Sunday, July 31, 2011

From the Shadows to the Substance

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Sharing notes from our Pastor’s Sunday message from Colossians 2: 5-23.  He was reading from the Message Bible which is an illuminating transliteration.  The scriptures here are from the Message Bible

6-7 My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you've been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You're deeply rooted in him. You're well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you've been taught. School's out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.

Understand that your sins are forgiven, the slate has been wiped clean, and the warrants against you have been cancelled, now GO ahead and live IN Him.

Keep focused on Jesus for he is the center. He is the hub of the wheel. Jesus is Preeminent, most excellent and unsurpassed.

8-10 Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that's not the way of Christ. Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don't need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.

Jesus revealed the mysteries of the Kingdom through the parables he taught. His teachings are not secret to us, but may seem like foolishness to those who do not believe. To the unbeliever the mystery of the kingdom is but a riddle or a puzzle and often they “will” themselves to be shut off from the Truth of Salvation.

Jesus Christ is the KEY.  He is the solid rock, the corner stone and we are to build our lives on Him. He weaves the gospel like unto a tapestry and the beauty is revealed as you view the completed project.

The mysteries are open to the believer who has placed himself into Christ.  God's plan is shown to us through His Word.  It is not a secret.

So how can we live this mystery? The answer is simple and plain. Get in! Stay in.  

Be firmly rooted and grounded in Jesus.  Jesus said, “I am the vine and you are the branches, abide in me.”
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” His promises are Yes, yes and amen.

1.  Build your life on the Rock of ages for he is the unshakable foundation where we can safely trust.

2.  Let your life spill over with thanksgiving. A thankful person is a thinking individual.

3.  Live your life IN Christ understanding that He is IN you and you are in Him.

4.  Because of Jesus the power of sin has been broken. The slate has been wiped clean. We are forgiven.

This post has been shared at: Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday. Please visit there to view other posts.

The following scriptures from Colossians in the Message Bible and are so enlightening, that I have included them here.

11-15 Entering into this fullness is not something you figure out or achieve. It's not a matter of being circumcised or keeping a long list of laws. No, you're already in—insiders—not through some secretive initiation rite but rather through what Christ has already gone through for you, destroying the power of sin. If it's an initiation ritual you're after, you've already been through it by submitting to baptism. Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ. When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ's cross. He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.

16-17 So don't put up with anyone pressuring you in details of diet, worship services, or holy days. All those things are mere shadows cast before what was to come; the substance is Christ.

18-19 Don't tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions. They're a lot of hot air, that's all they are. They're completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us.

20-23 So, then, if with Christ you've put all that pretentious and infantile religion behind you, why do you let yourselves be bullied by it? "Don't touch this! Don't taste that! Don't go near this!" Do you think things that are here today and gone tomorrow are worth that kind of attention? Such things sound impressive if said in a deep enough voice. They even give the illusion of being pious and humble and ascetic. But they're just another way of showing off, making your selves look important.
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  1. I really like his 2nd point. The more I am grateful, full of thanksgiving, the clearer I see and closer I hear God. Good points and thorough notes. Thanks for sharing.

  2. It IS as simple as this, isn't it: "So how can we live this mystery? The answer is simple and plain. Get in! Stay in."

    Why do I persist in making it so much more complicated?

  3. Man do I see this everyday. The elect of this world are blinded by the Truth. We see the simple truth, which is the "mysteries of the world." What a gift. What a nice reminder...

  4. I am loving Colossians right now. There's tons of good stuff like this. Like: In him all things hold together. And: Your life is now hidden in Christ with God. Wow. It's so encouraging, but heavy stuff too. I need these reminders every day, sweet friend. Thanks for being that for me today.


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