Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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The Supremacy of Christ 5/31/2015
Dear friend,

May the grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and His Son, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be with us today and always!
Are you afraid of getting the flu? Have you had your flu shot? Non of us wish to get the flu so often times we will be inoculated with a shot to prevent if possible contracting this sickness that brings along with it high fevers and can be fatal to those who are elderly.

Spiritually speaking, it is also wise to be inoculated against false teachings that have been offered from nearly every direction all through the ages. Just as one receives preventative measures to ward off the flu, likewise one may be protected against false teachings through being rightly instructed and rightly understanding as to the truth of the Word of God in Christ Jesus.

As we seek to understand the threats to the truth in the ages in which this was written, may the Holy Spirit teach of the true teaching of Christ as contained in this letter to the Colossians, may He rebuke us of our false understandings, may He show us the correct understandings and may He continually instruct us in the way of righteousness.

Introduction to The Book of Colossians

Brief Summary. Paul had been imprisoned at Rome and received messages about heresies at the church in Colossae. Paul defended the faith by exalting the person of Jesus, and clarifying the true doctrine of Jesus Christ.

Purpose: The purpose of Paul's epistle to the Colossians is to instruct the believers that salvation is only in Jesus Christ. The person of Jesus Christ must be understood accurately and that "He is the image of the invisible God and in Him all the fulness of the Godhead dwells in bodily form (Colossians 1:15, 19). When Jesus died on the cross he put an end to the civil and ceremonial laws of Judaism. Believers can trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, our God and creator.

Contents: The epistle to the Colossians contains Paul's instruction about the new life in Christ which comes through a spiritual union with Christ in heaven. This new life produces a Christlike character: brotherly affection, forgiveness, peace, worship and ministry, devotion to Christ, and thankfulness in everything.

We invite you to read the entire letter over and over again, asking our Father for the Holy Spirit, so that "ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;" It is our prayer that through this study of Paul's letter to the Colossians that we will be inoculated against false teachings and understandings that exist in the day in which we live. May we pray for one another to this end!

Those who are assigned to keep counterfeit money out of circulation study the legitimate currency so that when a false bill comes along that they are able to spot it immediately because they know the real one so well. May that be the sense of how we follow our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ so that by the Word and Spirit we will discern those teachings that come along that are not according to Him.

As we begin our time in this wonderful letter, I thought it good to go through and look at all the verses which describe the Christ of the Bible in this letter. It seems like a good place to start and then we will go through this first chapter in our study.

The Supremacy of Christ

1) He has rescued us..and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, (1:13),
2) He is the one in whom we have redemption (1:14),
3) He is the image of the invisible God (:15),
4) He is the first born of all creation (1:15),
5) He is the predates creation (1:17),
6) He is the source of creation (1:17),
7) He is the head of the body (1:18),
8) He is the beginning (1:18),
9) He is the firstborn from the dead (1:18),
10) He is the preeminent One (1:18),
11) He is the embodiment of all fullness of God (1:19),
12) He reconciles us by His blood (1:20),
13) He is the wealth of the glorious mystery (1:27),
14) He indwells believers (1:27),
15) He is the hope of glory (1:27),
16) He is key to the mystery of God (2:2),
17) In Him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden (2:3),
18) “In Him the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily, (2:9),
19) He is “is the head over every ruler and authority” (2:10),
20) He is the One in whom we are raised from the dead, (2:11-13),
21) “He erased the certificate of debt” (2:14)
22) “He triumphed over all principalities and powers (2:15),
23) He is the Messiah, the substance to which all shadows point (2:16, 17),
24) He is the Messiah, seated at the right hand of God (3:1),
25) He is the One in whom your life is hidden (3:3),
26) He is your life and you will appear with Him in glory (3:4),
27) He is “all in all” (3:11),
28) He is the One who forgives us (3:13),
29) He will reward believers with an inheritance from the Lord (3:24),
30) He fills the believer’s heart with peace (3:15).

I do not know about you, but just reading those descriptions of Christ causes me my mind, my heart and my soul to leap in anticipation of what is to come.....

This letter is written between 57-62 AD, by Apostle Paul while he was in prison. He never was in Colosse and he got his information from Epaphras, who was a servant in the congregation at Colosse.

KJV Colossians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,
2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

What gives us hope today? We are waiting for our true inheritance, which is not rooted in anything that we see with our eyes, but it is that which has been revealed to us through the hearing of the Word, howbeit it at our mothers knee, being with our father, learning in Sunday School, hearing the Word preached, being with brothers and sisters talking about Christ and so on....

6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

Epaphras visited Paul in prison, and shared the life of the congregation that he has been called to shepherd, and hearing about this Paul not only thanked God for their believing and sharing of the Gospel, but he prayed that God would continue to work in their spiritual lives. Let us note that he does not speak at all to their physical needs.

9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, 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;
10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (qualified us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

After praying for them, he then speaks of what God has done through His Son, Jesus Christ.

13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image (made God visible) of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

The world holds together in the elemental sense, and the body of Christ holds together for the same reason, that the world would hold together so that people would be saved from death. It is through the ministry of the body of Jesus Christ until the completion of the mission that the 'world is held together."

Jesus is the head of this body, He is the one who has made it and given it this mission. That is why Jesus told the disciples that even as He had been sent, He now sends them. (as well as us) He is preeminent one, for He has overcome death. Only in Him will the church accomplish that which He has been sent to do. He is the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End...He is the only One who can do this work and it is done through us. He is first place in all things and in nothing is He last place.

19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

God was delighted to dwell in His Son in the fullness of His divine nature, so that He could turn the state of enmity to the state of friendship. God has come in the flesh to buy it back, to save it, to change it from a state of enmity to a state of friendship. He demonstrated it in this very marvelous manner, and it was through the blood of the cross that He carried it out.

21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

He explains what he wrote above, saying that all have been reconciled in the body of his flesh to present us holy and unblameable and unreprovable in his sight. It is not after we repented, but it is as the result of that which was done by God. He changed us in his sight and the means of entering into this reality is by faith.

v 23=This is in past tense. It was preached unto every creature which is under heaven. It is a present reality. There is nothing that humans can do to change that which God has done, for He does not find enemies among us. Satan's work is to destroy this reality. If we as the body are in the destruction mode, we will be about destroying the body of Jesus Christ, and that is not consistent with the nature of the kingdom. All of the work of God is just that, that God has done it all.

"Was preached" Seems to indicate that this was a proclamation to all and has already been done. "World, your sins are all forgiven." When Jesus died on the cross for the race of Adam, He died as the last Adam and through it redeemed the new humanity. When Jesus said, "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do." It is not for God, it is for us.

24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:

What does this mean? As Christ suffered coming into the world, we who are Christ's will suffer in our identification with Him. As being a part of His body, we will suffer and in that sense Jesus Christ continues to suffer so that the message will be brought across. Through this apparent weakness, God still shows His might.

After speaking of what Christ has done, Paul now applies all that he has written to his own life.

25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

One of the greatest things about God is shown here in the life of Paul: He could have broken Paul out of prison, but He did not for He chose to allow Paul to suffer in prison while he wrote this letter.

v 27=The splendor of this mystery is that Christ is in us, with us and will never leave us. This we preach, warning every man, teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every person perfect in Christ Jesus, the present every person as a mature adult in Christ.

What is this full grown state in Christ? This is what he labors in this writing for, so that he may present every person a mature person in Jesus Christ.

In conclusion, we have heard and felt that heart stirrings of a man whose heart is turned towards those he loves, even though he has not seen them. He is writing this letter, as we stated in the beginning, to build them up so that they will be so filled with the presence and knowledge of Christ that they not only will be able to discern the false Christ's that come along, but they will be living in a state in which they have found and are finding complete satisfaction in Jesus Christ, His life, His death and His resurrection.

Let us also note that he has spent the first chapter not directly addressing the concerns he has about the false teachings that he is wishing to vaccinate/inoculate them against. As we continue in this letter, we will begin to see how he placed the supremacy of Christ in front of them in order to set their mind on Him so that when he begins to bring the specific concerns that Epaphras has shared with him, their minds will perhaps go back to this first chapter and they will make the connections; "Now we see why Paul said the things he did about Jesus Christ, it is beginning to make sense now.."

In the same manner, our minds have been put in the right place according to this letter which was inspired by the Holy Spirit and put into words by our beloved Apostle Paul. May close this message with the same prayer that our brother Paul offered in behalf of the believers in Colosse, which I am going to adjust so that it will keep the pattern, but will be in the first person.

Lord, thank you for our beloved congregation here in Kingston, whom you have brought to life through the gospel, who are desiring to grow in your knowledge through Jesus Christ. How we pray that we all may be filled with the knowledge of your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,so that we might walk in a manner worthy of the You, fully pleasing to You, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of You, our God. We ask that we would be strengthened with all power, according to Your glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to You, our Father, who has caused us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

Oh, Lord, increase our desire to know You, increase our thirst and hunger after righteousness, and send us away from here today rejoicing in that which you have given us, but yet wanting more of You.......

In Christ's name, Amen

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 31 May 2015 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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The Cross of Christ 2.25.2018
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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*Wendy and Dan Salo: Strength & courage to trust Him w/her health concerns