Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Colossians Lesson 4 and 5

Lesson 4: Colossians 2:8-23 (“The Superiority and Sufficiency of Christ”)
Lesson 5: Colossians 3:1-17 (“The Love of Christ”)   
During the Spanish-American War, Clara Barton was overseeing the work of the Red Cross in Cuba. One day Colonel Theodore Roosevelt came to her, wanted to buy food for his sick and wounded Rough Riders, but she refused to sell him any. Roosevelt was perplexed. His men needed the help and he was prepared to pay out of his own funds. When he asked why he could not buy the supplies, he was told, "Colonel, just ask for it!" A smile broke over Roosevelt's face. Now he understood--the provisions were not for sale. All he had to do was simply ask and they would be given freely. Our Daily Bread, October 11, 1992.
My Teaching will hopefully help you to see your growth in Christ covering lessons 4 and 5 spring planting and Jesus resurrection.
·        Be Rooted in Christ
·        Be Alive in Christ
·        Plant well
During our break I spent time some time thinking about which vegetables to buy for my garden patch and planning where to transplant some established plants. The roots of a young plant need great care.
Colossians 2:6Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,7rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
The slide I showed in an earlier lesson had a tree full of life and a huge root system. In Colossians it tells us to be rooted and grounded in our faith. Not faith in just anything, but faith in the One who is superior and sufficient.
 One of our Core Leaders introduced me to a remarkable resource online. That is exactly was lesson 4 is teaching. We must choose to trust in Christ alone, plus nothing else; not works, not mantras, not position. Believers, complete in Christ, must add nothing to their salvation.
Jesus Christ is fully God and fully Man. His sacrifice for us is complete. He alone is all we need for salvation—today, tomorrow, and forever. He alone can bring us into full, deep relationship with the Father God. Center your faith, your hope, and your love in Christ.
Sunday night our church shared an outdoor viewing of the Jesus film from Campus Crusade for Christ in the gazebo of our small town. Listening once more to the story of Christ’s supreme sacrifice reinforces His unfailing love for us. A Love that is greater than all my sin.
Whenever we try to add something to what He has done, we’re saying that Jesus’ cry from the cross (“It is finished!” John 19:30) is a lie. Did Christ die for nothing? What more can we add to His perfect sacrifice? Greek word Tetelestai" (pronounced "teh-teh-les-tai") .
13….God made (us) alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,14by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
In Jesus day a Roman prisoner was given a “certificate of debt” with the amount of money owed or the crime committed tacked on the outside of their cell. We know the most horrific, the most severe punishment was to be crucified, hung a tree. Christ has taken our certificate of debt, He cancelled our debt, blotted out our sins, and wiped away the shame of our iniquities; And nailed it to the Cross.  “Jesus paid a debt he did not owe.”
 For this reason believers are alive in Christ.
Back in 1830 George Wilson was convicted of robbing the U.S. Mail and was sentenced to be hanged. President Andrew Jackson issued a pardon for Wilson, but he refused to accept it. The matter went to Chief Justice Marshall, who concluded that Wilson must to be executed. "A pardon is a slip of paper," wrote Marshall, "the value of which is determined by the acceptance of the person to be pardoned. If it is refused, it is no pardon.” For some, the pardon comes too late. For others, the pardon is not accepted. (Prokope, V. 11, #5.)
Will you accept this pardon?
19-20For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Will you accept the peace He offers?
When Peter reaches the tomb to find Jesus raised and the linens left behind, the napkin was folded from his head symbolizing He was finished. This scene always reminds me as Christians we need to take off our grave clothes and live for Jesus.  
Please take some time now to confess to the Lord that you will accept the pardon made on your behalf by Jesus precious blood sacrifice on the Cross. Tomorrow is Good Friday. Do you have someone you need to tell what that means to you? In Leader’s Council we are preparing our personal testimonies to share. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to always be prepared to answer the “Reason for our Hope.”
I loved the part in the Flint Groves Drama when the thief arrived in paradise robed in white. He is confused and cannot believe he was in heaven. Everyone turned out to greet him and welcome him to heaven. Luke 15:7 tells us the rejoicing over one sinner who repents. We are dead to the old self and our fleshly desires. Take off your grave clothes and put on your new robes.
3:9b,10 put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator
Isaiah 1:18Lord: “though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; When the world is covered we snow it is easy to see something crimson red.
If we are alive in Christ, so we must live like it.
Remember our verse of several weeks ago. He delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved SON.
Have you ever felt like you were in a dark place and needed to move into the light. Jesus is the light of the world. Call out to Him.
If we are alive in Christ, we ought to be light in the world. We are to be shining examples of His love spreading joy and peace. Well, in my garden I need to transfer my rose bush from under the shade of a river birch into the SUN. 
Moving plants allows me to see the root system, worms or rot can damage plants. Without a strong root system a tree can be uprooted and tossed in the wind. Are you Rooted in Christ? Are you secure in your position as a child of God that you will not be swayed by every teaching that tickles our ears? Our memory verse for lesson 4 states:
8See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
Besides the strong roots to anchor them, plants need water and nourishment to thrive.
Plants need to be planted in good soil. Remember the parable of the Sower and the seed. Luke 8:15 As for that (seed planted) in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.
How can we live for Christ?16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.17And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
The fruit of the spirit is LOVE and manifests itself in all the Godly characteristics of Christ.
Trimming back dead wood is necessary encourage new growth. Do you have any dead wood you need to remove? Do you exhibit a bad attitude, ungrateful spirit, murmuring and grumbling? We must die to self every morning leaving behind our old habits and attitudes.
Christians, we are in Christ, and He in us. Let’s live that way.
Your life is a Garden. What you plant, you will harvest.
As you plan your garden this year, here are some good suggestions.
PLANT 5 rows of peas.
·          Prayer
 ·        Politeness
·        Purity
·        Patience

PLANT 4 rows of squash.
·           Squash gossip
·           Squash criticism
·           Squash indifference
·           Squash prejudice

PLANT 5 rows of lettuce.

·        Let us love one another
·        Let us not be weary in well-doing
·        Let us be obedient in all things
·        Let us be truthful
·        Let us not complain

Water freely with patience and cultivate with love. AFTER PLANTING, may you "Grow in Grace and in the Knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (II Peter 3:18) and may you reap rich results.
Believers are alive in Christ, are you willing to live like it?