The book of Colossians was written to Church going Christians during a very difficult time in history. The national leaders of their day were corrupt and their country was politically divided and plagued with financial trouble. In other words, they were in the middle of a big mess. In fact the Greek word for Colosse is easily understood to mean - “A big mess”.
This morning we will draw some practical conclusions from Paul’s 2000 year old letter to these Christians. We will be able to use these conclusions in our everyday lives since we also face political divisions and financial troubles not dissimilar to those big messes faced by Christians in that day.
Chapter 1 - Without regard as to what else is happening around us, The Gospel of Jesus Christ is changing lives all around the world.
Colossians 1:6 This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.
Chapter 2 - Don't be deceived by well crafted arguments, empty philosophies or high sounding nonsense. - stick to the simple Word of God. When we stray from the simple Gospel we stray from the Truth.
4 I am telling you this so no one will deceive you with well-crafted arguments.
8 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.
Chapter 3 - The New Life we have in Christ works best when we follow the instruction manual.
1 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.
5 ¶ So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.
6 Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming.
7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world.
8 ¶ But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language.
9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.
10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like Him.
11 In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and He lives in all of us.
12 ¶ Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
14 ... clothe yourselves in love …
15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts …
16 … Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.
17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus 18 Wives, submit to your husbands …
19 Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.
20 Children, always obey your parents …
21 Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.
22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters … (employees/employers)
23 Work willing … as though you were working for the Lord …
Chapter 4:1 Masters, be just and fair to your slaves …
Chapter 4 - Pray and take advantage of every opportunity.
Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.
12 Epaphras, a member of your own fellowship and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings. He always prays earnestly for you, asking God to make you strong and perfect, fully confident that you are following the whole will of God.
13 I can assure you that he prays hard for you and also for the believers in Laodicea and Hierapolis.
Colossians 4: 5 Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.
Colossians 4:16 shows us that the Word of God applies to every person in every Church and each congregation. It was written for you to read …
What should we Church going Christians do when we find ourselves in the middle of big messes:
Keep the right perspective and realize that no matter what is going on around us:
· The Gospel of Jesus Christ is changing lives all around the world.
· We should not allow ourselves to be deceived by well crafted arguments, empty philosophies or high sounding nonsense.
· Accept the fact that the New Life we have in Christ works best when we follow the instruction manual.
· We must pray hard and take advantage of every opportunity to impact a non-believer.