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Colossians: Raised Up

Colossians 2:6-23

“God made us alive together with him…”

- Colossians 2:13


I know a guy who used to be a youth pastor. He would frequently describe the youth at his church as “JV sinners”. That is, by and large, they were pretty good kids. Most did well in school, none really got into too much trouble. They came to church most Sundays. They were JV sinners, he said.


Do you ever think of yourself as a JV sinner? I mean, you’re not really that bad are you? OK so maybe there were those few choice words for the car that cut you off or that Sunday you accidentally overslept and missed church. Oh, and don’t forget that time you used your neighbor’s WiFi for free without telling them.


A JV sinner, right?


Paul’s words in Colossians 2:13 remind us, however, that there is no such thing as a mere JV sinner. No, Paul writes something astonishing: “And you, who were dead in your tresspasses…”


Dead? In my tresspasses? I thought I was just a JV sinner!


The truth is, though, that in our sins we are dead. Left to our own devices he have no hope. This is why the message of the Gospel is so incredibly profound and important.


We’re all walking around like a bunch of zombies, dead in our sin until Christ breaks into His creation and takes our debt of sin and nails it right to the cross.


Forgiving our sins is not just a nice thing God does for us. It’s everything. It’s life saving. It’s life giving. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God takes dead sinners like us and raises us up to new life. He gives us hope that being the walking dead, stuck in our guilt and sin, isn’t what our future holds.


Nothing else, no other philosophy or human work, can raise the dead. Only God can do that. Only God has done that. He’s done it in Christ; and He’s done it for you and for me. Amen.


Be sure to join us every Sunday at 8:45am in Room 5 for Bible Study! This week we will study Colossians 2:6-23. Download the entire Colossians Adult Bible Study - PDF version HERE and prepare for the study by answering the Personal Application Questions on pages 24-25.


Colossians: Firm in Our Faith

Colossians 1:24-2:5

“For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ”. - Colossians 2:5


St. Paul’s service to the church came at a high price. For the sake of the Body of Christ Paul suffered and struggled as he sought “to make the word of God fully known” in the ancient world. Paul’s desire for the churches in Colossae, Laodicea, and all those he oversaw was for them to be encouraged, to grow together in faith and love, and to know Christ more and more each day.


Indeed, this is our desire as a church body as well. It is our prayer that God will continue to encourage us as we connect others to the love of Jesus. It’s our prayer that Christ will continue to knit us together as we Grow Together in God’s Word. And it’s our prayer that we continually come to a greater knowledge and love for the Gospel: Christ crucified and risen for the salvation of the entire world.


If you have ever felt fearful or discouraged. If you have ever felt overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. If you have ever felt as though the Christian Church has no hope or no future because of all the changes taking place in our country and culture, take heart! We do not work in vain! All the treasures and wisdom and riches are found in Christ (Col. 2:3).


So then, just as Paul exhorted the Christians in Colossae to remain firm in their faith in Jesus, so too does he exort us to do the same. Rather than being deluded with arguments that seek to destroy our faith in Christ, Paul reminds us to hold firm. To continue in our love of God and of one another so that the word of God will be made fully known in Sunnyvale, California, and to the ends of the earth.


Be sure to join us every Sunday at 8:45am in Room 5 for Bible Study! Download the entire Colossians Adult Bible Study - PDF version HERE and prepare for the study by answering the Personal Application Questions on pages 18-19.


Colossians: Jesus is Everything

Jesus is Everything.

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation”

- Colossians 1:15


Colossians 1:15-23 is perhaps one of the most magnificent passages in all of Scripture as it depicts the person and work of Jesus Christ from beginning to end. In Christ, Paul says, we were created and in Christ we were reconciled back to God through the cross. In Christ everything was made and in Christ everything, which through sin had become hostile to God, is brought back to God.


In Christ is creation. In Christ is redemption. In Christ is resurrection.


To sum it up: Jesus is everything.


That’s the message that Paul is emphatically communicating to the Christians in Colossae. This church, which is being infiltrated by teachings that say Jesus isn’t enough, had started to buy into the notion that there needs to be more. They need to know more. They need to do more. They need more.


But the message of the Gospel is simple. Jesus is everything. The Gospel message is complete. Christ, through whom we were created, has reconciled us, sinners though we are, back to God through his death and resurrection.


That’s it. Jesus is everything.


To this simple yet profound message nothing else needs to be added. There is nothing more we need to do to gain our salvation. There are no other religious observances that need to be added. No special program we ought to participate in. Jesus is everything.


Jesus is everything so that we might now live as reconciled people. Reconciled to God and reconciled to one another.


Jesus is everything. He is our peace, our shalom. Not just the absence of conflict but the presence of wholeness in all aspects of our lives.


Jesus is everything so now our sins no longer count against us.


Jesus is everything so now we await a new future, a new creation, where all things are perfectly restored and made right in Him.


Jesus is everything.   

Download the entire Colossians Adult Bible Study - PDF version HERE and join us each Sunday at 8:45am in Room 5 for study and conversation!

Colossians: Growing Together in Christ

Growing Together in Christ

“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

- Colossians 1:13-14


Note: This series is tied to our Sunday morning Adult Bible Study. In addition to reading the weekly devotional, I encourage you to read the appropriate portion of Colossians, answer the questions linked to at the bottom, and join us in Bible Study at 8:45am for a great discussion!


Paul’s letter to the Colossians is a writing intended to address a particular problem at a particular time in the life of the church. From the text of the letter we can deduce that Epaphras, the leader of the church in Colossae, had traveled a great distance to seek council from Paul. There were some among the Christians in Colossae who were advocating a false teaching, a worldly philosophy that was attempting to supplant the one true gospel of Jesus.


But before Paul begins to address this problem, he takes time to greet the Christians in Colossae and remind them he is praying for them. Day in and day out Paul thanks God for the faith of the Christians in this dwindling town in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) and prays that they may continually be built up in Christ. Paul’s prayer is that the Gospel these Christians have received, the Good News of their redemption (Col. 1:14), would bear fruit in their lives.


This fruit, according to Paul, looks like doing good in their world, increasing in knowledge of God, endurance, patience, joy, and thanksgiving. All of this not in order to be welcomed into the Kingdom of God but because they had already been brought into the Kingdom. Paul desires the Christians in Colossae to continue on the life-long journey of spiritual growth and development.


Indeed, this is our prayer too. Having received the Gospel of Christ, we pray that God would continue to develop us into mature followers of Jesus. This we do together as a church body as we search the scriptures, discuss them, and ask questions together.


View the entire study on Colossians here Colossians Bible Study - PDF Version