Over the past four weeks we have been taking time to give serious consideration to the Gospel as we see it presented in Colossians 1:15-23. This is the text that we are using to teach the kids in our Vacation Bible School about God, themselves and the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. I thought it would be good to expand on those lessons and take the rest of the church through the text so that they would be prepared to talk to the kids about what they are learning. It has been a good five weeks in the pulpit.
Having discussed the Nature of Christ (Colossians 1:15-19), The nature of sinful man (Colossians 1:21), the nature of redemption (Colossians 1:20) and the nature of justification (Colossians 1:22), we turned our sights today on the proper response to God’s amazing work on our behalf.
Colossians 1:23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
This is really where the reality of our faith becomes apparent. Do we continue in it? Will we do what it takes to be “Grounded and Steadfast” so that we are not “moved away from the hope of the Gospel?” To put it bluntly, this is kind of the “put up or shut up” part of the faith. Many people talk about being Christians, but really put no effort into their Christian lives. Not that we are in any way saved by our efforts! On the contrary, if you go back and check out the four previous posts on Colossians, you can never come to that conclusion. But genuine, saving faith in Jesus Christ produces a pronounced effect on the life of the Believer. Having been a pastor / teacher for the past dozen years or so, I am greatly disappointed in the lack of zeal coupled with general ignorance of basic Christian doctrine that I see in most of the Church.
Understanding the Jesus Christ is the Creator of all things visible and invisible, the very source of all authority, that we have rebelled in earnest against that authority and become hostile to it, that He, of His own volition became the Innocent Victim that was needed to reconcile the rebel to the Righteous Judge, and that not only did He take away the offense of our sin, but established us with a positive righteousness before the Father, needs to humble us and fill us with a reflection of the love that He has shown to us.
I love Paul’s response to God’s amazing, redeeming love as he breaks forth into a doxology in his letter to the Ephesians;
Ephesians 3:14-19 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height– 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Is that your response to the Gospel? Does it drive you to your knees and and bring a fountain of praise from your lips? Does it cause you to consider the amazing, unfathomable love of an offended God who chose to love and redeem His elect as they simply trust in His provision for their reconciliation in such a way that you can’t handle it? This love then moves us to a grounding and steadfastness that is rooted in His love for us. Work becomes motivated by that love. Energy and stamina result. Amazement multiplies!
That is the proper response to the Gospel. I encourage you to give it a listen and to exalt God for His amazing grace. Audio is available by clicking on the link below.
Grounded and Steadfast – AUDIO