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Tag: relationship

Representing Christ

Today will be our second last message in our series on the book of Colossians. We’ve been looking at Paul’s Christianity in a Nutshell – or at least, that’s what we’ve subtitled it. But it seems to be a fitting title. As we’ve been looking at this letter to the church in Colossae, we’ve answered many of the questions of what Christianity is all about. Who is Jesus? Why did He die on the cross and rise again from the grave? What difference does it make to us? What does it actually mean to be a Christian? How do we live in close relationship with God on a continuing basis? How do we have victory over the sin that so easily gets us off track?

Paul has addressed all of these questions and more in this short little letter to the church in Colossae. So I hope that over these past few weeks, you’ve really been encouraged and spurred on in your own walk with Christ and that you’ve been able to apply some of these principles that we’ve been learning. I know that I sure have.

Now these last couple of weeks, our focus has been on our new nature. That is, the new desires of our heart that we get when Christ comes to dwell within us. It’s our desire to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and to please God – instead of following our old sinful nature which just wants to please ourselves.

We read two weeks ago how Paul says to “strip off our old sinful nature”, and to “put on“ or “cloth ourselves” with our new nature. And we do that by keeping our focus on Jesus – by setting our sights on the realities of heaven – not getting caught up in the things of this world.

Then last week we dug into that a little deeper and we identified some practical ways to do that. We talked about following the leading of the Holy Spirit every moment of every day – and how, by filling our minds with God’s Word, by teaching and counseling each other with the wisdom God gives, and by worshipping God with a thankful heart – we can actually hear what the Holy Spirit is saying so we can follow Him and walk in our new nature, close to God continuously.

And it’s this idea of continuously walking in our new nature that springboards us into our passage this morning.

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A Continuous, Close Relationship with God

These past few weeks we’ve been looking at Christianity in a Nutshell as we’ve examined Paul’s letter to the Colossians. And we’ve been talking about some good stuff. Stuff like who Jesus really is. Stuff like what Jesus really did for us when He died on the cross and rose from the grave. Stuff like what it really means to be a Christian. And if you’ve missed that or just have a poor memory, let me give you a quick 3-point summary: #1. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. #2. He died on a cross and rose from the grave to take away our sin and our punishment so that we could be together with God. #3. Being a Christian means you have accepted what Christ has done for you and now, with Christ living within you, you have life together with God. That’s what we’ve been talking about.

We ended last week on the theme of having a relationship with God. And of course, that leads to the question: How? And not “How do we begin a relationship with God?” – we’ve talked about that already. It begins by confessing with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believing in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. That’s how we start our relationship with God – But the question I want to talk about today is, how do we live in continuing, close relationship with God? What do we do? What does God do? How does it all work together? What is life together with God supposed to look like?

I don’t know if you’re like me – but I struggle with this. It is difficult for me to understand how exactly to experience a continuing, close relationship with God. And maybe that surprises you, but I’m just being honest. I don’t have it all figured out – but I’m learning.

And one of the greatest privileges I have as your pastor is to be able to stand in front of you week after week and share with you the lessons that I’ve been learning. That’s not to say that I’ve mastered it all. In fact, if you hear me preach on the same topic several times, it’s probably because God hasn’t got through to me yet. But I’m learning, and I’d love to have you learn with me.

Today we begin chapter three of Colossians.

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What Is A Christian?

What does it mean to be a Christian? What’s Christianity all about? And forgive me if that seems to be a silly question to ask in church on a Sunday morning. After all, don’t we all know what Christianity is all about? What it means to be a Christian? Why, just last Sunday we talked about how Jesus is the Son of God and that He died on a cross in our place and how because of that, we can be completely forgiven of our sins if we choose to accept God’s forgiveness. The Bible tells us that if we confess with our mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and if we believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we shall be saved. Isn’t that what it means to be a Christian? Being saved? Having eternal life? Being forgiven?

Well, yes. Accepting Christ as our Saviour does mean that we are saved, that we’ve been forgiven, and that we have the hope of eternal life. But what does that really mean? I mean, how does that affect your life right now? What difference does it make? Is Christianity merely a ‘get out of jail free’ card for when you die? Is it just a ticket to heaven? Is the Christian life about collecting heavenly airmiles by our good behavior so we can cash them in for a bigger mansion when we get to heaven? Is that what Christianity is all about?

Or does God have something else in mind? Is there something more to being a Christian than just being saved?

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