Complete in Christ

Misc. Sermons
Misc. Sermons
Complete in Christ
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Good morning, church. Or is it good afternoon? Yeah, it’s 12:00 noon, so good afternoon. Man, we are… Like I’ve said, we are extremely blessed to be here. I’m already been blessed in preparing this message, already been blessed in the service this morning, the Christmas play, I’m already been blessed in the songs that we sang. And you know what? Even in the breaking of this guitar string, we’re blessed, right? So, there’s nothing that can bring us down this morning, I pray. And so, listen, I’ve prepared this message. We’re gonna be looking at Colossians 2 this morning, or this afternoon, rather. If you would, turn in your Bibles to Colossians chapter two, we’re gonna be starting in verse nine, and we’re gonna be going through verse 15. Now, if you would, please stand as we read the Scriptures.

Colossians two verse nine, “For in Him, the whole fullness of Deity dwells bodily and you have been filled in Him who is the head of all rule and authority. In Him also, you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with Him in baptism and which you were also raised with Him through faith and the powerful working of God who raised Him from the dead. And you who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God have made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses by canceling the record of death that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame by triumphing over them in Him.” Amen.

Father, as we look at this wonderful passage of Scripture here, there is just a wealth of blessing here for us and there is just a deep well for us to drink from this morning. And so, God, I pray that in the amount of time that we have to look at this, God, that we would be able to mine all the riches that are here. God, may we be encouraged, may we be strengthened by your word. Father, please send your Holy Spirit, would you be pleased with our service today. It’s in Christ’s name we pray, amen.

Please be seated. Look back at verse nine again, “For in Him, the whole fullness of Deity dwells bodily.” Now, what that means is that Jesus Christ, of course, we understand to be God. That’s probably one of our most controversial statements that we make as Christians is that Jesus Christ is God. That’s what we believe. “The whole fullness of Deity dwells in Him bodily,” meaning that Christ is just as much God as God is God, as the Holy Spirit is God. They are completely one, they are completely unified. There is an aspect of Christ that is God-like and that is, all of Jesus is God-like. “For in Him, the whole fullness of Deity dwells bodily and you have been filled in Him who is the head of all rule and authority.”

Look at that statement, “You have been filled in Him.” Now, look at the first part of that verse again, “For in Him, the whole fullness of Deity dwells bodily and you have been filled in Him.” Those two words, that “fullness” of Deity that dwells in Christ and you being “filled” in Him, that’s the same word in the Greek. What Paul is saying is that just as much as Christ is 100% God and just as much as He is in perfect relationship with God, perfect harmony in the Godhead, just as much as Christ is made God by his Deity, so you also are filled in Him. You have that same abundance that Christ has. That same fullness is there. Now, this is especially important for us to understand. Look around you, anywhere you go, you see people are searching for something to give their lives to, to give their lives a boost. There are few people that seem to be content within themselves, you know what I’m saying? There’s like this strange and it’s an often hard-to-identify just inner craving that we have that it gives most people an uneasy sense of incompleteness. You know what I’m talking about? And I’ve been there. I have felt that sense of incompleteness. And at the time that I felt that, that hollowness, that emptiness, that hopelessness, it led me to attempt to take my own life. And so, I understand exactly that incompleteness that you feel.

And that’s such a burden, really, is to understand that there are people out there in this world who are so depressed and who are so hopeless and feel so incomplete that they believe that all that they want is to die, when really, all they want is to actually finally start living. And that is what Christ offers us. That’s what we’re gonna look at today, “For in Him, the whole fullness of Deity dwells bodily and you have been filled in Him who is the head of all authority.” Now, what we’re gonna see is that yes, we are filled in Christ and the way that we are filled with Christ is, Christ has removed every single obstacle, every single barrier that prevents us from experiencing that fullness. And that’s what we’re gonna look at. Look at verse 11. This is the first obstacle that was removed between us and God to allow us to experience the fullness that we can have in Christ. “In Him also you were circumcised with the circumcision made without hands by putting off the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.”

Now, without getting into too much detail, we understand that circumcision is the removal of something from our bodies, right? It is something that is taken away. And now whenever Paul says here, “You were circumcised with the circumcision made without hands,” this is the important part by putting off the body of the flesh. What he is talking about is our flesh, the body of our flesh was removed from us. What he’s talking about is our sinful nature, sinful tendencies, the way that we are inclined to choose to sin every single time. Now listen, before you are in Christ, the Scripture says that by nature, we are enemies of God and we are children of wrath because we do nothing but sin. We were born into sin just as King David says in the Old Testament, we’re born into sin and so there is this every chance that we get, we’re going to choose sin. The Scripture says that no one seeks after God, no one does good, no not one. There’s not one of us who is.

And so this is a problem for us, right? If God is holy and if God is pure and if God cannot gaze upon sin, as the Scriptures say, then if we live our lives continually in a sinful pattern, that’s going to prevent us from experiencing the fullness that Christ has to offer. And so Christ takes that away. He takes that away by circumcising that part from us. It’s a circumcision of the heart–the body of your flesh, your sinful nature.

According to Romans 6:6, “Before you came to Christ, you are a slave to sin and if you’re a slave to sin then you cannot be a slave to Christ.” This is why sin prevents us from experiencing the fullness of the life that God has to offer. There’s a wonderful illustration that describes this state that we are in. We’re originally created to behold the glory of God and his glory shines around us like a beautiful light that consumes us and we see it and we behold it. But somewhere along the way, Adam and Eve, they decided to turn their back on this glory. And as they turned, they see a caricature of a shadow that looks just like them but the shadow is completely devoid of the glory of God. And what they have done is they have convinced themselves, we have convinced ourselves that this shadow that we see is what is truly beautiful and is what is truly glorious and is what is truly worth pursuing. And we have spurned the glory of God and we have rejected his plan for our lives and instead, we have chosen to live lives of selfishness.

But praise God, this was removed from us if you are in Christ. Praise God. Remember the verse, “He made him who knew no sin to be sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” As Christ hung there on the cross, he took on our sin, every single sin that we’ve ever committed and he paid the penalty for it. And because he paid the penalty for it, it’s no longer credited to us. It is removed from us and now we have become the righteousness of God in Christ. God looks upon us and he sees the righteousness of his son. He is pleased with us. So now, we are free to choose righteousness. We’re no longer a slave to sin. We are a slave to Christ. We’re now free to choose happiness and an abundant life that Christ has to offer. So praise God, Christ has removed the obstacle of our sin from our path. Now, the Scripture says that the wages of sin is death. And so if Christ has removed the obstacle of sin from us, then it also makes sense that he has also removed the obstacle of death, right? Because if we are considered as having committed no sin before God, then we should be considered as not having to die, right?

And that’s our next point, verses 12 through 13. “Having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God who raised him from the dead. And you who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made a life together with Him having forgiven us all of our trespasses.” Now death is also a serious problem for us. We were never created to die. We were meant to live forever. Now, how can we experience the fullness of Christ if we are dead, right? We know that the wages of sin is death and death is separation from God. Not only is the reality of death a problem for us but also the fear of death is a problem. Listen to Hebrews 2:14-15. “Since therefore the children,” that’s us, “sharing the flesh and blood” since we are human, “he himself likewise partook of the same things” meaning that Christ became human “so that through death, he might destroy the one who has the power of death” that is the devil “and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”

So before we come to Christ, not only are we slaves to sin but we are also subject to lifelong slavery through the fear of death. There’s this fear of the unknown that just hovers over us. We don’t know what’s going to happen. We understand that death is a serious problem and we need that problem to be solved for us and praise God, Christ solves that problem for us. Look back at the scriptures, it says that you were also raised with him whenever you are united with him. God made you alive. Now, this is a present condition. This describes our present state. We are alive in Christ. We are made alive in him and we are raised with him. Listen to what Jesus says in John 8:40. He says, “Truly, truly I say to you, if anyone keeps my word he will never seek death.” And John 5:24 says, “Truly, truly I say to you whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life.” He does not come into a judgment but he has passed from death into life. That’s our present state in the church.

If you are in Christ, you have passed from death into life. You are freed from the fear of death, you are free from the reality of death. Now, that may sound like a strange statement to make. You are free from the reality of death, you will never taste death. That may seem strange because we actually do die, right? We do see death all around us, we see our friends die, we see our loved ones die. We, ourselves one day are going to die, our bodies will die. But you see, I don’t think that we have a proper understanding of death. The death that we need to be concerned about is the death of our souls. The Bible says in Ezekiel, God says, “The soul that sins shall die. Now any other time it talks about our bodies perishing, he says that we’ve gone asleep.” Scripture says that those who are asleep, meaning those whose bodies have passed away. This is the death that we need to be concerned with.

In Revelation, it says, “The cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters, and all liars, their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.” This is the second death. That is the death that we should be concerned with. Because the fact of the matter is, I don’t know if you know this or not, but every single one of us in this room, every single one of us in this town, in this state, in this nation, in this world. Every single person that has ever lived is gonna be resurrected. Did you know that?

That first death that they experience, the death of this earthly body, it’s not final for anyone. We’re all going to be resurrected unto judgment, it’s what the Scripture say. Now those of us who are in Christ, we are raised unto eternal life. Those of us who are not in Christ, we are raised unto judgment where they will experience the second death, that’s what the Scriptures say. Now, that is the death that we are free from. That eternal death is what we have been set free from. We have no fear of it. Revelation 2:11 says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.” And in Revelation 20:6, “Blessed are those who have part in the first resurrection, the second death has no power over them.” We’ve been set free. The fear of death has been removed from us. The reality of death has been removed from us. The scripture is true when it says that for those of us who are in Christ who hear His word and obey it, we have passed from death into life. Praise God.

And this is our present condition, we live free of the fear of death. So what that means is that we can go through life with an incredible boldness. We can go through life with an incredible strength, with an incredible bravery knowing, “Hey, the worst that you can do is kill me.” You know that sound silly but man, death is no longer an enemy to us. You know, “O grave, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” It’s implying that it’s not there, the grave has no victory, death has no sting. It is not something that we fear. Death is no longer an enemy instead, death is a friend who swings wide open the gates of heaven, says, “Welcome home, behold your king.”

So we’ve been set free from our sin. We’ve been set free from the wages of that sin which is death. Now we have a life that we have to live. And our initial reaction is to think, “Okay man, there are rules that I have to follow, there are commandments in the Scriptures, there’s a whole Old Testament, there are whole books in the Old Testament devoted to laws that we need to keep, right?” So there seems to be first this idea of, “Man, now you have to perform.” Right? False. That is the next thing that Christ has freed us from. He has freed us from the obstacle of condemnation from the law. Look at verse 14 there, “By canceling the record of death that stood against us with its legal demands, this He set aside nailing it to the cross.” So we understand that the law in the Old Testament was never meant to save us, right? It was never meant to save the people of Israel. The law was given to show Israel, “Hey, this is my standard. This is what I consider perfection. If you can uphold every single one of these tenets and every single one of these commands that I give you, then I will see you as perfect in my sight and you will have life. Right?

But, the whole purpose of the law was never to give life. The whole purpose of the law was to show us we can’t keep all of these things. We cannot measure up to this standard that God has given us to measure up to, right? Well, that’s exactly why Christ came, is because there was never a single person who could uphold that righteous requirement that God required of us. Listen to this, Roman 8:3-4, “For what the law could not do weak as it was through the flesh, God did, sending His own son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh so that the requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us.” That’s what this means whatever he says that this record of rights and wrongs, this record of death that stood against us with this legal demands, this he set aside nailing it to the cross, it means that Christ fulfilled that for us and that He’s been given to us and so now we no longer… We are free from condemnation.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” that’s what that Scripture is referring to, the condemnation of the law. We are free from that, we don’t have to live in fear that we’re not measuring up to God’s standards, we don’t have to live in fear of our shortcomings because no matter what we do, God sees us as holy, and God sees us as perfect, God sees us as fulfilling every single one of those commandments that He has given us. He sees us as righteous, perfect, fulfilling the law. That’s how God views us.

Now that statement there, “This He set aside, nailing it to the cross,” that record of death that He nailed to the cross, there’s a twofold meaning behind that. Whenever somebody was crucified, there was a record that was usually nailed to the top of the cross that listed their crimes that they were crucified for. If you remember the story of Jesus when He was crucified, there was a sign above Him that said, “King of the Jews.” That’s because his crime that he was crucified for was blasphemy, the King of the Jews was God. He was claiming to be the messiah that was supposed to come, but they did not receive him as that. So they said, “Man, you’re committing blasphemy.” So they crucified him and they put his crime up above him, “King of the Jews.” Whenever this Scripture says that our record of death that stood against us with its legal demands, whenever God set that aside and he nailed that to the cross, what that means is that as Christ hung there, spiritually what God saw is he saw a sign that said, “Every single sin that I have ever committed, every single sin that you have ever committed,” right above his head, “He bore the weight of that, he bore the full force of that wrath that God had towards your sin and my sin, he placed it on Christ.”

And so now there’s no condemnation for us, now we do not live in a constant state of feeling like we have to perform, we are free, we’re free to be obedient to God out of love for him, not out of fear that he’s gonna strike us down. That’s the third obstacle that Christ has removed from us. The fourth obstacle that Christ has removed, he has removed this record of death that stood against us, all the wrongs that we’ve ever committed then that means that He has also removed from us the obstacle of the threats of the enemy. Look at verse 15, he disarmed the rulers and the authorities, and he put them to open shame by triumphing over them and him. The key verse here or the key word here is, he “disarmed” the rulers and authorities. The rulers and authorities we understand to be Satan and his demons. He disarmed them. How did he disarm them? Or what do we understand about Satan? We know that Satan is the accuser, that’s how he gets us, he comes to us and he says, “Hey, man don’t forget about that sin that you committed. God is angry with that and he is angry with you about that. Don’t forget about that time that you failed God in this. Don’t forget about that time that you spurned the righteousness of Christ when did that. Don’t forget about the time that you treated the blood of Christ as a common thing, don’t forget about that.”

That’s what Satan tries to do to us, he tries to drag us down by accusing us of the things that we’ve done but the reality is, we’ve been set free from those things, right? We’ve been set free from that. There is no condemnation for us. Satan is an accuser and he’s a liar, and that’s exactly what the Scripture says. So that is how he has been disarmed, he can no longer come to us and accuse us of the things that we’ve done wrong, he can no longer bring those things to our memory and expect us to be downtrodden by them. He can’t. That power from him has been taken completely away. Now, sometimes we may believe him. He still comes and he still tries to attack us but his attacks are powerless but we don’t necessarily understand that. We don’t necessarily believe that at times. We are left feeling ashamed, we are left feeling condemned but the truth is, Christian, if you are in Christ, he bore all of that shame and all of that guilt for you, and he triumphed over our enemy, and if we are in him we are also victorious. We do not fear what the enemy has to say to us, we do not fear the schemes of the devil. He has been overcome.

So there is a fullness of life that awaits us. “In Him the whole fullness of Deity dwells, and in Him you have been filled,” and this is how we have been filled, our sin has been taken away. Death, not only the reality but the fear has been taken away from us. The legal requirements of the law, the constant pressure to meet this standard has been taken away, we do meet that standard. The threats of the enemy have been taken away. We live completely fearless of what is to come. We live completely free of anything that hinders us from serving God in our fullest capacity. And that is how we will find the abundant life that Christ promises us if we claim those promises and we claim those truths, and we live in them and we walk in them. Now, there maybe some of you here in here, you’ve never experienced that. You don’t know what that means to live an abundant life. You don’t know what that means to experience the fullness of Christ.

It may be because you are not in Christ. It may be because you have… This actually does not apply to you in this moment. It may be because you are still in your sin. It may be because you are still going to die one day. It may be because you do still have a requirement that you have to meet to be perfect before God. It may be because the enemy’s accusations towards you are true. They may be. But let me tell you, there is freedom from all of that in Jesus as we have just seen.

The way that you receive that freedom is you repent of your sins. You place your faith in Christ and the work that He did on the cross. All of these things were done at the cross. You place your faith in Him. Without going to the cross, there is no repentance and there is no forgiveness for you. You have to go to the feet of Jesus. You have to surrender all of these sins that you hold so tightly to you. You have to consider all of these things as rubbish compared to the value of Christ, the supreme treasure that He is. And if you do that, if you repent of your sins, you call upon Jesus to save you. You place your faith in him as your Lord and your supreme treasure, then this fullness that I’ve just talked about is yours. All of these barriers, all of these obstacles that prevent you from experiencing that, they’re gone and wiped away. And you live completely fearless, completely free, an abundant life to God.

Now, some of you, you know what I’m talking about. You know this freedom, you know this joy, you know this treasure of Christ. And to that, we say, Hallelujah. Amen. We say amen. Let me encourage you. Live like it. Live like you’ve been set free from the power of sin, the power of death, the power of performance, and the power of the enemy. Live like you’ve been set free from all of those things. Live and show the joy to those around you that you claim to have. And I guarantee you, those who see it will question you for the hope that you have. They will see that there is something in you, a hope that you have that transcends beyond this world. And no matter what happens to you, no matter what state you find yourself in, you always seem to be full of joy. They will want that. They will desire that. And then you get the honor and the privilege of telling them that they must go to Christ for that.

Church, thank you so much for allowing us to come and to sing, for allowing us to come and to enjoy the service this morning, for allowing us to come and to share this message with you. I believe it with all my heart and I have been… Like I’ve been stoked about it. I really have, man. Whenever I read that Scripture about “Those who obey my word and live in me, they will not taste death.” It was 11:30 in my study and I was just shouting out, praising the Lord. The babies were asleep and it’s just… But I want that for you. I want that reality for you, which is why I’ve shared that with you, which is why Christ has done these things for us. He wants that reality for you too. It’s why he’s given us these scriptures that explain these things to us. Claim them, take them as your own and walk in them and believe them. And if you don’t, you need to get that right. You need to get that right. You can come talk to your pastor. Come talk to a deacon or elder in the church. You need to get that squared away. Again, thank you guys for letting us come and speak to you. We love Jerusalem Baptist church. We pray for Jerusalem Baptist Church. Pray that God allows every single person here to experience the fullness that he has for you in Christ. Thank you.

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