To the Colossians – Christ in you!




Sunday 09/09/18 

Series: For edification

Message – To the Colossians – Christ in you!


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To the Colossians…Christ in you!

The letter begins with a salutation Paul seemed to reserve for churches who met certain criteria. While it is not as obvious in other places, Paul seems to associate the ability for Christians to acquire and understand God’s will and wisdom with the genuineness of their faith in Christ AND their active love for all the saints. This is clearly stated both here and in Ephesians, though it is hinted at in at least one other letter as well. So, it is when Paul knows a church body is living the Gospel in this way that he prays continually that they may be “… filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light.” (Compare with Eph. 1:15-23)

Paul stresses that the preaching of the Gospel results in fruit in the lives of those who believe.

Other points made in these chapters of this letter to the church of Colossae,

  • Jesus is preeminent over all of Creation
  • IN JESUS all of the Godhead is represented and realized.
  • Jesus is the HEAD of His body, the church.
  • Jesus is the One in Whom the entire BODY is to dwell,
    • This is the GOAL and PURPOSE of all Paul’s labors in ministry – to produce Christ in them and present them mature in Him to God.
  • Old Covenant practices are seen in fulfilled in Christ.
  • Sabbaths are NOT referring to the Sabbath day – because that was declared holy on the 7th day of creation and it’s holiness was due to God’s resting – not man’s sin. We observe the Sabbath BECAUSE it IS holy, not because it is an old covenant law.
  • To the degree that Christ has become Lord in your life – walk in Him blamelessly.
    • This is NOT encouraging ignorance or disobedience, but to walk in the light that you have. Even Paul was looking through a glass dimly and therefore did not know everything – therefore EVERYTHING was not 100% submitted to Christ – but what Paul KNEW – he lived!
  • Trying harder to suppress the flesh through ascetic practices actually does not get you ANY closer to personal holiness or freedom from fleshly sins.
  • Seek NOT to avoid the flesh, but seek those things which are above. DO NOT SET YOUR MIND ON EARTHLY THINGS.
    • The point of practice is NOT ascetic – it is NOT focusing on the denial as much as on the spiritual. By setting the mind and affections on Christ, we ARE removing them from the things of the flesh. However, if we are focused upon removing our attention and affections from the things of the flesh – we have to focus on the flesh to do it which takes our attention away from Christ.
  • Most of the sins dedicated Christians will battle with are verbal – expressions of anger, malice, blasphemy, filthy language, lying…etc.
  • We are encouraged to put on tender mercy, kindness, humility, longsuffering…etc. expressed towards one another but above all PUT ON LOVE!
  • Let agreement with God and the tranquility of heart that brings – RULE in your heart and BE THANKFUL!
  • Express you heart of thanksgiving to God and your siblings in Christ.
  • Live ALL THESE TRUTHS in the common and practical areas of life – like family and work – where we do not challenge but submit to God ordained authority – and do it as UNTO HIM, because that is in reality WHO you are honoring by way of obedience!

This service had content that is NOT written out here, so I would encourage you to listen to it WHILE you read…Blessings! 

I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

You have a special place in God’s family & kingdom. If you do not know Him, please use our ‘Contact Us‘ page and reach out so we may have the privilege of introducing you to the Lord. Neither money nor attendance at our church will be mentioned.

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Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been shepherding in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!