Colossians Series 

Colossians 4:7-18 is meant to speak to us today about real people experiencing real life in the real world.

As we wrap up our study of Colossians at RbC, we will look at some ancient names and places, and build a bridge into our world so that we might learn from people like Tychicus, Aristarchus, Epaphras, Nympha, and Archippus. 

Don’t think of this as a boring “list of names.” Real people experiencing real life in the real world is anything but boring!

So let’s dig into this “ending” of Colossians, and let’s learn from real people what it means to thrive in our real world.

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    "pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ” 
    (Colossians 4:3)

    What’s your favorite subject… art, science, math, recess?
    Nope, our favorite subject is almost always “US!" Our favorite thing to talk about… our own accomplishments. Our favorite thing to work for… our own betterment. Our favorite thing to pray for… our own comfort. The problem is… WE GET OLD- FAST.  It’s exhausting isn’t it?  

    In the end, it’s life-sucking. 
    What if there was one that could changed our focus- changed our message to one that was life-giving and never got old.
    The book of Colossians instructs us how to be:

    •      watchful in our worship,
    •      wise in our walks and
    •      winsome with our words.  

    "It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
    (Colossians 3:24b)

    What are you doing with your life? 

    The answer is work. Most of us spend half of our waking hours a week at the office, school, or at home working. We were made by God and He gave us good work to do. But work, now, is often frustrating, boring, and consuming. One big part of Jesus saving our lives and the world is Jesus saving our work.  

      "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (Colossians 3:23)

      As we live, work and play, what compels us?

      In Christ, we have a lasting identity (chosen, holy, and beloved) and confidence for the future. But what if it this new identity could also change how we live and work and love those around us right now?  
      Christ, in His love, charts the path forward for us to experience unity in marriages, wholeness as families, and harmony at work.

      And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.   (Colossians 3:17)

      Over the past several weeks, Paul's words in Colossians have painted a clear picture of a faith totally reliant on Christ: through, in, under, and with Him. Now as we shift into the practical side of the journey through Colossians, we'll discover how to become Christ-like in how we live, work, and relate to the world around us.  

      "If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that areabove, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God." 
      (Col 3:1)


      Now what?

      If Christ didn’t die for us to follow a list of do’s, and didn’t rise for us to follow a list of don’ts, how do we respond? How do we live out this new identity that we’ve been given? What do our relationships look like in light of our restored relationship with God?

      "by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”  Colossians 2:14-15

      Christ is Risen! 
      The Record of debt… canceled.
      The Result of sin… nailed to the cross.
      The Rulers of this world… disarmed.
      The Relationship we were made for… Restored.
      Christ is Risen Indeed!

      “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”  Colossians 2:6-7

      When we receive Christ Jesus, we receive Him as our Lord. We begin living with a new and different authority over us – a new Master and Lord.  We live under Christ, our Lord.

      In our day and age, authority is often suspect.  Submitting to authority seems incompatible with human dignity, freedom, equality, and even human rights.

      But Jesus is different, and His kingdom is unique. There is absolutely no element of oppression in His Lordship, and there is no humiliation is submitting to it.  Jesus' authority is legitimate;  after His triumph on the cross over sin and death, God placed Christ as head “over” everything, and God placed everything “under” Christ.  Jesus is Lord over all.

      We thrive when we live under Jesus, our Lord.

      “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”  Colossians 2:6-7

      Why is it that some people seem to THRIVE in life while others are just trying to SURVIVE? Could there be a hidden mystery that some discover while others don't?

      We live in a day and time where the winds of political correctness, cultural relevance and theological ambiguity toss people to and fro leading some to be uprooted and dying. 

      God has revealed the secret to this mystery and it is found in the person of Jesus Christ. Being deeply rooted in a relationship with Him will not only enable you to SURVIVE but THRIVE!

      "...if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel” Colossians 1:23a

      It’s easy to place our hope in good things instead of the greatest thing - to shift our confidence and trust to things that don’t last, don't bring peace, and in the end don't sustain us…leaving us STRIVING instead of THRIVING.

      So what do we do when we get off-kilter, when we "shift from the hope of the gospel" and stop walking out our identities in Christ? 

      “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”  Colossians 2:6-7

      For years scientists have stared into the heavens and marveled at the stars; wondering where they came from, how they got there, and why they move the way they do.  How could a universe so complex, so finely tuned, come to exist without something putting it together?  The answer is that it can't!  Jesus is the one who made all things and is the glue that holds all things together.  He is the the Word, the Light, and the Rock that forms a solid foundation upon which we can build our lives.  Join us Sunday as we explore all the Jesus is and how we can build our lives in, around, and on Him!

      “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7

      When Paul wrote to the Colossians, they were still a young church. About 7 years earlier they had heard the gospel, and experienced new life in Jesus Christ the Lord.

      Now, seven years later, they were having some problems. They had veered a bit off course in both their beliefs and their behaviors.

      Paul’s letter to them, which we know as the book of Colossians in our Bible, gets to the root cause of their problems. But Paul doesn’t just expose their problems. He provides the solution. It takes them back to the gospel and to Jesus.

      Real people experiencing real life (with its real problems) in the real world often need to radically Re-Jesus. That’s the message of Colossians. We will dive in and dive deep starting this Sunday.