Jesus Is Great!—Colossians 1:14-17

INTRODUCTION 

 

I remember reading a story about a pastor who preached on Isaiah 6 and Isaiah’s vision of God in His throne—

 

1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: The whole earth is full of his glory. (Isaiah 6:1–3)

 

The pastor decided that he would simply preach on the holiness and greatness of God. He would not give one word of application, just focus on displaying a great God as clearly as he could. He preached and the people accepted it as a fine sermon, but nothing unusual.

 

Many weeks later, a father came to him and told him that their child had been sexually abused by a close relative. 

 

The father said the past few months had been the hardest of his life. He said, “Do you know what has gotten me through? That vision of God’s greatness that you gave me back in January.”

 

Well, I am trying not to expect the same response from anyone about this message! At the same time, I feel driven to show you a picture of Jesus and His greatness—to help us in difficult times. To do that, we are going to look at Colossians 1:14-17.

 

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things 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. (Colossians 1:14–17)

 

Jesus is great! Amen!

 

Why is Jesus great? Let me draw out five reasons from this text:

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How Should Christians Talk About God’s Judgment?

 

 

INTRODUCTION 

 

How should Christians talk about God’s judgment in the midst of a crisis?

 

You’ve all seen the stereotype. On a busy street corner in a major city there he stands—a man with long gray hair and a long beard holding a sign that says, “The End Is Near…Repent!” He shouts out verses from the book of Revelation that no one listens to as they hurry by.

 

At the opposite end, there’s a news talk show that calls three religious leaders after a major disaster: a Jewish Rabbi, a Muslim Imam, and a liberal Bishop so and so. The question is posed: “Is this disaster a judgment from God?” There’s a lot of intelligent banter, but the conclusion is the same: God doesn’t judge because God is love and we should love one another in the midst of the disaster.

 

Obviously, neither of these are good answers to our question about how Christians should talk about God’s judgment in the midst of a crisis. The first assumes knowledge that only God knows and second ignores knowledge that God has given us.

 

Let’s work through what the Bible says about God’s judgment and then see how we can apply that in discussions with people wondering about God’s involvement in the current crisis or any personal trial. To begin, we need to see that the Bible clearly teaches that…

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Raised With Christ—Colossians 2:12-14

INTRODUCTION 

 

I recently read about a liberal preacher who said that we don’t have time to preach about the empty tomb, because there are more important things to preach about!

 

No true Christian would say that, because Christ’s empty tomb—His resurrection—is the most important thing! The question we want to ponder today is this, ”Why is the resurrection of Jesus Christ important for Christians?” 

 

Last time we were looking at Colossians 2, and this Resurrection Sunday, we’ll return there. Remember that, in his letter to the Colossians, Paul was warning his readers about false teachers who were saying that Christ was not enough. More was necessary: secret knowledge, Old Testament rules and traditions, and even the worship of angels. 

 

Last time we learned that Christ was enough and we are complete in Christ. Now, we are going to pick up where we left off. Turn to Colossians 2. We will only be looking at verses 12-14, but let’s read the verses fore and aft as well. 

 

11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the 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. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (Colossians 2:11–15)

 

Amen!

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Christ Is Enough And We Are Complete In Him—Colossians 2:6-10

INTRODUCTION 

 

Turn in your Bible to Colossians 2. 

 

If you were offered, free of charge, a rusty old car or a brand-new SUV, which would you choose? 

 

If you were offered a job that paid minimum wage or a job that paid four times that with benefits, which would you choose?

 

If you were told that you could shop for an hour in any store and take away whatever you liked, would you choose a second-hand store or an upscale department store? 

 

The answers here are obvious. You would be foolish to settle for the lesser when the greater is available to you. 

 

But so often, we settle for less when it comes to our theology. When it comes to our relationship with Jesus Christ. We have have the riches of Christ available to us, but we settle for the world’s philosophies in many areas of our lives. 

 

In the book of Colossians, Paul is writing to Christians who were in danger of settling for less.

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