in our heart. 

In verse twenty three the Apostle says continue in the faith, grounded and settled but do not move away from the hope of the gospel in Jesus Christ. We can expect the good end of our faith if we continue abiding in Jesus Christ. The key to this is to be so grounded in the Son of God that we can not be moved from this precious faith, hope and love that we have for Jesus Christ.

Paul never saw the people of Colosse and yet he spoke to them with tenderness. Granted he expressed himself in a strange way in Colossians 2:1 because he used the verb conflict but it was his way of telling them how much he truly loved them with all his heart. Conflict, hope and love go together. He expressed the hope that they would meet in heaven. I think Paul knew deep down that they would not meet on earth but he did want their hearts knit together in love. This was the only way they were going to be comforted. Love has a way of producing true peace.

Our knowledge has to grow for us to have an understanding of the mystery of God. This is not surface knowledge because we eventually have to enter into the meaning and grand design of the will of God. Our faith is supposed to grow to an assurance and acknowledgment of this mystery that Paul is writing about to these Christians. Assurance is a well settled knowledge and acknowledgment is belief in our hearts and confession with our mouths. Then we will be rich with assurance of understanding because this makes for strong faith and a rich soul. 

I have some peace about myself when I realize that their hearts were comforted in the Person of the Holy Spirit. Their souls were prospering because they were filled with joy and peace. Is that where our hearts are in Jesus Christ? The stronger our faith the warmer our love and the greater our comfort.

In verse three Paul says, "In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."  These treasures are not hidden from us but for us in the Person of Jesus Christ. The wisest thing we can do in life is to draw from the treasures which are hidden in the Son of God.

If you do not have this precious gift of salvation in our Lord that we serve maybe now would be a good time to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of God into your life. If you just made that all important eternal decision then you may desire to follow along with our Bible studies that we have dedicated to God through His Son Jesus Christ.

God Bless you, 
Bob D.










earts

Thursday, February 07, 2019

OUR CREATOR IS OUR REDEEMER

Our Creator is our Redeemer



This passage in Colossians 1:15 - 23 starts out with a very powerful verse because we would not even be here if it was not for this biblical precept. Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God and the firstborn of every creature. He is our Creator. The Son of God created everything in heaven, earth, visible and invisible but it does not matter if it be thrones, dominions, principalities or powers because all things were created by Him and for Him. Jesus Christ was before all things and it is only because the Creator of the universe that anybody that is breathing is here or consists before Him.

It would have to be obvious that Jesus Christ is the head of the body or the church which consists of people that accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts by repenting of all sins because the Son of God is the firstborn from the dead that in all things He might have the preeminence. For all practical purposes as Christians we should obey God because He is our author of life and salvation through His Son Jesus Christ.

God the Father set up that in Him should all fullness dwell. It not only pleases the Triune Godhead but it should give us tremendous comfort because He is our Savior and Lord.

Every Christian I have ever talked to desires peace in their life. How does peace rest in our souls? Peace is possible through the blood of His cross and by Jesus Christ He reconciled all things to Himself. This includes things on earth or in heaven.

We need to be honest with ourselves. We were all alienated and enemies of God. The real question is how and the Bible gives us this answer. It starts in our minds and ends up into wicked works. This is not to confuse the fact that everybody was born in sin after Adam ate a portion of the apple shortly after Creation. The mind and wicked works is the Bible getting more specific on what practically separates us from God. The Bible gives us the answer on how we can be united to God through Jesus Christ.

God the Father sent His Son to earth and Jesus Christ came in the flesh and died on a cross in a horrible death. He did this for us so we could be presented holy, unblamable and unreprovable in His sight. As you can see there is no room for being prideful because salvation is based on the finished work of Jesus Christ. 

Paul does encourage us to continue in the faith. He empathizes us to be grounded, settled and not moved away from the hope of the gospel. The Apostle explains to the Colossians that they heard this message in a clear way. Let me quote the original text in the Bible so you can read this very positive passage and perhaps make reference if you need to do so in this very direct study in Scripture.

(15) "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: (16) For by Him were all created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: (17) And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. (18) And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. (19) For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell; (20) And, having made peace through the blood of the cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. (21) And you, that were sometime aliented and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled. (22) In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in His sight: (23) If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister." Colossians 1:15 - 23.

Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God. He is the image of God as Jesus Christ is the image of His Father and He has a likeness to Him. It would have to be obvious that the Creator (Jesus Christ) is the firstborn of every creature. This is one of the ways the Bible explains an aspect of eternity. For one this principle shows us Jesus Christ has dominion over all things. He is heir and Lord over all including those that oppose Him. The Son of God is not a creature, He is the Creator. Our All Powerful God created all things in heaven and earth both visible and invisible.

There seems to be several orders of angels because this passage talks about thrones, dominions, principalities and powers.

We as Christians can never forget this biblical precept because this passage is saying our allegiance is to and for Jesus Christ. Our Creator is not only the beginning but He is the end. He was in eternity past, very active in our lives and will be King of Kings and Lord of Lords at His second coming. For all eternity future He will be worshipped and served forever for those that are in His kingdom. This should give us a clue that we are to be doing this now and if you don't feel you are at that point pray to God that the Holy Spirit opens your heart to be more flexible to this direction.

Remember the Holy Spirit has to work through our hearts for proper faith and obedience to God. If you try doing this in your own strength you will fall so let Jesus Christ know through pray that your heart is in the right place but you are struggling. I am a witness that this works because God is looking at our spirit and He will know if we are sincere and earnest.

All things consist because of Jesus Christ which includes us so one of the realities we should never forget is all of Creation is kept together by the power of the Son of God and move in it's proper order that only a divine Creator could have designed for the universe. If the son was not placed in the exact position related to planet earth the world would either freeze or burn up (depending on which direction up or down) and you would not be reading this riveting article. Only joking but what I just said is one hundred percent true so when people believe in evolution I have never personally heard a legitimate explanation of this fact regarding the son. How does a bat fly through a dark cave with sonar vision? Evolution --- no Creation. Neither example could have happened by chance. I could give many other examples but the article would be way to long.

Jesus Christ is the head of the church and just like He is the leader of our natural body the Son of the Living God gives us grace and we receive strength from Him. If our All Powerful God created the universe this passage is saying we can trust Jesus Christ for our life and eternity.

The Son of God is the beginning, the first - born from the dead. We as Christians have His resurrection power in our spirit. Jesus Christ did not just die for our sins on a cross but He rose from the dead on the third day.

He was the first and only one that rose by His own power; therefore the Holy Spirit has given us evidence in us of our resurrection through Jesus Christ from eternal death.

This passage also says Jesus Christ has all things the pre - eminence. This means He has Lordship over all powers in heaven and everything and everybody on earth. When people say the devil runs this world I would like to say Satan does not run this world; however, he is the god of this world according to 2 Corinthians 4:4. There is a difference between the two. If we can read between the lines the Apostle Paul was inferring that we as believers in Jesus Christ should allow our Savior and Lord to have pre - eminence  in our life. If all fullness dwells in Jesus Christ this abundance is not only for Himself but the filling of His resurrected Power is for us as His children.

Verse fourteen talks about Jesus being our Redeemer and our sins being forgiven. If we are redeemed it must be from sin but this can only happen if God forgives us in our transgressions. I often times ponder over how gracious God is through His Son Jesus Christ with all of us on this subject of redemption and forgiveness.

We struggle forgiving other people but God pardons through true repentance completely to the point where He does not remember our transgressions any more. Getting back to us we tend to bring it up again but we should follow the good example of Jesus Christ and let the offence go if they ask for forgiveness. If they did not we are still told to pray for them and never hold a grudge. If you are one that has not accepted the Lord now may be a good time to confess all your sins and accept Jesus Christ in your heart by inviting Him into your life. Even if you have any doubts then make that eternal decision now because this is not something that the average person does because they have the spirit of apathy.

Jesus Christ reconciled us to God and offers us pardon because the bottom line is we all sinned before God and with repentance we receive peace because that comes after forgiveness. There have been some really bad enemies of God that repented and got saved through the shed blood of Jesus Christ and were then reconciled to God the Father. I'm talking really horrible people finally got right with God. We may never know the vastness on how much God forgave us through His Son based on our earnest repentance. All I know is we are all going to be eternally grateful.

Paul says in verse twenty three, ...  "To every creature which is under heaven" ... which means the gospel of Jesus Christ excludes no one who do not exclude themselves. Please do not do this to yourself. The next part of the verse just says the Apostle Paul was extremely grateful to God that he was given the privilege of sharing Jesus Christ with other people. I also share his same feelings. I am very happy to serve you.

God Bless,


Bob D.