Stone's Hill Community Church
Letters from Prison - Colossians
Our series is called "Letters from Prison" - which is a study of Paul's prison epistles or letters. A quartet of men left Rome in the year A.D. 62, bound for the province of Asia, which was located in what was designated as Asia Minor and is currently called Turkey. These men had on their persons four of the most sublime compositions of the Christian faith. These four letters are designated the “prison epistles of Paul,” since he wrote them while imprisoned in Rome. He was awaiting a hearing before Nero who was the Caesar at that time. Paul, as a Roman citizen, had appealed his case to the emperor, and he was waiting to be heard. (1) Epaphroditus from Philippi (Philippians 4:18) had the Epistle to the Philippians. (2) Tychicus from Ephesus (Ephesians 6:21) had the Epistle to the Ephesians. (3) Epaphras from Colosse (Colossians 4:12) had the Epistle to the Colossians. (4) Onesimus (Philemon’s slave) from Colosse (Philemon 10) had the Epistle to Philemon. We've covered three of these four. So, welcome to "Colossians" the final book in this quartet of letters. And welcome to Stones Hill Community Church and Online Notes!
Locations & Times
  • Stone's Hill Community Church - Ligonier Main Campus
    151 W Stones Hill Rd, Ligonier, IN 46767, USA
    Saturday 5:59 PM
We welcome you to Stone's Hill today!

A typical Stone's Hill service has music (feel free to sing out); some announcements (things that are upcoming that you can be a part of); a message out of the Bible (God speaks to us through his Word); and an opportunity for you to respond to the message (either immediately in the case of a decision that needs to be made OR in the future as you live out the message in your life.)

So relax and enjoy your morning! We're so glad you are here!
Letters from Prison - Colossians 3:1-11
This is the "bridge passage" that links together the two main sections of this letter.

The new believers of Colossae were being influenced by a first century type, progressive Christianity: a lot of mysticism, legalism, ritualism, and asceticism. So, here is how the book flows.
Colossians 1
First, in verses 1 through 14, we find that Jesus Christ is preeminent in the Gospel.
Second, in verses 15 through 17, we find that Jesus Christ is preeminent in the Creation.
And third, in verses 18 through 23, we find that Jesus Christ is preeminent in the Church.

And fourthly, in chapter one verses 24 through 29, we find that Jesus Christ is preeminent in genuine ministry.
Colossians 2
And then in chapter 2, under the overall heading that Jesus Christ is the Truth, we have Christ’s preeminence defended. And Paul defends Christ’s preeminence against three dangers that just about every individual Christian, and just about every local church, will face sooner or later.
First, there is the danger of empty philosophies, like Critical Race Theory, instead of Christ, in chapter 2 verses 1 through 10.
Second, there is the danger of legalism instead of Christ, in chapter 2 verses 11 through 17.
And thirdly, there is the danger of man-made doctrines instead of Christ, in chapter 2 verses 18 through 23.
So in chapter 2, the Apostle Paul defends the preeminence of Christ against those three dangers, and he declares the preeminence of Christ as the sure cure for vain philosophies, and for legalism, and for man-made doctrines.
Transition: Our passage is a “bridge” passage that joins the indicatives concerning our salvation in Christ (chap. 1-2) with the ethical demands, the imperatives that flow from these grace truths (chap. 3-4).
And then in chapters 3 and 4, under the overall heading of Jesus Christ is the Life, we have Christ’s preeminence demonstrated. And Paul says that the preeminence of Christ must be demonstrated in the believer’s life, and in the life of the church, in 6 ways.

Colossians 3 and 4
First, Christ must be preeminent in the Christian’s conduct. We have that in chapter 3 verses 1 through 11.
Second, Christ must be preeminent in the Christian’s character. We find that in chapter 3 verses 12 through 17.
Third, Christ must be preeminent in the Christian’s home. We find that in verses 18 through 21.
Fourth, Christ must be preeminent in the Christian’s work. Paul addresses this in chapter 3 verse 22 through chapter 4 verse 1.
Fifth, Christ must be preeminent in the Christian’s witness. We find this in chapter 4 verses 2 through 6.
And finally number six, Christ must be preeminent in the Christian’s service. We find this in the rest of chapter 4, verses 7 through 18.

Christ Above All and Death to the "isms"
Here’s the deal after all of this: You can read Camus, and Nietzsche, and Marx. You can eat fish on Friday. You can wear your uncut hair in a bun and wear dresses to your ankles. You can wear a long skinny black tie and a white shirt. You can drive a black car or a horse and buggy. You can eat vegan. You can deny yourself chocolate during lent. You can go to church on Christmas and Easter. You can burn candles instead of electric lights in your home. You can live in a cave, dress in a potato sack, eat once a day, and never see another person. You can pray marathon prayers and inflict bodily pain to show God how sincere you are. You can act and look super spiritual. But if you don’t become more like Jesus in your mindset and attitudes, and you’re not able to serve someone like Christ would, it’s all for naught. That’s the message of Colossians. Christ above all. He just demolishes the isms.
Paul exposed the false premises of his opponents. Paul thunders out in the book of Colossians, Christ completely fills the entire gap between holy God and sinful man! He is all and all. All the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Him. The believer is complete in Him! Everything in relation to God needed by the believer is to be found in Christ. In Christ the believer finds acceptance, favor, sonship, status, right standing, power, purpose, destiny, bold access, wisdom and knowledge. Our entire life is upheld and provided by Christ – none of our spiritual needs are provided by us. This is death to the “isms!”

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