Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 40
Now we’ll be turning once more to Colossians chapter 1 where we just left off. We want to pause for a moment to thank you for your help and prayers for the ministry. It also just thrills us to here you say, “you’re studying, and sharing it with others.” After all this is what turned the Roman Empire upside down, and this is what made Paul’s apostleship so unique, as he got those new believers into the Word. Although they didn’t have the printed Word that we have, yet it made such an impact on society that the world around them knew that those ex-pagans were a different breed of people once they came to know salvation.
Now we’ve got a lot to cover today, my goodness I thought I was going to have a hard time filling four programs with this little Book of Colossians, and here are not even out of chapter 1. I’m always amazed myself. Now verse 12.
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (or prepared us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:”
Now let’s look at giving thanks to the Father. I’ve had several questions lately, it’s funny how they sort of come in groups, and the question is, “Is it appropriate to pray to the Father in this age of Grace? Well I taught it on television, and had forgotten when I taught it but I found it the other day, so I’m going to have you turn back to Ephesians chapter 5, because maybe some of you or some of the listening audience wonder about praying to the Father, as the Lord’s prayer instructs us to do. Yes that has not changed. This is as clear cut an answer as you can get.
“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ:”
Isn’t that exactly how we do it? So it’s still appropriate today, yes we do pray to the Father, and we do all in the name then of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we’re going to see that relationship in the Trinity in little later verses, but for now come back again to Colossians chapter 1. So Paul as he prays to the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ he has thanked God, the Father that He took these Colossians out of paganism, out of darkness, out of the chains of the satanic powers and translated them into the heavenly kingdom. Now what’s happened to the Colossians has happened to us. We too have been translated from a position in darkness, and we are now citizens of the heavenly kingdom. Now Paul does not make a big a do about our kingdom relationship, because after all that’s primarily associated with the nation of Israel.
But when Christ came to the nation of Israel, and John the Baptist announced Him, and He said the Kingdom of heaven is at hand, Well what was he talking about? The King was in their midst! The King, literally, physically in the person of Jesus of Nazareth was in their midst, and He was offering them the opportunity to have the Kingdom over which Christ would rule and reign. So that was the whole concept as it came to the nation of Israel.
Now we’re not associated with the nation of Israel in that kind of a kingdom relationship, but since Israel’s King is our Saviour, and is the Head of the Body, here again we do have a relationship, and for some reason or other the Holy Spirit has cause Paul to put this in here that we have been made citizens of the kingdom in heaven, and with that I can agree with 100 %. But I still maintain that Paul never calls Christ our King. We are not in a King – subject relationship. We are in the Head of the Body, and members of the Body, which makes us heirs with Christ, joint heirs as we just saw in our last program. As believers we’re married to Christ, in a Spiritual relationship, but nevertheless we are now citizens of this heavenly kingdom because God the Father has delivered us from the power of darkness.
Now let’s go back and compare Scripture with Scripture. This time we’ll even go outside Paul’s realm, and go all the way back to Matthew chapter 16. For those of you who have been under my teaching very long has heard this more than once, because this is Peter’s confession of his saving faith during Christ earthly ministry. Also remember that this is just at the end of His ministry. From here they’re going to go on up to Jerusalem and He will be crucified. They’re up in northern Israel in the area that’s in the news lately, just west of the Golan Height, they were up there at Caesarea Philippi which is at the northern border of Israel, right at the foot of Mount Herman, and at the head waters of the Jordan river. And from there they’re going to make their way down to Jerusalem and the crucifixion.
“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14. And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
That’s as much as Simon Peter said, was it enough? Yeah it was enough, and look what Jesus answered.
“And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: (now this is the part I came back here for you to see) for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”
Now let’s reconstruct. Do you remember the account how Jesus was walking down the shores of Galilee, and He came across these fellows probably mending their nets, and did He spend an hour or two telling them who He was, and what He was going to do? Not from what I understand Scripture. But rather what did He tell them? Follow Me, and I’ll make you fishers of men! And what did those men do? They dropped their tools and nets and followed. Have you ever asked why? Well here’s the reason why, because you see, God opened the eyes of these fishermen that here was the promised Messiah, and nothing need more be said. So here in verse 17, the Lord is saying, “Peter somebody didn’t twist your arm to believe who I am. Some body hasn’t spent 3 years trying to tell you who I am, but rather the Father opened your understanding.
“…for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”
In other words it had to be a super natural opening of even Peter’s understanding. Has anything changed? No. The only thing today we refer to the Spirit opening it rather than the Father, but nevertheless they’re all part of the Godhead so that becomes irrelevant. Now let’s take another one that I’ve used over and over and when I tell people that I pray almost everyday for Lydia I’m talking about the circumstance of Acts chapter 16. Almost every morning I say, “Now Lord today as those programs go out, give me Lydia’s by the hundreds and by the thousands.” And what I’m talking about? The setting is in Philippi.
“And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. (these ladies were probably Jewish and having a devotional) 14. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, (she was a good Jew, but lost) heard us; (now here’s the part I pray for) whose heart the Lord opened, (and when the Lord opened her heart, what happened?) that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.”
And what do you supposed Paul told her? “Christ died for your sins, and He arose from the dead,” and she attended to that, and believed it for her salvation. (Reference I Corinthians 15:1-4 and Romans 10:9-10.) But would it have done Paul any good had the Lord not opened her heart? No. See that still has not changed. The Lord still must open the heart of that lost person so that they will listen and come to the place of believing it in their heart. Now let me take you to another one in II Corinthians, and I may want to use this verse a little later in Colossians, but that won’t hurt. Now these 2 verses are along this same line of thinking. Now remember what we just saw? Peter, blessed art thou for the Father has revealed it unto thee. Lydia was the one who’s heart the Lord opened, now remember both of these people were in the same circumstance that these people are in II Corinthians chapter 4, as every human being is.
II Corinthians 4:3-4
“But if our gospel (Paul’s Gospel of I Corinthians 15:1-4) be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: (and that’s every human being until their saved) 4. In whom (these lost people, good as well as the bad, who are not going to make it to heaven, and why?) the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
Who is fighting constantly to keep people in the dark? Satan is, because that’s his job, and as soon as a person become a believer, then his job become one of throwing doubt in their way, and throwing all kinds of problems into the life of the believer. Satan enjoys doing that. But first and foremost he’s going to keep the mind of those who believe not blinded.
II Corinthians 4:4b
“…lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
Now let’s look at verse 6. Now by the power of God this is what happens.
II Corinthians 4:6
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,”
How do you and I come to realize that first and foremost who Jesus was? How do we get to realized that He died for my sins and rose from the dead? God has to reveal it, God has to open our understanding. I could stand here and teach until I’m blue in the face, and if God doesn’t open the heart, I’m wasting my breath. And that’s the way it is all through Scripture. Now coming back to Colossians, this is the whole idea again. Paul is thanking God the Father for having opened the hearts and the minds of these Colossi believers and has delivered them from the power of darkness (v. 13). The chains of Satan. But for these people, darkness was paganism, which is even far darker than our Western civilization. And so the Lord opened their eyes and delivered them from the power of darkness and at the same moment He translated or transplanted them.
In an area like eastern Oklahoma where everybody has flowers and gardens, that’s a better word. When you transplant, what do you do? You take a plant from that particular place and you re-plant it over here. Well, that’s what God did with us. He took us out of darkness and He literally transplanted us into the Kingdom of Heaven. And our eternal abode, our position, and now a verse that we studied just weeks ago in Philippians and so it won’t hurt to review it. Let’s look at Philippians chapter 3 and verse 20.
“For our conversation (citizenship) is (where?) in heaven…”
How did our citizenship get transplanted from the earthly domain to heaven? Colossians 1. God the Father has transplanted us from darkness into the Kingdom of His dear Son.
Now that isn’t so deep and yet very few people have this concept. Very few people understand that when they were saved, they were literally made a citizen of a heavenly kingdom, which will tie us then to when Christ returns and sets up His kingdom on earth. And we’ll be part of that. So our citizenship is in Heaven. And lest you think it’s a play on words, Paul, by inspiration, tells us exactly what heaven he’s talking about. The abode of God. From whence we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. And so that is what God has done by virtue of our faith in the Gospel. He has opened our eyes, broken those chains of darkness and He has transplanted us into the Kingdom of His dear Son. Now let’s look at verse 14 of Colossians 1 and the first thing you’re going to notice in these new translations is that the word “blood” isn’t in there. And for whatever reason, I’m not going to make comment on it, but my good old King James still has it. And here it is.
“In whom (that is in the Son up there in verse 13) we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”
Now let’s go all the way back to Hebrews and let’s look at a verse that we haven’t used for a long time. We certainly have in the past but it’s been awhile. Hebrews chapter 9 and verse 22.
“And almost all things are by the law (back in the sacrificial economy) purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”
Now I call that an absolute. You know, they’re trying to tell us today that there are no absolutes. I beg to differ. There are absolutes and this is one of them. Without the shedding of blood there has never been any forgiveness of sin. You go right back to the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve had sinned and were expelled and what’s the first thing that God does to restore them? He kills the animals. It was a blood sacrifice.
Now it’s amazing how that Satan counterfeits everything that is perfect in God’s economy and adulterates it in the process. Now if you know anything about paganism, if you’ve ever had missionaries come home, especially years back, from some of these almost uncivilized areas, what were they constantly doing in their tribal rituals? Killing animals, or roosters or birds and sprinkling or spattering the blood all over. Why? That was Satan’s counterfeit. And so almost every culture up through human history has had a constant bath of sacrificial blood. But that was the counterfeit. That was the adulteration.
The true system of blood sacrifice was what God instituted with Adam and Eve and then bought it up and perfected it with the Law and the Temple worship. And it all was centered on the animal sacrifices. You know all of that. The Passover Lamb and I’ve shown you from Scripture that when Israel would sin a particular sin, there was a particular sacrifice that they would have to bring. It could be a turtledove, a goat or whatever, but it was always a blood sacrifice. Because without the shedding of blood there has never been forgiveness. Now I know that today we don’t hear anything anymore about the blood concept. But listen, it’s the way the Sovereign God ordained it. That without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sin. And of course, I feel that the reason for that is that back in Genesis chapter 9 it tells us that life is in the blood. And you cannot get new life without death happening first and death is signified by shed blood. And so you follow this all the way through God’s dealing with the whole human race leading up to His own supreme sacrifice, which had to be a shedding of blood. That’s why He could have never been hung. He could have never died a death by hanging which was a typical capital punishment way of putting people to death. But it wouldn’t have worked because then there wouldn’t have been the shed blood. And it had to be a death where there would be that shedding of blood. It had to be! Because this is the way the Sovereign God ordained it and who are we to say that the shed blood is no longer of consequence. Well, anyone who does is in danger of Hellfire because without the shedding of blood there is no remission. Now let’s see how Paul enlarges on it. Come back to Romans chapter 3 starting at verse 23.
“For all have sinned (every last single human being) and come short of the glory of God. 24. Being justified freely by his grace (that unmerited favor) through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”
Now you all know what redemption means. It’s the process of paying the price and gaining something back. Now verse 25
“Whom (Christ) God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his (what?) blood,…”
You can’t take that out. We have to maintain that it was His shed blood which was in accordance with His whole divine plan for the ages beginning with Adam and Eve’s sin just outside the garden all the way up through the Old Testament economy of Law and temple worship, all bringing us up to the supreme sacrifice of all time, the death of Christ Himself. And that’s when sacrificing stopped biblically. There was no more need for sacrifice once Christ died. Now the pagans kept it on. But biblically there was no more need for sacrifice. But never forget that without the shedding of blood there is no remission.