A Great Struggle
Colossians 2:1-3 ESV
“For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
I feel with Paul here. I have that same concern for the people in my life and for those I have not yet met face to face. I want them to be encouraged, too, but not in the ways of the world and of the flesh, but in the ways of God’s Spirit, and in the ways of the teachings of God’s word.
I desire for them that they be knit together in love, too, but not in fleshly or worldly love, but in godlike love which obeys the Lord’s commands and which looks not only to our own concerns but also to the concerns (cares, welfare) of others.
I also long for them to know Jesus Christ in truth, and to understand with full assurance the whole counsel of God and the fullness of the gospel of our salvation. And I yearn to see them be in intimate relationship with our Lord Jesus in the way he desires and that he requires of his followers.
For, there are many people today who are convinced they know Jesus, but they do not know him intimately. They are not in relationship with him. They believe in a concept of Jesus, largely which is distorted, but they have not surrendered their lives to him. He is not their Lord.
They have acknowledged his existence and what they have been taught that he did for us on that cross, but they have not denied self and died with Christ to sin, so they are not continuing to die with Christ to sin daily. Thus, they are also not following the Lord in obedience. So, they don’t have eternal life with God (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 2:3-6).
A Plausible Argument
Colossians 2:4-5 ESV
“I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.”
What kind of plausible (believable) arguments are deluding (deceiving) people today? I believe the primary one, the one that is permeating the church today, is the cheap grace gospel.
This is not saying that God’s grace is cheap. It isn’t! This is talking about a cheapened (false substitute) version of God’s true grace. And this teaching is supplanting the true gospel of God’s true grace. And people are buying into it in droves because it tells them what their itching ears want to hear.
This plausible argument is twisting the Scriptures to gratify the sinful cravings of the flesh. For, it centers on Paul’s teachings whereby he talks about how we are saved by grace through faith, which is not of ourselves, but which is a gift of God, not of works lest any should boast (Eph 2:8-9).
But then they teach that submission to Christ as Lord, repentance, and walks of obedience to our Lord and to his commands are works which they say do not save us, and thus they teach they are to be discarded. So, they teach a faith which does nothing, but which continues living for the flesh.
And many people are accepting this plausible argument for it sounds good to their ears. It seems reasonable to them. For they see Jesus’ death on a cross merely as forgiveness of sin, freedom from the penalty of sin, and a guarantee that heaven is secured for them when they die.
But That’s Not All!
But that’s not all there is to Jesus’ death and resurrection. And that is not the totality of what the Scriptures teach regarding salvation from sin and eternal life with God, either. So, we can’t cherry pick the Scriptures we like, remove them from their context, and build our doctrine around them.
Yes, it is true that in our flesh we can do nothing to earn or to deserve our own salvation. Our good works will never outweigh our bad works. It truly is only by God’s grace through God-given faith in Jesus Christ that any of us can be saved from our sins and have eternal life with God.
But, and this is important that we understand this, not one of us can come to faith in Jesus Christ unless the Father draws us to him. And this is what faith is. It is divine persuasion. And God the Father is not going to persuade us to ignore him, to treat him with contempt, to disobey him, to not honor him as Lord, and to continue on living in sin without guilt.
That is totally ludicrous to think God would persuade us to continue living in sin while treating him with contempt. It goes totally against his divine nature and will for our lives, as well as it is directly opposed to his righteousness and holiness. And the whole of the New Testament does not support such a ridiculous concept, either, though that does not hinder people from teaching it or from people believing it.
So, we have to look at the whole of the New Testament teachings on salvation and on eternal life with God, and when we do, we soon see that the cheap grace gospel is a false gospel which twists Scriptures which are removed from their context in order to appease the flesh of man.
So, Walk in Him
Colossians 2:6-7 ESV
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
So, the truth that is in Christ Jesus is that we aren’t supposed to live like we did before. We are to forsake our former lives of living for sin and self, be transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and we are to now walk (conduct our lives) in agreement with God’s Spirit in holiness, purity, faithfulness, and in his righteousness.
Jesus died on that cross not just to forgive us our sins, and not just so we can escape hell and go to heaven when we die. He died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness; that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us.
So, we must walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh if we want salvation from sin and eternal life with God. For, if we continue living in sin, and if we are not obeying the Lord’s commands, we will die in our sins. We will not inherit eternal life with God.
[Lu 9:23-26; Eph 4:17-24; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Tit 2:11-14; Gal 2:20; 1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15, 21; 1 Co 6:19-20]
The Lord’s Anointed
An Original Work / December 16, 2011
Based off Isaiah 61
The Spirit of the Sov’reign Lord on me;
Anointed to preach the Good News;
Sent me to bind up the brokenhearted;
Proclaim freedom for the captives.
He sent me to preach release for pris’ners
Who are walking in sin’s darkness;
Proclaim God’s grace to all men who’ll listen;
And tell them about God’s judgments;
Comfort all who mourn;
Give crowns of beauty;
Oil of gladness and thanksgiving.
They will be called oaks of God’s righteousness,
A planting of our Savior, God,
For the display of our Lord’s splendor, and
They will rebuild God’s holy church.
God will renew them, and will restore them,
And you’ll be called priests of the Lord.
You will be ministers of our God, and
You will rejoice in salvation.
The Lord loves justice;
He is faithful to
Reward those who are seeking Him.
I delight greatly in the Lord;
My soul rejoices in my Savior, God.
He has clothed me with His salvation,
And in a robe of His righteousness.
He has given me priestly garments to wear,
As the bride of Jesus Christ.
As the garden of our Lord and Savior,
He causes us to grow in Him.
He makes righteousness,
Praise, and thanksgiving
Spring up before all the nations.