Series: Walking the Talk
Message – Boasting in our Weakness!
Boasting in our Weakness!
So last week we ended with two passages in …Col. 2 & 2Cor.12 respectively.
The first is our focus passage Colossians 2 and verses 9-15, Weymouth
“(9) For it is in Christ that the fulness of God’s nature dwells embodied, and in Him you are made complete, Playroo – you are fully supplied to participate in the same
(10) and He is the Lord of all princes and rulers. You have a new Lord and He is ABSOLUTE Lord over all your previous lords.
(11) In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision not performed by hand, when you threw off your sinful nature in true Christian circumcision; (12) having been buried with Him in your baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith produced within you by God who raised Him from among the dead. (13) And to you–dead as you once were in your transgressions and in the uncircumcision of your natural state–He has nevertheless given Life with Himself, having forgiven us all our transgressions. (14) The bond, with its requirements, which was in force against us and was hostile to us, He cancelled, and cleared it out of the way, nailing it to His Cross. (15) And the hostile princes and rulers He shook off from Himself, and boldly displayed them as His conquests, when by the Cross He triumphed over them.”
HE Triumphed over THEM by the cross.
WE DO THE SAME THING THE SAME WAY.
Hebrews tells us that Jesus offered Himself up by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8 tells us that we are to put to death the deeds of the body by the Spirit.
HE IS OUR EXAMPLE – He Triumphed so He LEADS US IN TRIUMPH!
2Cor. 2:14, NKJV “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.”
…and triumph is realized in the strength of surrender!
As I taught you last week, the strength we need to overcome the wicked one and have Christ formed in us is by the grace we receive when we embrace our weaknesses rather than attempt to be strong on our own.
James tells us that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
We looked at the second verse I mentioned in 2 Cor. 12 – what is often referred to as Paul’s thorn in the flesh – which more properly translated was Paul’s tent spike in the flesh. You will remember that it was an idiom which persists to this day even in English as “pain in the neck” – only with stronger overtones.
Embracing our union and communion.
Paul had come under oppression from the enemy. Though it was certainly a different kind than these Colossians were under, it’s intentions were the same. To derail his faith but pulling him away from intimacy!
So what did Paul do?
“Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So because of Christ, I am pleased in weaknesses, in insults, in catastrophes, in persecutions, and in pressures. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Boasting in our weaknesses – What Paul was saying was that he gloried and exalted in his moral frailty, so that the achieving power of Christ might descend upon him and dwell within him.
THIS IS David at Ziklag – who STRENGTHENED himself IN THE LORD!
Paul’s embracing of his weakness was the necessary trigger to release the grace of God into his life!
But in order for Paul to do this he needed to trust a strength outside himself WOULD be supplied!
People are NOT willing to surrender their strength if there is nothing there to replace it.
TRUSTING in God’s goodness, nearness, abiding power and dedication to him – to help him in his need was what enabled Paul to relinquish control and embrace his weakness.
Now, remember, that these Christians in Colossae were being persecuted and tempted to re-consider Jesus. To see Him as good – but NOT enough.
They were being persuaded to rely upon mechanisms under the old covenant for justification before God – things like circumcision, participation in Jewish festivals and old covenant regulations – and not just Christ Jesus!
So Paul after encouraging these believers in all Christ did for them on the cross, he goes on to write…
“(16) Therefore suffer no one to sit in judgment on you as to eating or drinking or with regard to a festival, a new moon or sabbaths. (17) These were a shadow of things that were soon to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.”
All of these things were accomplished in Christ and are practices which we might enjoy and learn from, but have NO POWER towards righteousness, justification or any other heavenly benefit.
“(18) Let no one defraud you of your prize, priding himself on his humility and on his worship of the angels, and taking his stand on the visions he has seen, and idly puffed up with his unspiritual thoughts. (19) Such a one does not keep his hold upon Christ, the Head, from Whom the Body, in all its parts nourished and strengthened by its points of contact and its connections, grows with a divine growth.”
Again Paul affirms that the flesh cannot justify and so anyone who tries to steer your behavior claiming that actions alone can make a man righteous or even truly help… is seeking to defraud you and pull you away from Christ Jesus. YOU ARE FULLY SUPPLIED IN HIM!!!!
“(20) If you have died with Christ and have escaped from the world’s rudimentary notions, why, as though your life still belonged to the world, do you submit to such precepts as (21) “Do not handle this;” “Do not taste that;” “Do not touch that other thing” — (22) referring to things which are all intended to be used up and perish–in obedience to mere human injunctions and teachings? (23) These rules have indeed an appearance of wisdom where self-imposed worship exists, and an affectation of humility and an ascetic severity (complete abstinence or severe self-discipline). But not one of them is of any value in combating the indulgence of our lower natures.” The worst of which pride and control rather than humility and surrender.
Paul here teaches something that is very liberating for the saint. Nothing is, in and of itself, forbidden the Christian and God has given us all things richly to enjoy is is said in 1 Tim. 6:17. There are however, many things a devoted Christian will not allow themselves to do for the sake of how it will affect others and NO Christian is EVER to be brought under the power of anything but Christ alone!
There are therefore only 3 rules for what may be enjoyed as a Christian.
Two of these truths are nicely summed up in one passage in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20,
“Everything is allowable to me, but not everything is profitable. Everything is allowable to me, but to nothing will I become a slave. (13) Food of all kinds is meant for the stomach, and the stomach is meant for food, and God will cause both of them to perish. Yet the body does not exist for the purpose of fornication, but for the Master’s service, and the Master exists for the body; (14) and as God by His power raised the Master to life, so He will also raise us up. (15) Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them the members of a prostitute? No, indeed. (16) Or do you not know that a man who has to do with a prostitute is one with her in body? For God says, “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE.” (17) But he who is in union with the Master is one with Him in spirit. (18) Flee from fornication. Any other sin that a human being commits lies outside the body; but he who commits fornication sins against his own body. (19) Or do you not know that your bodies are a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit Who is within you–the Spirit Whom you have from God? (20) And you are not your own, for you have been redeemed at infinite cost. Therefore glorify God in your bodies.”
…and the third one is found in both Romans 14 & 1 Cor. 8… These speak of limiting our personal freedoms so that we do not make our brother or sister fall away from God. We are NOT to jeopardize walking in love by indulging in a freedom which might offend a weaker brother.
Col. 3:1-17, Weymouth “(1) If however you have risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, enthroned at God’s right hand. (2) Give your minds to the things that are above, not to the things that are on the earth. (3) For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
Someone read Rom. 8:5-8
So this passage in Col. 3 agrees with what we read in Rom. 8 and they give very similar reasons for what they say as we will see.
“ (4) When Christ appears–He is our true Life–then you also will appear with Him in glory. (5) Therefore put to death your earthward inclinations–fornication, impurity, sensual passion, unholy desire, and all greed, for that is a form of idolatry. (6) It is on account of these very sins that God’s anger is coming, (7) and you also were once addicted to them, while you were living under their power. (8) But now you must rid yourselves of every kind of sin–angry and passionate outbreaks, ill-will, evil speaking, foul-mouthed abuse–so that these may never soil your lips. (9) Do not speak falsehoods to one another, for you have stripped off the old self with its doings, (10) and have clothed yourselves with the new self which is being remoulded into full knowledge so as to become like Him Who created it.”
Rom. 8 goes on to tell us,
“(12) Therefore, brethren, it is not to our lower natures that we are under obligation that we should live by their rule. (13) For if you so live, death is near; but if, through being under the sway of the spirit, you are putting your old bodily habits to death, you will live. (14) For those who are led by God’s Spirit are, all of them, God’s sons. (15) You have not for the second time acquired the consciousness of being–a consciousness which fills you with terror. But you have acquired a deep inward conviction of having been adopted as sons–a conviction which prompts us to cry aloud, “Abba! our Father!” (16) The Spirit Himself bears witness, along with our own spirits, to the fact that we are children of God; (17) and if children, then heirs too–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ; if indeed we are sharers in Christ’s sufferings, in order that we may also be sharers in His glory. (18) Why, what we now suffer I count as nothing in comparison with the glory which is soon to be manifested in us.”
So the reason is similar. God’s wrath is coming on the sons of disobedience for these same reasons. Ephesians warns us to “not be partakers with the world in God’s wrath.” We are NOT debtors to the flesh to live after it – and if we do… we will die.
Also notice that there is something all true believers have already done and which still remains TO be done.
You HAVE put off the old self with its doings and HAVE clothed yourself with the New self.
HOWEVER – The New Self is still under construction – it is BEING remoulded into FULL knowledge so we will become LIKE Him (Christ in us).
Notice also the emphasis placed upon verbal sins.
“(8) But now you must rid yourselves of every kind of sin–angry and passionate outbreaks, ill-will, evil speaking, foul-mouthed abuse–so that these may never soil your lips. (9) Do not speak falsehoods to one another…”
Why do you suppose that is?
What scripture(-s) in James says something VERY similar?
“(11) In that new creation there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free man, but Christ is everything and is in all of us. (12) Clothe yourselves therefore, [something done – continuing TO BE done] as God’s own people holy and dearly loved, with tender-heartedness, kindness, lowliness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; (13) bearing with one another and readily forgiving each other, if any one has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, you also must forgive. (14) And over all these put on love, which is the perfect bond of union; (15) and let the peace which Christ gives settle all questionings in your hearts, to which peace indeed you were called as belonging to His one Body; and be thankful. (16) Let the teaching concerning Christ remain as a rich treasure in your hearts. In all wisdom teach and admonish one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and sing with grace in your hearts to God. (17) And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, and let it be through Him that you give thanks to God the Father.”
I hope this message will bless you richly…not because I taught it, but because it reveals Christ. He alone is our blessing and if in any way – whether big or small, 100% accurate or even just partially so – I have revealed our great God and Savior to you in a relationally knowable way, then this was time well spent on both our parts.
We at Living Grace Fellowship encourage you to place your trust in Jesus Christ, deliberately choosing Him and bowing the knee to Him as your Master and Lord, so as to come to realize Him as your Savior.
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