Sunday, 25 July 2010

A Short Sermon with Reference to Colossians 2.6-15: for the Sunday Between 24th and 30th of July

Alive in Christ or Freedom From Human Regulations Through Life With Christ

6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, 

Have you received him? I just want to make sure. I don’t want any of us still to be relying on our parents, or anyone else, receiving him on our behalf. I don’t want us to be relying on being good or churchgoing. It’s receiving, in other words, greeting or welcoming Jesus into our hearts that is necessary. We can do that even if we have doubts or concerns, there are always things to wonder about. Do we turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as our Saviour? If you do, just say yes to him know. If you have, place your hand over your heart and repeat after me, “Another lives within me. His name is Jesus. Jesus lives in me.”

continue to live in him,

Now walk it out. Move. Exercise. Pray more boldly today than you prayed yesterday, just as Jesus teaches in the gospel (Lk 11.1-13).

7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, 

Put your roots down into the Bible, the Church and the faith. Read the Bible. Worship regularly and frequently. Live by what you find there, rather than by what the culture encourages. Dare to be different. And all this while overflowing with thankfulness. 

8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

The trouble with the philosophy, tradition and basic principles of the world is that they are limited to human intellect and ability. We even think we can improve on what God has provided. Many of us have been taken captive by the hollowness and deception of our culture when it comes to marriage (we really don’t have to be), sexuality, the way we manage our money (it’s all ours) and the way we treat one another (I am entitled). In these things we do not live our lives as if we depended on Christ.

God has already dealt with these things: 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 

Jesus is fully God.

10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. 

We who have received Jesus have been filled with all the goodness and potential that God has for us in Jesus. Jesus is superior to all human rules, regulations and authority.

11 In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ,

In Jesus something has been done for us which is beyond human acts or observance. Something supernatural.

12 having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. (by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. ESV) 

Here’s an amazing thing. The record of all our sins, which stood against us legally, because of which we should all be condemned before a Holy God, has been cancelled, nailed to the Cross of Jesus. Jesus set us free. We haven’t behaved our way out of it or paid for it or earned it. Jesus paid. Jesus set us free. How, then, can we not receive Jesus, and live the life of thanksgiving, of Eucharist, energetically, with gusto, putting our roots down into his life, determined to grow, allowing ourselves to be built up beyond hollow and deceptive shadow world merely human philosophy, tradition and principles.