Christ, Who is our Life

27 05 2020

McKee Road Baptist – May 20, 2020 Wednesday Evening – Coronavirus Emailed

Colossians 3:1-4 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above,
where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. (2) Set your affection on things above, not
on things on the earth. (3) For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. (4)
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Paul had all these things, his life was constantly characterized by peace, joy, and
contentment. If you know anything about Paul, you know that he didn’t have good
circumstances in his life, but yet he was at peace. Why? The answer is found in:
Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Paul said that life to him was Christ. Paul lived only to serve Christ, commune with
Christ, love Christ. He has no concept of life other than Christ. He is his reason for
living. To Paul, Christ was life. Paul lived this out practically, because he knew that it
was true positionally:

Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear
with him in glory.

Paul says to believers, “Christ, who is our life.” He is the source of our life. This is true
of physical life, but he is talking here about spiritual life, everlasting life. Because this is
true, Christ should be the goal of our life. He should be the purpose and fulfillment of
our life.

When we can come to the point in our lives that we can say, Christ is my life, that is
when we will be able to say, life is good! Believer, remember this each time that you are
unsatisfied with life. You are unsatisfied because something other than Christ is the
focus of your life. Christ will never disappoint us!

These first four verses of Colossians 3 summarize the first two chapters of the letter
which concern doctrine: the truths of the Christian faith. And they launch us into the
second two chapters of the letter, which concern ethics; how to live the Christian life.
Let’s examine these four verses:

Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above,
where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

The word “if” is like saying the word since. Since you were raised with Christ. That God
has already raised us with Christ, is an assumed fact:

Ephesians 2:5-6 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with
Christ, (by grace ye are saved) (6) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit
together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Since we have been raised up with Christ, we are commanded to “seek those things
which are above”. In order to obey this command, we need to understand two things:
what the “things above” are, and what it means to “seek” them?

What are the “things which are above”? The Greek word translated “above” is ano. It is
only used 7 times in the New Testament. We will look at a couple of its uses, to answer
what “things which are above” are:

John 8:22-24 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? Because he saith, Whither I go,
ye cannot come. (23) And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye
are of this world; I am not of this world. (24) I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in
your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

Here Jesus says that the unbelieving Jews are from below, and that He is from above.
The contrast here is between the natural and the spiritual. This is also seen in the use of
ano in:

Galatians 4:22-26 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid,
the other by a freewoman. (23) But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the
flesh, but he of the freewoman was by promise. (24) Which things are an allegory: for
these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to
bondage, which is Agar. (25) For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to
Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. (26) But Jerusalem which
is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Here the contrast is between two covenants; one is fleshly (natural), and the other is
spiritual. So “things above” are spiritual things, supernatural things.

We do not need faith when we deal in material things. We taste, feel, see, and touch
material things, but faith takes us into another arena. Faith takes us into a spiritual
stratosphere. There we can see things we could not see with a material viewpoint. Faith
is the spiritual telescope that brings the things of God near to our heart. We can,
therefore, see things we could not otherwise see. Faith puts reality on intangible things.

Eternal things are real, but they are only real to those who have faith to see them. It was
written of Moses:

Hebrews 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he
endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

Moses was focused on things above. Moses practiced the presence of God. His eyes
were on the king of kings and not the king of Egypt. The “things which are above” are spiritual things, as opposed to the physical or fleshly, we need to ask: “What does it mean to “seek” them?”

The word “seek” is a command. This is the Greek word zeteo, expressing continuous
action, we are to continuously seek spiritual things. We see this same word used in:

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all
these things shall be added unto you.

The word “seek” here is the same Greek word zeteo, which means: “to seek, to desire
to worship.” It is a hungering, desiring, seeking. It is a matter of a hungering, desiring,
worshiping spirit; it is to seek with a desire to worship. We are to seek with a desire to
worship the things which are above.

We are to be hungering, desiring, seeking the things above. The believer is exhorted to leave behind the concerns which he has over earthly matters and to fix his attention solely on the matters which are heavenly. Paul tells us at the end of verse 1 that “above” is “where Christ sitteth on the right hand
of God.”

Paul was responding to those who were seeking to diminish Christ’s role as
mediator, inasmuch as the right hand of God is a metaphor for the place of supreme
privilege and divine authority. We can determine what this statement means by referring
to other Scriptures, where the meaning appears to be clear.

In Genesis 48:8-20 we find Jacob (Israel) being brought Joseph’s two sons, laying his
hands upon them shortly before his death and blessing them both. In verse 17, we see
Joseph trying to remove his father’s hands from off his children and swapping them over
so that his right hand rested on the firstborn son, Manasseh, for it was the firstborn who
had special rights concerning inheritance.

Genesis 48:19 And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also
shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be
greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.

The right hand is a position of superiority over and above others and of greater blessing
than being positioned at the left hand. Notice that in Genesis 48:19 Jacob says clearly
that Ephraim “shall be greater.” The right hand is a place of honor above all else and all
others.

Jesus has been elevated into a position that can be neither equaled nor bettered. He is
the supreme Head over all things, something which Paul has already stated in different
words in Colossians 1:15-20. There is no other position that can possibly exist that is
more elevated than the one that Jesus now occupies.

Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

“Set your affection” is from phroneo and means to: “think,” or more thoroughly, “have
this inner disposition.” We are to be continually setting our mind on the things which are
above.

Stop and consider how earthly minded we truly are. Most of the time our attention is
centered on things right around us. It is a natural tendency as we are earth dwellers. It
is natural for us to think about our jobs, our material possessions, our finances, our
health, and the people who are important to us.

We must be aware that we can become trapped in this earthly minded state. If we are
not careful, we will lose our ability to see beyond the natural into the spiritual.

Remember how Jacob’s eyes were opened, and he saw a flight of stairs between earth
and heaven, with spiritual beings ascending and descending:

Genesis 28:12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top
of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

He became aware of the spiritual realm. We should desire to be more aware of that spiritual realm. I recall the story in 2 Kings 6 of Elisha and his servant. Hostile forces were surrounding them, and the servant was terrified. All he saw were the forces that the King of Aram sent out. Elisha saw the forces as well, but he also saw far more. He saw not only the natural but the supernatural as well. And he prayed for his servant, that God would give him eyes to see the supernatural reality of the situation.

2 Kings 6:17 And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may
see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the
mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

He is not talking about his physical eyes here but his spiritual eyes. There is a spiritual
reality that most people are totally blind to. As believers, we should want to see that
reality. We should want to be more aware of God’s working in that invisible, unseen
realm of the spirit. Like Elisha’s servant, we often need to have our eyes opened so that
we can see beyond the physical.

This is one of the fundamental problems with the current condition of believers today.
So, many children of God live their entire lives without ever understanding who they are
in Christ and what the provision is that Christ has made for them.

Paul is reminding us of who we are in Christ and of how important it is to see ourselves
from that perspective. He’s showing us that how we live our lives on earth depends on
our having a heavenly perspective.

In the first two verses Paul says it twice: “seek those things which are above… Set your
affection on things above”. In other words, concentrate your attention on eternal
realities. Do not simply look at what is happening around you. Concentrate on that
which does not pass away.

So, what does it mean to “set your affection on things above”? It means that in the midst
of your daily routine, your heart and mind are constantly focused on Christ. It means
that you find your identity and purpose in Christ, and not in the troubles of life. Whether
that is your job, you spouse, your children or whatever. You are to understand that
God’s grace is sufficient for you; that is where your heart finds contentment in Christ’s
promises.

People who keep their priorities in order, keep their lives in order. People who have
happy marriages are happily married, because they have made their marriage a priority.
If you keep your priorities in order, you can keep your life in order. Paul says, “Set your
affection on the things above.”

Paul reminds the Colossians that the reason for them setting their minds on the things
above is:

Colossians 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Paul emphatically states, “For ye are dead.” Meaning for you have died once for all. For
you have died once for all.

Romans 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

He says that we “are dead to sin,” He is describing something that happened to us as a
fact. We died to sin. The question is in what sense have believers died to sin. The
answer is found in:

Romans 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through
righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

We have died to the rule and reign of sin. the reign of sin came in through Adam and
was broken by the last Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul is talking here about our
position before God. Positionally, we have died to the reign of sin under Adam.

God’s Word tells us that we have a new identity in Christ. Our text tells us that two
important things have happened to us, we died and we rose from the dead. The exciting
truth here is that we have been united with Christ.

We are identified with Him and He with us. As Christians, we should never see ourselves apart from Christ. Our lives are hidden with Christ in God. We are thoroughly identified with Christ. He is our life. We are one with Him. We dwell with Him. We are not simply earth dwellers. We are heaven dwellers.

Paul goes on in Colossians 3:3 to say, “and your life is hid with Christ in God.”
There are a lot of different opinions as to exactly what this means. I won’t go into them
here. “Is hid” means that our life was hidden at a point in the past with the results going
on forever. At the point we received Christ, eternal life began and goes on forever.
Jesus put it this way:

John 10:28-29 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither
shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (29) My Father, which gave them me, is
greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

The idea of being “hidden” has the implication that what’s there is concealed and
covered to protect it. “Hid with Christ” is a statement of our eternal security in Christ.
The eternal security of the believer is a matter of our position in Christ before God. This
is something that Christ did for us. It has nothing to do with what we do. We cannot
secure this position by the kind of life we live. The security rests in the death we died in
Christ. Our eternal security before God is a matter of grace. Grace is what God gives,
not what we do.

Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear
with him in glory.

“Christ, who is our life.” Christ is the author of spiritual life. Christ does not merely give
life; He is life.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth
in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who
loved me, and gave himself for me.

We have come into union with Jesus Christ. We identify with Him and He identifies with
us. Our text says, “Christ, who is our life.” Having that identity has the potential to
change how we see everything.

Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear
with him in glory.

The word “appear” means: “to render apparent (literally or figuratively): appear,
manifestly declare, (make) manifest.” The idea is that, if the believer is securely
concealed within Jesus, then, when He appears in glory, so must they.

Matthew Henry said of this verse, Christ is a believer’s life. He lives in us by his Spirit,
and we live to him in all we do. To me to live is Christ, Philippians 1:21. Christ will
appear again. He is now hid; and the heavens must contain him; but he will appear in all
the pomp of the upper world, with his holy angels, and in his own glory and his Father’s
glory.

Mark 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this
adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when
he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

We shall then appear with him in glory. It will be his glory to have his redeemed with
him; he will come to be glorified in his saints.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we
shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see
him as he is.

To be like Him is to have His righteousness.

Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things,
in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through
sufferings.

Matthew Henry continued, At the second coming of Christ there will be a general
meeting of all the saints; and those whose life is now hid with Christ shall then appear
with Christ in that glory which he himself enjoys.

John 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest
me to do.

So, child of God, do we look for our happiness in this world or have we “set our affection
on things above?” What is it on earth that causes us to be so fond of it or draw our hearts to it? Our head, Christ is above, our home is above, our treasure is above and we will be
above forever.

Pastor Don Thomason





Free in Christ, Be on Guard

25 05 2020

McKee Road Baptist – May 17, 2020 Wednesday Evening – Coronavirus Emailed

Colossians 2:18-23 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and
worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed
up by his fleshly mind. (19) And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints
and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the
increase of God. (20) Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the
world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (21) (Touch not;
taste not; handle not; (22) Which all are to perish with the using;) after the
commandments and doctrines of men? (23) Which things have indeed a shew of
wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to
the satisfying of the flesh.

Note: Some strange laws that can be found in several of our states and churches.
Arizona – It is illegal for donkeys to sleep in bathtubs.
Arkansas – It is illegal to mispronounce Arkansas.
California – It is illegal to bowl on the sidewalk.
Nevada – It is illegal to drive a camel on the highway.
Wyoming – You may not take a picture of a rabbit from January to April without an
official permit.
Alabama – It is illegal to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in church.
Rehoboth, Delaware – It is illegal to whisper in church.
Boston, Massachusetts – It is illegal to eat peanuts while in church.
In some churches it is illegal to Bring glitter to church.

Members cannot have assigned pews. No one can bring a colored drink to church, especially red Kool-Aid. How is it that believers get so tied down in rules and regulations? Why is it that believers in Christ insist upon living by some set of man-made rules and regulations and then imposing those rules on other people? The non-Christian community does not care if someone is eating peanuts in church. Regulations make many people “feel spiritual.”

Legalism is always a threat to the church, Paul says to the Colossians, “Let no one man
therefore judge you” Colossians 2:16. We are to ignore their judgment. But remember,
the only way to truly ignore those who are condemning us is to know that they are
wrong. It is knowing the truth that sets us free from judgement.

Now Paul moves from legalism 16-17 to mysticism in verses 18-19 and then to
asceticism in verses 20-23.

Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and
worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed
up by his fleshly mind.

There were those in Colosse teaching a certain kind of mysticism. Mysticism may be
defined as the pursuit of a “deeper” or “higher” religious experience. That spiritual reality
is perceived apart from the human intellect and natural senses. It looks for truth
internally, weighing heavily on feelings.

Paul opens this section by saying, “Let no one man beguile you of your reward.”
Commenting on this verse, one man writes, “Paul says man-made rules and regulations
will disqualify you from the prize. The prize that Paul is referring to here is clearly
heaven. Paul is saying that human rules and regulations will disqualify you from heaven.
Following merely human rules and regulations will keep us out of heaven.” Paul is not
talking about losing your salvation.

The Greek words translated here as “beguile you of your reward” literally means: “to act
as a judge or umpire;” to decide against one, or to declare him unworthy of the prize.
The attitude of the false teachers would involve their sitting in judgment as to the future
reward of those who refused their doctrine. Paul speaks from the standpoint of their
claim. The false teacher judges as a referee that the Colossians were not worthy to
receive a prize. They disqualified, condemned and judged them as not worthy of a
reward.

Paul tells the Colossians, “Let no man beguile you of your reward.” So the idea is not
“Do not let them rob you of your prize or reward,” but “Do not let anyone tell you that
you are disqualified from obtaining the prize of spirituality because you haven’t reached
the level of self-humility, or understood the worship of angels, or haven’t had the right
visions.” The words, “Let no man” means: “not even one (man, woman or anything.)

We are not to allow even one person to sit as an umpire in our life telling us that we are
disqualified of spirituality, because we do not live up to their standard. How do we keep people from acting as an umpire in our lives? The same way we keep them from acting
as a judge. We know the truth, and we ignore their false judgement.
Paul now gives us several traits of these false teachers. He says they are,
“Voluntary humility”

We could render this “delighting in humility.” There is nothing in the word “humility” to
indicate that it is false. The context indicates that it is a false humility.

True humility is dependence upon God. Man lives in dependence upon God, and
understanding this is humility. Pride is self-sufficient. True humility focuses upon God
and his grace (provisions) to us. False humility draws attention to self. By the context
we see that the Paul was describing those that were not humble. They were not
dependent upon God but were quite proud.

This false humility was manifest in “and worship of the angels.” They viewed the worship of angels as a display of modesty or humility. It was a humility of their own making, not a humility commanded from God. These notions were purely the inventions of men and not from the Bible. Therefore, this whole thing was phony.

Religious pride makes man presume (suppose that something is the case on the basis
of probability) upon the Word of God. Their worship of the angels denied the truth that there is “…one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus:” 1 Timothy 2:5. When John tried to worship an angel, he was rebuked for doing so:

Revelation 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou
do it not: I am they fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus:
worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Angels are created beings:

Psalms 148:5 Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were
created.

This means no one should worship them. We do not worship created things; we only
worship the Creator Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:16 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.

The next thing Paul says about these false-teachers is that they are: “Intruding into those things which he hath not seen” The words “intruding” means primarily: “to step in, or on”. This is the only occurrence in the New Testament. It means: “to frequent, dwell in”. This word could mean: “to invade, to enter on.”

Like many heretics and cultists down through the ages, they claimed support for their
aberrant (departing from an accepted standard) teachings in visions they had
supposedly seen. Today this brand of mysticism is often seen in the charismatic
movement, where Scripture is a distant second in importance to visions and revelations.
There is no need for extrabiblical revelation through visions.

2 Peter 1:18-21 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with
him in the holy mount. (19) We have a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do
well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn,
and the day star arise in your hearts: (20) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the
scripture is of any private interpretation. (21) 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.

Believers, we don’t need visions – we have the Word of God. When someone comes along with a notion, however spiritual it may sound; a vision, however authentic it may seem, if it contradicts the plain teaching of the word of God, mark it down, they are incorrect. You have to always judge the experience by the word of God.

Paul says the false teacher is: “vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind” “puffed up” has the
idea of “a pair of bellows”. We see this same word used in: 1 Corinthians 8:1

Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have
knowledge. Knowledge puffed up, but charity edifieth.

“By his fleshly mind” literally, by the mind of his flesh. They were the intellectuals, the
teachers that boasted they were guided by the higher reason. Paul describes their
higher reason as carnal.

Colossians 2:19 And not holding the Head, rom which all the body by joints and bands
having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

“And not holding the Head, this is the heart of the error! The headship of Christ is the
keynote of this Epistle to the Colossians and the heart of Paul’s Christology. Speaking
of Jesus Christ, he said:

Colossians 1:18 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.

Our relationship to Christ is a living union, He is the Head, we are members of the body.
A body functions through nourishment. Who can say to his stomach, “Start digesting!
Stop hurting!” That’s foolish! Yet people think the Christian life personally, and the
church collectively, can be made spiritual by fleshly regulations and disciplines.
Spirituality does not come through the law of man but by the law of God.

Spiritual growth comes from union with Christ. All errors of believers relate to this as
well. If the believer does not have a healthy relationship to the head, the life that flows
from the head will be sickly. Fruit depends upon a healthy fellowship with the head:

John 15:4-5 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it
abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. (5) I am the vine, ye are the
branches; He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for
without me ye can do nothing.

We, like the Colossians, must not be intimidated by those who would make something
other than knowing Christ through His Word a requirement for spiritual maturity.
“From which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit
together.” “knit” means: “to cause to join or knit together, to bring together, to unite, to
combine”. It means to bring a number of ideas together to come to a conclusion.
“Increase of God” means: “to supply fully, abundantly, to provide something besides
what already exists to make available whatever is necessary to help or supply the
needs of someone.

God is the benefactor here. He provides everything we need to live the Christian life. He defrays any expenses we may face to live before him: If you have been born again, you have all that you need. The reason why so many Believers are not living in victory is because they do not know what they have in Christ.

They do not step out by faith on their spiritual account because they really believe that
there is nothing there. They do not realize that God has made the deposit already, and
we’re overflowing with riches. You just need to learn to step out and walk in what you
have.

Now in verses 20-23 he deals with asceticism. An ascetic is one who lives a life of
rigorous self-denial. In addition to practicing legalism and mysticism, some of the
Colossians were attempting to gain righteousness through self-denial:

Colossians 2:20-21 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the
world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (21) Touch not:
taste not; handle not:

Asceticism is the twisting of a good principle. Asceticism focuses on self-denial. When
this self-denial is then elevated into a Christian virtue that becomes mandatory, this is
where you begin to have problems.

The good principle is that as Believers, we should be disciplined. If we are going to be
disciples, we need to be disciplined. And that’s the good principle. A disciple is a
disciplined follower of Christ. We need to focus on the basics, and there are a lot of
Believers who are not disciples, because they refuse to be disciplined. They refuse to
focus on the basics. They refuse to set up devotional time with God where they read
and study the Scriptures and pray. They refuse to minister. They refuse to order their
lives in a disciplined fashion to follow Christ.

But when you take it to the extreme and then put that extreme on everyone as the only
true path to holiness, you’re walking down a path that becomes oppressive. That’s what
Paul is saying here. You can force people to walk like you believe is correct.

After all we are all walking in lock-step showing unity. But if it does not deal with our heart, you can discipline yourself, you can fast. But if your heart can remain unchanged that does not make you a more-holy believer.

In fact, it can generate a sinful pride in you because of how disciplined you are. Discipline is good if it focuses on Christ and enables you to follow Christ. But taking it to the extreme doesn’t make you a more holy person, because it doesn’t deal with your heart. Only God can deal with your heart. We have been set free from all of these laws not so we can come back under them when we become Christians, but so we can pursue a living relationship with Christ.

“If ye be dead with Christ.” All the sins were poured out upon Christ. At the moment we believe, God finally and forever forgives our sins by Christ’s death, our position before God is perfect forever. The death Christ died he died to sin, Romans 6:10; you died with Christ; therefore, you died to sin as well. Sin has no more power over you than it has over Christ!!

Why on earth would you need the old regulations, especially the ones made up by men?When we look at the cross, we see Christ dying there. When God looks at the cross, He
sees both Christ and the believer dying there. God sees every person who would ever
believe dying there with Christ.

Colossians 2:21 “Touch not; taste not; handle not;” These “regulations” which Paul rejects, “touch not; taste not, handle not,” are often exactly what modern Christians think about when we think about the Christian life. We think that Christians are people who don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t watch “R” rated movies, don’t gamble, don’t swear, etc. Now I’m not advocating that you all get up and go do all these things, but Paul is saying, “That is not the point!”

Those things are external. You can avoid every single one of them, and still be a pagan
Paul tells us that we do not belong to the world anymore. We don’t get to heaven by
following a list of do’s and don’ts. And, we don’t live the Christian life that way either. We
cannot earn God’s favor. All we can do is receive it. Charles Spurgeon puts it this way:
“I have found, in my own spiritual life, that the more rules I lay down for myself, the more
sins I commit.”

Colossians 2:22 Which all are to perish with the using) after the commandments and
doctrines of men?

“Which all are to perish with the using,” literally, are for corruption; destined for
corruption, in the physical sense of decomposition.

Colossians 2:23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and
humility, and neglecting of the body; not in honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

“Shew of wisdom in will worship,” is simply a mode of worship which a man chooses for
himself, independently of the revelation which God has given. It is arbitrarily invented
worship, devised by man’s own will, not God’s. So jealous is God of self-made religion,
that He struck Nadab and Abihu dead for burning strange incense Leviticus 10:1-3.
Uzziah was stricken with leprosy for usurping the office of priest 2 Chronicles 26:16-21.
Compare the self-made worship of Saul 1 Samuel 13:8-14 for which he was doomed to
lose his throne.

Asceticism might make a person appear spiritual, because of its emphasis on humility
and poverty, but it serves only to gratify the flesh. It is a vain attempt to appear more
holy than others. Jesus warned His disciples against it:

Matthew 6:16-18 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad
countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto me to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. (17) But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine
head, and wash thy face; (18) That thou appear not unto me to fast, but unto thy Father
which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

When we strive for “spiritual perfection” or “spiritual fullness” by means of formulas,
disciplines, or rituals, we go backward instead of forward. We must also beware of
“deeper life” teachers who offer a system for victory and fullness that bypasses devotion
to Jesus Christ. In all things, He must have the preeminence!

We need to come to understand, to believe, and to live by the principle that God loves
us perfectly. Nothing more is required on your part. Often, we think that we have to do
something so we can deserve this grace.

That is the point of grace. You will never deserve grace. There’s not a certain thing good enough for you to do. You can do it a thousand times and it’s still not good enough. You do not deserve grace. But God gives the grace anyway. There’s nothing you need to add. God cannot love you anymore than He already loves you.

Whenever that gets hold of you, it will change your whole perspective. Now you can relax. We live for Christ, not out of obligation, but because we delight in serving Jesus. When you operate out of a sense of obligation, it becomes a chore. When you operate out of a sense of delight in serving God, it becomes an offering of worship. And that is what your life is to be. That’s the good news.

So, believer, guard your freedom, don’t let anyone acts as your judge or an umpire on
your life. We are complete in Christ and we don’t need legalism, mysticism or asceticism
to make us more spiritual. We are already as righteous as Christ, because we share His
righteousness.

Pastor Don Thomason





Forgiven You All Trespasses

8 05 2020

McKee Road Baptist – May 6, 2020 Wednesday Evening – Pastor Don Thomason

Colossians 2:13-15 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your
flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; (14)
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us,
and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; (15) And having spoiled principalities
and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Review

In 2:8 Paul warned the Colossians believers about the dangers of false teaching. He
tells them to, “Beware.” It is a command for a constant circumspect watchfulness,
because of the dangers of the Colossian heresy.

Now notice how he prepares them to be able to deal with the false teaching. He does
not say, “Here’s what they are teaching.” What he does is he tells them who Christ is,
and who they are in Christ.

Colossians 2:9-10 For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. (10) And
ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

We do not need to study error in order to avoid it, we simply need to know the
truth. If we know the truth, we’ll be able to spot error when we hear it.

He is saying that Jesus Christ is God in a bodily form. He is the God-Man. And believers
are complete in Him. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you are in Christ. And
because you are in Christ, and because He is complete, you have been made
complete. Because Christ is who He is, we have been made complete in Him. His
fullness is imparted to us. As all the fullness of the eternal God is Christ’s, all the
fullness of Christ is yours and mine.

Paul then explains how this happened to them. In these next statements he tells how
believers share in the fullness of God in Christ. Paul declares, they were circumcised
& baptized with Him:

Colossians 2:11-12 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made
without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of
Christ: (12) Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the
faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

Paul says believers have been given a circumcision, not of the flesh by the hands of
men, but with the circumcision done by Christ. By this spiritual circumcision, the old
sinful nature (flesh) has been cut away or put off. He is speaking of our death to sin and
union with Christ. Your sinful nature has been killed, crucified with Christ on the cross.
You have been crucified with Christ and your old sinful nature has been washed away.

Paul does not mention “water baptism” in this verse! This verse has NOTHING to do
with water baptism, it speaks of identification. Water baptism is no more in view in 2:12
than physical circumcision was in 2:11. Both verses speak of spiritual realities. We must
not confuse rituals with realities.

Now to our text.

Forgiven You All Trespasses

Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh,
hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Notice Paul says, “And you being, dead in your sins”. He says the same thing in:
Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Ephesians 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with
Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

There are two questions that we need to answer here. How did the Colossians get
dead? And what does he mean by dead?

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin;
and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

“Wherefore, as….” “as” is a comparison, but verse 12 does not complete the
comparison, there is no “even so.” Verse 12 gives us half of the comparison, Adam.
Verses 13-17 are set off by parentheses for clarification. Verses 18b and 19 complete
the comparison started in verse 12.

One man did one thing resulting in sin and death; the other man did something else,
resulting in justification and life. “As” the one act of Adam affected every member of the
human race, “even so” the one act of Jesus Christ affects every member of the new
covenant community.

Notice the Results of Adam’s sin, “sin entered into the world”. The Greek word for “sin”
is hamartia, it means: “to miss the mark.” The mark is what God commands of us to do
or not do.

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the
transgression of the law.

Sin is disobeying God. It is violating his Holy law. God is the Creator and law giver, and
any violation of his moral will is sin.

Adam introduced sin into the human realm. Sin is violating the commands of God.
When Adam sinned, “sin entered into the world.” Adam did not bring sin into the world
by setting a bad example. Adam’s sin brought about a change of unholiness within the
heart, which he passed on to his descendants. Men became sinners, as Paul said in:
Romans 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the
obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

This corruption of man’s nature is what is called in theology “Original Sin.” It’s not that you sin, and that’s what makes you a sinner. You’re a sinner, you were born that way, and that is why you sin. Every human being born is born with original sin. Paul tell us that death came as a result of sin, “and death by sin.” As a result of Adam’s sin, he died.

Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it:
for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Adam did not die physically that day, but he did die spiritually. He died spiritually the
moment he disobeyed. Spiritual death is separation from God who is life. The text in
Genesis is dealing with “spiritual” death, so is the text in Romans 5, and so is our text in
Colossians 2:13.

The comparison in this passage is between Adam and Christ. What we lost in Adam is
restored in Jesus Christ. If the death referred to is physical, then having gained in Christ
what we lost in Adam, Christians should never die physically.

Because of Adam’s sin, we are all born dead, separated from God. But through Jesus
Christ we receive eternal life. We see this same comparison in:

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through
Jesus Christ our Lord.

The life that is a gift is spiritual life, so the death must also be spiritual.
The death referred to here and in our text in Colossians is spiritual death, which is
separation from God. If a man dies physically while in a state of spiritual death, he will
spend eternity in the lake of fire, which the Bible calls the “second death”.

Paul goes on in Romans 5:12 to say, “and so death passed upon all men.” Spiritual
death spread to all men. Every human being born is born separated from God, dead in
sin.

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin;
and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

All men are born spiritually dead, “for that all have sinned.” We are all born spiritually
dead. Why? Did we personally sin before we were born? No! We sinned in Adam. He
represented us, and what he did, we did.

Paul says all men were dead in sin, “and the uncircumcision of your flesh”. Our nature
was “uncircumcised,” that is, separated from God. This describes our state of being
before we came to know Christ. We were dead in our state to God. We were without
any spiritual life at all.

The Bible teaches that dead men cannot receive the things of God:

1 Corinthians 2:14-15 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:
for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are
spiritually discerned. (15) But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is
judged of no man.

The word “natural” describes the person without the Spirit. Jude uses this same word in
verse 19. The “natural” or “sensual” person is the person without the Spirit. This is the
unregenerate man who has no ability to understand spiritual things. Natural man is dead
and totally unreceptive to the gospel.

The bottom line is this: our hope does not lie in our own will. If not for the grace of God
we would all suffer condemnation.

Paul continues in Colossians 2:13 to say, “And you, being dead in your sins and the
uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with Him…” The word
“quickened” means “to make alive” and “with”. Paul again emphasizes the believer’s
union with Christ (see 2:10, “in Him”; 2:11, “in Christ”; 2:12, “with Him”). Those who
were hopelessly dead in sin received new life through that union. Please get this, we
were dead, and God gave us life. Why did God give us life? It’s a one-word answer;
grace:

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye save through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is
the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Notice what else God does, “…having forgiven you all trespasses…”. The word
“forgiven” means: “forgiveness as the result of grace or an act of love.” It means to
bestow a favor unconditionally. The favor bestowed unconditionally here is the
remission of debt against God.

Not just the past sins, not just the present sins, not just the big sins, not just the little
sins, but ALL of them. It means those times in your past that plague you with guilt, He
forgave those sins. And those times when you let others down and hurt them, He
forgave those sins too. And all those times you promised you did something for the last
time, and then you fell again; God forgave those in Christ too. He forgives the hidden
sins and the public sins.

God’s forgiveness is a prominent theme in the New Testament. Our Lord told His
disciples at the Last Supper:

Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for
the remission of sins.

Peter told those assembled in Cornelius’s house that:

Acts 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever
believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

In Acts 13 Paul said:

Acts 13:38-39 Be it know unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man
is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: (39) And by him all that believe are
justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

To the Ephesians, Paul wrote:

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins,
according to the riches of his grace;

Our debts were paid in full by Jesus Christ. The believer’s debt has been paid in full,
there is no possibility of going into debt again. Jesus paid the debt of all our sins:
past, present, and future. This is GRACE!

Paul now illustrates God’s forgiveness.

Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which
was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.

The word “handwriting” literally means: “something written with the hand,” or “an
autograph.” Paul describes this as “ordinances that was against us.” The word
“ordinances” means: “decree, ordinance, decision, command, a formalized rule (or set
of rules) prescribing what people must do.” This refers to the Mosaic law as an
ordinance of requirements that puts us in debt to God.

Ephesians 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of
commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man,
so making peace.

All peoples (including Gentiles, read Romans 2:14-15) owe God a debt, because they
have violated His law. The certificate was “contrary to us,” that is, it was enough to
condemn us to judgment and wrath, because:

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is
written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written, in the
book of the law to do them.

The written code stood as a constant reminder to the Israelite that there was a debt
which needed to be paid that the people of God might stand perfect before God.
Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every on that
believeth.

“Blotting out” means: “to wipe off,” like erasing a blackboard. History lesson: Ancient
documents were commonly written either on papyrus, a paper-like material made from
the bulrush plant, or vellum, which was made from an animal’s hide. The ink used then
had no acid in it and did not soak into the writing material. Since the ink remained on the
surface, it could be wiped off if the scribe wanted to reuse the material.

In Christ, under the New Covenant, we have been set free from the condemnation of
the Law. Our text says, “and took it out of the way, having nailed it to his cross.” The
word “took” means: “to lift up, to bear, to take away.” The word is used by John the
Baptist when he said of Jesus, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of
the world.” His statement emphasizes the permanence of the removal of our sin, which
has been paid and canceled and cannot be presented again.

Paul was telling the Colossians that fleshly circumcision has now been canceled and
nailed to the cross.

Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of
them openly, triumphing over them in it.

The word “spoiled” means: “to disarm” observing that it’s a compound word from the
verb “to arm oneself” and a prefix denoting that what’s conveyed is the opposite. He disarmed “principalities and powers” this speaks of those spiritual forces which have
set themselves as opposed to God.

Our text says, “He made a show of them openly” The picture Paul is painting here is
one of Roman conquest. Those he was writing to were familiar with this image. History
lesson: When the Roman army would return from a victorious campaign, they would
enter the city in a triumphal procession.

Into the city they would parade, displaying the treasures of their conquered foe. Those who had been captured in battle and who would become slaves would march in chains before the cheering crowd. The dignitaries that had been captured would-be put-on display.

The Roman army itself would parade down the street. And the triumphant Roman general would ride in on his chariot to the adulation of the crowd. The defeated foe would-be put-on display. They would be made a public spectacle. This is the image Paul uses here for Christ’s victory over the powers of darkness.

Paul goes on to say, “triumphing over them in it.” The words “triumphing over” mean to
lead prisoners of war in a victory procession. The picture is of a military procession
leading captives of war. It means to demonstrate one’s successful conquest of the
opposition.

Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principals and powers, he made a show of them
openly, triumphing over them in it.

This passage is explaining that we were all dead in our sins, and Christ has given us life
in union with Himself. We share Christ’s life. Not only that but He has forgiven us all our
sins.

He removed the Old Covenant that was contrary to us. And He disarmed principalities and powers. This is true of every believer no matter how they feel or live. When you truly understand these truths, the natural response will be one of gratitude.

If we understand what has been given to us, we will be grateful to God for the rest of our
lives. No matter what life brings, we will not complain, we will only give thanks that we
did not get what we deserved. We will be grateful that we have God’s strength, power
and provision in our lives. Praise God!





Gerry Preaching at FPA

1 05 2020

This is Gerry Collins preaching the Gospel at an FPA abortion clinic in Bakersfield, California.





Complete in Christ

29 04 2020

McKee Road Baptist – April 29, 2020 Wednesday Evening

Colossians 2:9-10 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye
are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Introduction:

Sadly, many believers live as though they are spiritually handicapped.
They live every day without hope, without power, without confidence and without being
a witness to victories in their lives because they do not embrace the fullness of their
salvation. The Apostle Paul told us that as believers we are complete in Christ and He is
the head of all principality and power.

Jesus Christ alone holds the key to our every need. Children of God struggle in their
Christian lives primarily for two reasons: we do not know, and we do not apply. We are
either ignorant, or we are negligent, or both. We either do not fully realize, or we forget,
who we are in Jesus Christ. If we really believed that Jesus Christ is all we needed, we
would never be out there trying to fill voids and find answers to problems anywhere else
but in Jesus Christ; voids and answers to questions that only He can fill.

The prophet Jeremiah put it this way:

Jeremiah 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the
fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no
water.

That is what it means to make Jesus Christ anything less than all-sufficient for
everything that you need, for everything that is your life. It is forsaking the fountain of
living waters for broken-down, polluted wells. Remember a few days ago we discussed…

Colossians 2:8 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.

Paul is calling the church at Colosse to be aware of hollow and deceptive philosophy
that is masquerading as true Christian teaching. Rather than focusing on Christ, this
teaching depends on human tradition and the basic principles of Judaism. This teaching
can captivate them and lead them astray, if they are not careful. He is telling the church
to beware!

Christ is All God

Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

This is perhaps the most definitive statement of Christ’s deity in the epistles. It is the
rock upon which all attempts to disprove Christ’s deity are shattered. “For in Him dwelleth” the word “for” continues the thought of verse eight. The word “for” means: “because.” This word is important, because it introduces another reason for abandoning false teaching.

Verse eight warns us against following false philosophy. This verse gives the positive reason, all the fullness of God dwells in Christ. That is why he is superior to any philosophy or theology. He is all in all.

The words “in Him,” indicate a mighty contrast between philosophy and the Son. The
Son is superior to any philosophy. The word “dwelleth” means: “to settle down and be at home.”

This means that God continually abides at home in Christ. He is fully God forever. And as the One possessing all the fullness of Deity, Christ is the head over all rule and authority. He is not less than God, as the false teachers maintained. Rather, He is God Himself.
Understanding that the word “dwelleth” means to permanently indwell, we now see what
permanently indwells Christ, “all the fullness of the Godhead”. The “fullness” is defined
by this verse as “Godhead.” He is God.

The word “fullness” is the same term used in 1:19. This was also a term used by those
that espoused false doctrine in Paul’s day. They believed that “fullness” meant you
shared a portion of deity but not all. Paul, however, insists that all the fullness of the
Godhead, not a part of it, dwells in Christ. Jesus Christ is completely God. He is exactly
what God is. Jesus Christ possesses the “fullness” of God, not certain aspects of God’s
character. Jesus Christ possesses all power, the all the attributes of God. He is not
merely godlike. He is God himself.

The fullness of God comes into your life when you receive Jesus. What more do you
need? That is Paul’s question. What more can these false teachers add to that? What
new experience, what additional divine person can you receive than what you have
already received when you have Jesus?

One evening Jesus was sitting around with His disciples. He asked them about people’s
opinions of him. Who were people saying that he was? The disciples gave him various
comments that they had heard. Some people were saying that He was a prophet.
Others were saying that He was John the Baptist, or Elijah, or Jeremiah. Then He
turned the question to them:

Matthew 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

Jesus was asking his disciples what they had come to believe about Him. Today, this is
still the central issue of Christianity. Who do we say that Jesus really is? If He is
anything other than our Lord and God, then we are not describing Christianity. This is
the Christ test.

In the church at Colosse, there were some that were teaching that Jesus was not God.
There are many today teaching that Jesus is less than God. They say that He was a
good teacher, a great moral philosopher, a prophet, and a good man. Beware of this
kind of teaching.

Jesus was not just a good man or a good moral teacher. He was not just a moral
philosopher. He was not simply a prophet pointing the way to God. And Jesus is not
simply one way out of many ways to God. Jesus claimed to be the only way to God. He
is the way, the truth, and the life:

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh
unto the Father, but by me.

Josh McDowell wrote that here are really only three opinions that a logical person can
come to concerning Jesus. Based on what Jesus himself said, He was either a liar, or a
lunatic, or the Lord. You see, if Jesus is not the only way, then He was either deceiving
us, in which case He would be a liar, or He was self-deceived, in which case He would
be a lunatic. On the other hand, if He is indeed the only way, then He is in fact the Lord.

Any teaching that does not place Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven is not
Christian teaching. Jesus Christ is the only way, not because we say He is the only way,
but because He says so. Often Christians are labeled as judgmental, because we say
Christ is the only way. We are not trying to be judgmental. We are simply trying to share
what we know to be the truth.

We are not prejudiced against other religions. We are simply saying that Jesus Christ is
the only true way to God, “…no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” John 14:6. We
do not say that in order to offend someone. We say that because we truly believe that it
is true.

Be on the alert. Do not be deceived. Be discerning. Put all the spiritual sounding
teaching to the Christ test. Who does it say that He is? What place does Christ hold in
the teaching? If He does not hold a central place as all supreme and all sufficient, then
the teaching is not of God. Don’t be taken in by it. Don’t be misled.

Now look at the last word that Paul uses:

Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

How does it dwell? In what way does it dwell? In what fashion? Bodily! This verse
proclaims the fact that God became a Man, bodily!

The word “bodily” means: “corporeally or physically, in physical form,” in the sense of
material in contrast to being symbolic. The complete content of deity exists in Jesus
Christ in real form, “…he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” John 14:9.

Philippians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a
servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

The word “reputation” means: “to empty himself.” What exactly did Christ empty Himself
of? Not His deity, or He would cease to exist. Not the attributes of deity, it is impossible
to surrender an attribute without changing the character of the essence to which it
belongs. God cannot change. He is immutable! What, then, did He empty Himself of?
His Glory:

John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I
had with thee before the world was.

John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I
am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me
before the foundation of the world.

He surrendered His right to manifest Himself visibly as the God of all splendor and
glory. He emptied Himself of His legitimate and natural desires and prerogative as deity.
The natural desire and prerogative of deity is that of being glorified.

Christ veiled His glory by taking on humanity, but He did not diminish or destroy any
part of it. When the sun is obscured by a cloud, there is no real change of its glory. It
does not extinguish its sun-rays. The brilliance of the sun is obscured only for a time.
The sun was never affected by that cloud, but our vision of it was. Christ was never
diminished in glory, but He veiled His glory.

John said,” …and we beheld his glory,”

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his
glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Notice the two attributes of his glory, grace and truth. Through these attributes, Jesus
glorified God in his humanity, which is what all of us are to do, but the glory of His deity
was veiled. He looked like a man, like any other man, except for a brief time during the
transfiguration:

Matthew 17:1-3 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother,
and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them:
and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold,
there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

Jesus literally lit the place up with His glory.

Philippians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a
servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

In the Incarnation, Jesus took “the form of a servant.” The phrase explains how He
emptied himself by taking the form of a servant. When He took the form of a servant, it
veiled His glory. That is how He emptied himself.

The word “form” means: “essential nature.” This is not a mask or like a Halloween
costume. He became a servant. He came to do God’s will:

Matthew 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister,
and to give his life a ransom for many.

This is God voluntarily becoming a servant for us.

Philippians 2:7 goes on to say, “made in the likeness of men” the word “likeness”
means: “similarity, but difference”. Though His humanity was genuine, He was different
from all other humans in that He was sinless. We see this same word in:

Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God
sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the
flesh:

Jesus Christ had real human flesh. He felt pain, sorrow, wept, died, but He was sinless:

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we
might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Paul goes on in Philippians to say:

Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became
obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

The word “fashioned” means: “outer appearance.” People saw him only as a man.
Christ gave up the outward appearance of God, but not the essence of God. His glory
was veiled and He looked like a man.

The reality of Jesus Christ’s humanity is emphasized throughout the New Testament.
He had a human birth, His conception wasn’t human, but His birth was. He came
through the birth canal and was wet and wrinkled like any other baby. He had human
growth and development. He grew up just like any other human being.

Luke 2:40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the
grace of God was upon him.

Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and
man.

He had human experiences; emotions, feeling, desires and needs. He was hungry,
thirsty, weary, He sorrowed and wept. He had a human relationship with God. Jesus
said:

Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to
pray, and not to faint;

Prayer is the necessary activity of a man who stands in a right relationship to God.
Jesus prayed, why? He was dependent upon God in His humanity. Jesus functioned in
the power of the Holy Spirit, not in the power of His deity. Why is that so important? His
ministry was marked with the repeated necessity of making choices, and He always
made the right choice. Of all men who ever lived, He alone could say,

“…for I do always those things that please Him.” John 8:29.

These choices were very real and involved the exercise of His will. Was it His human
will alone functioning on these occasions, or was His human will under the control of the
divine nature? If the latter is true, then it is hard to see how Christians, who do not
possess deity to control their human wills, can be called upon to look to Christ as their
example.

But if Jesus Christ did, indeed, divest Himself of the exercise of the divine
nature, and lived among men in real dependence upon His Father, and found His
strength and wisdom in a pure humanity empowered by the Holy Spirit, then we can
understand that His prayers were real prayers, His decisions were real decisions, His
actions and reaction were genuinely human, and He is, indeed, our example in all
things.

If Jesus Christ was dependent upon God for all He did, how much more should we be?
Now Paul gets to the heart of the letter. And the key verse, not only to this section, but
perhaps to the entire book, is:

Colossians 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and
power:

In Jesus Christ, if you know Him, if you have been born again, if you are a new creation
in Jesus Christ, trusting Him, you have been made complete. You’re complete. It has nothing to do with how you feel. You have been made complete. Christ is sufficient.
Your sufficiency is not in yourself; it is in Him.

“And ye are complete in Him.” The believer permanently holds that position before God from the moment of his salvation.

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you are in Christ. And because you are in Christ,
and because He is complete, you have been made complete. Get that? Because Christ
is who He is, we have been made complete in Him. His fullness is imparted to us. The
word “complete” means: “entire, finished, made full, perfect.” Our fullness of life comes
from Christ’s fullness:

John 1:16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

We need no outside help from any other source. Every Christian, at the moment of salvation, receives this fullness. God views us as pardoned and as righteous as Christ is righteous. God accomplishes this at the moment of salvation. We do not receive Christ on the installment plan.

We receive a complete Savior and complete results of our salvation at the moment we come to know Him. We may appreciate Him more as we grow in Him, however, we do not receive more of Him. “In Him” means: “in union with Jesus Christ”. This is the believer’s position before God.

As God views us, He looks at us exactly like He would look at Christ, perfect. We are
not perfect in our experience, but in our position before God forever. We share His
fullness. From God’s viewpoint, nothing is wanting in us because of Christ. Jesus fully
meets every demand of God for us.

This is true of every Christian, no matter what their experience of living may be like.
Jesus Christ is our substitute not only at the point of salvation but as an ongoing status
before God. We stand judicially right before God forever.  God’s estimation of us is equivalent to His estimation of Christ. God identifies us with him in everything.

2 Peter 1:2-3 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God,
and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that
[pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to
glory and virtue:

God’s Word says, that Jesus Christ has granted to you “…all things that pertain unto life
and godliness” When you were saved, you received all you needed to live the Christian
life. Everything. There’s no other experience you need. Nothing.

The second half of Colossians 2:10 reads: “…which is the head of all principality and
power:” The word “head” is used three times in Colossians. It’s used in chapter 1:18,
here, and in chapter 2:19. It is a word that is used of a literal head, such as a person’s
head as seen in Matthew 5:36.

It can also refer to a symbolic head, such as the head of a family as recorded in
Ephesians 5:23. When it is used that way, it has the predominant meaning: “authority
over.” To be the head is to be the one in authority.

I will close with a story. William Randolph Hurst, the wealthy newspaper publisher,
invested a fortune in collecting great works of art. One day he read about some valuable
pieces of art and decided that he must have them for his collection.

He then sent his agent out to locate these items and purchase them. Months went by, finally the agent returned and reported to Hurst that the items had at last been found. The agent discovered the items were stored in Hurst’s own warehouse. Years before, William
Randolph Hurst had purchased them. This is like the child of God who is in a desperate
search for what he already has. Do not be held captive by anything other than the all-
sufficiency of Jesus Christ. He is sufficient for our every need.

Child of God, you are well equipped. You are complete in Christ. Serve Him the rest of
your days!

Pastor Don Thomason





Prayer Letter: January-March 2020

22 04 2020

Greetings:
We greet you in the name of the Lord and hope this letter finds you well. We are on lock down as you are I’m sure.The prisons are closed for now and there has been little opportunity for street ministry with so few people out and about. I was able to get some ministry work done in January and February. I pray this ends soon so that church and ministry can continue.

Street Ministry:
I was able to attend the Super Bowl Outreach in Miami, Florida. This was my 8th year attending and it was a blessing. We preached in Downtown Miami as well as South Beach. The crowds were amazing and we had many good one-to-one conversations. I know of a few who made professions of faith and many others who took tracts or Bibles.

In town we had good outreaches at the Courthouse and bus station. It seems like a lot of tracts were accepted and we had good responses to the preaching. I was hoping to preach at the NFL draft in Las Vegas but the virus panic cancelled the event. I am hoping to make a few trips to Los Angeles this summer to preach but it depends on the circumstances of course.

I gave away 15 John/Romans as well as 188 tracts. I was able to join Arks of Bulrushes ministry at the abortion clinic. We preach the Gospel and offer help to the women. We talked to 10 or so women and saw 1 turn away and keep her baby. We are in an ongoing effort to help her during her pregnancy.

Prison Ministry:
The prison ministry started off really good until services were cancelled. I was supposed to preach the Easter revival but that was cancelled as well. Before they closed the facility I was able to give away 19 Bibles, 1 Gospel of John and 2 John/Romans. I gave away 11 Christian books, 26 tracts, and preached to 195 men. I also received 126 prayer requests and corresponded with 4 men.

Please consider supporting us financially as well as with your prayers. You can give a tax deductible donation.

Giving Instructions:
Give online by clicking the “Donate” tab at the top of the page. All gifts are tax deductible.

To give by check simply make the check out to Revival USA with Lighthouse Gospel Ministries in the memo section. You can mail it to us at:

Lighthouse Gospel Ministries
400 McKee Road
Bakersfield, Ca. 93307

“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.” C.H. Spurgeon





2019 Year End Update

21 04 2020

I guess I forgot to post my last ministry update for 2019 so here it is. Sorry it’s so late and thank your for your prayers.

Greetings:
We greet you in the name of the Lord and hope this letter finds you well. We were blessed to finalize our adoption in November. We welcomed Dale Michael Garland and Skyeisha Grace Garland to our family. The Lord’s hand was evident both in how quickly we got them as well as in how fast the process took. Many families struggle for years to adopt and we were blessed to be able to complete the process in just over a year.

Street Ministry:
We have had good crowds on the streets and many people showing an interest in the Word of God. I was able to preach at the PAC 12 Championship game in Santa Clara for third straight year. I gave out 100 tracts and got to preach to hundreds more.

Prison Ministry:
The Lord allowed me to preach the Christmas banquets in Lancaster which was a blessing. The sermons led to two or three divine appointments with men struggling with the truth of the Gospel. I gave out a Bible and New Testament, 111 tracts and 9 Christian books to the men. I was able to preach to 149 men over the last two months.

2019 Year in Review:
I almost hate to make summaries since ministry is far more than mere numbers but I do think it’s helpful to look at what has been accomplished while giving thanks to the Lord.

Bibles: 147
New Testaments: 7
John/Romans: 112
Gospel of Johns: 1
Tracts: 1,813
Books to inmates: 31
Professions of faith: 13
Prayer requests received: 938
Men attended preaching: 969
Letter ministry: 8
Food ministry: 111
Clothing given out: 100

Praise the Lord for a fruitful 2019 and may He increase the field of labor in 2020!
Please consider supporting us financially as well as with your prayers. You can give a tax deductible donation.

Giving Instructions:
Give online by clicking “Donate” at the top of the page. All gifts are tax deductible.

To give by check simply make the check out to Revival USA with Lighthouse Gospel Ministries in the memo section. You can mail it to us at:

Lighthouse Gospel Ministries
400 McKee Road
Bakersfield, Ca. 93307

“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.” C.H. Spurgeon








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