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Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 41
Colossians 2:14 – 4:18 – Part 2
Now we’re going to pick right up where we left off in the last lesson. I think maybe since we have a lot of mundane things listed here in the rest of Colossians we can maybe finish the Book. Iris and I were talking on the way up that it would be nice so far as our video format is concerned if we could finish Colossians and that would complete book 41 wouldn’t it Jerry? Then we can start book 42 with I Thessalonians.
We had just made comment in our last lesson about verse 5, where Paul again lists the things that were indicative of a life in the flesh. And of course you want to remember, I’ve said this all the way up through Paul’s epistles, he lived in the midst of the pagan Roman Empire, and with the exception of those isolated pockets of Jews and their synagogue worship, the rest of the Roman Empire knew nothing of the God of Scripture. They were pagan and either worshipping the things of the mythological gods and goddesses or even the emperor of Rome. So they knew nothing of the God of Scripture, so naturally it follows that their lifestyle was rank, it was immoral, it was filthy. And into the midst of that fitly immoral world came this one little man, and turned the Roman Empire upside down.
My goodness, I think that if anyone of us could do just part of what Paul did, we’d see a different country. But nevertheless he went into that kind of a thing, and this is why he’s always mentioning, “This is what you once were.”
“…(you were in) fornication, uncleanness, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6. For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:”
Now I always have to qualify, remember all the things that have taken place over the last thousands of years throughout human history are not the wrath of God, that is still future. The wrath of God will be poured out when the Tribulation begins, or at least the last half of it. So the world really hasn’t tasted the wrath of God. Now of course the people who are lost, when they die they immediately enter into their lost state, then I guess you could say, that the wrath of God is already evident. But as we normally think of God’s wrath, is in that future period of time. I’ve said this before, but I think it bears repeating. People ask me, “Well Les why should this final generation suffer such horrific events that we know are going to come to pass during the Tribulation?” It’s numbers. There are more people living on the planet right now, and we’re multiplying at a very high rate each day. So today there’s more people alive on the planet than lived in total, going at least back to Noah’s flood. So when God pours His wrath out on this generation He will be judging the vast majority of people who have ever lived previously. So that’s why the world is rushing to judgment. That’s why we’re seeing a population exploding. The wrath of God is going to be poured out on these multitudes of Christ-rejecting people.
Hopefully you saw in our closing moment in the last program, “God brought down His judgments on those tribes of Canaan because of their immoral practices, and He called them an abomination.” Well listen, we’re not under the Law of Leviticus, but the God that designated those things as abominable has not changed, and those things are still an abomination, and don’t you ever forget it. God is not going to put up with it forever. The day is coming, when He finally says, “I’ve had enough!” At that time the Age of Grace will come to an end, and then His wrath will be poured out. Now let’s move on quickly then to verse7.
“In the which (that horrific lifestyle) ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.”
Isn’t it amazing? So where did these people come from? Out of that wicked lifestyle. My, we had such a tremendous testimony in our McAlester class last week, and I’m sure the gentlemen won’t mind my sharing it. Jerry I think you were there. We’ve got a gentlemen who was a football player in years back with one of our large universities, and like he says, “When you’re in that kind of situation, big man on campus, you can just about do as you please.” And he said, “I did. I did it all.” Well a few weeks ago he went back home to visit some of his family, and one of his brothers took him into a sports bar, and he said, “All I could think of was, this is what I used to be. The language and smell of the cigarette smoke, the booze was wicked, and I couldn’t wait to get out of there.” He said when I got back out on the street, I had to stop and think, “That’s what I was, before salvation. Thanks to God and you who opened my eyes, now I’m clean!” That’s the words he used. “Now I’m clean!”
Well that’s exactly what Paul was telling these people. “Well this is what you were, but now they had been washed, and no longer walk in those things.” And along with the ones he listed in verse 6, he lists some more in verse 8.
“But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9. Lie not one to another,…”
See, that’s typical of the unsaved world. They don’t mind lying, they never worry about getting caught, and even if they do, they’re just going to lie some more to get out of it. So Paul says, “That’s not for us. We don’t lie, we tell the truth.” So this is all admonition for the Christian lifestyle.
“Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man (or the old Adamic nature) with his deeds:”
What does the Lord Jesus say concerning Satan? “He is a liar from the beginning!” And he is the god of this world, so naturally follows the world out there are going to be liars. But Paul tells us, “You’re not like the world.” Do you see that? Now verse 10
“And have put on the new man,…” (the new Adam, the new Divine nature)
Come back with me to II Corinthians chapter 5. It’s been a long time since we’ve been back in those earlier epistles. And let’s just drop in at verse 14.
II Corinthians 5:14
“For the love of Christ constraineth us: because we thus judge, (or conclude) that if one died for all, then were all dead:” What does he mean by that?
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;”
Other than Christ who was not a sinner, not a person has ever not come short of the glory of God. So here he repeats it II Corinthians. “That if one died for all, then we’re all dead.”Remember in Hebrews a couple of lessons back, how many did He taste death for? “Every man!” Well if that’s the case, then they were all dead, that is Spiritually.
II Corinthians 5:15-16
“And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth (from the time of their new birth, their salvation) live unto themselves, (seek those things which are above, and not the things here on the earth) but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 16. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, (that is His earthly ministry) yet now henceforth know we him no more,”
Because now we’re tied to His resurrection! Now here it comes in verse 17.
II Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, (if we’re in the Body of Christ. If we’re hid in Christ in God, if that has happened then) he is a new creature: (creation) old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
And I guess most of us have experienced that, haven’t we? The things that use to appeal to us, now we wonder, how in the world did we put up with it. The things we used to hate, now becomes our whole life. We just can’t get enough of it. Well that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Now verse 18.
II Corinthians 5:18
“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.”
Well this is all that concept that comes from the pen of the apostle Paul, with regard to our new nature, as against the old Adamic nature. Now back to Colossians chapter 3, and verse 10 again.
“And have put on the new man, which is renewed in (full) knowledge after the image of him that created him:”
In other words, Christ becomes our goal, He becomes our pattern, He becomes everything that we hope for. Now talking about the Body of Christ we find the following in verse 11.
“Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond or free: but Christ is all, and in all.”
Now we’re living in a time where there are some groups that are trying to put back the Jews in a separate place from the Gentiles. But the Scripture, as revealed to Paul says, “there is no difference!” A Jew has to be saved just like a Gentile, and his keeping the feast days or the Sabbath won’t do him any good, any more than it will anybody else. So we have to understand that the Jewish people today have to consider themselves as lost sinners. They’re in the same boat with lost Gentiles. But when they do become believers they come into the same Body of Christ as the Gentile does, and we become one in Christ when we become then a member of the Body of Christ. Looking at verse 11 again.
“Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.”
He is the great field leveler. We like to talk about a level playing field, and that’s what Christ does, He levels the playing field and there is no difference in any segment of society. Once we’re in the Body of Christ we are all on with Him. Now verse 12.
“Put on therefore, (as a result of all that Christ has done) as the elect of God, (the ones that God has saved by His Grace) holy (set apart) and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; (now verse 13. This is part of the Christian Grace.) 13. Forbearing one another, …”
You know what I’ve always said? You don’t have to like everybody, but you’ve got to love them. I mean there are some people that you like to be with a lot more than others, and that’s perfectly normal. But whether we like them or not, we’re to forbear them, and not be all angered and upset and have nothing to do with them, because everyone of us that have things that irritate others. I know I probably irritate people, but I thank God that they forbear with me, and that’s what we have to do with others. But the one thing we can never compromise is our love. We love them regardless, see? Now reading on in verse 13, I’m going to go rather quickly now, because I think we can finish Colossians this lesson. These are all just plain logical, common sense admonitions from the pen of the apostle as to how to walk and live with a child of God.
“Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: (and we’re going to, because we’re human. We’re going to have differences of opinion. We’re going to have some unhappy situations, but don’t let it destroy your relations. And if you have a quarrel,) even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
Now what does that tell you? We’re forgiven, we’re totally forgiven, and I don’t have to go back everyday and say, “Oh God forgive me.” That’s all done, it was done at the cross. A lot of people can’t quite agree with me on that, and that’s all right, but forgiveness is a done deal. Now I know we have to still recognize our sins, and see them as God does. And I think we have to ask God for cleansing, and my whole approach to that is, the night that the Lord was washing Peter’s feet. He came to Peter and what did Peter say?
“Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 9. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 10. Jesus saith to him, he that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit and ye are clean, but not all.
Peter had already been saved. He’d had his bath already, but by virtue of walking from that bath house to his home in the ancients, the streets were fixity, and before he could go into his own home he would have to wash his feet. Well the picture of course is where we are. We’ve been saved, we’re forgiven, we’re cleansed, but we’re still in this old world, and as we go though this world our feet are getting dirty, and so what do we need? Cleaning!
We don’t need forgiveness, that’s all done, but we need cleansing, and how do we cleanse? I just told somebody on the phone yesterday. How do you wash a strainer? A gravy strainer or a tea strainer, how do you wash it? You certainly can’t run a piece of cloth through every little opening, so how do you wash a strainer? Oh you just swish it through the water, isn’t that right? You just simply cleanse it with the washing of water. Now that’s what Paul uses in Ephesians, and this is what we have to do. We get daily cleansing, by the washing of the water, but what does Paul say the water is? The Word of God! Do you see that? Boy isn’t that beautiful,? We don’t have to come crawling to God every time we do something that is wrong, and plead that He forgive us. He must get tired of that, and tells us, “I’ve forgiven you!” But we do need cleansing. We have to see our sin as He sees it and then be cleansed from it by the Word of God. Now let’s move on to verse 14. So we’re to forgive as Christ forgave us.
“And above all these things put on charity, (love) which is the bond of perfectness.”
Remember the word perfect in the New Testament means mature. Love then is the sign of our Spiritual maturity. Now verse 15.
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts,…”
A lot of people don’t have the peace of God. A lot of Christians are in turmoil because they do not except the fact that God has justified them from all things, He has forgiven them, and so consequently they can’t enjoy the peace that God wants them to have. And all they have to do is recognize where they are. God is full of Grace, God is ready to cleanse, and there is no need for Christians to go through life with not having this peace of God.
“…to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”
See there it is again, the Body of Christ, which all believers of the Paul’s gospel is a part of. If you haven’t used works for salvation but only believed, then you’re in the Body of Christ! Now verse 16, and let’s go quickly till we get to the end.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;…”
Now I’ve got to take you back to chapter 1. I could take you also to Ephesians, but I’ll make it easy on you, so just turn back a page in Colossians1:9. This is Paul’s prayer on behalf of the Colossi believers.
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, (that they had become believers) do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding:”
To be able to search the Scriptures and dig these things out, and put them into daily practice, because how many times have I said, “Christianity is the most practical thing on earth.” And I mean that. Christianity is what makes people a good citizen. Christianity is what makes a person a good neighbor. Christianity makes a person a good parent. Christianity makes a person a good teenager, Christianity is what makes an honest person a good businessman. So all the way through Christianity is so practical. It’s not pie in the sky, or some foolishness over here, but just simple practical everyday living. And that’s what God is looking for. Now verse 10.
“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, (we don’t have to be like sandpaper to people who are around us. However they must also realize that we’re different than the world) being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;”
Oh listen, when I realize how ignorant so many so-called Christians are, how it must grieve the heart of God that they haven’t learned. Remember ignorance is not a lack of brain power, that has nothing to do with it. Ignorance is a lack of teaching. Now that may be of their own free will, some don’t want to be taught, but many times it’s just simply they’ve never thought about it. But to be willingly ignorant of what the Scripture says, means that you simply don’t want to learn, so remember that. God wants you to increase in the knowledge of His Word and Himself. Now back to Colossians chapter 3, verse 17 for some more of just practical admonition.
“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
Now there’s the process again, as Paul also gave it in Ephesians on how we’re to pray. I still have people ask, “Are we still supposed to pray in the name of Jesus?” Absolutely! Come back with me to Ephesians chapter 5. You’ll see this is plain English, this is the process.
“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father (how?) in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” Now that’s the Scriptural instructions, and Paul says the same thing here in Colossians. Now looking at Colossians again.
“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
By the Lord Jesus, because after all He’s the One that’s at the right hand of the Father, He’s the One that’s the advocate, He’s the One that is the intercessor, and it only makes common sense. In fact another verse comes to mind in I Timothy chapter 2. Again it’s a good admonition for all of us.
I Timothy 2:1-5
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2. For kings, (our government) and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honestly. 3. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour. 4. Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of truth. 5. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”
Oh aren’t you glad you don’t have to go through a priest, or a religion, but you have clear access into the throne room. Oh boy, only 1 minute left, so let’s come back to Colossians quickly. I know we didn’t finish the Book, but this will still wind up Colossians , I can tell folks to just read chapter 4, because it has a lot of greeting in it, but now Paul has one more strong admonition for the family in verse 18.
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. 19. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. 20. Children, obey your parents in all things; for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” 21. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.”
We have to use common sense as fathers. Then he comes down to employees with regards to their employer, and all of this is just plain practical common sense instructions for a child of God.