Heartland Christian Church
Main - HCC Sunday Service - September 18, 2022
      • Matthew 25NIV2011

      • Bible Trivia
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      • Psalm 66NIV2011

  • Holy Is The Lord
  • Breathe
  • In Christ Alone
      • Hebrews 9:18–22NKJV

      • Matthew 25NIV2011

  • INTRODUCTION
    We’re gonna continue
    our series
    in Colossians.
    Let’s turn together
    in our bibles to
    Colossians 1.
    & we’re gonna read
    verses 24-29.
    Colossians 1:24-29.
    & when you find that
    in your Bible
    pls stand for the reading
    of God’s Word.
    The Title of today’s teaching is
    The Hope of Glory
    In Colossians 1:24-29
    the Scriptures say:
    Colossians 1:24–29 (NIV)
    Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.
    I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness—
    the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people.
    To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
    He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.
    To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
    You may be seated.
    When you hear the word
    “mystery”
    what do you think abt?
    Sherlock Holmes?
    Perry Mason?
    Agatha Christie?
    Scooby-Doo?
    Maybe
    you think of
    unsolved crimes.
    Or something
    that’s impossible
    to understand or explain.
    In biblical usage:
    A mystery is something
    that was once hidden
    but is now revealed.
    & in today’s passage
    Paul talks abt
    the most marvelous mystery
    that has ever been revealed
    to humanity.
    It’s the mystery
    of what God
    has planned for humanity
    in Christ.
    We’ll talk abt
    that mystery
    & what it means for us
    As we talk abt
    The Hope of Glory.
    PRAYER
    Let’s pray.
    Father
    We thank You for Your Word.
    Your Word.
    Jesus said
    Your Word is truth.
    & that you wld make
    us holy by Your truth.
    Do as Jesus said
    You wld do.
    Make us holy
    as we hear & practice
    Your Word.
    In Jesus name.
    Amen.
    Notice Paul starts
    Colossians 1:24
    w/ a theme
    we see repeated
    over & over
    in the Scriptures.
    Paul says:
    Colossians 1:24 (NIV)
    Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.
    Paul wrote this letter
    frm prison.
    & in Colossians 4:3
    Paul tells us why
    He was in prison.
    He says:
    Colossians 4:3 (NIV)
    And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.
    Paul was in prison
    bcs of the message
    He proclaimed abt
    the mystery of Christ.
    Paul sees his imprisonment
    as a form of suffering
    that was added to
    Christ’s afflictions
    for the sake of
    Christ’s body—
    which is the Church.
    What Paul’s sayin here is:
    Christ has now
    passed the baton
    of suffering affliction
    to those who bcm
    a part of His body.
    Jesus ran His race.
    Jesus carried His cross
    all the way
    to the finish line.
    & He left
    all His ppl
    an example to follow.
    As Peter says in
    1 Peter 2:20–21 (NIV)
    ...if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.
    To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
    The Lord Jesus suffered
    for doing good.
    & His suffering
    was for the sake of
    his body—
    which is the Church.
    & as we answer the call
    of Jesus to be
    His disciple;
    & we take up
    our own cross
    to follow Him;
    & as we lift up
    our gaze
    to look dwn
    the narrow road
    that leads to life
    we’ll see
    the blood-stained footprints
    of our suffering Savior.
    & we’ll hear
    His sobering words
    in Luke 9:23-24
    ringing in our ears:
    Luke 9:23–24 (NIV)
    “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
    For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.
    A call to follow Jesus
    is a call
    to suffer affliction
    like Jesus.
    We will suffer
    as part of
    Christ’s body
    for the sake
    of others.
    But in our hedonistic society
    we don’t like
    to talk abt that.
    We seem
    to be scared
    to mention
    the suffering
    Jesus promises those
    who become
    a part of His Church.
    Why?
    Bcs we’re afraid
    that message
    will turn pleasure-seeking ppl
    away frm
    the Church.
    But we need to tell
    the truth.
    We need to
    make sure
    ppl know what
    they’re signing up for
    when they decide
    to become
    a member of
    Christ’s body.
    Those who are seeking
    the most pleasure possible
    in this life
    won’t find that
    in the Church.
    If that’s what
    you’re looking for
    then look elsewhere.
    Bcs the truth is
    The call to be
    a part of Christ’s body
    in the Church—
    is a call to carry
    a crossfor of
    & to make
    the daily decision
    to deny our selves
    & embrace suffering
    for the sake of
    Christ
    & His body.
    That affliction
    will come thru
    persecution
    we endure as
    we live like Jesus
    in a world
    that hates Jesus.
    Another way we
    suffer affliction
    as a part of
    Christ’s body
    is in the ministry
    for which
    God has gifted
    each of us
    to serve
    the Body of Christ.
    This is what Paul’s
    talking abt
    in Colossians 1:29
    when he says:
    Colossians 1:29 (NIV)
    To this end I strenuously contend...
    Paul strenuously
    contended
    in his ministry
    for Christ’ body.
    The Greek word
    behind the word
    strenuously
    is very strong.
    It means
    to engage in labor
    until you are
    extremely exhausted.
    & it carries the idea
    that the labor
    involves suffering.
    The Greek word
    behind the word
    contending
    is the word
    ἀγωνίζομαι.
    & you can probably
    tell frm the way it sounds
    this is where
    we get
    the English word
    agony.
    & the picture here
    is of an athlete
    struggling & straining
    every muscle
    as they stretch out
    across the finish line
    to win a race.
    This is what God calls
    each of us to do
    w/ the gifts
    He gives us.
    We’re to labor
    to the point
    of exhaustion.
    We’re to strain
    every muscle
    & stretch ourselves
    To serve others
    in the body
    of Christ.
    Church life
    is not easy.
    & those who tell you it is
    are servants
    of Satan.
    Church life
    is not for softies
    or slackers.
    It’s not for
    the half-hearted
    or casually-committed.
    Life in the Church
    takes
    self-discipline;
    self-denial.
    self-disregard.
    Life in the Church involves
    substantial struggle
    Intense labors
    & fierce fighting.
    & this is especially true
    for leaders
    in the Church.
    Church leaders are
    supposed to live
    like soldiers
    who are positioned on
    the front line.
    & who daily do battle
    for our souls
    & the souls of God’s ppl.
    As Paul
    reminds Timothy
    in 2 Timothy 2:3-4.
    Paul says
    2 Timothy 2:3–4 (NIV)
    Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
    No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.
    Satan does
    a great job
    distracting the leaders
    of the Church.
    There’s a constant barrage
    of temptations
    & distractions
    pulling church leaders
    away frm
    our primary purpose.
    Instead of
    staying focused on
    the kingdom of God;
    Instead of
    dedicating ourselves
    to prayer
    & the ministry of the Word—
    like we’re called to do—
    Our eyes are often
    in the ends
    of the earth.
    We get entangled
    in civilian affairs.
    We get caught up:
    Contending for
    the kingdoms
    & concerns
    of this world.
    So
    to all my fellow leaders
    in the body of Christ
    & to anyone
    who aspires to be
    a leader in the Church
    let’s make sure
    we understand
    our mission.
    We’re ministers
    of a marvelous mystery
    that has the power
    to change the world.
    Our weapons
    for dealing w/
    the problems
    in the world
    are not worldly weapons.
    Our weapons
    are mighty thru God
    to pull dwn
    the strongholds of sin
    that cause those problems.
    The gospel we preach
    is the power of God
    for salvation.
    The words we pray
    are powerful
    & effective
    to change the world.
    So, let’s stay abt
    our Father’s business.
    Our Father’s business
    is in the Church—
    the kingdom of God—
    Not in the kingdoms
    of this world.
    The only agendas
    church leaders
    shld ever be pushing
    or promoting
    are those that advance
    the kingdom of God.
    & to help us do that
    Let’s make sure
    our goal for ministry
    is the same
    as Paul’s goal
    for ministry.
    Paul tells us
    His goal for ministry
    at the end of
    Colossians 1:28.
    He says
    Colossians 1:28 (NIV)
    [Christ] is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.
    The Greek word
    for “mature” here
    can also be translated
    “perfect.”
    Our goal
    as Christian ministers
    shld be
    to bring God’s ppl
    to perfection
    in Christ.
    Now
    ppl often ask:
    “Is it possible
    for God’s ppl
    to become perfect
    to become
    completely Christlike
    in this life?”
    But that question
    puts our focus
    in the wrong place.
    Even if we never
    hit the mark
    of being perfectly like Christ
    in this life
    Complete Christlikeness
    shld always be
    what we’re aiming at
    & what we’re pushing
    one another
    to strive for.
    Christlikeness
    is the target.
    That’s God’s goal
    for us.
    That’s the high
    calling of God
    for all of us
    in Christ Jesus.
    We shld all be
    constantly striving
    to be completely Christlike
    in all we think
    say
    & do.
    Anything less
    is falling short
    of God’s glory.
    & falling short
    of God’s goal for us.
    & anything we do
    in the Church
    that does not
    help us & others
    accomplish that goal
    is not
    God’s will for us.
    & is a waste
    of what little time
    we have
    on this earth
    to take ground
    for God’s kingdom.
    God expects
    church leaders
    to pour our lives
    into helping
    God’s ppl
    bcm more & more
    like Jesus
    until we’re all
    fully perfected
    in the image of Christ.
    In Ephesians 4:11-13
    Paul says
    this is the reason
    Christ gave certain
    gifted ppl to the Church.
    He says
    Ephesians 4:11–13 (NIV)
    So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,
    to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
    until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
    Here again
    the world translated “mature”
    can be translated “perfect.”
    The role of
    Apostles
    Prophets
    Evangelists
    & Pastor-teachers
    is to teach
    the true faith
    to God’s ppl
    w/ the goal
    that everyone
    will become
    completely Christlike.
    Fully conformed
    to Christ’s image.
    That’s what Paul
    was constantly
    strenuously contending for.
    & we shld
    do the same.
    But let’s be sure
    we understand this.
    Any striving
    we do
    to bcm like Christ;
    or to help others
    bcm like Christ;
    Any moves we make
    twd maturity
    whether we’re
    leaders or laity
    none of that is possible
    in our own power.
    So, Paul
    goes on in Colossians 1:29
    to remind us
    where the power to strive
    twd Christlikeness
    comes frm.
    Paul says
    Colossians 1:29 (NIV)
    To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
    This is the synergy
    of the Christian life.
    We’ve gotta work out
    what God works in us.
    Paul was
    constantly &
    strenuously
    contending
    for God’s ppl.
    Paul made every effort
    To live for Christ;
    To preach Christ;
    To warn everyone;
    To teach everyone;
    To pray for everyone
    to bcm like Christ.
    But he was not toiling
    or struggling
    in His own strength.
    No
    Paul says the energy
    to labor for Christ
    is the energy of God
    powerfully at work
    in His ppl.
    It’s God’s power:
    at work in us
    that allows us
    to toil
    to the point of exhaustion
    in the work
    He calls us
    to accomplish
    in the Church.
    We can do things
    in God’s power
    that we cld never do
    on our own.
    God’s powerful grace
    is constantly
    reenergizing us
    to use the gifts
    He gives us:
    To serve others;
    To live for Him;
    To minister for Him;
    & to strive
    to reach perfection
    in Christ.
    That’s God’s goal
    for God’s ppl.
    & that shld be
    the focus of
    everyone
    & everything
    we do in the church.
    In all we do
    We shld be
    striving twd
    & pushing God’s ppl twd
    perfection
    in Christ.
    Like Paul
    we need to
    make every effort:
    To live for Christ;
    To preach Christ;
    To warn everyone;
    & teach everyone
    abt Christ.
    To pray for everyone
    to bcm like Christ.
    & one message must be
    our main focus.
    The message Paul
    talks abt in Colossians 1:25-26.
    Paul says
    Colossians 1:25–26 (NIV)
    I have become [the Church’s] servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness
    the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people.
    Paul says
    His goal was to present
    The “word of God”
    in its fulness.
    The Word of God
    is the message
    of the gospel.
    In the gospel message
    the most marvelous mystery
    is revealed.
    It’s a mystery
    that had been kept hidden
    frm all past ages
    & generations.
    But is now revealed
    to God’s saints.
    What is this mystery?
    Paul tells us
    in Colossians 1:27.
    Colossians 1:27 (NIV)
    To [God’s saints] God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
    When Jesus came
    the Jewish ppl
    of the 1st century
    were expecting
    the Christ—
    the Messiah—
    to be a conquering King.
    A military man
    who wld rid
    the Jewish ppl
    of their oppressive
    Gentile enemies.
    A King
    who wld rule
    the nations
    frm Jerusalem.
    & God’s ppl
    wld rule w/ Him.
    & there are
    OT prophets
    who predicted
    this wld happen.
    But God’s ppl
    did not
    & cld not understand
    A key piece
    of those prophecies.
    It was hidden
    frm them.
    They were not expecting
    a suffering
    servant Messiah.
    & they were
    especially not
    expecting a Messiah
    who wld offer
    Salvation;
    Blessings;
    & a place of honor
    in the kingdom
    of the Messiah
    to all nations.
    They were not expecting
    God to make
    a New nation of Israel
    A New Jerusalem
    where Jew & Gentile
    become One body
    in the Church
    of the living God.
    That’s the mystery
    that had been
    kept hidden
    But is now
    revealed in Christ.
    Paul explains this mystery further
    in Ephesians 3:4-6
    Ephesians 3:4–6 (NIV)
    In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
    which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.
    This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
    The mystery of Christ
    which has been revealed
    by the HS
    in the gospel is:
    All ppl
    frm all nations
    can share in the promises
    God gave to Israel
    by becoming a part of
    the Church.
    In the Church
    all nations can be fellow heirs
    & partakers of
    the same kingdom;
    the same promises;
    the same blessings
    God promised
    His chosen ppl
    thru Abraham.
    In other words
    God’s plans
    for Israel
    & the promises He gave
    to Abraham
    to bless all nations
    thru Abraham’s Offspring
    are now being fulfilled
    thru Christ’s body
    in the Church.
    & this is
    so much bigger
    than anyone
    ever expected.
    Bcs in this relationship
    where Christ is in us
    & we’re in Him
    in the Church
    we have the hope
    of sharing in
    Christ’s glory.
    In the Church
    we’re being changed
    frm one degree
    of glory to another
    until we perfectly
    reflect the image of God.
    The gospel
    makes Christ
    & the glorious riches
    of Christ’s kingdom
    Equally accessible
    to everyone;
    All ppl.
    All ages.
    God makes His salvation
    & blessings available to
    All ppl;
    In all places;
    Thru the body of Christ
    which is
    the Church.
    Christ is present on earth
    In & among His ppl
    in the Church.
    We experience
    the divine life
    & grace of God
    flowing in
    thru
    & among God’s ppl
    in the Church.
    In the Church
    We experience
    the mystery of Christ
    where a reborn
    & recreated humanity
    are being reshaped
    into the image of God
    as we become like Christ.
    Paul describes this
    in Colossians 3:9-11
    where he says
    Colossians 3:9–11 (NIV)
    Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices
    and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
    Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
    We need to
    really get a hold of
    what Paul’s saying here.
    & the Church
    desperately needs
    a steady diet
    of this teaching.
    God plans
    For all of humanity
    to be united
    as one nation
    in one body
    are now being accomplished
    in Church.
    In the Church
    The old self
    is put off
    & the new self
    is put on
    when we’re
    united to Christ
    in the waters
    of Holy Baptism.
    The old self
    is the old humanity.
    The new self
    is the new humanity
    being recreated
    in the image of Christ.
    This is what
    Paul’s talking abt
    in 2 Corinthians 5:17
    when He says:
    2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
    In Christ
    the old humanity
    is gone.
    & we become
    a part of
    the new humanity
    that is here
    since Christ came.
    & notice Paul’s description
    of this new humanity
    in Galatians 3:26-28.
    Paul says
    Galatians 3:26–28 (NIV)
    ...in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,
    for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
    There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
    When we’re baptized
    into Christ
    in the waters
    of Holy Baptism
    We bcm
    children of God.
    We’re born again
    thru water
    & the HS.
    & we’re united
    in one body.
    No one
    is excluded.
    Not by ethnicity
    Or gender
    or social distinctions.
    In Christ
    we’re all part
    of the same family.
    & in Romans 10:12
    Paul says
    in that family
    Romans 10:12 (NIV)
    ...there is no difference between Jew and Gentilethe same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him...
    The glorious riches of Christ
    are available
    to everyone in the Church.
    Now
    let’s be careful here.
    In Christ
    Men are
    still men.
    Women are
    still women.
    White folks
    are still white.
    Black folks
    are still black.
    There’s still
    an incredible diversity.
    But in Christ
    our diversity
    shld no longer
    divide us.
    We’re all united
    Equally loved
    Equally cherished
    & equally valuable members
    of the same family.
    In the Church
    We’re all united
    to Christ
    & united to each other
    in Christ.
    & the Church is
    the gym
    where we’re
    all being trained
    to live like
    recreated human beings.
    In the Church
    we gain access
    to God’s energizing grace.
    & in the Church
    we become like God
    as part of
    the new creation
    in Christ
    as we strive
    to be like God
    in true righteousness
    & holiness.
    That’s the message
    of the Most marvelous mystery
    That’s ever been revealed
    to humanity.
    It’s a message
    that needs to be preached
    & heard loud & clear
    in the Church
    right now.
    God’s ppl
    need to be reminded
    of the Glorious Riches of Christ.
    The hope of glory
    that we have
    when Christ
    is in us.
    & we’re in Christ
    in the Church.
    In Christ
    we’re a part of
    the new humanity.
    A humanity
    that’s intimately
    connected to God
    & one another
    in the One body of Christ
    in the Church.
    When we’re born again
    & baptized by one Spirit
    into Christ’s body
    Though we still
    look the same
    on the outside
    Christ in us
    changes our nature.
    God pours
    His love into our hearts
    by the HS.
    & God unites all ppl—
    some of whom
    are the worst enemies—
    frm every nation;
    every tribe;
    every ppl;
    & every language together
    in one body
    in the Church.
    When we’re in Christ
    & Christ is in us
    & among us
    in the Church
    all types of dfrnt ppl
    bcm one united ppl
    of God.
    Jew & Gentile bcm
    one united ppl.
    Black & white bcm
    one united ppl;
    Slave & free bcm
    one united ppl;
    Men & women
    one united ppl;
    Rich & poor
    bcm one united ppl.
    a new race of ppl
    in the new humanity;
    We’re all one undivided body...
    w/ the Lord Jesus Christ...
    as our head.
    We have
    The same God;
    The same goals;
    The same hope of glory.
    In the Church
    When we’re clothed w/Christ...
    We’re all brothers & sisters.
    The color of our skin...
    No longer divides us.
    Our various ethnic backgrounds...
    No longer divide us.
    Our social status...
    No longer divides us.
    All that matters in the church is...
    We’re all one in Christ.
    Christ is ALL.
    & Christ is in ALL.
    CONCLUSION
    As we close
    In the Church
    we have
    the most marvelous mystery
    revealed to us.
    & this mystery
    must become
    The mainstay
    of our ministry
    if we’re ever
    gonna see
    this world change.
    That mystery is
    All ppl;
    All colors;
    All nations;
    All ages;
    All of humanity
    Can be made new
    & be made one
    In Christ.
    Let’s not
    allow ourselves
    to get bullied
    Into taking sides
    in debates abt
    skin color;
    ethnicity;
    & social status.
    In Christ
    that shld not even
    be on our radar
    anymore.
    Bcs in Christ—
    in the Church—
    we’re a part of
    the new creation.
    We’re citizens
    of a new kingdom.
    That old stuff
    does NOT matter
    anymore.
    When we bcm
    a part of the Church
    we enter a new world
    Where we’re
    supposed to live
    a completely
    dfrnt life in Christ.
    Our identity
    changes.
    Our view
    of other ppl
    changes.
    Our purpose
    for living
    changes.
    & if the does not happen
    if that has not been
    our experience
    w/ the Church
    then we shld ask ourselves
    “Are we really
    “a part of the Church?”
    In the Church
    The glorious riches
    of God’s
    life-changing grace
    are bestowed equally
    on all who call on Him.
    In the Church
    Christ in us
    & among us
    Unites us
    & transforms us.
    Until we all reflect
    the perfect image
    Of God’s Son.
    That’s God’s message
    for this nation.
    That’ God’s message
    for all nations.
    That’s The Marvelous Message
    of the Mystery...
    that is ours
    in Christ—
    in the Church.
    Let’s focus on
    this Marvelous Mystery
    & let’s live in light of
    the truth.
  • The River
      • Matthew 25NIV2011

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