Text: Colossians 3:15-4:6
CIT: After Paul lines out the supremacy of Christ and warns against false teachings; Paul challenges the people in Colosse to walk out their faith in action, to the best of their ability no matter where they are or what station in society they are. By doing this, they will not only live an authentic Christian lifestyle, but they will also serve as an authentic example of a Christian to unbelievers.
CIS: As a follower of Jesus, we must live our lives in a way that reflects the effect of Christ’s supremacy in our lives. The best way of doing this is to do the very best we can in whatever situation we are in. The purpose of doing this not just so that we can carry the title of “Christian” but so that we can be an example of those around us who do not know Christ.
The current state of the American Church is sadly not looking good. 59% of young adults (ages 18-29) have left the faith they grew up in. 4 out of 10 consider themselves simply unreligious. After doing a lot of digging around, I see two reasons for this loss of young adults popping up.
- They’ve never had someone who was truly a disciple of Christ live out their lives with them.
- They feel like they can find God in other places.
So how do we reach this lost generation? How do we reach ANYONE who is either fallen from Christ or never known Him? Surely young people aren’t the only ones experiencing these issues?
In Colossians Paul is dealing with a similar issue. People have been misled by false doctrine and people are either walking away from the Church or simply staying away from the church as a whole because “it got weird.” Doctrinal issues are easy to clear up, and Paul addresses those very directly. What I found interesting, however, was that he didn’t just stop with the logical understanding of Christ but continued on with a full-on challenge to the people of the church.
TS: Paul begins by issuing a very clear statement
Work in the Name of Jesus (vs 15-17)
Text: And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Exp: Here Paul is telling the church that as they allow the peace of God to rule their hearts, as they allow the words of Jesus to penetrate their hearts; their words and actions need to be done in a way that is glorifying to Christ.
Christ’s sovereignty embraces every aspect of life, not only the so-called “sacred” but also the secular. To do all in the name of the Lord Jesus means to live and act as those who bear His name, and to seek to live worthy of Him. Not out of some pious religious duty but out of a heart that is thankful for the grace given to us.
TS: The great thing about Paul is that he gives examples of what he’s talking about.
Do and work where you are (vs 18 – 4:1)
Exp: Many Bibles have this section of the scriptures listed as “The Christian Home” or “Rules of Christian Households.” While this is not wrong, we should remember this is directly linked to verse 17. Paul is not randomly giving instructions to the church about how a family should run but is giving examples of the “whatever you do in word or deed.”
App: Reciprocal relationships (wife to husband back to wife) (Child to parent back to child) (Servant to master to servant) Because of their devotion to Christ, each should seek to serve the other in a manner that is glorifying to Christ.
No matter your situation or position, be the best that you can be!
TS: But what if those around us don’t return said respect or grace?
You glorify Christ, He’ll take care of the rest (vs 23-25)
Text: And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.
Exp: Specifically speaking to the servants, Paul explains that they should simply serve as though they were serving Christ Himself and allow God to handle those who do wrong.
App: While this is specifically for servants it does apply to everyone one in every situation. You may be in a bad situation. But do what you know God has called you to do and be the very best that you can be. Let God handle those who do wrong.
TS: But what does this all have to do with reaching the lost?
Reach the lost where they are by being authentic! (vs 4:5-6)
Text: Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
Exp: Paul is explaining to the church that they need to make the most of the time that they have with unbelievers. They need use wisdom when speaking to them, wisdom when ministering to them. In context, if they’ve been doing all things in the name of the Lord as they should, the interest of the unbeliever should peek.
App: The reality is you can’t effectively reach the lost if you seclude yourself from an unbelieving world. If you do, then you won’t be able to reach them. We know that they aren’t coming to the church and that they are finding God in other places. So why aren’t we in those places ministering the gospel? Why are you there showing them what a true disciple of Christ looks like so that they can find God where they are at?
“But I can’t stand up and preach at work!”
Some places are highly restricted, but when they see that you are the noticed for being an excellent employee, servant, a parent on the PTA, Business owner, caregiver, IT guy, babysitter, Lyft Driver; they are bound to ask one question…
“What makes you different?”