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Submission vs Subjection

I have done some foolish and dangerous things in my lifetime – some of them years ago when I was a kid, and some of them not all that long ago. For example, when I was probably about 9 or 10 years old, I decided one day I wanted to see how long and how far I could ride my bike with my eyes closed. For some reason, I didn’t really see the potential danger in this and so I took off down our driveway of our farm – eyes closed and pedalling hard! It wasn’t until I was slapped in the face with a spruce tree branch, that I began to realize that I may have done something foolish. I opened my eyes just in time to avoid the tree trunk but still ended up in the barbwire fence. I still have a scar on my arm to remind me of my foolishness that day.

But that didn’t keep me from doing foolish and dangerous things as an adult. A short time after my wife & I were married, we lived in the farmyard across from her family. Her brother Roger was still living at home at that time, and so we often got together to do guy stuff in the shop – like carefully filling up lightbulbs with acetylene and oxygen and watching them explode when you turn on the light and things like that. Well, we had learned that if you mix tin foil with a certain cleaner – there is a chemical react that lets off a couple gases. If you do this in a 2 litre pop bottle and close the lid, the pressure increases until the pop bottle explodes with a tremendous bang. So one day, we decided to explode a hot water bottle – It would be pretty exciting to see how big those things would become until they finally burst!

So we filled the bottom of the hot water bottle with little balls of tin foil and then Roger went to put in the cleaner. Well, it reacted so quickly, that as he was pouring it in, the pressure began spewing out the cleaner out the top of the bottle. Of course, we had never thought to wear eye protection or anything and so Roger got this highly corrosive cleaner in his eyes! So we immediately drop the bottle and rush to flush his eyes out. I think we put him in the shower or put his face under the gardenhose or something like that. I believe he eventually went to the doctor to get his eyes check out – and if I remember correctly, there was some marks on his eyeballs, but thankfully no damage was done to his retinas. But the potential for significant damage was great! We’re thankful that God was watching over us – even while we did those foolish and dangerous things.

That being said, I’m trusting that God will watch over us again today, as I attempt yet another potentially foolish and dangerous thing this morning. This morning I want to talk to you about the role of women in marriage.

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Christians and Politics – A Biblical Look at the Relationship between Church & Government

Well, I have preached probably a few hundred sermons over the last ten years, but I’ve never spoken on this particular topic that I am going to speak about this morning. In fact, this topic had never even appeared on my radar until the latter part of this past year.

And not that the Bible is silent on this issue. As I’ve been preparing for this, it’s actually been surprising for me to see just how much the Bible has to say about it. So over the last several months, God has been helping me wrap my head around about all this – and I believe He is leading me to share some of what I’ve been learning with you. And so this morning I’m going to wade into the issue of church and politics.

Let me start by saying that pastoring this church has been very stretching for me. It has taken me way out of my comfort zone and has caused me to think about and to address issues that I never imagined that I would have to deal with. And of course, politics has been one of those issues. Part of that comes from the particular make-up of those in our church, part of that has to do with the relationship that we’ve developed with our town as we’ve tried to share the love of Christ with our community, and part of that has to do simply with the times in which we live.

And maybe this is just my experience, but I’ve found that more and more I’ve needed to wrestle with the question of: What are our responsibilities as a church, what are our responsibilities as individuals – as followers of Jesus Christ when it comes to the issue of politics and government?

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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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