And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 23, Number
In this issue:
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APRIL 05 - 09, 2021
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Joe R. Price
13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13–14).
Paul’s letter to the Colossians displays and describes the preeminence of Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:13-20 details His primacy and our incentives to entirely submit our hearts and lives to Him. Today’s passage affirms Jesus has a kingdom and, therefore, is a King (v. 13). It also views Jesus as the Redeemer whose death gives forgiveness of sins (v. 14). The kingdom of God (also called the kingdom of heaven, Matt. 13:11; Mark 4:11) exists today. Therefore, Jesus is now reigning as King (Heb. 1:8-9). The Son’s kingdom is the church He built, the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 16:18-19; Heb. 12:28). Sinners escape the “power of darkness” (sin and death) by entering “the kingdom of the Son.” This transfer from the spiritual realm of darkness to the Son’s kingdom happens when the Redeemer’s blood is applied to the sinner, forgiving his or her sins (Col. 1:14). The blood of Jesus is the ransom price paid to deliver sinners (1 Tim. 2:6). Redemption is only in Christ (v. 14; Acts 4:12). The gospel calls sinners to Christ for forgiveness through His blood. When sinners believe in Jesus Christ, repent, and are baptized into Christ, the blood of Jesus washes away their sins (Acts 2:37-41; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27). Jesus, the King, and Redeemer, continues to save sinners. He is worthy of our undying praise and devotion (Rev. 5:8-14).
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist (Colossians 1:15–17).
Paul turns our attention to the Godhood of Jesus Christ. (1) Jesus is the image of God whom we have not seen (v. 15). Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). He is the brilliance and exact image of God’s real nature (Heb. 1:3). He is God with us, Immanuel (Matt. 1:23). (2) Jesus is the firstborn over all creation (v. 15). Here, “firstborn” does not mean the Son was “the first one born.” It speaks of His preeminence, priority, and first place, even as Israel was God’s “firstborn” among the nations even though it was not the first nation to exist, Exod. 4:22; Ps. 89:27). 3) Jesus is Creator of all (v. 16). John declared this great truth in John 1:1-3. Everything was created through Him and, for Him, both in the material and immaterial realms, including domains, dominions, positions, and powers. This universe serves His purposes; He is Sovereign over it all. 4) Jesus is eternal (v. 17). Micah prophesied the eternal nature of the Messiah, “Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting” (Mic. 5:2). 5) Jesus actively sustains all things (v. 17). He holds together all things. He is not a distant God who is disinterested in us, “In Him we “live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:27). Jesus is our King, Redeemer, Sovereign, Creator, and Sustainer. His Deity compels our honor, humble devotion, and faithful obedience.
And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence (Colossians 1:18).
The apostle Paul continues the theme of Christ’s preeminence by noting His relation to the church and His power over death. The headship of Christ over His church immediately draws our attention to the authority of Christ and His prerogative to oversee and direct His church (Matt. 16:18; 28:18). All things concerning the church are “under His feet,” subservient to Him (Eph. 1:22). The church does not belong to us; it belongs to Jesus. The church is composed of Christians; each one is a member of His body (Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 12:12-13, 26-27). The church of Christ is His body and is valuable because Jesus loved it and died for it (Acts 20:28; Eph. 5:25-29). To devalue the church is to devalue Jesus Christ. Christ also has power over death. He is the beginning (the origin, the source) of resurrection. Without Him, there would be no power over death. As the “firstborn from the dead,” His resurrection attests to His power and superiority over death (Acts 2:24, 30-32; Rom. 1:4). “Alive forevermore,” Jesus has “the keys of Hades and of Death” (Rev. 1:18). With just a few sentences, the Holy Spirit has made the case that Jesus Christ is King, Redeemer, Creator, Firstborn over all creation, Sustainer, Head of the church, and Supreme Victor over death (Col. 1:13-18). Jesus has preeminence in all things. Our faith is secure, our salvation is sure, and our hope is complete in Christ.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
"Where You Stand Depends On Where You Sit"
Scripture Reading: Psalm 26
“Your view of a situation is shaped by your personal relationship to it.” John 8:44; 10:26.
I. RELATIONSHIPS IMPACT BELIEFS.
Family and Friends, Matt. 10:34-39.
II. WHEN WE SIT WITH CHRIST WE WILL STAND WITH CHRIST.
A. When We Sit with Christ in Heavenly Places We Will Stand Against the Wiles of the Devil, Eph. 2:6; 6:11, 13, 14 (Col. 3:1-4).
III. BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU SIT, BECAUSE THAT IS WHERE YOU WILL STAND, Ps. 1:1-2; 26:4-5, 11-12.
Sit with Unbelievers in Faithlessness and You Will Stand in Darkness and
Spiritual Death, Eph. 4:17-19.
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
Blown Off Course
A huge cargo carrier was blown off course Wednesday by heavy winds in the Suez Canal, blocking passage through one of the world’s busiest waterways. More than one hundred ships stacked up, unable to pass. Shortages of consumer goods from oil to foodstuffs are predicted. Food and fuel prices could spike in the short term.
This event got our attention in part because of the ship’s size and the wind’s effect upon it. The freighter is more than 1,300 feet long (approx. height of the Empire State Building), about 193 feet wide, and weighs more than 200,000 tons. The bow is wedged into the side of the canal, and the stern almost reaches the other bank (cnbc.com). Yet, the wind blew it off course. Surely there are spiritual lessons here.
(1) The winds of false teaching cause shipwreck of people’s faith (1 Tim. 1:18-20; 2 Tim. 2:16-18). The counterweight against winds of error is maturity in Christ and unity in the faith (Eph. 4:11-13). Let us strengthen ourselves in the truth to not be “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” (Eph. 4:14).
(2) The tongue can steer us into many disasters. Small rudders steer mighty ships. Even so, the tongue is powerful. It can do great good and harm (James 3:1-5). We must respect the power of our words.
(3) We hinder others when our faith runs aground. We damage the spiritual progress of others when we turn away from God. Our sin can lead others into sin (Deut. 1:26-28). Jesus warned against being a stumbling block (Matt. 18:6-10).
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 03/28/2021
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
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