Sunday Sermon Colossians 4:2-6 (4)
Good morning and welcome to FCC!
We are so glad that each one of you have joined us here in the sanctuary and online to worship God in Spirit and in truth, one verse at a time, one book at a time.
I want to remind you that Kevin will be starting a study on Revelation soon, and he would like to hear from you what day and time works best.
So please, see him after church or call him.
We are definitely living in the last days and Jesus is coming quickly, are ya ready?
Are your lamps full of oil?
Who has God placed upon your heart to witness to?
Well, today, we will finish up this section on the speech of the new man.
2 corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
New creation -equals new man- equals new speech church!
If we are new creations, then our speech should be new and we should not speak the way we spoke before we were believers.
We will find out today that if we are in Christ, we will pray and witness to others.
Read Colossians 4:2-6
Read Colossians 4:2-6
Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; 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, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
We are nearing the end of this wonderful little epistle written by the Apostle Paul.
He opened the book on prayer church and here is starting to close the book on prayer.
Paul has moved us from doctrine to duty!
He has taught his reader that Christ must be pre-eminent in our lives.
If Christ indeed is pre-eminent in our lives church, then the peace of God will rule in our hearts, the word of Christ will dwell within us richly, and we will have a prayer life that will lead us to witnessing to others.
Its like a four legged stool:
Everything that Paul has taught us throughout Colossians has equipped us to stand in the evil day that we are living in and he has equipped us to recognize unbiblical teaching and false teaching of the day.
We have come as far as verse 2 and I wanted to pick up there:
Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;
Paul is giving us some ground rule for prayer and we have covered the first two using illustrations taken straight from parables.
Paul has taught us that we should be devoted in prayer. That we should be persistent and persevering in our prayer lives and not lose heart or hope.
He taught us that we should be vigilant or watchful in our prayed lives.
Let’s not be like the disciples and fall asleep church.
And although they literally fell asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane, this is speaking to us in the spiritual sense
When we stop praying, we begin to sleep.
We begin to backslide.
If you take an inventory of your own walk with the Lord, you will find that two things generally are the precursor to going backwards.
Time in the Word
Time in prayer
When our time in prayer and the word decreases, sin will often increase in our lives
3. Paul then said that we are to give thanks church.
When someone does something for us, we thank that person.
The One Person who has done more for us than anyone else is God. T
Therefore, we are to thank Him.
In fact, God continues to bless and help us; His hand is constantly upon our lives, looking after and caring for us; therefore, we should continually thank Him!
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.
Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
Our praise should be lifted up to Him all through the day as we go about our daily affairs. An hour should never pass when we have not praised and thanked God several times. We should never forget His Son—that He actually took our sins upon Himself and bore the judgment and punishment of them for us. This alone should continually fill our hearts with thanksgiving and praise.
Over the last decade, there has been an increase in research dedicated to better understanding the effects of gratitude on health and relationships — and the results are astonishing. The simple act of expressing gratitude on a consistent basis has been shown to positively impact key areas in a person’s life including: relationships and connectedness, emotional well-being, and physical health.
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,
Over the last few weeks I shared that Paul gave us things to do in prayer, but in further study, I discovered a forth.
4. Pray for the ministry of others as well as your own ministry.
It is important to note church, that Paul did not pray or ask others to pray for his release from prison or for a not guilty verdict
But rather that a door would be open to share the gospel that he would speak the mystery of Christ.
We must remember that Paul is prison in Rome and chained to 4 guards a day.
He was not chained to Rome, but rather the Lord Jesus Christ himself.
Look what he wrote in yet another prison epistle:
But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
Imagine being chained to the Apostle Paul!
Through this witness, the Gospel was carried into parts of Rome that would have been inaccessible to Paul had he been a free man.
There were even “saints in Caesar’s household”!
All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar’s household.
Paul did not know if he would live or die church, he was in prison and awaiting trial.
He was suffering for His namesake
In fact, I think it is important that we remember that Paul was in prison for proclaiming the Gospel
And his imprisonment did not stop him form witnessing or evangelizing church, but rather open up doors that would never have opened if he was not imprisoned church.
Open doors does not mean easy
We often use the concept of an “open door” as an opportunity in front of us.
When you are looking for a job, and someone actually makes you a job offer, we call that an “open door”.
God uses circumstances like this to shape us and direct us.
But be careful how you view your circumstances.
Not all opportunities are easy. Look at Paul’s “open door”:
But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
The mystery that Paul is talking about means that what was concealed in the OT is now revealed in the NT.
And that is that the middle wall of separation between the Jews and the Gentiles is now gone:
For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
Salvation is now for the Jew and Gentile church!
And this is what Paul proclaimed!
When is the last time that you asked God to open a door to share the Gospel?
When was the last time your prayed for those in ministry to be vessels of honor?
I covet your prayers church!
We are all called to proclaim the Gospel:
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Is this the Great Commission or Great Omission church?
When was the last time you shared Jesus with someone?
I always say, I do not share the gospel with others because I am not living the gospel out in my own life!
If we are not feasting on the Word, if we are not devoted, vigilant and giving thanks to our Lord, we will definitely not share the Gospel.
If we do not fill our minds with the things of God, we will fill them with things that have no eternal value.
May we speak what the Lord would have us to speak church!
Not fearing man!
With unction and boldness!
Not concerned about outcomes! Because only God gives the increase!
Only to honor and glorify the God who has saved us!
The Word teaches Be Holy, for I am holy and the more holy you are church, the more you will be persecuted, slandered, and like Paul maybe put in prison.
The proclamation of the Gospel is empowered by prayer church. The Spirit of God uses the Word of God as we come to the throne of grace and ask God for His blessing. We must never separate the Word of God from prayer because God has joined them together!
Paul was afflicted and in chains, he was definitely in the midst of a difficult time in his life and what did he do?
He asked for prayer, he was the strongest and endure the most affliction of any disciple and yet he asked for prayer!
When you add prayer to a difficult time, God brings fruit.
Again, Paul doesn’t ask them to pray that he will endure. He doesn’t ask for them to pray that his difficulty ends. He prays that doors of opportunity will open.
Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
Other translations say for us to make the most of every opportunity (NASB< NIV)
It is clear that we have moved from prayer to witnessing church.
And I think it is important to remember that:
Your “walk” isn’t something people hear. It’s something people see.
When you see the word walk in the Bible it refers to our daily conduct
Its how we live our lives church.
Its how we live the gospel out loud!
It’s in our speech and our actions.
Paul is giving us yet another imperative that we must walk in wisdom, not in foolishness, but be sensitive to the Spirits leading in our lives redeeming the time!
We must never have a sanctified superiority complex.
We have a responsibility to witness to the lost around us and to seek to bring them into God’s family.
To begin with, we have the responsibility to walk wisely (Col. 4:5).
The unsaved outsiders watch us Christians and are very critical of us.
There must be nothing in our lives that would jeopardize our testimony.
This story has often been told about Dr. Will H. Houghton, who pastored the Calvary Baptist Church in New York City and later served as president of Chicago’s Moody Bible Institute till his death in 1946. When Dr. Houghton became pastor of the Baptist Tabernacle in Atlanta, a man in that city hired a private detective to follow Dr. Houghton and report on his conduct. After a few weeks, the detective was able to report to the man that Dr. Houghton’s life matched his preaching. As a result, that man became a Christian.
Is there anything in our lives that is jeopardizing our witness?
outside – Who are those “outside”? Those who don’t believe in Jesus.
People are watching you. They are looking for reasons not to believe. They need to see reasons to believe.
time – kairos – a specific measure of time
We’re not to just be redeeming the clocks of the world, we are “redeeming” specific periods of time, times that present opportunities.
redeeming – exagorazo – payment of a price to recover from the power of another
It’s seeing a moment in time as something that the enemy has kidnapped. You are willing to pay the price to buy back that moment as an opportunity for God to work.
Esther faced one of those moments. She was a beautiful Jewish girl who had become the queen of the empire. She found out that an evil plot had been hatched to wipe out her entire race. She was in a unique position to do something, but she hesitated. She might risk her position. She might even be killed herself. Her cousin Mordecai told her:
For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Esther “redeemed” the “time” by risking her position and even her life in exposing the plot and saving her people.
Paul now gives a little insight in how to “redeem” the time.
Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
It is not enough simply to walk wisely and carefully before unbelievers.
We must also talk with them and share the Gospel message with them.
But we must take care that our speech is controlled by grace, so that it points to Christ and glorifies the Lord.
This means we must have grace in our hearts (Col. 3:16), because it is from the heart that the mouth speaks.
With grace in our hearts and on our lips, we will be faithful witnesses and not judges or prosecuting attorneys!
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Jesus if full of grace and truth right?
Then if we hang out with Him, guess what?
Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
By beholding, we become changed!
The Lord Jesus Christ spoke with grace on His lips.
So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”
Look at this Messianic Psalm:
You are fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured upon Your lips; Therefore God has blessed You forever.
Even when our Lord was dealing with sin, He spoke words of grace.
To speak with grace means to say what is spiritual, wholesome, fitting, kind, sensitive, purposeful, complementary, gentle, truthful, loving, and thoughtful.
Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:29:
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
Seasoned with salt, - Salt is what gives zest, zing and flavor to food. It is also a preservative.
When Sharing Christ, we are to be excited about it because this is the most thrilling thing we could ever tell another person.
Our witness is to be lively and upbeat.
The greatest crime on earth is to bore men, women, boys and girls with the gospel.
If we are not excited about Christ, we can never expect the unbeliever to get excited.
Colossians: The MacArthur New Testament Commentary (The Speech of Perfection)
The speech of the new man must also be seasoned … with salt. It is not only to be gracious, but also to have an effect. Salt can sting when rubbed into a wound (cf. Prov. 27:6). It also prevents corruption. Believers’ speech should act as a purifying influence, rescuing conversation from the filth that so often engulfs it. Salt also adds flavor, and the speech of the new man should add charm and wit to conversation.Believers must also know how to respond to each person. They must know how to say the right thing at the right time. In Peter’s words,
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
Many people are sinking in a sea of sin. Unless we reach them with the Gospel soon, it will be too late.
Church we must remember that every contact with a person is a divinely appointed situation.
We are either to encourage them as brothers or sisters or talk to them about Christ, who gives forgiveness and eternal life to all who believe.
As Christians we must remember: “This life will soon be past; only what is done for Christ will last!
If you are without Christ, today is your day of opportunity. This is your day to become a Christian. Today is the day of salvation:
How are your walking and talking? Has your speech changed since surrendering your life to Jesus?
Are there any announcements?’
You are in for a treat church next week: Brother Juan will be bringing forth the Word!
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
THE LORD BLESS YOU!
YOUR MISSION STARTS NOW!