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Colossians

Link to: Colossians_e-book.pdf


Colossians Introduction

If you would like a one sentence, short summary of this book it is the second half of verse 27 of chapter one: It is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”  Around that profoundly simple statement orbits our hope, our freedom, our life, our very being.  If Christ be not in us, we are then the most hopeless and helpless of all people.  Our redemption, our forgiveness, our justification and our eternal life are all dependent upon Christ being in us. Not metaphorically, but in reality: The living Lord, the King of Kings, the Head of all things to the Church living in and through us.  This reality is not a religion but instead is a wholly a Holy lifestyle free from the bonds of religion.
 
Link to colossians_intro.mp3


Colossians Part One

Many times Colossians is passed over and given little scrutiny because of its small size and the similarities to Ephesians.  But there are indispensable truths in this little letter that must be understood to know the will of God for our lives. There is a distinct difference in emphasis in Colossians compared to Ephesians. Ephesians is about the body of Christ where as the letter of Colossians is about the Head of the body.  Christ is the Head and we are IN Him.  I can dream of no better place to find myself!

Link to colossians_part_1.mp3


Colossians Part Two

All the secrets of God are stored in Christ.  The word treasures comes form the Greek word thesaurus.  To us a thesaurus is a book that we use to find synonyms or the many ways to express the meanings of a word.  But the Greek word thesaurus refers to the place that the treasure is stored.  Christ is the thesaurus of all God’s wisdom and knowledge.  He is the storehouse.  He is in us.  We are in him.  Did it ever occur to you that we are part of God’s treasure?
 
Link to colossians_part_2.mp3


Colossians Part Three


Religion is insidious.  Those of us who are recovering from performance based religion are like drunks in a liquor closet. We are so tempted to try just a little of this and little of that and we soon find ourselves stone drunk and beguiled.   Old religious acquaintances want to know why we have “left the church.”   Of course we have not left the church.  We are the church: the body of Christ.  Perhaps we should answer their questions with a question of our own:  “When will you learn to be the church and stop playing church?”
 
Link to colossians_part_3.mp3


Colossians Part Four

To most, Christianity is just one religious philosophy among many.  Of theology there are endless arguments.  Theology is in fact all about argument.  The mixing of philosophies has been common and widespread since the first human walked the earth. In fact the evolution of human culture has been formed and guided by the melding of philosophies and religions.  In our supposedly enlightened age of reason the philosophical quagmire rolls on ever driving the proverbial wedge that separates man from the idea of God.

Link to colossians_part_4.mp3


Colossians Part Five

We here in America often wonder why the Christian faith is dwindling but in the third world (like central America, Africa and inland china to name a few) the gospel is red hot and expanding.   The answer is pretty simple actually.  We’ve been convinced that the stoicheia do not exist and if they do they are somehow distant.   Most of us don’t recognize the rampant working of the stoicheia in our politics, business, churches, schools and entertainment.
 
Link to colossians_part_5.mp3


Colossians Part Six


In the past couple of sessions I have briefly introduced the concept of the stoicheia.  Understanding the role of the stoicheia illuminates the contrast between the evil fleshly reality and the eternally holy spiritual realm of Christ.  The tension between these two realities form the stage that we the human race play on.  The stage is set and the cameras are rolling.  Unfortunately there are no “cut for commercial” breaks or rehearsals.  The enemy is very real and the fiery darts are flying.  We must learn, grow, encourage  and come to one another’s rescue in the midst of the battle. 

Link to colossians_part_6.mp3


Colossians Part Seven

He has given us the victory.   We have been endued with His power to pilot our fleshly vessel through the stormy straits of evil.    God has filled us with the Spirit of Christ so there is absolute hope.   In the power of Christ in us we can renew our minds, tumbling down every stronghold the flesh has built.   It however does not happen in an instantaneous flash. All the fear motivations, misinformation, knowledge and emotions that we gathered as an unbeliever do not just go away when you are reborn into God’s family.  The old man is still slinking along waiting to take control: And he will take control if you allow him to. 

Link to colossians_part_7.mp3


Colossians Part Eight
 
To understand the challenge Paul was addressing in the community of Colossae, the nature of the pagan religious traditions in play must be understood.  Otherwise we understand in light of our culture and our mindset and miss the whole point.   The pagan practices that the Colossians were inundated by would be termed as magic by us, but in that time the practices represented the highest of scientific knowledge.

Link to colossians_part_8.mp3   



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Neil

Neil's House