Sunday, October 2, 2016

ROCK SOLID FAITH FOR TROUBLED TIMES - PART 1

THE CONDITION WHICH COMMANDS CONTRITION
The parallels of Scripture with corrupt Modern American cultural Christianity are stunning.  You can find those in the debased Corinthian church; the legalistic Galatian church or the easily swayed Colossian church, just to name a few.  As King Solomon once said “there is nothing new under the sun”. Indeed, the calendar year changes but people remain the same. This is true in 21st century America as it was in Colosse.

In this New Testament Epistle, the Apostle Paul shows the obstacles facing the pure teaching of the Gospel by the various and sundry corruptions of it, then as they are now. Paul, under the Power of the Holy Spirit, gives three warnings in Colossians Chapter 2 which are worth looking into, in light of what we face today in Modern Christianity. There is a serious reason for a very much needed look at these warnings, because the direct fruit of deviation from the Word of God is with us now. We see it in the rise of the “None’s” – most of whom are increasingly people in their teens, 20’s and early 30’s who have not just walked away from our churches but believe in absolutely nothing. The Pew Research Center and Christian Pollster George Barna have both confirmed that over 1/3 of people under the age of 35 believe in nothing, and that means nothing higher than themselves. As for any "religious" affiliation, they have "none". Hence the name.

In a sense, some of them have a point if their only encounter with Christianity are dead or judgmental churches or those who sing and shout on Sunday and then sin every which way to Saturday. Those are called “hypocrites”.  However, while none of this will protect the “None’s” on Judgment Day from the Wrath of God, we must never stop warning them and all our Christian sisters and brothers out there, who can be blinded by this stuff in Colossians chapter 2, because it is so slippery and devious.

What we are attempting here in this short series on “The Indescribable Christ”, from the Book of Colossians is to point out the pitfalls, stumbling blocks and bear traps out there for the unsuspecting Christian who may not pay attention to this stuff.  The smart folk in theological seminary call this “Christology”!  

In the next few posts, we look at the warnings from the Apostle and Emissary from Christ, and take his words seriously. The reason is that Paul was specifically chosen by Jesus to warn all people of all time, through his teaching, to point everyone, even church going people, away from even their own churches and to Christ alone.

Here is what the initial warning is, before we look at the three main ones in Chapter 2. In Chapter 1:21-22 "21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— 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".

Christ is pleading with us, as He did through Paul in these two verses, to NEVER forget from whence we came and secondly just WHO He - Jesus Christ - really is. Look at the darkness and death from which Christ redeemed us....from Colossians 1:21-22...(see below):
 1. We were alienated (as far from God in body, mind and soul as possible).
 2. We were enemies - in thought and in our wicked works.
 3. But, in spite of that, God (through Christ) reconciled us fully to Himself.
 4. He not only did that, but cleaned us up so on that Day, we will be blameless.
 5. CAVEAT - our sanctification will only be complete if we stay close to Him.
 6. Our maturity in Him depends on standing FIRM on the Gospel in this life.
 7. This same Gospel will be the plumbline against which we will be judged.

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