Good morning church! A couple of things quickly before we get started. First I want to encourage you to check out our on line digital bulletin. We print bulletins every week and not many are taken, so what we’ve done it add it to our website. We do quite a bit of printing for our growth group questions and we felt like we could be better stewards eliminating eliminating the printed bulletin. We are developing some resources to have on the information table for folks that are new. We still want you to be able to know what is going on around here, so if you go to our website, oldtowncf.com you will now see this...
Second thing is I want to invite you all, to invite someone to join us on Sunday mornings as we gather together for Worship and the Word, every Sunday morning, but more specifically, on Sunday, December 18th, Dr. Jeffrey Benjamin will be our guest. Dr. Benjamin is a scientist that actually got saved when he began to examine Creationism through the eyes of a scientist. Dr. Benjamin works with Creation Ministries International, and he will have tons of resources with him that day, so come and get better equipped for sharing your faith with others.
Third, I really want to encourage you guys to pick up the latest Calvary Chapel Magazine. I think it is important for you to know that you are a part of a bigger family than our gathering in Old Town, or even our sister churches in Maine.
Many of you that are on our prayer vine were faithful to pray for Pastor Zach Adams, son of Pastor Sandy Adams from Stone Mountain Georgia, last year. Pastor Zach contracted Covid pneumonia and was in the battle of his life. Here’s a picture of Sandy with his son Zach. Zach was expected to die, his organs began shutting down, he was on a ventilator for over 50 days, and then a miracle happened, he woke up. The doctor’s said if he recovered, he’d never have the lung capacity to preach again, and would be lucky to be able to ever carry on a conversation even one on one with someone without becoming winded.
This is a picture of Kathy Adams, his mom, I don’t know if you can read this quote from her but it says...
“Allowing yourself to acknowledge your utter weakness and pain before A Savior who wants to be your strength, is one of the most powerful experiences you can have with the Holy Spirit,” - Kathy Adams
Sandy and Kathy commited their son to the Lord, and trusted in Him. Here’s a picture of Pastor Zach today, who by the way, returned to his pulpit on Easter Sunday last year.
There is also a great article in there about what worship is and what it is not.
And lastly, well not lastly, but the last of the intro stuff… I had the opportunity in the last week or so to talk to a couple of vary important ladies in my life, I don’t want to say who, I’ll just leave it at that. But, the conversation, both of them unprompted by me, went to the Scriptures, and in the course of the conversation, both of these ladies made this point to me. About the power and significance in the Word of God, when God repeats Himself. That when He chooses to tell us something twice, or even more than twice, how huge that is, how significant it is.
With that, lets pick up where we left off, Colossians 3:18
18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Significant, powerful words that never grow old, do they… Let’s pray!
To set the context for this passage I need to back up one verse to verse 17…Col 3:17
17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
That’s really the whole set up for what comes next. My Bible breaks up the chapter and ends a section with that verse, but I don’t think you can do any of what follows without applying that verse. This picks up on where the men left off in our Bible study yesterday, in evaluating the things that we do, and determining which of them the Lord says to value and which He would direct us to prune.
But I like this idea of whatever you do, in words and actions, because neither is very valuable without consistency in the other. What we say matters. What we do...determines how much what we say matters. And Paul says do all of it in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. One of the ways we can give thanks is doing the things we say in Jesus Name.
Remember back in chapter one, verse 18 says that in all things He may have the preeminence. That Jesus would come first in all that we say and in all that we do, in word and in deed. Last week in our Growth Group homework an expression was used in one of the examples…it said
“She is too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good.” The quote is attributed to Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.,
Johnny Cash took it a step further on his The Rambler album in a song called no earthly good he sang: “You’re shinin’ your light, and shine it you should, / But you’re so heavenly minded you’re no earthly good”
It’s a catchy phrase and a harsh accusation of a Christian in word only. What Paul is telling us here is that if Jesus comes before all things, and all that you say and all that you do, is done is His name, then being Heavenly minded is going to do a world of earthly good. It will change your marriage, your family, your job, and your community. Remember he said our identity is in Jesus. If Jesus is preeminent, than before all other labels we are His and what He says goes.
So Paul ends this letter with some short instructions. Notice I didn’t say easy. But they are really just one verse bullet points for the most part…Let see, where did we leave off…Col 3:18
18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Notice two stipulations to this command in verse 18. First, the wife submits to her “own husband.” Not all men. So, men if ever have a problem with Nicole you go through me. If I have a problem with your wife, I go through you. If you’ve got a problem with your wife, you’re on your own!
And notice the second stipulation, “as is fitting in the Lord.” A woman is under no obligation to obey her husband if his demand is immoral, illegal, or unbiblical. A wife isn’t the property of her husband, she is his partner, and in marriage before the Lord, they are one. Her identity is in Jesus and she belongs to Him, so husbands be careful how you treat her!
Wives, recognize the role your husband has before the Lord. I was so excited when the Ladies in this church began a committed, intentional effort of praying for their husbands...
Big medallion around the neck and a crown on the head…would be stupid. It would be dumb for you to make a half witted decision. Ladies can I tell you when this is most important? When you don’t agree. When you’ve both prayed and haven’t come to the same conclusion and a decision must be made and then, you find out maybe a better decision could have been made.
As part of the fall...
16 Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.”
Stupid husband because check out the next one verse instruction…Col 3:19
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.
So many husbands refuse to love their wives in a way that would be meaningful toward them.
A husband’s job is to do what? love his wife. That means..to, cover her, protect her and to encourage her spiritual growth. He’s responsible for her welfare - and as tje head he is responsible for the stuff that’s not his fault. He bears the weight and the cost of the problems that he didn’t cause. Like Jesus paid the price for us. When there are disagreements, or arguments...
A leader takes initiative. Says he’s sorry. He re-opens communication. As the leader in your home you are to be first to seek reconciliation, even when your wife is in the wrong. Jesus showed grace! Romans 5:8 reminds us, “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Verse 20 Col 3:20
20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
Dad, don’t aggravate your kids... Don’t berate them or discipline them harshly. Don’t be a constant critic, be their biggest advocate. Have a real relationship with your kids. This can go the other way too, where your not provoking them, you’re ignoring them. Your distracted by your own pleasures and you don’t have time for your kids. Then what do they do? They act out. I don’t look at that as a discipline problem, it’s a love problem. You love the wrong things Dad, mainly yourself.
If it’s tough for a kid to submit to the father you can see, how will they submit to the Father Who’s invisible?
Now Paul moves on to bondservants
22 Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.
I think this is one of the most unfortunate chapter breaks in the entire Bible, because now he talks about bosses, and it really should go with this...
1 Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.
2 Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; 3 meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, 4 that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
First the fuel and equipping, then the action…Col 4:5-6
5 Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
Paul had community, every single one of you has community, or have it available to you. One of the original motivational speakers, who is no longer with us was a man named Zig Zigler. I don’t know of it was his real name or not, but one smart thing that he said was this. If you go looking for a friend, you're going to find they're very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you'll find them everywhere.
Paul was a man that had friends. Lot’s of times when Paul writes he greets people and commends people and we have no idea really who they are. His greetings and farewells in Colossians is a really interesting study, and almost everybody here has significant mentions in other places in the Bible. But this morning we’ll stick to big picture stuff.
7 Tychicus, a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me. 8 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts, 9 with Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will make known to you all things which are happening here.
Titch-a-cus and Oh-NESS-ih-mess
10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, with Mark the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him), 11 and Jesus who is called Justus. These are my only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are of the circumcision; they have proved to be a comfort to me.
Aristarchus = eh·ruh·staar·kuhs
12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness that he has a great zeal for you, and those who are in Laodicea, and those in Hierapolis.
Eh-puh-frus = Epaphras
Hierapolis = High-rop-oh-lus
14 Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you.
Only place we learn that Luke was a doctor. IT explains some of the scientific details we see in Luke and Acts.
Yet in the last mention of him (2 Timothy 4:10), Paul said that Demas had forsaken him, having loved this present world, and that he had gone on to Thessalonica.
15 Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas and the church that is in his house.
It says his here, there is actually much controversy and debate, what does it matter?
16 Now when this epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.” 18 This salutation by my own hand—Paul. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. Amen.
Grace and Peace