Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | September 5, 2006

Colossians – Part 4

Have you ever made a great trade?  Or do remember a great trade that your favorite sports team made? 

Colossians – Part 4:  Introduction (Paul Reminds the Colossians of the Gospel) 

  1. Are you a citizen of the kingdom of God?
  2. How was your citizenship granted to you?

The Gospel of Christ (Ch 1:13-14):  For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 

After revealing his prayer for them, the Apostle then reminds them of the grace of God and how the inheritance was accomplished.  Before leading into the teaching of Christ, he reminds the Colossians of the Gospel of Christ.  They had to be reminded of the Gospel, which was being lost in an endless pursuit of vain philosophies and false teaching.  These inventions of men were leaving no room for the Gospel to be preserved, but diminishing its importance in the body at Colossae.  As a result, the body was being led into a “domain of darkness” that was creating a new bondage that was unnecessary and unhealthy for there Christian walk.  He thus seeks to return their attention to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in whom we have redemption.  He proclaims that we have been purchased (redeemed) out of a world that is headed towards everlasting judgment and transferred into the Kingdom of God.     

After the introduction, the Apostle returns to the heart of the Christian message.  Later in this Epistle, the Apostle will warn the Colossians to avoid those who are defrauding you.  How common is it that the Church throughout history has been defrauded by another message that has drawn attention away from the Gospel?  Unfortunately, it is too common and is being demonstrated here in Colossae.  The Apostle, before he begins to address the errors in Colossae returns the attention of his readers to the message of the cross.  Thus, we should never lose the emphasis of the Gospel in the focus of our ministry, which will ensure that we guard against traveling to far down the rabbit trails away from the path of salvation.    

3.  Who in their right mind not accept this trade, the consequences of sin or the benefits of the righteousness of Christ?

4.  How did some of the Colossians distinguish the “domain of darkness” versus the kingdom of God?

5.  What implications did this have on their understanding of Christ’s accomplished work of redemption?

6.  Do you know anyone who still in the “domain of darkness”?  Who can deliver them from this place?

Who hath delivered us:  “Mark, here is the beginning of our salvation – when God delivers us from the depth of ruin into which we were plunged.  For wherever his grace is not, there is darkness, as it is said in Isaiah 60:2 “Behold darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the nations; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.”  In the first place, we ourselves are called darkness, and afterwards the whole world, and Satan, the Prince of darkness, under whose tyranny we are held captive, until we are set free by Christ’s hand.  From this you may gather that the whole world, with all its pretended wisdom and righteousness, is regarded as nothing but darkness in the sight God, because, apart, from the kingdom of Christ, there is no light.”  John Calvin, Commentary on Colossians 

7.  Are we qualified to enter the kingdom of God through our own strength or knowledge?

8.  How did the false teachers Colossae think they could gain access into the kingdom of God?

9.  Why does this understanding not fit with the Gospel?

10.  How does Paul describe what has been done in order for us to enter the kingdom of God?            

Hath translated us into the kingdom:  “This, also, Paul ascribes to the grace of God, that no one may imagine that he can attain so great a blessing by his own efforts.  As, then, our deliverance from the slavery of sin and death is the work of God, so also our passing into the kingdom of
Christ.  He calls Christ the Son of his love, or the Son that is beloved by God the Father, because it is in him alone that his soul take pleasures, as we read in Matthew 17:5, and in whom all others are beloved.  For we must hold it as settled point, that we are not acceptable to God otherwise than through Christ.  Nor can it be doubted, that Paul had it in view to censure indirectly the mortal enmity that exists between men and God, until love shines forth in the Mediator.”  John Calvin, Commentary on Colossians
 

11.  What ceremony in the Old Testament symbolized this transfer?

12.  Let’s read Leviticus 16:20-22 to see if there were any symbolic similarities.

13.  Did the goat take away the sins of Israel? 

14.  Let’s read Psalm 103 (versus 8-12 of time is short).  What has happened to our sins?

In whom we have redemption:  “He now proceeds to set forth in order, that all parts of our salvation are contained in Christ, and that he alone ought to shine forth, and to be seen conspicuous (obvious) above all creatures, inasmuch as he is the beginning and end of all things.  In the first place, he says that we have redemption and immediately explains it as meaning the remission of sins; for these two things agree together by apposition.  For, unquestionably, when God remits our transgressions, he exempts us from condemnation to eternal death.  This is our liberty, this our glorying in the face of death – that our sins are not imputed to us.  He says that this redemption was procured through the blood of Christ, for by the sacrifice of his death all the sins of the world have been expiated.”  John Calvin, Commentary on Colossians 

15.  Did we see Christ in our study today?

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