Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 2 * BOOK 41
Jesus Christ the Creator God – Part 2
As we begin this lesson, remember that Colossians was written to a congregation of which Paul did not have a part in founding himself. No doubt it was some of his converts from Ephesus who had gone over to the city of Colossi, which is not to far south and a little east of Ephesus, and the same way with the city of Laodicea. So Colossians is a letter written by Paul to people whom he had never met personally, but the admonitions in these chapters are just as real as in any of his other letters. I also want you to be aware that a good share of Paul’s writings were not only to teach us the plan of salvation, and how to live as Christians, but to also warn us of the dangers that are constantly besetting Christianity.
In fact when I look back at history and the paganism of the Roman empire, and all the religious differences that have permeated the human race, I have to come away with the thought that, except for the Grace of God, Christianity would have never survived. It’s absolutely amazing that it has survived, but it did, and so now we read these little epistles with all that in mind. Yes it’s bringing forth the plan of salvation, it’s teaching us how to live, but it’s warning us what we are to be aware of all around us. Now verse 20, and we’re still speaking of God the Son as we did in the last lesson.
“And, having made peace (with sinful mankind) through the blood of his cross,…”
Now I’m going to have to stop there for a moment for that word ‘peace.’ When the world thinks of peace what do they think of? Absence of war. Absolutely they do. The world is always talking about peace. Peace in the Middle East, peace or in Africa, or wherever there’s turmoil, that’s where you find the world politicians talking about peace. They’re not talking about a relationship between God and men, they’re talking about the absence of warfare between human being. But the word ‘peace’ here is talking about God’s relationship with sinful men.
“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross,…”
Several programs back I made mention of Hebrews 9:22? That verse gives us the requirement of blood in the Scriptures.
“…and without shedding of blood is no remission.”
At that time I called that verse an absolute. There is absolutely no way of being restored into fellowship with the Creator God short of the shed blood. It’s an absolute. But getting back to the peace with God let me bring you back to Romans chapter 5 we’ll follow up on this peace with God that Paul uses quite freely in his writing. Now the secular world out there is not at peace with God. They’re His enemies and we’ll show that in just a moment. But for you and I who believe we are at peace with God. We’re not in a spiritual warfare against Him, but rather we have peace with God, and this verse shows that so clearly.
“Therefore being justified by faith, (which is a Pauline term) we have peace (it’s already done) with God…” Now that’s quite a statement isn’t it? God no longer has a controversy with the believers. God is absolutely content that the moment we believed, and He finished the work of Justification there is no longer any reason for Him to have enmity between us and Him because He has now given us that peace that only He can give, it’s a relationship of love
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (now since we’re justified and have peace with God) 2. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand,…”
See you can’t separate salvation from Grace. None of us deserved salvation, none of deserved what Christ did for us, but it’s all of Grace! And it’s amazing how few believers understand that. Another place where Paul uses this “peace with God” is in the Book of Philippians, and we looked at that not too many weeks ago. And in this portion of Scripture it’s in relationship to our prayer life as we make request. We’ll begin with verse 6. These are my two favorite verses when it comes to prayer.
“Be careful (or worry) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made know with God.”
There’s no strings attached to that verse. That is a free access into the Throne Room of God to let all of our supplication and request be know, but with thanksgiving, but now verse 7. Regardless how God answers our request, and He may not spare our loved one who may be terminal, He may not grant healing to them. He may not save a financial empire, or a marriage that we think needs to be saved. He may not answer the way we think that He should, but this verse 7 is the answer to every prayer.
“And the peace of God, (that which was imparted to us the moment we believed. That we are no longer in a warfare against Him, we’re no longer His enemy, but we are at peace with Him, and the peace of God) which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” In other words you can’t explain this peace you have with God, it’s beyond us, but we know it’s there, and it will keep our heart and mind. Now let me show you the other side of the coin back in Romans chapter 8. Now you’re going to find some stark statements in here, in fact it’s shocking.
“For they that are after the flesh (in other words the lost world around us) do mind the things of the flesh; (that’s all they can think about) but they that are after the Spirit (the believer. They mind) the things of the Spirit. 6. For to be carnally minded (constantly wrapped up in things) is death: but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (that same peace with God) 7. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:…”
Now do enemies have peace? No. They’re in a constant warfare whether it’s nations or communities, or whatever. So there is no peace between God and the lost individual because he is carnal and he is an enemy against God. Now reading on in verse 7.
“…for it (the carnal mind) is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
There’s nothing that is compatible. Nothing! They are totally separated, and that’s why in a little bit when we get back to Colossians we’re going to see the word, “reconciliation” But here there is no reconciliation between God and the lost person because they fleshly minded and have no interest in the things of the spirit.
“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
But do they like to pray? Oh you bet they do. My when they’ve got an need, they pray. Well do you think God is interested in their prayers? No, because they’re enemies. He’s not going to answer the prayer request of an enemy, as they’re not His children. I’ve always made the statement – yes, when a lost person cries out for salvation, God hears him. Absolutely He does! Before he even calls the Book of Isaiah says. But in everyday, mundane things when the lost person prays, God doesn’t hear him, he’s an enemy.
You know I’ve used the illustration that if your neighbors kid come us to you and says, “I want a new bike, will you get me one?” I think it would be a rare individual that would says, “well come on son, I’ll buy you one.” No, rather we’ll usually say, “Well that’s your dad’s job, that’s not responsibility to buy you a bicycle.” And the reason we won’t buy one is he’s not our kid. Well you see that’s just normal. That’s not being mean spirited or anything like that, but just simple good economics. You can’t buy bikes for all the kids up and down the block. Now God doesn’t treat the human race much differently. If there is no love for Him and they’re His enemies, He’s not going hear their prayers, until of course they call for salvation, and then He becomes the God of EVERYTHING! Verse 8 again.
“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Then for sake of time come on down to verse 13, and this will wind up this little dissertation of people who are still in the flesh, who have never been saved.
“For if ye live after the flesh, (the things of this world is your concern, and you have no concept of eternity) ye shall die:…”
You know Iris and I travel and see the highways packed with people and we can’t help but wonder, “How many of these people that we’re meeting on these freeways and highways ever for a moment consider eternity?” How many ever stop to think of something of the Spiritual? For the most part I don’t believe it ever enters their mind. Now I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t believe it does. They’re so wrapped up in the things of this world. So this is their future, that if all their living for is the flesh, these homes, cars, and credit card bills that are beyond their budget, and all the pressures of the world, they’ve got no time for God, and the Spiritual things and Paul says if that’s you lifestyle, “ye shall die spiritually. You have no hope for eternal life.” But verse 13 continuing is the flip side.
“… but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”
So it becomes then an option. Are you going to live for the flesh and die for eternity, or are you going to live Spiritually here and maybe miss out on a few of the things that the world thinks they have to have, and live eternally? That’s quite an option, but it’s mankind’s choice. Now back to Colossians. I guess I can finish the next half hour on the next word can’t I Jerry? Reconcile. I mean these are doctrinal terms that too many people never consider, but they are so basic to our faith. Now reading on in verse 20.
“And having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him (the One Who finished the work of the cross) to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”
In other words again, where does that put Christ? In the preeminence. Everything is under His control. Everything as you saw back in one of these earlier verses were created for His pleasure. You and I were created for His pleasure, so the whole idea of the work of the cross was to grant us justification to give us peace with God, and to reconcile us to Him, and we call that reconciliation.
Now the true Greek meaning is to turn from something totally in the opposite direction. Now a lot of times we speak of reconciliation in married couples who may have marriages simply on the rocks. But hopefully if you can bring that estrange husband and wife back together we call that reconciliation. They’ve turned from their direction going apart from each other and have turned 180 degrees and come back together. Well that exactly what God has done with us. Everyone of us as a believer has been reconciled to God. We were going away from Him, we had no thought for Him or no love for Him, but there came a time when all of a sudden the power of God just literally hooked us didn’t it? He brought us to Himself, and in the process of that He reconciled us to Himself. The best portion of Scripture to define that is found in II Corinthians chapter 5, and let’s begin with verse 17.
II Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, (he’s in the Body of Christ, the True Church) he is a new creature: (creation) old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”Well that doesn’t need any comment it’s self explanatory. Now verse 18, and here it comes.
II Corinthians 5:18a
“And all things are of God,…”
Why? Because He’s the Creator of everything. You know we’ve been studying about Joseph of Egypt in a couple of our classes here in Oklahoma the last several nights. I’ve seen it before but it never struck me quite so hard as it has this time, that all those bad things that happened to young Joseph. What did Joseph tell those brothers over and over. “God was in it!” See, this is what we have to realize even for us as believers today, not one moment of our life is without God’s awareness and control. We’re in His control. God is above everything and this is what we have to understand. Even the bad thing, God is in it, to fulfill His own purposes.
Now in the story of Joseph of course, it was so evident. Had Joseph not been sold into slavery, had not ended down the second man in Egypt, Jacob and the other sons wouldn’t have had the opportunity to go and cash in on the granaries of Egypt. But since Joseph was there and had the grain, the family survived. And that’s why Joseph said, “You didn’t do it. God did it!” Now that’s hard for us to comprehend isn’t it? You’ve heard me say before that one of the hard things to comprehend is that when God began this whole system of the human race, and He set Adam and Eve out of the garden with a free will, and He did the same thing with the nations. And so men and nations have been coming through human history making their own decisions pretty much. There is no puppet on a string involved whatsoever. And yet, here we are 6,000 years removed and where are we in God’s timetable? Right on the minute! The whole world, after 6,000 years is exactly where God blueprinted it. And yet He never took away the freedom of men and nations to pretty much do as they thought they wanted to do. It’s amazing isn’t it? Now, it’s the same way here.
II Corinthians 5:18a
“And all things are of God,….”
Now don’t ever stop and try to tell me, “Oh, there’s too many people for God to keep track of.” Listen, there are more stars out there, as I mentioned last half hour, and none of them ever bump into each other. There are far more stars to keep track of than there are people. And that’s why the Scripture can even bring it on down that he knows the number of hairs on the head of every individual. So don’t ever limit God. Don’t ever say, “Well He doesn’t know about me.” Oh yes He does. Now reading on.
II Corinthians 5:18
“And all things are of God who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given us the ministry of reconciliation.” In other words as we were going away from God, He in His mercy and grace just literally brought us back to himself.
I had an elderly gentleman who was well into his 70’s, call and say, “Les, I have just all of a sudden, as a result of your program, gotten a hunger for the Word. It’s the first thing I do when I get up in the morning and the last thing I do before I go to sleep. To think that I wasted all those years with no interest in the spiritual thing.” I said, “You know you remind me, (and I’ve shared it with some of those people in the last week) of something that Winston Churchill said. You’re going to smile because you’re going to remember when he said it. He said, “Youth is wonderful. But what a pity that it had to be wasted on young people!” Now isn’t that exactly what we’ve done? They waste all those good productive years just simply spending them to satisfy the flesh and then when they get older they suddenly realize that, “Hey, this is far better. Why couldn’t I have experienced this for the last 40 years?” Well, it’s one of the questionable things, I guess, of the human experience. Well, let’s go on.
II Corinthians 5:18b
“….who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ (It doesn’t stop there. As soon as we are reconciled what has God given us?) and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.”
In other words, we are to help others be reconciled. And there’s no more thrilling thing you can do. Like I’ve already mentioned, if you can bring an estranged husband and wife together, and maybe there’s some little kids at home that are torn between all this, is there anything more thrilling than to reconcile those two people and save the home and recreated a joy and happiness? That makes you feel pretty good. Well, it’s the same way if you can do this with a lost person. If you can be instrumental in bringing that person to a knowledge of salvation and to be able to say, “I’ve reconciled, or have had a part in reconciling someone to God.” And this is our ministry, that we are to be reconciling lost people to their Creator God. Now let’s go back to Colossians, chapter 1 and verse 20b.
“….by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he (Christ Jesus) reconciled.”