Colossians, Week 7

Colossians Title

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

Last week from Colossians we talked about some things that we were to put aside. Among them were immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed. The conclusion was that our security must be in Christ alone.

Today, from Pastor Brian, in Colossians 3:12-17, we learned about several things we must put on. In this section, Paul mentions eight graces that a Christ follower must put on:

1. Compassion–this has to do with how we feel about each other. From our hearts, We must display thoughts of tender compassion for one another.

2. Kindness–this has to do with how we treat one another. Since Christ has dealt with us in kindness, we need to show the same kindnesses to one another.

3. Humility–this has to do with how we think about others. Do we really put others ahead of ourselves? Humility was not valued in Paul’s day. I don’t believe it is valued much in our day either. But Jesus Christ was the supreme example of humility. See Philippians 2.

4. Gentleness–this is not weakness. Gentleness is like a soothing wind or a healing medicine. Our words can, and should be that to others.

5. Patience–The word means “have a long temper.” A patient person can put up with people and circumstances that provoke us without retaliating. Pastor Brian brought out the fact that we Christians are not all at the same place. We must be patient and wait for others to catch up.

6. Forbearance or bearing with one another–this means to hold up or to hold back. As God holds back His judgment with us, we need to that with one another.

7. Forgiveness–we need to forgive as God forgave. A couple of examples are that God forgave bad people and when He forgives, He also restores. It is not enough to put up with people who have wronged us, we also need to forgive them.

8. Love–all the previous virtues are valueless if they are not done in love. 1st Corinthians 13. We can go so far as to become a martyr for Christ, but if it is not done out of love for Him, it is of no profit to us.

Pastor Brian ended his message today by talking about the peace of God and the Word of God. How can we know we are out of God’s will? It is when we lose our peace. Verse 16 says to let the word of Christ dwell or rule in our hearts. Warren Wiersbe says: “The Word will transform our lives if we will but permit it to “dwell” in us richly. The word dwell means “to feel at home.” If we have experienced the grace and the peace of Christ, then the Word of Christ will feel at home in our hearts. We will discover how rich the Word is with spiritual treasures that give value to our lives.” I believe the more we treasure and let God’s word dwell in us, the more we will “put on” these eight character traits that Pastor Brian talked about today.

May the Holy Spirit teach us to live by these principles that we learned about today. God bless you all.

Character Building

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

To help me gather a better understanding of the book of Colossians that we have been going over, I have been trying do some studying in it. I have been re-reading thinking about the chapters little by little and reading a commentary called Be Complete written by Warren Wiersbe. I have found some of Wiersbe’s “Be” series books to be a good and practical help to me.

Today I was reading about Paul’s prayer in Colossians 1:9-12. Specifically, what I want to write about today are verses 11-12: “strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.”

I have heard several times that God is extremely interested in developing the character of His people. Wisdom, conduct and even service are of little value in our lives as Christ followers apart from personal character. In the above passage, Paul mentions four signs or characteristics that we are to be maturing in our walks with the Lord. They are all what we would call character development.

The first is, steadfastness or longsuffering. It means self-restraint and has to do with how we relate to people. It has been jokingly said that the Christian life would be great, if it weren’t for people. How do we get along with our fellow Christians, our spouses and the world of people around us? How do we deal with people who oppose us? The perfect example of this of course, is Jesus himself. Look at His dealings with Peter and the other disciples. How often they “just didn’t get it.” Yet Jesus never gave up. While we won’t handle this as well a Jesus, it is something we need to working toward.

The second is patience. While longsuffering has to do with people, patience has to do with circumstances. Patience is described as “endurance when circumstances are difficult.” Patience is a character trait that we Christ followers need above all else. We are to rejoice patiently in our tribulations as scripture says. One of our problems as Christ followers is that we tend to quit when things get too difficult.

Third, joyfulness. Is it possible to endure difficult times and people with joy? It is possible but not apart from the Holy Spirit. The good thing about joy is that it is not bound by circumstances or people in our lives. A joyful spirit cannot be worked up by our flesh. Joy can only come from the Holy Spirit working in us.

Fourth, thankfulness. We Christians should be thankful. Scripture says be thankful in ALL things. Is that even possible? I think it all depends on our walk with our Lord. We can confess our trust in the Lord in our circumstances come into our lives or we can go the other way and become complaining and bitter. It is a choice we make.

Longsuffering, patience, joy, thankfulness. Paul prayed that the Colossians would grow in all these things. These character traits do not come naturally to us. They are traits that can only flow our of our inner spirit. They are fruit of the Spirit of God in our lives (Gal 5:22-23) The really great news in this is that we already possess all we need to grow in these. Colossians 2:10 is a great verse that we need to memorize and live. “and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;” As pastor Brandon says, we make it so hard. I wonder at times what would happen if we actually prayed prayers for one another like are found in Colossians 1:9-12 and other places in scripture. By allowing the Spirit to changes us internally, we as a body will grow in our love and service to one another and to the world around us.

Some Thoughts from the Apostle Paul from Colossians 1:24-29

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

Today at Stonepoint we continued with week three from our series on Colossians. I must confess I am having a difficult time putting into words. These messages are really good and helpful, but sometimes the words I think of are just not adequate enough. But I wanted to cover a couple of highlights from today’s message.

Verse 24: “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the affliction of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church.”

One thing is certain from this verse. We will suffer here on this earth. Life is not going to be easy. Philippians 1:29 says: “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.” Paul made it clear in verse 24 that he is pleased to suffer for the Body, the church. Paul is not saying that he is making up something that was lacking in Christ’s death on the Cross for the church. Rather, he is saying that he is pleased to suffer for the church because of Christ’s completed work of suffering and dying for us on the cross. Paul finishes up this section by saying in verse 25 that he commissioned by God to feed the body. The New Testament shows just how serious he took that commission. In 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 Paul mentions some of the hardships he has suffered for the body.

The second thing I would like to briefly discuss is mentioned in verses 26-29. Here Paul talks of a “mystery.” The mystery, simply put is “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (verse 27). As the church, we have so many privileges that the great saints of old never saw. Moses, David, Daniel and other Old Testament heroes, never knew the full extent of this mystery. The “good news” that we talk about today, and probably take for granted much of the time, was hidden from them. With the birth of the church at Pentecost, the mystery was revealed. Christ sent the Holy Spirit to live in us. I don’t know about you, but this is another thing that I take for granted. The mysteries of the Godhead are truly revealed to us as New Testament saints!! Like I say, it is difficult to put today’s lesson into adequate words. I would encourage you to go onto the website and listen to the sermon archive of this message.

In closing, I need to say that I have learned so much of the importance of the Body of Christ since coming here to Stonepoint. Not that I didn’t have an understanding before, but it was pretty much intellectual. Since coming here to Stonepoint, my understanding of the Body is becoming a matter of the heart. I have seen, for the first time in a long time, how important the local church is. I heard a few times in my Christian life that 100% of the work of the church is done by 10% of the people. I know for myself, when Pastor Brandon was talking at the end of the message today, that my heart was burdened for the staff of this church. I am still a relative outsider here, and I certainly am not trying to judge anyone, except maybe myself. But just having seen the heart of the pastors and leaders of Stonepoint, I know they get tired, weary and probably discouraged. But they continue to labor, run and struggle for the sake of the Gospel. I pray that God would open our hearts to get behind them in seeing the Gospel go out to the community in and around Wills Point as well as the world. May God speak to our hearts.