Jesus died on the cross almost 2,000 years ago, and then something amazing happened! He rose from the dead, and someday we will rise to eternity with him. Easter is all about Jesus, but it also offers hope. Pastor Greg Payton and Student Pastor Nate Lohmoeller join us to talk about this great weekend and what it means for The Rock Church.
Until this point in our study in Colossians, Paul has primarily dealt with what theologians like to call “Christology.”The word “Christology” comes from two Greek words meaning “Christ / Messiah” and “word” - which combine to mean “the study of Christ.” Simply put, it is the study of the person and work of Jesus. In chapter 3, the Apostle Paul begins to make a shift. Now that he has explained who Christ is, he begins to tell the believers in Colossae how they aresupposed to live.
During the first century in Rome, Christian persecution was at an all-time high! One would think that Paul would have told the church to lay low and blend in. However, he does the total opposite. Paul will spend the next two chapters teaching them the important disciplines of becoming more like Jesus. 2000 years later, those same disciplines apply to us today.
Who are you? Have you ever thought about that? Not just your name, but who are you? Throughout the entire Old Testament, God’s chosen people were identified through circumcision. This external sign became a hot topic for debate in the first century. Is there more to being a child of God than that? Paul tells us that if we are truly anchored in Christ, we will find our identity in Him. He goes on to say that through Christ all of the fullness of God’s deity resides in Jesus. All of us face incredible disappointments in life. Some of those disappointments are based on man-imposed, false promises that we do not see in the Bible. If we want our lives to count for something, our identity should be placed in Christ - and Christ alone.
We live in a society that is not entirely different from the church in Colossae 2000 years ago. The Age of Enlightenment has allowed our doctrine and theology to become diluted in many areas. The majority of our culture would believe that we all worship the same God and there are different paths to get to him. Paul gives several warnings to the church concerning these false teachings. Those warnings still apply to us today.
Most of the people who attend church on a regular basis have a very individualistic view of salvation. While salvation is certainly personal, it doesn’t end there. We have been entrusted with an amazing responsibility. Salvation is incredibly crucial as is sanctification. Make no mistake about that! However, Paul explains that all believers have something within them that is vital in spreading the Good News around the world.
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There is an old cliché that says, “If you want to be depressed, just turn on the news.” Famine, disease, tragedy, natural disasters, and the like happen every day. Why is that? Why is the world so full of suffering? Paul answers this question in the book of Colossians. Not only does he provide some purpose in our sufferings but tells us why we should rejoice when it happens.