Heartland Christian Church
Main - HCC Sunday Service - September 11, 2022
      • Matthew 25NIV2011

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      • Psalm 150NIV2011

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      • Matthew 25NIV2011

  • Title: The Hope Held Out in the Gospel
    Text: Colossians 1:18-23
    INTRODUCTION
    Today we’re gonna continue
    our series in Colossians.
    Let’s turn together
    in our Bibles
    to Colossians 1.
    Colossians 1:18-23.
    & when you get there
    pls stand for
    the reading
    of God’s Word.
    The title of today’s teaching is
    The Hope Held Out
    in the Gospel.
    In Colossians 1:19-23
    the Scriptures say:
    Colossians 1:18–23 (NIV)
    And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
    For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,
    and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
    Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.
    But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—
    if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
    You may be seated.
    Abuse of power.
    Injustice.
    Prejudice.
    Pride.
    Hatred.
    Jealousy.
    Rage.
    Racism.
    Riots.
    Murder.
    All of those things
    have something
    in common.
    & I can sum it up
    w/ one word:
    Sin.
    6000 years
    after the 1st
    humans fell into sin
    the world is still plagued
    by the same problem:
    Ppl are still fallen.
    Ppl are still selfish.
    Ppl are still sinful.
    & for centuries
    humans have
    tried many methods
    to bring ppl together
    & bring peace
    to the world.
    But those efforts
    continue to fall short.
    & they always will.
    Because humanity
    has a sin problem.
    Humans cannot conquer
    sin bcs all humans
    are inherently sinful.
    So, what hope
    does this world have
    for peace?
    How can ppl
    be brought together
    into a right relationship
    w/ one another?
    Paul answers
    those questions for us
    in today’s passage.
    As we’ll see
    The only hope
    for our time.
    The only hope
    for humanity.
    Is the hope
    held out
    in the gospel.
    The hope
    of 1st being reconciled
    to God so that
    thru our relationship
    w/ God
    we can be reconciled
    to one another.
    The hope
    of having peace
    w/ God
    & w/one another
    is thru the body & blood
    of God’s divine-human Son.
    We’ll talk abt this hope
    & see how it applies to us.
    PRAYER
    Let’s pray.
    Father
    in this world that seems
    so hopeless
    we thank You for the hope
    you offer us thru the gospel.
    Help us to hear
    & understand the truth
    abt this gospel.
    & give us grace
    to live in this gospel.
    In Jesus name.
    Notice first
    Paul’s powerful words
    in Colossians 1:19.
    He says:
    Colossians 1:19 (NIV)
    For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in [His Son]...
    Here Paul’s talking abt
    the incarnation.
    God the Father
    was pleased to have
    all the fulness of deity
    dwell in a human body.
    Paul explains this further
    in Colossians 2:9.
    He says...
    Colossians 2:9 (NIV)
    For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form...
    John says
    the same thing in John 1:14
    John 1:14 (EHV)
    The Word became flesh and dwelled among us. We have seen his glory, the glory he has as the only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
    It’s impossible
    to overstate
    the immensity
    of the Incarnation.
    God’s divine Son
    became a real
    human being.
    He did this
    in such a way
    that in the Son of God
    the fullness of deity
    truly lives
    in truly human form.
    Jesus is fully God
    & fully Man
    all wrapped up
    in one physical
    Human Body.
    God’s Son is
    the fulness of God
    in human bodily form.
    Why does Paul stress this?
    Well
    false teachers—
    who wld later
    be known
    as Gnostics—
    had infiltrated the Church
    in Colossae.
    They taught that
    the human body
    & all forms of matter—
    all things physical
    are corrupted
    & evil.
    So, for them
    God cld not really
    become human
    w/o corrupting
    His divine nature.
    So, Paul says:
    “Don’t fall for it.”
    “Remember the faith
    you were taught.
    “Hold on
    to this foundational teaching
    of the Christian faith.”
    If we let go
    of this truth
    we let go
    of the real Jesus
    & real Christianity.
    God was pleased
    to forever unite
    the Divine nature
    w/ Human nature
    in a human body
    when His Son
    became a divine-human being.
    & in Colossians 1:20
    Paul tells us why
    God was pleased
    to have His Son
    dwell in a human body.
    It’s because
    thru Christ’s body
    God will...
    Colossians 1:20 (NIV)
    ...reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
    God the Father
    was pleased
    for His Son
    to become a divine-human being
    bcs in His Son
    God had a magnificent
    plan for all creation.
    God’s plans
    for us in His Son
    are so much more
    than the Church
    has focused on
    over the last 60 years.
    God’s plans
    are so much more
    than making a way
    for us to avoid hell
    & go to heaven
    when we die.
    God’s plans are
    to reconcile all things
    in heaven & on earth
    to Himself
    thru His Son.
    To reconcile means
    to to be brought back
    to a right relationship
    w/ God.
    When God’s Son
    became a human being
    He forever united
    humanity to divinity—
    & became the way
    for humanity
    to be brought back
    to God.
    As human beings
    are united to Christ
    in His death
    & resurrection
    in the Church
    God’s ppl become
    a part of
    the new creation
    & share
    in the divine nature.
    This is one reason
    why Jesus said
    No one comes to
    the Father
    except by Jesus.
    It’s only by being
    united to the Son
    that we can have
    a right relationship
    w/ the Father
    & be remade
    in the image of God.
    That is great news
    for humanity!
    But God’s plans in Christ
    Go far beyond humanity.
    Humanity’s sins
    not only affect us
    but the whole creation.
    The whole creation
    was corrupted
    & brought into bondage
    to death & decay
    bcs of humanity’s sins.
    So
    in Christ
    God the Father plans
    to bring all things
    back to Himself.
    God plans
    to make peace
    btwn God
    & all creation
    by recreating
    all things thru His Son.
    As Paul says
    in Ephesians 1:9-10
    Ephesians 1:9–10 (CSB)
    He made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he purposed in Christ
    as a plan for the right time—to bring everything together in Christ, both things in heaven and things on earth in him.
    God the Father was pleased
    to have all His fulness
    dwell in His Son
    Bcs in His Son
    God plans to reconcile
    or reunite
    all things
    to a right relationship
    w/ God the Father
    & w/ one another.
    Why?
    So that all of creation
    can have
    peace w/ God
    & peace w/ one another
    under the Lordship
    of Jesus Christ.
    Now
    watch how Paul
    applies this to us
    in Colossians 1:21.
    Colossians 1:21–22 (NIV)
    Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.
    But now he has reconciled you...
    Notice the contrast here.
    Paul says:
    Once you were
    but now you are.
    Those two phrases
    encompass the whole message
    of the gospel.
    Once you were this
    outside of Christ.
    But now—
    in Christ
    God makes you
    something new.
    What are we OUTSIDE of Christ?
    Once we were
    alienated frm God.
    Once we were
    enemies of God.
    Here Paul’s talking abt
    the entirety
    of humanity.
    The whole of humanity
    outside of Christ
    is alienated
    separated— frm God;
    & enemies of God.
    & this alienation
    is not bcs of
    anything God has done.
    Our being alienated
    frm God
    is 100% our fault.
    100%
    a human problem.
    We separate ourselves
    frm God.
    We make ourselves
    enemies of God
    bcs of our
    evil behavior.
    We’ve all been there
    & done that.
    We’ve all made ourselves
    enemies of God
    bcs we chose to do evil.
    We messed up
    the relationship.
    Like an unfaithful spouse
    we turned our backs
    on our Creator
    & chased after the evil desires
    of our own wicked hearts.
    It was our sins
    that separated us
    frm God.
    We were
    God’s enemies
    bcs of our bad behavior.
    APPLICATION
    & maybe you’re
    there today.
    Maybe you’re
    estranged frm God.
    You’re
    living in sin.
    You’re an enemy
    of God in your mind
    bcs of your evil behavior.
    IF that’s you
    God has a message
    for you today.
    Put dwn your weapons.
    Stop fighting
    a battle
    you’ll never win.
    Come & find peace.
    Come & be reconciled
    to God
    thru His Son.
    To keep living
    as God’s enemy
    when He’s offering You
    a way to peace w/ Him
    is the most unwise
    decision any of us
    cld make.
    Bcs Paul tells us
    in Hebrews 10:27
    God’s enemies live
    every day under
    the unbearable weight
    of a
    in Hebrews 10:27
    Hebrews 10:27 (NIV)
    ...a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
    If you’re God’s
    enemy today.
    If you’re still doing
    your own thing.
    If you’re living
    in lawlessness.
    Don’t stay there.
    Don’t end up
    meeting God
    as a raging fire
    that will consume
    God’s enemies.
    God wants something
    dfrnt for you.
    God does not
    want you
    or anyone else
    to remain
    His enemies.
    God loves
    His enemies.
    & it’s God love
    for His enemies
    that can take us
    frm what we
    once were
    outside of Christ—
    to what we are now
    in Christ.
    What are we outside of Christ?
    Enemies of God—
    Destined for destruction.
    What Are We IN Christ?
    Paul tells us in
    Colossians 1:22
    He says:
    Colossians 1:22 (NIV)
    But now he has reconciled you...
    But now...
    is the now
    we experience
    in Christ.
    In Christ
    we’re reconciled
    to God.
    Those words
    are full of hope
    for humanity.
    Bcs those words
    show us
    God offers to erase
    what we once were;
    to change us;
    & turn us
    frm His enemies
    into dearly loved children
    as part of
    a new creation
    in Christ.
    God offers His enemies
    peace in Christ
    bcs He loves
    His enemies.
    But love
    is so often misunderstood
    by humanity.........
    Especially God’s
    kind of love.
    What ppl call love
    in our current culture
    is anything but love.
    We’re taught
    to love
    when the object
    of our love
    is lovable.
    When the object
    of our love
    has something
    to offer us.
    But God’s love—
    real love—
    is dfrnt.
    & as w/
    all things divine
    we see a perfect picture
    of God’s love
    in God’s Son.
    God’s divine Son
    demonstrated God’s
    extraordinary love
    for all creation
    when He willingly suffered
    the terrible torture
    of the cross
    to die to save
    His enemies.
    God’s Son shows us:
    God’s love is
    others focused;
    God’s love is
    self-sacrificing;
    God’s love
    compels Him
    to not only lay dwn His life
    for His friends;
    But also
    to lay dwn His life
    for His enemies.
    Sacrificing for friends
    & family
    yeah
    We all get that.
    But loving & sacrificing for
    Ppl who hate you.
    Ppl who reject you.
    Ppl who are thankless
    & heartless;
    & cruel & evil;
    That type of sacrificial love
    is not natural
    for any human being.
    That kind of love
    is supernatural.
    It’s God’s
    kind of love.
    God’s love compels Him
    to do good
    to His enemies;
    To constantly call out
    & plead w/
    a stubborn
    & defiant humanity:
    Turn frm your wicked ways
    & be brought back
    into a right relationship
    w/ the supplier
    & sustainer
    of life;
    & the giver
    of every good gift.
    God’s love compels Him
    To reconcile us to Himself
    thru His Son.
    & how does God
    reconcile us thru His Son?
    In Colossians 1:22
    Paul says God:
    Colossians 1:22 (NIV)
    ...has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through [Christ’s physical] death...
    & in Colossians 1:20
    Paul says:
    God chose...
    Colossians 1:20 (NIV)
    …through [His Son] to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
    It’s so important
    we see this.
    Jesus had
    a real physical body.
    He was not
    a phantom.
    He really
    became human.
    The fulness
    of divinity dwells in
    the human body
    of Jesus.
    He really suffered;
    really felt pain;
    really shed His blood;
    really died;
    He really rose
    frm the grave.
    He really ascended
    into heaven;
    He’s really sitting
    at the right hand
    of the Father—
    in a glorified
    human body.
    & thru our union
    w/ the real
    human body & blood
    of the divine-human
    Son of God
    in the Church
    we’re now sitting
    w/ Christ in heaven
    Reunited to God.
    & in Colossians 1:22
    Paul goes on
    to tell us
    one of God’s goals
    in reconciling us
    thru Christ’s body & blood.
    He says it’s...
    Colossians 1:22 (NIV)
    ...to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation
    God’s goal in
    uniting us to Christ
    is to make us
    like Christ.
    Christ is Holy.
    Christ is blameless.
    Christ is free
    frm accusation.
    God wants to
    make us
    all of those things too.
    & this happens
    as ppl are joined
    to Christ’s body
    in the Church.
    In the Church
    we’re being
    transformed by God’s grace
    into Christ’s image.
    Paul expands on this
    in Ephesians 5:25-27.
    He says...
    Ephesians 5:25–27 (EHV)
    Husbands, love your wives, in the same way as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
    to make her holy, by cleansing her with the washing of water in connection with the Word.
    He did this so that he could present her to himself as a glorious church, having no stain or wrinkle or any such thing, but so that she would be holy and blameless.
    In the end
    Jesus will present us
    to Himself
    as [part of] a glorious Church
    a ppl who are like Jesus:
    Holy
    blameless
    w/o stain or wrinkle
    or any other blemish.
    That’s God’s goal
    for uniting us
    to His Son.
    But we need to notice
    there’s a very important
    word at the beginning
    of Colossians 1:23.
    Notice the word
    Colossians 1:23 (NIV)
    Ιf...
    This word means
    there are conditions
    we must meet
    if we’re gonna reach
    God’s goal for us in Christ.
    If we’re gonna be
    reconciled to God;
    have peace w/ God—
    & be found holy
    w/o blemish
    & free frm accusation
    in God’s sight.
    What Christ has done
    is very powerful.
    He sacrificed Himself
    once for all.
    He’s done
    everything necessary
    so all of humanity
    can be brought back
    to a right relationship
    w/ God
    thru Him.
    But what Christ has done
    will only apply
    to us personally
    IF
    as Paul says in
    Colossians 1:23 (NIV)
    ...if [we] continue in [the] faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.
    Now remember
    Paul’s writing
    to true believers.
    Ppl who have
    heard & accepted
    the true gospel.
    Ppl who were
    part of the Church.
    W/o question
    these ppl
    were the real deal.
    They were saints.
    They had faith
    in Christ Jesus;
    They were faithful
    to Christ Jesus;
    & their lives
    showed the fruit
    of their faith
    & faithfulness.
    The gospel
    was bearing fruit
    among them—
    Especially the fruit of
    Holy Spirit inspired love.
    These ppl
    were genuine members
    of the body of Christ.
    But Paul warns them—
    Just as Paul warns
    other churches
    throughout his letters—
    & Paul warns us.
    If we want the hope
    of reconciliation
    & peace w/ God;
    If we want to be found
    spotless
    blameless
    & free frm accusation
    we must continue
    in the faith
    that was once for all
    entrusted to the saints
    in the Church.
    & continuing in the faith
    Has two equally
    important components:
    (1) What we believe &
    (2) How we behave.
    Right belief
    & right behavior
    are equally important.
    They always
    go together.
    As Paul tells Timothy
    in 1 Timothy 4:16:
    1 Timothy 4:16 (NIV)
    Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
    Right doctrine
    believing the right things—
    & a right life—
    behaving the right way—
    are both essential
    for salvation.
    For us to finally realize
    our future hope
    of salvation
    we’ve gotta continue
    to hold
    right beliefs abt God.
    We’ve gotta hold to
    the Apostolic Traditions
    abt God’s Son;
    The nature of salvation;
    The Church
    & so on.
    & we’ve also
    gotta continue
    to practice
    right behavior.
    Right behavior
    is behavior that’s consistent
    w/ Christ’s commands.
    The commands
    we receive in
    the Apostolic Faith
    we profess.
    Behavior that’s
    holy & blameless.
    & this is a process
    that will not
    be completed
    until we leave
    this earth.
    Either thru death.
    Or when the trumpet blows
    & Christ comes
    to get us.
    We’ve gotta continue
    in this relationship
    w/ Jesus
    where we keep striving
    to be found holy
    blameless & spotless
    in Him.
    That is
    a life-long
    process.
    One we must continue
    to work out
    if we’re to be reconciled to God...
    & have peace w/ God
    in the end.
    Peter puts it this way
    in 2 Peter 3:13-14
    2 Peter 3:13–14 (NIV)
    But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
    So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.
    To be found holy
    Blameless
    spotless
    free frm accusation
    in God’s sight—
    to have peace w/ God—
    we must make
    every effort.
    Christianity is not
    passive.
    We must run the race
    w/ perseverance
    to get the crown of life.
    It takes daily dedication
    & discipline.
    It takes exhaustive effort
    on our part.
    Many who start
    this fight
    will not finish.
    When the fight
    gets tough
    & we find ourselves
    being pummeled
    by temptations
    tribulation
    & persecution
    some will throw in the towel.
    Many who start this race
    will never cross
    the finish line.
    Some will be
    lured away frm
    the narrow road
    by seducing spirits
    & abandon the faith.
    Others will fall for
    doctrines of demons;
    be led astray
    by destructive heresies;
    & lose connection
    w/ Jesus
    & His body.
    But although
    that can happen
    to all of us
    it does not have to
    happen to any of us.
    If we’ll just heed
    the warnings
    we find in Scripture.
    Let’s make sure
    we don’t find ourselves
    among those
    who fall away.
    Let’s learn
    & hold on to
    the true faith.
    Let’s hold on to
    the true gospel.
    In Colossians 1:23.
    Paul says this gospel
    Colossians 1:23 (NIV)
    ...has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
    Notice the universal nature
    of the gospel.
    The gospel is good news
    for the whole creation.
    It’s the good news
    that in Christ
    God will not only
    reconcile
    & restore humanity
    to God;
    In Christ
    all of creation
    will be reconciled to God
    & recreated
    to the glorious splendor
    of life bfr the fall.
    When God
    created everything
    He said
    it was very good.
    He created the heavens
    & the earth
    & everything in them.
    He created humanity
    & gave humanity authority
    to rule over
    the perfect earth.
    Imagine what that
    perfect earth was like.
    On that perfect earth
    The land
    was not cursed.
    No thorns or thistles.
    No dandelions
    to ruin your lush lawn.
    On that perfect earth
    Pain & sorrow;
    Disease & Death
    were unknown.
    On that perfect earth
    There was
    No abuse of power.
    No Murder.
    No Injustice.
    No Prejudice.
    No Pride.
    No Hatred.
    No Jealousy.
    No Rage. Racism. or Riots.
    No sin of any kind.
    & on that perfect earth
    There was perfect peace
    & harmony
    btwn God
    humanity
    & all creation.
    & that perfect earth
    Is what Jesus
    came to restore
    to God.
    Not by cleaning up
    the current creation
    but by making
    a new creation.
    Thru His Incarnation
    Life, suffering, death,
    Resurrection & Ascension
    God’s divine-human Son
    will bring all of creation
    back to God.
    One day
    everything will be
    united under Christ
    in the kingdom God’s Son.
    In a new heavens
    & new earth.
    But we don’t have to wait
    to get a taste of what
    that new creation
    will be like.
    Bcs the Church is—
    or at least
    shld be—
    a little piece of that
    here & now.
    The Church is
    a community of
    born again
    recreated human beings
    who are being shaped
    into the image
    of God.
    CONCLUSION
    & as we close
    There is hope
    for this world.
    But we won’t find it
    in any plans
    human beings
    can come up with.
    The hope for this world
    is in becoming a part of
    the kingdom that’s not
    of this world
    in the Church.
    The only hope
    for humanity
    is the hope held out
    in the gospel.
    The hope of being
    reunited w/God;
    & being at peace w/ God
    & w/ all creation
    thru God’s Son.
    Jesus purchased peace w/ God...
    For all creation...
    thru His body & blood.
    In Jesus...
    All of creation can be...
    Reconciled...
    to God;
    & restored...
    to its original splendor.
    If you & I
    want to have a share
    in that restoration
    we must embrace
    the true faith.
    We’ve gotta become
    a part of Christ’s body
    in the Church.
    & then continue
    established & firm
    in the faith.
    Until we leave
    this earth.
    Or until Jesus
    comes in again in glory.
    We’ve gotta
    Keep fighting;
    Keep Running;
    Keep the Faith.
    Stay attached
    to the head
    by staying attached
    to the body of Christ
    in the Church.
    Let’s all hold tight to
    & strenuously strive
    to attain
    The Hope Held Out
    in the Gospel.
    PRAYER
    Let’s all stand
    for prayer.
    Lord
    THE LORD’S BLESSING
  • We Fall Down
      • Matthew 25NIV2011

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