Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Letters from Prison Part 3 – Superhuman Energy


Paul’s Prison Epistles includes Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, and the New Testament Book of Philippians. We know from the account of Acts 25: & 28:19, that rather than being placed under the jurisdiction of the religious Jews in Jerusalem, Paul took advantage of his Roman citizenship and appealed to Caesar. No doubt Paul was set-up by God.

His legal appeal ended up with Paul being sent to Rome where he was kept under house arrest for at least two whole years before many believe he was released in about AD62 or AD63. This is often referred to as Paul’s first imprisonment at Rome. Those who hold to this scenario feel Paul was rearrested after AD64 by Emperor Nero who was trying to shift the blame for the burning of Rome off himself and onto a group known as Christians.

With this in mind, some date the book of Philippians to AD62. If we accept that thought, Paul would have been about 58 years old and well-seasoned as a minister of the Gospel. You can find a little more background information by reading the notes or listening to the messages I shared in Part 1 and Part 2. (;; or ChurchOnline.TV)

Let’s begin the third part by reading verse 1 of Philippians chapter 3. We will survey a few verses and will end up focusing on “Superhuman Energy”.

Just a side note – a little lesson Jesus taught Martha and Mary prior to His crucifixion. Not all of the Gospel is go and do. Some of the Gospel is sit and listen. You never know what the Holy Spirit may want to teach you if you never take time to just sit and listen. (Luke 10:39-42)

Philippians 3:1  Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.

·        The Christian has a greater source of real joy than anyone else.

·        One Bible Scholar wrote concerning the benefits of a Christian:

o   “He has a Saviour in whom he may always find peace;

o   a God whose character he can always contemplate with pleasure;

o   a heaven to look forward to where there is nothing but happiness;

o   a Bible that is full of precious promises;

o   and at all times the opportunity of prayer, in which he may roll all his sorrows on the arms of an unchanging Friend.

o   If there is any one on earth who ought to be happy, it is the Christian.” (Barnes Notes on Philippians 3:1))

·        Paul wrote - It is not difficult or laborious for me to continue telling you these things and it is best for you that I do.

o   1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice evermore!

3  For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,

·        We are the true circumcision, circumcised of the heart and not of the flesh. (Deuteronomy 10:16; Romans 2:9)

o   Consecrated

o   Sanctified

o   Identified with Christ in our hearts not our flesh

o   An inner reality instead of an outward show

·        We cannot depend on any earth-based advantages of birth or human achievement to impress or satisfy God.

·        All earthly gain is rubbish (v.8) in the face of knowing Jesus.

7  But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.

·        True righteousness comes only from God by faith in Jesus, not from climbing a religious ladder created by man.

·        Position or possessions make no one right, let along right with God.

·        I count all I am and all I’ve accomplished as nothing against Christ, for even our righteousness cannot save us (v.9).

10  that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

·        “That I may know Him”

·        This passage contains some of the most beautiful language and captures the heart-felt sentiment of the Believer whose desire is to fully follow Christ.

·        I’ll read this passage in the Authorized Version of the King James Bible – just for the sound of that familiar golden ring reminding me of the season in which I first fully committed my life to Christ.

10  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

11  If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

12  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

·        Golden memories of finding and getting to know my first love in the quiet times of prayer and rehearsing His Word in the early years.

·        Such a fragrance of love permeates our quiet times with Jesus.

16  Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

·        Some may have greater revelation in the Word or Will of God.

·        However, without respect as to how much of a Christian one is, how much they know about the Bible, or how often they pray, we all should all have attained to some simple basic understandings of what God requires from us. Therefore we should all hold ourselves accountable to walk by those same simple rules.

·        We all agree on some basic right and wrong behavior which belongs to a Christian. Need I annunciate those? I think not.

·        We have all attained a certain knowledge of what is acceptable to God and to our fellow Believers – so let us do and not squabble about it.   

Deuteronomy 29:29  “The LORD our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions.”

·        We are accountable to walk in the revelation we have received.

·        Others may know more and are therefore accountable for more.

·        However, we cannot claim exemption for the things we know to do.

·        And we all know what is right and what is wrong before God.

18  (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

19  Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

·        The Apostle Paul is speaking about Christians. Those who profess Jesus as Lord but live contrary and are motivated by earthly advantages.

·        Our posture should be that of weeping, not anger, emblazoned rhetoric, prideful opposition, or endless accusation.

·        It’s a sad day for all when gain and glory become the goal of those who follow Christ.

·        Earthly profits and sense ruled pleasures are no match for Jesus.

20  For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

21  who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

·        We are citizens of heaven and as such are afforded certain privileges.

·        One of which is a transformation of our bodies upon entry to our eternal home.

·        This will be accomplished by a Superhuman Energy

·        It is the same energy, “energeia” (Gk), which transformed the body of Jesus at the resurrection.

·        It is the same Superhuman Energy God used to produce the human body in the beginning.

·        This Superhuman Energy is the power which flows from Jesus and enables Him to transform, conform, subdue, and bring all things under His dominion and control. 

Seeing that the imprisoned Apostle Paul revealed these things almost 2000 years ago to the members of the Church in the city of Philippi, what purpose of God do you imagine it was aimed at accomplishing?

When I consider this chapter, I am encouraged to:

·        Rejoice in the Lord.

·        Not entertain boredom when repeating basics.

·        Place my confidence in Jesus and not in achievements.

·        Walk according to revelation I have and allow others to do the same.

·        Eagerly await my Superhuman transformation that’s out of this world.

·        Don’t forget the value of taking some time to just sit and listen.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

The New World Order


It was during this time of the year, in the early spring, arguably in the year AD30. Jesus and His disciples were in Jerusalem along with thousands of people from all over the known world. They were counting down the days until Passover. It is reasonable to assume it was a Tuesday evening, which would have been April 4th of that year, and it was probably along about sundown. In just 2 more days the Passover would begin. How could anyone know the importance of this particular Passover? Yet there must have been a sense in the air, this was THE PASSOVER! … The real Passover … and Jesus was the true and promised Lamb of God Who was about to take away the sins of the world. (Text for today: Matthew 24)

That evening Jesus left the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and walked through the gate and outside of the city walls. He headed for the village of Bethany where He and His disciples were lodging. One of His disciples made a comments about how fascinated he was with the Temple’s magnificent architecture. Jesus told him that it was only temporary. Not one stone will be left on another, but all would end up being torn down.

It had been a long day and as they climbed up and over the Mount of Olives Jesus stopped to talk privately with His disciples who gathered around Him. Jesus had a habit of saying some profound things and maybe the disciples had been pondering on or wondering among themselves what Jesus meant about the Temple being destroyed. (3 years earlier at the same feast Jesus talked about rebuilding the destroyed Temple - John 2:19-22; Then at His trial Jesus was accused by those words - Matthew 26:61 & Mark 14:58) Let’s read some of the things Jesus said as they stopped on the Mount of Olives overlooking the Temple.

Matthew 24 NKJV

3  Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

4 ¶  And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.

5  “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

6  “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

7  “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.

8  “All these are the beginning of sorrows.”

The question was very direct: v.3 “What will be the sign of Your coming, and the end of the world?”

All the things Jesus tells them to expect: wars, threats of war; famines, earthquakes, pestilence, and nations and kingdoms divided, do not point to the end of world. People may reference these to imagine Jesus is giving some inside information on the last days, but it’s not like they imagine. In fact, Mark repeats the conversation to confirm what Jesus clearly said …

Mark 13 NKJV

7  “But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet.

8  “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows.”

These things do not point to the end of the world, but rather to the beginning of sorrows. Yet, Jesus does not leave the disciples, nor does He leave us, without a clear and definite, unmistakable answer to the question: “What will be the sign of Your coming and the end of the world?” 

Look back at Matthew 24 and let’s allow Jesus to finish His answer. 

Matthew 24 NKJV

4 ¶  And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.

·        That’s the first admonition … “Do not be deceived … you’re going to see a lot of injustices and trouble and wars and natural disasters and atrocities … don’t let anyone tell you, based on these things, that it is the end … it’s not! – That’s a false/worldly prophet’s narrative.”

11  “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.

13  “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

·        Jesus said, (paraphrase), “Endure a little here and let Me inform you as to what will bring about the end of the age, and establish God’s New World Order, (His Kingdom), so you won’t accept any other narrative.” Don’t be fooled; accept no substitute; here is the truth!

14  “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

·        “Get your focus off of the sensational news cycle and close your ears to the prophets who follow it to forecast My coming.”

·        Every generation faces evil and injustice, and it can get worse …

·        It’s not the wars, rumors of wars … don’t let these trouble you …

·        Matthew 24:6 “The end is not yet!”

·        Get your eyes off of the world news and get your focus on the Good News

We confidently know when Jesus is coming and when the end of this age will be. How do we know? Jesus answered the direct question asked by His disciples with a very direct answer. God is looking for a generation who will, in the midst of all of the chaos, evil, and injustice, will reach the whole world with the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a witness to all nations. Then the end will come!

This is why Jesus admonished His disciples one last time just before He ascended into heaven, 40 days after His resurrection, from perhaps that very same place on the Mount of Olives. The had the same question:

Acts 1 NKJV

6 ¶  Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”

7  And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.

8  “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 

The aim of Jesus is clearly on the preaching of the Gospel to all the world. This is why we have been commissioned to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to do everything Jesus commanded us to do.

Today, if you hear the voice of God, accept His will and plan for your life. Find a way to involve yourself in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ throughout the whole world, especially in the most difficult and perilous times. You can do this by participating in our Church’s local and worldwide outreaches. I have never before in my life seen such troubling times for our nation and the world. This is why we have turned up our witness.

We are doing everything we possibly can to fulfill the Great Commission in this generation so that we might see the return of Jesus Christ and an end to the demon inspired atrocities of this world.

Jesus wants to come back. I have no doubt He is ready. However, God the Father has put that day under His own authority and not even the angels know when we will finally make the return of Jesus possible. 

How do we stop these horrible injustices and natural disasters occurring all around us? 

Only the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will bring about the end of this age.

What are you doing to bring Jesus back and bring about an end to all this chaos and confusion?

God and everybody else needs you the generation that gets so fed up with the devil and all his destruction and division and deception, that you stand up and speak up about the real answer to all this mess. It’s Jesus Christ and His love, His sacrifice, His forgiveness, His salvation, and His coming again. That’s the answer the world needs to hear and we need to tell.

“Dare to Share” the love of Jesus with someone this week. Someone at work; someone at school; your friends on social media; share your testimony; text someone you feel might need some encouragement and tell them you are praying for them; invite someone to Church with you.

The Gospel is the power of God (Romans 1:16). Don’t be ashamed to tell it. I know the answer is simple but it’s the only answer Jesus gave us. Every time you hear the World News, tell someone about the Good News.

This will help God to bring about His New World Order.

Life Shape Prayer and Discipleship Module 2 - New Creation Realities Block 3 - Forgiveness


Key Scripture: 1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We also should be faithful and just to forgive others of their sin. Today’s sermon will be about you forgiving others.

Important Points:

1. Forgiveness absolves a person from the penalties, not the responsibilities, of the past.

2. There is a difference between asking to be forgiven and asking to be excused.

3. There is a difference between forgiveness and restoration.

4. Forgiveness does not mean “I agree with you.”

5. Forgiveness is the measure of God in the one who is forgiving, it is not the measure of the person being forgiven.

Matthew 18 NKJV

21 ¶  Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”

22  Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

When Peter asked Jesus how often he should forgive his brother who sins against him, Jesus responded with an overwhelming number: 70 times 7, that is to say, every time.

Luke 6:37  “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven."

In fact, a promise is connected to us forgiving others of their trespasses against us. Jesus said if we forgive others we will be forgiven also. This is the basic principle of sowing and reaping and treating others like we want to be treated ourselves. The grace of God is sufficient so that we might access His storehouse and forgive others in Christ.

Forgiveness is both a right and responsibility. Each offender has a right to be forgiven because forgiveness is based upon the blood of Jesus. The offender has a right to be forgiven while the one who is offended has a responsibility to forgive. Forgiveness is not based on what the person does or does not do, rather forgiveness is based on what Jesus did.

Forgiveness does not mean “I agree with you” or let alone, “I want to be in business or in bed with you.”

When you forgive someone, it does not let them off the hook with God … it lets you off the hook with God.

Forgiveness is the measure of God in you, not the measure of the other person.


When a person is born again, they become a new creation in Christ and as such gain access to a storehouse of God’s grace. This storehouse is filled with every good and precious promise, all paid for by the blood of Jesus. At the point of salvation, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sins, old things pass away, and all things become new. We are forgiven the eternal debt of sin and are given and open door into God’s grace of continued forgiveness.

Without question the grace of God is sufficient to cover every failure and the sins which do so often beset the saint. The grace of forgiveness comes when we recognize our sin before God, confess our sin to God, and forsake that sin. This grace is available and abundant when accessed by a true heart of repentance. More than simply saying, “excuse me” we must mean “forgive me” with solemn contrition because each request makes its demand on the blood of Christ. For without the blood there can be no forgiveness.

Not only can we access the grace of forgiveness that we need for our sin, but we also can access the grace of forgiveness which we need to pardon others. Just as Jesus said, “forgive and you will be forgiven.” Forgiveness is a right while restoration is a responsibility.

Forgiveness does not relieve one of the responsibilities for their past. However, forgiveness does absolve and fully pardon from the eternal penalties of the past. Forgiveness is the responsibility of the one who was offended while restoration often costs the offender.

If you have sinned against someone else, humble yourself and repent. If possible, let the other person know you accept responsibility for what you said, did, or did not do. Don’t make excuses … make restoration where possible.

Once you repent to God for your sin, He is faithful and just and He will forgive you of your sin and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. People may not always be so gracious. If they don’t forgive you, forgive them for not forgiving you.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Letters from Prison Part 2 – The Mind of Christ


Conclusion from Part 1 last week:

·        Life is a long game.

o   We cannot afford to judge our successes based on our last or our worsts days.

o   God is bigger than our past and Life is always filled with future.

·        God will work with anything we give Him.

o   From the Damascus Road to the Philippian Prison …

o   From Antioch to Ephesus … Take the next step towards God.

o   There is always something we can do to please God.

§  Philippians 1:19  For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

·        Philippians 1:21 To live is Christ, and to die is gain.

o   Philippians 1:24  Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.

o   You see life, with all its troubles, trials, and decisions, is not always all about you.

o   The next crowd is waiting to hear about your faith in Jesus.

This week we are going to continue reviewing the Holy Spirit led admonitions which the Apostle Paul wrote to the Believers in the Church at Philippi. Paul was 58 years old at this point in his life and had suffered many things from mainly religious people because of his preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to both Jews and Gentiles.

It had been 10 years since Paul first entered the city of Philippi with Silas and the rest of his missionary team. After only a few days in Philippi, Paul and Silas were dragged into the city marketplace, accused of stirring up trouble in the city by speaking against the Roman government. The account in Acts 16 says that after hearing these false accusations, the crowd in the streets rose up against Paul and Silas so the city magistrates, no doubt afraid of not pleasing the rioters, stripped Paul and Silas naked, beat them with rods, and threw them into the lowest part of the prison, fastened them with chains, and put their feet in stocks.

It is sometimes amazing what people in government positions will do to please angry mobs in attempts to keep the loud angry crowd from turning on them. These things are played out over and over and over throughout history. We have seen nothing less in our day. People with an evil agenda spreading false accusations and working a crowd up into an angry mob demanding injustice in the name of justice.

Thanks be to God that Paul and Silas turned to the God of all justice Who miraculously set them free, saved the prisoners, the jailer, and his whole household, and birthed a great Church in Philippi. Now, a decade later, it’s AD62 and the Apostle Paul is in another prison. Paul is a prisoner in Rome under the Emperor Nero.

Paul was allowed to receive visitors while under arrest and of recent the Church in Philippi had sent one of their Church leaders to carry an offering to Paul. This man named Epaphroditus was a beloved Believer and represented the Church well, catching Paul up on all the news of the Church and the people and their welfare. Paul was excited to hear things were going so well in Philippi and he was very thankful for the financial offering the Church had sent to help him take care of his needs while in prison.

This evening we will begin reading with verse 1 in chapter 2. I will be reading from the New King James Version and will supply commentary along the way so as to paint the picture God wanted the Believers in Philippi in that day, along with us in our day, to see. Let’ begin as we read the letter from this older, settled, well-seasoned man of God:

Philippians 2

1 ¶  Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,

2  fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 

One accord: Souls that beat together in harmony and in tune with Christ

Be of one mind: (Thinking the same thing) This is the one thing lacking which if Believers in Jesus Christ would ever agree, the world could not resist and righteousness before God would be the order and the expectation of the day.

3  Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

4  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

5  Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

6  who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,

He is indisputably equal to God.

7  but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.

8  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

9  Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

10  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,

11  and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

12 ¶  Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;

13  for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

14 ¶  Do all things without complaining and disputing,

2 Peter 2:7 ¶  And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

1 Corinthians 15:33  Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.”

15  that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

16  holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

Conclusion for this evening:

·        There is power in unity

o   Which, if the devil can destroy, he will succeed in slowing down the work of God and perhaps holding souls captive from hearing the Gospel.

o   Psalms 133

o   The devil cannot divide us unless he can get one of us to work with him.

·        What you say and what you hear makes a difference.

o   There is power in unity but perhaps there is no greater power in the world than the power of your words.

o   There is certainly no greater power at work in your life than the power of your words.

o   Matthew 12:37  “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

o   God’s Word is the greatest power in the universe. Jesus is the Word of God.

o   Watch the words you say and the words you entertain in your mind.

o   Do all things without complaining and disputing.

·        Take on the mind of Christ

o   Practice humility

o   Practice being a servant to others

o   Practice sacrifice

o   Let God take care of your reputation when it’s all over.

§  Jesus did; Paul did; We can too.

Saturday, March 19, 2022



Both history and our individual experiences testify to the fact that people generally enjoy a little variety and flavor in most arenas of life. One of the more common complaints of both the young and the not so young is that of boredom. People often get bored with the bland elements of life.

Nothing typifies the desire and perhaps even the need for a little flavor more than the ionic compound (NaCl) sodium chloride, which is more commonly known as salt. A little salt can change an almost inedible or unenjoyable meal into a tasty treat. People even add something that’s a little salty to sweet things to heighten both flavors.

When you come to think about it, salt is pretty awesome. It preserves, it cleanses, it has some healing properties, and it makes savory dishes.

Leviticus 2:13  Season all your meat offerings with salt to remind you of God’s eternal covenant. Never forget to add salt to your grain offerings.

God even required salt to be a part of the meat and the grain offerings people brought to the altar for sin and other special sacrifices. 

By the way … speaking about meat and grain offerings. I know many of you are busy going through your daily Bible reading again this year. I choose a different plan each year but predictably each one normally takes me through the books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers at some point early on in the year. Some of the genealogies along with the descriptions of all the sacrifices and offerings can seem a little repetitive at times.

This year I chose the Chronological Bible to be the base of my daily Bible reading. So, as with many of you, this past month has been fairly filled with descriptions of the sacrifices and offerings God commanded of the Children of Israel. Recently I realized that perhaps some who are reading through these instructions for offerings might imagine that people brought their tithes, their sacrifices, and their offerings to the Temple where the priests just took them and burned them up on an altar before the Lord. But that’s not what they did and not what God intended for the offerings.

Have you ever wondered why God said to bring your tithe, or the first-born bull or sheep, or the first fruits of your field, or a sin offering, or a free-will offering to the Temple and give it to the priest who ministers along with so much flour, so much salt, so much oil, and so much wine? Well, it was never intended to be burned up on the altar, but rather to be given to the priest for him and his family to eat. (Exodus 29:40)

God had no intent for the priests to burn the flour, salt, grain, meat, oil, or wine as a sacrifice to Him. Only certain parts, some organs, the blood, or a representative portion of the grain was either poured out or poured on the altar or burned before the Lord to sanctify the rest. The priest ate or stored and distributed the rest of it to the poor, the orphan, and the needy.

The priests were then required to tithe a tithe of the tithes and the offerings, and then the rest was counted as increase to the priests in the same way a harvest was for those who brought these things to the Temple. Giving God His prescribed first portions sanctified the remainder and made God a partner with each one who honored Him with their substance and with the first fruits of all their increase. (Proverbs 3:9)

At any rate … Salt was a commanded accompaniment of each offering made to God by the people. Salt was meant to benefit others by making things, even the things belonging to God, more savory to God and others. Even Job in the midst of all of his other problems said:

Job 6:6  Can flavorless food be eaten without salt? Or is there any taste in the white of an egg?

Job had lost everything and was sitting in ashes with boils all over his body and even in that condition, he despaired to eat bland and boring food. Bless his heart, if things weren’t bad enough, even the food needed salt. (Of course you realize I am taking a little liberty with the account of Job here …)

Fast forward to the New Testament, specifically the Gospels, and we find three times that Jesus said, “Salt is good!”. He said every sacrifice must be seasoned with salt. (Mark 9:49) He also said:

Matthew 5:13  “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”

With these things in mind, let’s turn to our text for today which we will find in Colossians 4. This morning we are going to discover how we are to become a well-seasoned offering to God, and what it means to be the salt of the earth in today’s practical terms, so that we can be used in a greater way by God. And by the way – Salty does not imply or excuse being rude, critical, demanding, judgmental, or feisty. Let’s go to the Word together.

The Apostle Paul wrote this Letter from Prison to the Church while he was under arrest and awaiting trial in Rome in about the year AD61 or AD62. By then Paul was a well-seasoned 58-year-old preacher who was winning more souls and influencing more people than ever before in his life. He had evidently learned how to be a successful witness even while under arrest.

Colossians 4 NKJV

5 ¶  Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.

6  Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

Since we who are Born-Again Believers represent Jesus and as such are God’s offering to a lost world, it is important to know what God desires and requires from us towards those who are outside of the faith. The time is short, and God intends for us to make the most out of each encounter we have with a lost person. First, the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to tell us to:

·        Walk in wisdom when it comes to dealing with people who don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior and who may not have any personal frame of reference as to what you feel about Jesus; the experience you had Sunday at Church; why you don’t gossip or lie or cheat or cuss or get drunk or do drugs or complain about the boss … whatever you’re doing that they don’t understand why you do it.

o   Be wise … don’t forget they don’t know what you know … they don’t feel what you feel … they don’t see things God’s way …

§  No doubt God is dealing with them … help God reach them – we are fishers of men … fish with wisdom

o   Don’t make them turn you off because you are such an odd ball

·        Let your speech always be with grace

o   Please don’t be judgmental, critical, or condemning

o   Be courteous and agreeable (have grace for others)

o   Not faking sincerity or happiness or perfection

o   Please no flattery (21 times in the Bible, all negative)

§  People see right through flattery and the Bible says it does more harm than good (1 Thessalonians 2:5)

§  Be sincere and be responsibly honest – not irresponsibly honest

o   Again … be wise and let your speech always be with grace …

·        Seasoned with salt

o   Don’t try to win people with religious talk

o   Don’t be bland in your demeanor or delivery

o   Give your testimony in a way that is palatable and enjoyable to the listener.

o   There is no taste in the white of an egg …

§  If it does not burn in you it won’t burn in those who hear you.

o   Your life has flavor … God made you with flavor … don’t be an old stick in the mud about Jesus – share your excitement

o   Don’t be sour about or distasteful to sinners …

o   Talk about Jesus … a little controversy is not off limits – Don’t be afraid to say Jesus!

o   You are an offering from God meant to bless and lead them to a relationship with Christ.

o   You never need to compromise your faith or your virtue to be nice and kind to sinners.

o   Be honest … don’t lose your salt … but don’t be rude or sassy.

·        So that you may know how you should answer each one

o   Every person is different …

o   Don’t just say the same thing to everybody …

o   Each person is an individual … everyone is different, and each one deserves personal attention and a personal invitation  

o   Asked the Holy Spirit to guide you each time and you will, in time, become a well-seasoned witness for Christ.

Remember our goal … our goal is to share the love of Christ with a lost and dying world so people will see our heart, hear our words, and be saved.