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Reconciliation: The Message of the Cross (Colossians 1)

What is the message of the cross?

What was conveyed by the death of the Messiah?

Over 2000 years ago Christ was crucified on a cross in Jerusalem, Israel.

The land of Israel at that time was under the jurisdiction of the Roman Empire.

Although declared innocent, Christ died as the condemned on a Roman cross.

What significance did Christ’s death have?

Why does all of humanity look back to that moment on Golgotha?

And having made peace…  Colossians 1:20

God is the great peacemaker

When man ponders peace, his mind is invaded with thoughts of war, rumors of war, the loss of countless lives taken in war, and his own inner war.

When mankind speak peace

Mankind usually speaks of peace only in terms that concern relations between neighbors or that concern relations between various nations of the world.

The need for a greater peace

However, the need for a greater peace emerges.  That need is for peace between mankind and his Creator.

Mankind has broken God the Creator’s established law thus bringing the separation of mankind from his Creator. That separation could not be removed until the penalty the law demanded was paid.

The law required the death of a perfect sinless sacrifice (without spot or blemish). Mankind is not perfect or sinless; therefore, mankind could not and cannot pay this debt.

God is holy and just

Because God is holy and just, His demands for justice must be met.

What is justice?

Justice means that sin or the breaking of the law must be judged and condemned.

The law sets the standard. We cannot meet that standard because we are lawbreakers. We have broken the law. Therefore, the law condemns us.

Sin separated man from God

The condemnation of our sins separated us from God. To be reconciled back to God, the penalty for breaking God’s law had to be paid. That debt could not be paid by mankind.

God desired reconciliation

But God, in His wisdom and love for mankind, knew the one and only way that reconciliation could be accomplished. However, that pathway was costly. Costly not for mankind, but for God Himself.

That reconciliation was made (Col. 1:22) in the body of Christ’s flesh through His death, His sacrifice on the cross, so that it would be possible for us to be presented as holy, unblameable, and unreproveable in His sight:

  •                As a reconciled people
  •                In a reconciled state
The pathway to reconciliation came at a great cost.

→ redemption → forgiveness → reconciliation

By him to reconcile all things unto himself… (Col. 1:20)

Man cannot solve the peace problem

Man could not and never would be able to solve the peace problem between himself and God.

However, God initiated the peace process by sending Christ to die for you and me.

The shedding of Christ’s blood at Calvary was for the reconciliation of all things unto Himself.

The reconciliation of all things (Col. 1:16, 20)

  •                That are created
  •                That are in heaven
  •                That are in earth

God Himself paid the price for redemption

Christ’s sacrifice satisfied the demands of the law. His death paid the redemption fee.  His substitutionary death on the cross satisfied the Law’s demand for justice.

In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins (Col. 1:14).

Because Christ paid the debt for the guilty and because justice was met, mercy can be bestowed.

Therefore, God has chosen to show mercy to those who will accept His sacrifice, believe on His Son, and ask for forgiveness of sin.

God Himself made a way for man to be reconciled to Him

The message of the cross is that God loves mankind. He so loved mankind that He was willing to step out of heaven, be manifested in the flesh, and place Himself on a cross to pay our sin debt.

His death and subsequent resurrection back to heaven show that He is Almighty God. Now that the price of redemption has been paid, He, as Almighty God, can show mercy and grace to His creation.

Those who reject His sacrifice, however, refuse to accept His substitutionary death for their sin.  Therefore, they refuse reconciliation, peace with God, and a future home in heaven.

Those who reject Jesus Christ, reject the peace that mankind can experience between man and his Creator.

If you have not received Christ and His substitutionary death for you, please accept Him today.

You can know the peace that only comes by allowing Him to be your Saviour.

Copyright ©2017 sowhatsthelatestnews.info

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colossians: Mnemonic Outline for Teachers

The Use of Mnemonics

Teachers use a variety of methods when teaching their students. Those methods are intended to help students remember the important parts of any given lesson.

One such method is the use of mnemonics.

To Aid in Memorization

Mnemonics greatly helps many students memorize important points, events, rules, or formulas. They are also useful in teaching Scriptural passages.

Some Helpful Mnemonics

A helpful mnemonic for study in The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the  Colossians uses the word ‘body’.

See if it helps you as you teach or study through Colossians.

  • The body’s prayer
  • The body’s head
  • The body’s conversation
  • The body’s warfare
  • The body’s work
  • The body’s witness
Another helpful mnemonic might emphasize the letter ‘w’.
  • The body weeping (in prayer)
  • The body worshiping (the head which is Christ)
  • The body warring
  • The body walking
  • The body witnessing

Create Your Own

Search through the book of Colossians and create your own mnemonics to aid you in teaching your students.

Copyright ©2017 by Peggy Clark


Join in the conversation:
Do you have a helpful mnemonic that you would like to share with others?
What teaching methods do you enjoy using the most?
Does your pastor use mnemonics in his sermons?
For further helps in studying The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians, you may purchase the study entitled So, What's the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome. Available from WestBow Press and other online retailers.

 

Apostle Paul and His Ministry

Preacher and Missionary

Apostle Paul was a first century preacher of the Word of God. He was converted while traveling on the Damascus Road. Later, he was ordained a missionary by the church at Antioch.

The Apostle Paul conducted three missionary tours extending from Antioch through Asia Minor to modern-day Greece. After arriving in Jerusalem on his third tour, he was arrested and taken to Rome, Italy. After a period of imprisonment, he was beheaded for his faith.

Moved by the Holy Ghost

Being moved by the Holy Spirit, Paul also wrote the New Testament books of Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews. Six of his books or epistles were written while he was imprisoned at Rome, Italy.

 “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21).

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16).

Steward of the Gospel

Paul used every opportunity to present the teachings of Christ. He saw himself as a steward of the teachings he received from Christ.

“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Corinthians 4:1).

“[D]eclaring unto you the testimony of God” (1 Corinthians 2:1).

Three-fold Ministry

In his epistle to the Colossians (1:28), Paul’s preaching ministry is described as three-fold: warning, teaching, and presenting.

His messages warned believers and non-believers alike of the deceptive tactics of Satan. Believers were warned of the possibility that they could lose rewards for not following Christ’s commands. All were warned of the judgment to come.

Paul teachings revealed the mystery of Christ “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). He sought to clearly present the gospel message, establish believers in their faith, and ground each in Christ’s doctrine.

Christ tells us to seek that we may find, to knock and it shall be opened unto us. Our searching should be for eternal things because those things will last beyond this life.
Christ tells us to seek that we may find, to knock and it shall be opened unto us. Our searching should be for eternal things because those things will never see corruption.

Evangelist and Minister

Paul’s goal was to “present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:28). Not only was Paul an evangelist who preached the gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, but Paul was also a minister who instructed his converts to continue in the faith and grow to maturity in Christ.

Product of His Ministry

Paul took the responsibility of his ministry seriously. He labored in preparation for the day that he would present to Christ every person to whom he had preached as a product of his ministry. His desire was that that product would be acceptable to Christ.

Every preacher, evangelist, and missionary today should take that same mindset: that the products of their ministry will be those to whom they have presented the gospel of Christ.  May those products be mature Christians who also share in Christ’s ministry.

Copyright©2017 by Peggy Clark


Join in the Conversation:

What do you find intriguing about Paul’s ministry?

Have you ever thought about being a missionary?

Paul continued his ministry while imprisoned in Rome. Should we allow obstacles to prevent us from fulfilling our calling?

How can we “remember” those who are imprisoned for their faith?

Colossians 2:6-8 Walking in Christ

Paul’s Exhortation to “Walk in Christ”

Paul exhorts those who have received Christ to walk in Him (Christ Jesus).

This exhortation by Paul presents several ways that walking in Christ is displayed. See if you can find them in the following verses:

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.   Colossians 2:6-8

  • As we are taught

When children are very young, they must learn to walk. That skill is taught and encouraged by the parents and/or other caregivers.

As newborn babes in Christ, we also are taught and encouraged by those in spiritual authority over us.

  • We first must be rooted.

Having our salvation planted firmly in Christ, our doctrines taken directly from the Word of God, and maintaining an ongoing personal relationship with Christ as Lord, we will be built upon a firm foundation.

  • Then we must be built up.

As a tree begins to grow, it must have nutrients, water, and sunlight to continue the process or it will soon wither and die.

The Word of God will strengthen us. It is the water of life that sustains our spiritual growth. Jesus Christ will guide us as we seek His guidance. His Holy Spirit will teach us all things that we need to know in order to walk in a pleasing manner.

  • This process will establish us in the faith.

However, added to that process will be life’s experiences. The situations and trials of life will teach us to lean on Christ and reveal to us that we can trust Christ to be all He has promised.

  • As we abound in thanksgiving

We can then abound in thanksgiving, knowing that Christ has and always will meet our needs. He is our loving Creator who has prepared the way for us to receive salvation by giving His own life as a sacrifice.  His sacrifice paid the debt for our sin. That debt is a debt no mortal man can pay.

  • We must be teachable

A man or woman who is walking in Christ is also teachable.

The more we study God’s Word the more we find ourselves desiring to know more about our Lord. We also find ourselves desiring to please Him in every area of our lives.

The more we study God’s Word and confirm to the image of Christ, the more we recognize the depths of deception and are able to prevent its attack from deceiving us.

  • We must learn to detect deception in all its forms

We must learn to sift philosophies and opinions through the filter of God’s Word.  The more of God’s Word that we know, the more capable we are to detect the deception of evil when it is presented to us as truth.

God’s Word is truth. A real relationship with Christ is a presentation of truth. A person who walks with Christ is a person who walks in truth.

If you have received Christ as Lord, then I hope you are walking with Him today.  May your conversations with Him be enlightening and enjoyable.

Copyright 2017 by Peggy Clark

 

Teaching Scripture: Know the Destination of the Passage

The Importance of Knowing to Whom a Scripture Passage Is Written

Many times we miss out on a fuller understanding of the Word of God because we do not stop to consider to whom a passage of Scripture is written.

  • When preparing to teach a letter or a book or a chapter of the Bible, it is very important to know to whom the letter, the book, or the chapter is being written.

The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians was obviously written to the church body located in Colossae. However, after careful reading, we also find that the letter was written to the church body at Laodicea.

Why is this type of information important?

  • The destination of a letter directs us in seeking information about the culture of a particular group of people living during the time frame in which the letter was written.

Information contained within the letter may give clues as to the culture.

Secular history may also give additional needed information that can help us in understanding the mindset of the people who lived in the area.

Where did these people live?

In a large metropolitan area or in the wilderness? By the seaside or in the mountains?

What was the main occupation?

Fishing or farming, shepherding or trading in goods?

Was the location of political or religious or economic importance?
What major events may have happened there?
Were they a city-state governing themselves or were they part of a large empire?
How did they bury their dead?

These and many other questions may pop into one’s mind. Seeking the answers to these types of questions will contribute to the understanding of the Bible passages we choose to study.


What questions pop into your mind?

Add to the list by leaving a comment below.

Copyright 2017 by Peggy Clark

 

Prayer Words from Colossians 1

Paul and Timothy’s prayer in Colossians 1 contains some interesting words that begin with the letter ‘p’. Consider these for a Bible study concerning prayer.

 Copyright 2017 by Peggy Clark


Share some of your prayer words.

Your comments are welcome.

Hope Laid up in Heaven, Colossians 1

A Hope to Be Thankful For, Colossians 1

 

Paul and Timothy expressed their thankfulness for hope laid up in heaven for those in Colosse and Laodicea.

We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.  Colossians 1:3

For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel.  Colossians 1:5

 

Hope which is laid up in heaven…

 

What was this hope that Paul and Timothy spoke of?

 

  • Hope is believing the truth of God’s Word by faith.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1

 

  • Hope is believing that there will be a future resurrection.

And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.  Acts 24:15

 

  • Hope is knowing that Jesus Christ was resurrected from the grave.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  1 Peter 1:3

 

  • Hope is also believing in the soon coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Titus 2:13

 

  • Hope is trusting God’s Word will be performed even though we can’t see the accomplishment of it at the present.

Abraham showed this hope by placing his trust in God’s proclamation that he would be the father of many nations even though he was childless at the moment that this promise was made.

(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.  Romans 4:17-18

 

  • Hope is also believing the truth of the gospel unto eternal life.

In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.  Titus 1:2

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.  Hebrews 6:19

 

  • Hope is confidence, confirmation, affirmation, expectation, and acknowledgement.

Hope is not wishful thinking. It is placing our confidence in the One who is able to redeem our souls and resurrect us from the dead.

It is the confirmation shown by a changed life.

It is the affirmation of the Holy Spirit which indwells those who receive Christ. It is the expectation of Christ’s second coming for His own.

Hope is the acknowledgement that a place has been reserved for us in heaven. We await Christ’s coming to take us to our heavenly home to be with Him forever.

For this hope we also give thanks to God our Father.


Join in the conversation.

Are you thankful for hope?
 Are you walking in that hope daily?
How are you expressing your hope?
Are you ready to give an answer to others who ask about the hope that you have in Christ?

©2016 by Peggy Clark


 

 

Giveaway Winner Announced

The Goodreads Giveaway is now over.

Congratulations to Hester.

Hester has been sent a confirmation of winning the giveaway by private message through Goodreads.

An autographed copy of So, What’s the Latest News? Messages From a Prisoner in Rome is in the mail.

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway.

If you did not read the preview pages available at Goodreads, I hope you will take the time to do so.

Thank you to everyone who added my book to your Goodreads shelf.

As we enter this time of Thanksgiving and the Christmas holiday season, I hope you will support the many Christian authors who wish to glorify God and helps others through the study of God’s Word.

May this study of Colossians be a blessing to you.

Your reviews and comments concerning So What’s the Latest News?  Messages From a Prisoner in Rome are greatly appreciated.
Peggy Clark is the author of So, What's the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome, available from WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan. 
This verse by verse reader-friendly study of The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians makes the Scripture meaningful and relevant to the modern-day.

 

Walk in Wisdom Colossians 4:4

Walk in Wisdom, Colossians 4:4

 

“Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.” Colossians 4:4

 

We have a short time to live on this earth; therefore, we must redeem the precious time that has been given to us of God.

Making every moment count for the glory of God is paramount.

Time wasted can never be retrieved.

 

  • We cannot retrieve the moments that a door of opportunity was given to witness to a lost soul when we did not choose to enter it.

 

  • We cannot retrieve the words that are spoken in haste that harms the hearer.

 

  • We cannot retrieve the viewing of a moment spent in sinful living that may cause a lost person to reject God’s truths.

     Walk in wisdom before the lost.

 

The Lord tells us to walk in wisdom before the lost. Knowing how to walk in wisdom is necessary because we come in daily contact with lost people who do take notice of the way we live.

 

  • We are expected to have a Christ-like spirit. Our joyful attitudes can cause others to desire the joy within us.

 

  • Our speech can bring health to others. A downcast soul needs the watering of a good and encouraging word.

 

“There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.”  Proverbs 12:18

 

  • Our walk in wisdom will also have the effect of making others wise.

 

“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”  Proverbs 13:20

 

Our testimonies are a precious thing. Because of the far-reaching influence that our testimonies have, it is of utmost importance that we learn to walk in the wisdom that is given to us of God.

Are we redeeming the time?

Are we walking daily in the wisdom of God?
Are we struggling to make decisions that will glorify God?
Are we daily praying for God’s guidance in all the affairs of life?

Start your wisdom walk today.

Studying and meditating upon the verses found in Proverbs and Colossians is a good place to start your wisdom walk.

May God open up your understanding as you read those profound books of wisdom.

Copyright 2016 by Peggy Clark

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Peggy Clark is the author of So, What’s the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome available from WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan.


Culture: Responsibility of Mankind

Cultural Responsibility of Man

The cultural responsibilities of man have been dictated by God.

In Genesis 1, God blessed mankind and gave commandments concerning His creation.

“Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

Mankind was given the garden “to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2).

Man was given the responsibility of dressing and keeping the garden in which he was placed. The same word dress is also found in Deuteronomy 28:39.

“Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress them.”

  • Dress has to do with tilling or preparing the earth to be fruitful. Mankind was given the responsibility to care for the earth in which he was placed.

After man sinned, his responsibility to till the earth was suddenly met with the corruption of sin that confronted him daily.

“Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat bread, till thou return unto the ground” (Genesis 3:18).

“Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken” (Genesis 3:23).

Man’s responsibility of tilling the earth remained. He still faced the responsibility of making the earth fruitful even though he would be confronted with the thorns and thistles that the earth brought forth.

  • Dress also has to do with service. The ground that the man was to dress belongs to God. As a steward of God’s property, mankind is to “[b]e fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion.”

Man was given a “helpmeet” to help him fulfill his responsibility.

In order for man (Adam) to be fruitful and multiply, God gave him a helpmeet, a woman.

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

Thus marriage and the fruitfulness thereof was instituted by God. Soon after this first marriage, however, man rebelled against God’s authority and thus began the conflict that continues unto this day.

Man within himself continues to struggle against the forces of darkness that wish to lead him in rebellion against God’s authority and in rebellion against the responsibility that God has placed upon mankind.

Man in his natural state wishes to be his own authority. He does not wish to submit to the governing ruler of this universe.

God set the rules for man’s stewardship.

However, as Creator, God has the power and authority to dictate the rules concerning the universe and all that dwell therein.

“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:

And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16-17).

God set in motion the rules of nature and mankind’s stewardship of the same at the moment of creation.

“[W]hatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).

As man continued in his rebellion against God, the sowing brought forth fruit that led to destruction by a great flood. Only Noah and his family remained to once again “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.”

As the great conflict continued, God Himself came in flesh to this earth to break the stronghold of sin that held men captive.

“And, having made peace through the blood of [Jesus’] cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.

In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight” (Colossians 1:20-22).

Man’s obedience brings prosperity.

As man submits to God’s authority, accepts His redemptive plan for his life, and follows in obedience to God’s commands, mankind will prosper in his stewardship of that which God has given him.

“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season” (Psalm 1:3).

Mankind’s obedience dictates the culture.

Man’s submission to God or lack thereof is the basis for the culture in which he lives.

The culture in which man disobeys God’s authority is filled with “fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5).

This culture is in stark contrast to the one in which man obeys God’s directives. The culture that submits to God’s authority lacks anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, cursing, swearing, and racism. (See Colossians 3:8, 11.)

It is filled with mercy, kindness, humility, self-control, longsuffering, forgiveness, and love toward others. (See Colossians 3:12-14.)

In other words, the culture that dresses and serves the Lord is a culture that is filled with righteousness and peace and is exalted by God.

However, the culture that rebels and turns from following God is one that is filled with chaos and reproach.

As mankind submits or rejects God’s authority, he is in effect setting the standards for the culture.

  • Will those standards be built upon the unchanging “rock” of God’s Word, or will they be set on the “shifting sands” of man’s opinions?
  • What will be the basis upon which law and order is established?
  • How will man determine what is truth and justice?
  • What provision will be made for the “orphan and the widows” of society?

Man’s obedience will be judged.

The outcome of these two differing cultures is fully explained in Deuteronomy 28. It is a must-read for those who wish to understand why societies rise and fall.

However a man decides to follow or reject the responsibility that God has placed upon him, he will be called into question at the Day of Judgment.

  • How has man stewarded the gifts that God has given him?
  • Has he sown those gifts in God’s fields and brought forth a harvest for the Lord?
  • Or has he hidden those gifts in the earth and remained idle with no harvest?

“And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,

And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you, And they went their way.

And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?” (Matthew 20:3-4,6)

Man’s obedience will better society or bring its downfall.

Culture is developed by what mankind sows into it. That culture affects all mankind for his betterment or for his curse.

Every man must accept his own responsibility in the course of that culture. After all, that culture is what he and others around him have sown into it.

©2016 by Peggy Clark


Join the discussion:

Can you define stewardship?

How would you describe the characteristics of your culture?

What kind of dresser have you been for the Lord?

Are you planting the right seed for your society to prosper?

What bad seeds do you see sprouting around you?

What are you doing to choke out those bad seeds and change the harvest to a good one?


So, What's the Latest News? Excerpt
Excerpt from So, What’s the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome