480 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 40 - Colossians 1:1-16 - Part 2

480: Colossians 1:1-16 – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 40

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 40

Colossians 1:1-16 – Part 2

Now we’re going to go right back to where we left off in Colossians chapter 1 and we were at verse 15. Now those of you who have been with me ever since Genesis, will probably remember that when we talked about God in Genesis 1:1 as the creator of every thing, heaven and earth, I always come up to the New Testament and use these verses in conjunction. So this is nothing new for a lot of you.

Colossians 1:15

“Who (that’s a pronoun, but it refers back to God the Son up there in verse 13. So it’s God the Son, who) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.” (or creation)

Now I guess I have to stop. Everybody that knows anything about the Bible at all knows the verse that says, “No man hath seen God at anytime and lived.” And yet we have instances back here in the Old Testament where Jacob actually put up a landmark after he wrestled with God.

Genesis 32:30

“And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”

So then people think that the Bible contradicts itself. On the one hand it says, “No man can see God and live, and yet Jacob says, “I have seen God face to face.” Well you can go back to Genesis chapter 18 and we know that Abraham set the table of the fatted calf, and what ever else went with it, and the Lord and two angels sat down and ate. Now Abraham wasn’t out in some invisible foggy whatever, but rather the Lord was visible. He was there physically. He ate, and Abraham talked with Him about the city of Sodom and Gomorrah

Now it’s not a contradiction, but you have to understand that God, the invisible triune God, no man has ever seen, how could they, He’s invisible! Plus the fact that if man would have ever found himself in the position to be in the presence of that invisible triune God, he would have never survived. So what has happened? Well the best way I can usually put it, if I can use the blackboard, is that here we have God, the invisible triune Spirit God, but once man filled the scene and would now have to have some way of identifying with his Creator, what did God do? Well one person of the Godhead stepped out and became visible, tangible, over and over, and it’s always God the Son. God the Son is the member of the Trinity that has always been the One to communicate with man, and become the visible manifestation of that invisible God.

So yes, no one has ever looked on the triune, invisible, Spirit God. But when God the Son steps out and becomes visible, and can communicate with man, it’s no problem whatsoever. So it isn’t a contradiction, you just have to understand the circumstances. Now this is what Paul is talking about here in Colossians chapter 1. Let’s look at verse 15 again.

Colossians 1:15a

“Who is the image of the invisible God,…”

Now we’re going to take this slow. God the Son is the image, and what’s an image? Something that you can see, it’s not something out there in enigma or in a semi-state. An image is something that you can see with your own eyes. All right then God the Son is the visible image of the invisible God. Do you see how plain that is? God the Son stepped out of that invisible Triune Godhead and in the person of the Son He became visible, He became tangible, and He walked among men all the way into the Old Testament.

So whenever God appeared, like speaking to Moses out of the burning bush, although in that instance He didn’t appear visibly. But Moses certainly heard Him speak, and so who was it? God the Son! I don’t call Him Jesus back in the Old Testament because the Bible doesn’t, but He was God the Son! When God appeared unto Abram in Ur of the Chaldees, who was it? God the Son! And as I’ve already rehearsed, when Jacob wrestled with the man until the breaking of the day, who was the man? God the Son! And then He would just simply go back up into the Godhead. Now continuing on in verse 15.

Colossians 1:15b

“…the firstborn of every creature:”

He was before anything that ever appeared. Now that’s his eternalness again. God the Son was just as much from eternity past as God the Father and God the Spirit. We’ll be looking at that, if not in this lesson, then the next in chapter 2:9. But for now I want you to see that God the Son, whom we now know as Jesus the Christ is the visible manifestation of that invisible God. Now the other thing that you always have to remember is that whenever God the Son stepped out of the Godhead, He lost none of His deity. Remember that. He did not lay aside a portion of His power or deity, but He was always God! So just because He became visible, and appeared in Bethlehem in the virgin birth, He never stopped being God. Now at that time He laid aside His glory, because He could not have co-habited with mankind in all the glory of the Godhead. But other than the glory that he laid aside, He never stopped being God. And of course He never exercised it until He began His earthly ministry.

Now you’ve got to stop and think, had Jesus of Nazareth been anything less than God, and once He understood that He could control the elements, He could raise the dead, He could heal the sick, would have He ever limited it? Would you? Would we have limited it once we realized that we had this kind of power? Why we would have used it to the extreme, but you see, He didn’t. See, He always kept it under perfect control. When He was manifesting Himself from His humanity side, He never let His deity interfere. So always remember that it was because of His deity that He could control His power instead of taking advantage of situations. Now verse 16. This visible manifestation of the invisible God is the same God of Genesis 1:1. And you know what that verse says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Well this is the same God that we now know as Jesus the Christ.

Colossians 1:16

“For by him were all things created, that are created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, (including the spirit world of angels and demons) whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers, (righteous or evil) all things were created by him, and for him:”

They’re for His pleasure, and everything that God ever created is under His control and it’s to establish His Sovereignty and it’s all been done for His own pleasure. And no one dare question it, because He’s Sovereign. Now let’s go back and compare some more Scriptures with this. We haven’t done this for a long time so I think it’s appropriate, but rather going from Genesis to Colossians, we’ll go from Colossians backwards. Our first stop will be in John’s gospel, chapter 1.

You’ve always got people who will say, “Well this is Paul who’s teaching Christ was the Creator.” But when they say that, remember Paul agrees with every thing in Scriptures. He never contradicts anything. Now there may be instances where it may seem that Paul contradicts, but he doesn’t. Remember, Paul is teaching in the Church Age dispensation, and as a result we also find that God’s program for this age has changed, because now we’re under Grace rather than Law. But here we’ll see that Paul and John agree completely that Jesus Christ was the Creator.

John 1:1

“In the beginning (the same three words of Genesis 1:1) was the Word, (notice the Word is capitalized. The other word I like to use here is the Communicator.) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

You know we have some groups that just can’t buy this so they have twisted their writings and have made Jesus Christ something less than God. But while we’re on that subject let’s look real quick in the Book of Titus to show you they’re wrong there also. I think I used this in a lesson or two back, but it’s also very appropriate here. If you have someone come to your door and they try to tell you that Jesus was not God, that He was a prophet or something less than God, and was not the Creator God, then this is the best verse I’ve found to confront that. All the other verses that prove that Christ was the Creator they’ll twist and try to get around it, but on this one they can’t. I mean you just can’t get around this one. Here Paul writes the following.

Titus 2:13

“Looking for that blessed hope, (that’s exactly were we are in the Church Age right now. And what’s the blessed hope?) and the glorious appearing (the Rapture) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:”

See you just can’t get around the fact that Jesus Christ is also the great God. I’ve showed them the verse back in Isaiah chapter 9, and they’ll say, “Yeah, but that’s the mighty God, that’s not the Almighty God.” They’ll just use any little thing to wiggle around it, but this verse in Titus, you can’t argue with. Because we’re looking for the great God, the Creator God, the God of the universe, and who is it? Jesus Christ! Now back to John’s gospel chapter 1.

John 1:2-3

“The same was in the beginning with God. (He’s always been! He’s from eternity past the same as the other persons of the Godhead) 3. All things were made by him: (just like Paul says in Colossians. Everything that was ever created was created by God the Son.) and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

Whether it was heavenly, invisible, dominions or powers, regardless, everything was made by the Word. Now who’s the Word? We find that in verse 14.

John 1:14a

“And the Word was made flesh,…”

Do you see that? The Holy Spirit never took on flesh, God the Father never took on flesh, but God the Son did, and so here’s the evidence.

John 1:14a

“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,…)”

What’s he talking about? The Mount of Transfiguration when Peter, James and John went up into the mountains with Christ, and what happened? He shown like the sun, and Peter, James and John witnessed that, and that’s what John is referring to in verse 14.

John 1:14b

“…and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Well I’m not going to take you all the way back to Genesis, as you all know that very first verse. But instead let’s turn ahead to Hebrews chapter 1, and just notice how all these verses fit. John says, “The Word became flesh, and nothing was made without Him” Paul says in Colossians “Christ is the visible manifestation of the invisible God, and by Him all things were created.” Now here in Hebrews, and I think Paul wrote this Book also as the Lord permitted Him to write half of the New Testament.

Hebrews 1:1-2a

“God, (this God right here as we have it outlined on the blackboard. This whole Triune God in His invisible Triune makeup) who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets. (Old Testament) 2. (God) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,…”

Do you see that? In other words, when God the Son was manifested in the flesh and He begin to reveal things that all the Old Testament had been talking about merely in a latent form, now here He is in fulfillment of it all.

Hebrews 1:2

“Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom (speaking of God the Son) he (God) hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;”

Now you can’t get it any plainer than that. I had a gentlemen one time ask the question, “Who in the world is Jesus Christ?” At the time it shocked me as I thought, how could anybody even think such a thought. But now I know this is a question that more people should be asking. Who is He? He’s the Creator of the universe, He is all Sovereign God of everything, and yet He’s the One that went to that Roman cross. As I stated over and over, those Roman soldiers who put the nails through His hands were His created beings, He made them, and let them do that to Him. Now you see this is all part and parcel of what Paul is trying to get across to us, is who Jesus Christ really is. And if we understand who He really is then we can understand how that by the death of the cross, He could by his own volition pay the sin debt for every human being that’s ever lived because He’s God.

No human could have ever done that. See this is what puts Christ head and shoulders above all other religions of the world. None of their leaders could have ever done what Christ did, they could have never died for the sins of mankind. They could never even scratch the surface of what the Creator God Himself has done. This is where our faith then becomes, not a blind faith, we know what we believe. We know it was the Creator who purchased our salvation. It was the Creator who took on human flesh, made of flesh and blood so that He could become the supreme sacrifice and fulfill the demands of that Holy God, because “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” See how it all beautifully fits together? Now finishing verse 16 again in Colossians.

Colossians 1:16b

“…all things were created by him, and for him:”

It was for His pleasure, they’re His. Let’s turn to Acts chapter 2 and look at another good one. Here Peter is preaching to the nation of Israel on the day of Pentecost.

Acts 2:22-23a

“Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23. Him, (Jesus of Nazareth) being delivered (up to the cross, not by the Roman decree, not by the shouts of Jews to crucify Him, but when was He really delivered up to be crucified? It was) by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God,…”

It was long before anything was ever created, it was way back in eternity past, when the determinate counsel or the meeting of the minds again of this Triune Godhead came together, and what determination did they make? We’re going to create the universe, and in one little tiny corner of the universe, we’re going to create a planet. And on that planet we’re going to create a race of humans. We’re going to let them start absolutely sinless, we’re going to put them in a perfect environment, but they’re not going to be satisfied, and they’re going to rebel, they’re going to sin. But we’re going to come right back with a plan of redemption, and One of Us, One of the Trinity, is going to be the Redeemer. One of Us is going to go down to that little planet and take on flesh, and blood, and we’re going to go to a cross, and be lifted up and crucified so that we can purchase the salvation of our created beings. And who was the One in that Trinity that went? God the Son! Because God planned it that way from start to finish. Nothing caught God by surprise, it was all in the blueprint, and when the fullness of time was come as it says in the Book of Galatians. I used that verse when I shared the Christmas story with my Oklahoma classes, rather than the Bethlehem story.

Galatians 4:4

“But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman made under the law.”

Why? To purchase man’s salvation!

479 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 3 Part 3 Book 40 - Colossians 1:1-16

479: Colossians 1:1-16 – Lesson 3 Part 3 Book 40

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 40

Colossians 1:1-16

Now we’ll be turning once more to Colossians chapter 1 where we just left off. We want to pause for a moment to thank you for your help and prayers for the ministry. It also just thrills us to here you say, “you’re studying, and sharing it with others.” After all this is what turned the Roman Empire upside down, and this is what made Paul’s apostleship so unique, as he got those new believers into the Word. Although they didn’t have the printed Word that we have, yet it made such an impact on society that the world around them knew that those ex-pagans were a different breed of people once they came to know salvation.

Now we’ve got a lot to cover today, my goodness I thought I was going to have a hard time filling four programs with this little Book of Colossians, and here are not even out of chapter 1. I’m always amazed myself. Now verse 12.

Colossians 1:12

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (or prepared us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:”

Now let’s look at giving thanks to the Father. I’ve had several questions lately, it’s funny how they sort of come in groups, and the question is, “Is it appropriate to pray to the Father in this age of Grace? Well I taught it on television, and had forgotten when I taught it but I found it the other day, so I’m going to have you turn back to Ephesians chapter 5, because maybe some of you or some of the listening audience wonder about praying to the Father, as the Lord’s prayer instructs us to do. Yes that has not changed. This is as clear cut an answer as you can get.

Ephesians 5:20

“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ:”

Isn’t that exactly how we do it? So it’s still appropriate today, yes we do pray to the Father, and we do all in the name then of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we’re going to see that relationship in the Trinity in little later verses, but for now come back again to Colossians chapter 1. So Paul as he prays to the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ he has thanked God, the Father that He took these Colossians out of paganism, out of darkness, out of the chains of the satanic powers and translated them into the heavenly kingdom. Now what’s happened to the Colossians has happened to us. We too have been translated from a position in darkness, and we are now citizens of the heavenly kingdom. Now Paul does not make a big a do about our kingdom relationship, because after all that’s primarily associated with the nation of Israel.

But when Christ came to the nation of Israel, and John the Baptist announced Him, and He said the Kingdom of heaven is at hand, Well what was he talking about? The King was in their midst! The King, literally, physically in the person of Jesus of Nazareth was in their midst, and He was offering them the opportunity to have the Kingdom over which Christ would rule and reign. So that was the whole concept as it came to the nation of Israel.

Now we’re not associated with the nation of Israel in that kind of a kingdom relationship, but since Israel’s King is our Saviour, and is the Head of the Body, here again we do have a relationship, and for some reason or other the Holy Spirit has cause Paul to put this in here that we have been made citizens of the kingdom in heaven, and with that I can agree with 100 %. But I still maintain that Paul never calls Christ our King. We are not in a King – subject relationship. We are in the Head of the Body, and members of the Body, which makes us heirs with Christ, joint heirs as we just saw in our last program. As believers we’re married to Christ, in a Spiritual relationship, but nevertheless we are now citizens of this heavenly kingdom because God the Father has delivered us from the power of darkness.

Now let’s go back and compare Scripture with Scripture. This time we’ll even go outside Paul’s realm, and go all the way back to Matthew chapter 16. For those of you who have been under my teaching very long has heard this more than once, because this is Peter’s confession of his saving faith during Christ earthly ministry. Also remember that this is just at the end of His ministry. From here they’re going to go on up to Jerusalem and He will be crucified. They’re up in northern Israel in the area that’s in the news lately, just west of the Golan Height, they were up there at Caesarea Philippi which is at the northern border of Israel, right at the foot of Mount Herman, and at the head waters of the Jordan river. And from there they’re going to make their way down to Jerusalem and the crucifixion.

Matthew 16:13-16

“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14. And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

That’s as much as Simon Peter said, was it enough? Yeah it was enough, and look what Jesus answered.

Matthew 16:17

“And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: (now this is the part I came back here for you to see) for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”

Now let’s reconstruct. Do you remember the account how Jesus was walking down the shores of Galilee, and He came across these fellows probably mending their nets, and did He spend an hour or two telling them who He was, and what He was going to do? Not from what I understand Scripture. But rather what did He tell them? Follow Me, and I’ll make you fishers of men! And what did those men do? They dropped their tools and nets and followed. Have you ever asked why? Well here’s the reason why, because you see, God opened the eyes of these fishermen that here was the promised Messiah, and nothing need more be said. So here in verse 17, the Lord is saying, “Peter somebody didn’t twist your arm to believe who I am. Some body hasn’t spent 3 years trying to tell you who I am, but rather the Father opened your understanding.

Matthew 16:17b

“…for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”

In other words it had to be a super natural opening of even Peter’s understanding. Has anything changed? No. The only thing today we refer to the Spirit opening it rather than the Father, but nevertheless they’re all part of the Godhead so that becomes irrelevant. Now let’s take another one that I’ve used over and over and when I tell people that I pray almost everyday for Lydia I’m talking about the circumstance of Acts chapter 16. Almost every morning I say, “Now Lord today as those programs go out, give me Lydia’s by the hundreds and by the thousands.” And what I’m talking about? The setting is in Philippi.

Acts 16:13-14

“And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. (these ladies were probably Jewish and having a devotional) 14. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, (she was a good Jew, but lost) heard us; (now here’s the part I pray for) whose heart the Lord opened, (and when the Lord opened her heart, what happened?) that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.”

And what do you supposed Paul told her? “Christ died for your sins, and He arose from the dead,” and she attended to that, and believed it for her salvation. (Reference I Corinthians 15:1-4 and Romans 10:9-10.) But would it have done Paul any good had the Lord not opened her heart? No. See that still has not changed. The Lord still must open the heart of that lost person so that they will listen and come to the place of believing it in their heart. Now let me take you to another one in II Corinthians, and I may want to use this verse a little later in Colossians, but that won’t hurt. Now these 2 verses are along this same line of thinking. Now remember what we just saw? Peter, blessed art thou for the Father has revealed it unto thee. Lydia was the one who’s heart the Lord opened, now remember both of these people were in the same circumstance that these people are in II Corinthians chapter 4, as every human being is.

II Corinthians 4:3-4

“But if our gospel (Paul’s Gospel of I Corinthians 15:1-4) be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: (and that’s every human being until their saved) 4. In whom (these lost people, good as well as the bad, who are not going to make it to heaven, and why?) the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

Who is fighting constantly to keep people in the dark? Satan is, because that’s his job, and as soon as a person become a believer, then his job become one of throwing doubt in their way, and throwing all kinds of problems into the life of the believer. Satan enjoys doing that. But first and foremost he’s going to keep the mind of those who believe not blinded.

II Corinthians 4:4b

“…lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

Now let’s look at verse 6. Now by the power of God this is what happens.

II Corinthians 4:6

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,”

How do you and I come to realize that first and foremost who Jesus was? How do we get to realized that He died for my sins and rose from the dead? God has to reveal it, God has to open our understanding. I could stand here and teach until I’m blue in the face, and if God doesn’t open the heart, I’m wasting my breath. And that’s the way it is all through Scripture. Now coming back to Colossians, this is the whole idea again. Paul is thanking God the Father for having opened the hearts and the minds of these Colossi believers and has delivered them from the power of darkness (v. 13). The chains of Satan. But for these people, darkness was paganism, which is even far darker than our Western civilization. And so the Lord opened their eyes and delivered them from the power of darkness and at the same moment He translated or transplanted them.

In an area like eastern Oklahoma where everybody has flowers and gardens, that’s a better word. When you transplant, what do you do? You take a plant from that particular place and you re-plant it over here. Well, that’s what God did with us. He took us out of darkness and He literally transplanted us into the Kingdom of Heaven. And our eternal abode, our position, and now a verse that we studied just weeks ago in Philippians and so it won’t hurt to review it. Let’s look at Philippians chapter 3 and verse 20.

Philippians 3:20a

“For our conversation (citizenship) is (where?) in heaven…”

How did our citizenship get transplanted from the earthly domain to heaven? Colossians 1. God the Father has transplanted us from darkness into the Kingdom of His dear Son.

Now that isn’t so deep and yet very few people have this concept. Very few people understand that when they were saved, they were literally made a citizen of a heavenly kingdom, which will tie us then to when Christ returns and sets up His kingdom on earth. And we’ll be part of that. So our citizenship is in Heaven. And lest you think it’s a play on words, Paul, by inspiration, tells us exactly what heaven he’s talking about. The abode of God. From whence we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. And so that is what God has done by virtue of our faith in the Gospel. He has opened our eyes, broken those chains of darkness and He has transplanted us into the Kingdom of His dear Son. Now let’s look at verse 14 of Colossians 1 and the first thing you’re going to notice in these new translations is that the word “blood” isn’t in there. And for whatever reason, I’m not going to make comment on it, but my good old King James still has it. And here it is.

Colossians 1:14

“In whom (that is in the Son up there in verse 13) we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

Now let’s go all the way back to Hebrews and let’s look at a verse that we haven’t used for a long time. We certainly have in the past but it’s been awhile. Hebrews chapter 9 and verse 22.

Hebrews 9:22

“And almost all things are by the law (back in the sacrificial economy) purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

Now I call that an absolute. You know, they’re trying to tell us today that there are no absolutes. I beg to differ. There are absolutes and this is one of them. Without the shedding of blood there has never been any forgiveness of sin. You go right back to the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve had sinned and were expelled and what’s the first thing that God does to restore them? He kills the animals. It was a blood sacrifice.

Now it’s amazing how that Satan counterfeits everything that is perfect in God’s economy and adulterates it in the process. Now if you know anything about paganism, if you’ve ever had missionaries come home, especially years back, from some of these almost uncivilized areas, what were they constantly doing in their tribal rituals? Killing animals, or roosters or birds and sprinkling or spattering the blood all over. Why? That was Satan’s counterfeit. And so almost every culture up through human history has had a constant bath of sacrificial blood. But that was the counterfeit. That was the adulteration.

The true system of blood sacrifice was what God instituted with Adam and Eve and then bought it up and perfected it with the Law and the Temple worship. And it all was centered on the animal sacrifices. You know all of that. The Passover Lamb and I’ve shown you from Scripture that when Israel would sin a particular sin, there was a particular sacrifice that they would have to bring. It could be a turtledove, a goat or whatever, but it was always a blood sacrifice. Because without the shedding of blood there has never been forgiveness. Now I know that today we don’t hear anything anymore about the blood concept. But listen, it’s the way the Sovereign God ordained it. That without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sin. And of course, I feel that the reason for that is that back in Genesis chapter 9 it tells us that life is in the blood. And you cannot get new life without death happening first and death is signified by shed blood. And so you follow this all the way through God’s dealing with the whole human race leading up to His own supreme sacrifice, which had to be a shedding of blood. That’s why He could have never been hung. He could have never died a death by hanging which was a typical capital punishment way of putting people to death. But it wouldn’t have worked because then there wouldn’t have been the shed blood. And it had to be a death where there would be that shedding of blood. It had to be! Because this is the way the Sovereign God ordained it and who are we to say that the shed blood is no longer of consequence. Well, anyone who does is in danger of Hellfire because without the shedding of blood there is no remission. Now let’s see how Paul enlarges on it. Come back to Romans chapter 3 starting at verse 23.

Romans 3:23-24

“For all have sinned (every last single human being) and come short of the glory of God. 24. Being justified freely by his grace (that unmerited favor) through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”

Now you all know what redemption means. It’s the process of paying the price and gaining something back. Now verse 25

Romans 3:25a

“Whom (Christ) God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his (what?) blood,…”

You can’t take that out. We have to maintain that it was His shed blood which was in accordance with His whole divine plan for the ages beginning with Adam and Eve’s sin just outside the garden all the way up through the Old Testament economy of Law and temple worship, all bringing us up to the supreme sacrifice of all time, the death of Christ Himself. And that’s when sacrificing stopped biblically. There was no more need for sacrifice once Christ died. Now the pagans kept it on. But biblically there was no more need for sacrifice. But never forget that without the shedding of blood there is no remission.

478 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 40 - Seven-Fold Prayer of Paul for Us - Part 2

478: Seven-Fold Prayer of Paul for Us – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 40

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 40

Seven-Fold Prayer of Paul for Us – Part 2

We appreciate it so much when you write and tell us you’re studying the Word and are enjoying it and sharing it with others. That’s what we’re here for. This is what I want to show from the Book of Colossians – how these early Christians didn’t just sit on what they had gained, they shared it, they spread the Word and that of course, is our responsibility even today. So let’s go back to where we left off in our last program. Colossians chapter 1 and we’ll pick up again in verse 9 where Paul is introducing a prayer that he offers continuously, I’m sure of, on behalf of these Colosse believers, but it is also appropriate for us today. This same prayer is for us and I think it behooves us in turn to pray for fellow believers.And it’s also practical and don’t forget, what were these people a few years ago? Pagans, with no understanding of the Old Testament.

They don’t have any of the Old Testament. They don’t even have any of the New Testament. And so the more you think about that the more amazing it is that here we have a group of people that the Apostle Paul can deal with on this level and know that they knew what he was talking about. And then bring it on up to our present situation. My, it should be so much easier to teach these things today. Where people have at least, a cursory knowledge of the Old Testament and they have an understanding of how Christ was born at Bethlehem and so forth. These people didn’t have any of that. And so it really should be easier now but it isn’t. Human nature hasn’t changed one iota. These people steeped in paganism were just as human as lost people are today and it took the same power of God to bring them out of that as it does to bring a lost person to the light even today. And so Paul goes on.

Colossians 1:9

“For this cause we also, (because of their love and testimony) since the day we heard it, we do not cease to pray for you, (and now here comes the Apostle’s desire on behalf of these new believers) and to desire that you might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;”

How many professing Christians today can claim to have any of that? Not very many! And this is deep. This isn’t just the stuff on the top. This is down in the deep things, to be knowledgeable of His will, in wisdom and spiritual understanding. You know, how many times have you heard people say, “Well you know, it’s just blind faith.” No, it’s not just blind faith. You’re supposed to know what you believe. You’re supposed to have an understanding of the Word that when Paul says if someone asks, “What’s the hope that you have?” You should be able to show them from the Word. And that’s what he means by being skilled at it and be able to turn to portions of Scripture and let the people read it. This is what God’s Word says. He also says “that you might be filled”, that it will just control their lives, the knowledge of his will and wisdom and spiritual understanding. Now verse 10. This comes down into the nitty gritty of their everyday lives, Monday through Saturday.

Colossians 1:10a

“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord (a person that the Lord would not have to be ashamed of and be what kind of a person?) unto all pleasing,”…

I do not buy this stuff that a believer has to constantly be like sandpaper to the world around them. I don’t think that’s necessary. I don’t think we have to constantly rub people the wrong way. Now, we don’t compromise. We’re not going to just go with the flow. But we don’t have to be irritating those people around us. Paul never teaches that. But as we stand for the truth, we do it in a way that is pleasing to those around us. And that is what he’s praying for. Now I said in the last program that we’d stop at the word “fruitful”

Colossians 1:10b

“…being fruitful in every good work,…”

Now that’s not to merit salvation, remember. Salvation isn’t of works. We don’t work for salvation. But we work for rewards. And if we’re going to have rewards, we’re going to have to have fruit. Now that’s a term that’s used quite a bit in the New Testament. I’m going to take you back and we’re going to chase a few of them down. Let’s go all the way back to John’s gospel and a portion of Scripture that most people are fairly acquainted with and that’s the vine in chapter 15. Let’s start at verse 4. These are the words of the Lord Himself during His earthly ministry.

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, (there’s that position that Paul enlarges on in the chapters that we’ve been studying in Ephesians especially) the same bringeth forth much (what?)fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

You can’t help bringing forth fruit. If you have that relationship with Christ as a result of believing the Gospel then you are positioned in Christ and consequently you’re going to be a fruit bearer. But the last part of the verse is the key: “For without me ye can do nothing.” So whatever we do, we do it with His power, and His help and the result is that we’re going to bear fruit. Now let’s turn on over to Romans chapter 7, where again we have the word fruit used in a different connotation instead of a vine and branch, we’re talking about a marriage relationship. Now this of course is Paul’s basic doctrine of being separated from the Law, and all of it’s demands. By Grace then we come into a totally different relationship.

Romans 7:4

“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law (that is the Ten Commandments basically) by the body of Christ; (that is His death on the cross. When Christ died on the cross He fulfilled all the demands of the Law.) that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, (and what’s the purpose?) that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”

Now there’s nothing sexual or reproductive here, but rather this is Spiritual, this is just an analogy. Now in a marriage relationship between a husband and wife, the fruit of that relationship is children, .and that’s the fruit of marriage. But here we’re not talking about physical marriage, but the analogy is when we became dead to the Law because of the death of Christ, now we are free to be married to another. Instead of the Law and all of it’s demands, we’re now married to Grace, the Saviour, the Lord Himself. And it’s all of Grace, because He has satisfied the Law, and we have become dead to the Law, then we are free to be united with Him in a union that again is going to produce fruit. Now I feel the fruit here then is “The fruit of a soul winner!” We should be able to win lost people to Christ, whether it’s your children, your grandchildren, your Sunday school kids, or whatever the case may be. We should be able to show fruit as a result of our being married to Christ. Remember this all just a Spiritual fulfillment of an earthly circumstance. Now we have another idea of fruit in Galatians chapter 5. This teaching on fruit is a Biblical concept that we’re to be fruitful. How many times haven’t I said on this program, that we’re not saved just for a fire escape. But we’re saved to be fruitful and to serve.

Galatians 5:16-18

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, (in your daily life) and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (in other words you can’t just drift, because it’s a battle. 18. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”

You don’t have to worry about not stealing or doing all these sins listed in the next verses because the Spirit will not lead you in that direction. But most people just take these for granted today. Everybody’s doing it, there’s nothing wrong with these is the attitude of the world, and what are they?

Galatians 5:19-21

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness. 20. Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21. Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Now those are the things of the flesh, but now coming down to verse 22, and now what do we see? Fruit. Now in this particular verse, it’s the fruit of the Spirit, but goodness sake, who is the Spirit working in? The believer. The fruit of the Sprit is that which comes from the believer who is under the control of the Sprit. And as the last part of verse 23 says, “against such there is no law,” Do you know what that means? There’s nothing bad about any of these. None of the fruits will ever cause an up evil in a community. They all enhance good living, and look at them.

Galatians 5:22a

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, (see the Colossians had that love that only true Christians know about.) joy,…”

We’re in a world that is frantically chasing after happiness. They never talk about joy, they’re always wanting to be happy. But remember there’s a vast difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is simply the results of your circumstance. Everything is going great, you have money in the bank, and a new car in the garage, a new home to live in, the kids are all doing ok. Boy who couldn’t be happy with that, but it’s still an empty happiness. But joy is a Spiritual thing. Joy comes as a result then with our peace with God! And that’s why Paul says in Philippians over and over, “Rejoice.” Not because they had all these material things, they didn’t. But because they had that salvation, because they were right with God, then consequently they could be joyful. So it’s the fruit of the Spirit. Now continuing on with verse 22.

Galatians 5:22b

“…peace, (an absent of conflict) longsuffering, (patience is another word for longsuffering) gentleness, (you will never see a gentle person commit murder or constantly aggravating everyone.) goodness, faith. 23. Meekness, temperance; (maintaining a balance) against such there is no law.”

Not a one of these is an attribute that somebody would say, “I wouldn’t won’t that to happen to me. They are good attributes for anybody’s Christian life. Well it’s fruit, and the results then of God’s working in the life of the believer. Now back to Colossians again chapter 1. So all of these put together is what Paul had in mind, I’m sure, when he says that you might be fruitful in all aspects of life.

Colossians 1:10b

“…being fruitful in every good work, and increasing (day by day) in the knowledge of God:”

Now listen, every believer starts at the same level in his Christian life. Whether we’re 8 or 80. Every believer starts at that same level and what is it? A babe in Christ! We all begin as babes in Christ. But, just like in the physical realm, is there anything more pitiful than someone who is 40 years old and still has the mentality or the physical attributes of a 5 year old? And our hearts go out to them. I can’t think of anything worse, and yet that’s most Christians. They’ve never gotten away from their infancy spiritually. And the Corinthians were that way. Let’s go back. It’s been a long time since we’ve been in Corinthians too and we’ve got a lot of new listeners coming in every day, and so for those of you who have heard all this before, bear with me because I’m doing this for the sake of new folks. Go back to I Corinthians 3, starting at verse 1.

I Corinthians 3:1

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.”

Now they were believers. He’s not using the word “carnal” here as denoting the lost person. These were Christians who were believers but they were still infants spiritually. They were still on milk. Now verse 2.

I Corinthians 3:2

“I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.”

That’s not the only sad part, they still weren’t able to handle meat, however long Paul had been dealing with them. So you see, if Paul could look at our situation today, he’d probably smile and say, “I know. I went through it. It’s no different.” It is so hard to get people off of the milk of the Word and into the meat. But listen, once you get a taste of T-bone steak you don’t ever want to go back to the baby bottle. And it’s the same way here. My, once you get a taste of how thrilling this, and how it all fits from Genesis through Revelation, you can’t get enough of it. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. But you see, that’s not most Christians. Most professing Christians are just satisfied that they’re saved, and I hope they are, and they never intend to go any further. But that’s the sorry part that they’re content to remain as babes and on the spiritual milk. Now let’s go back to Colossians chapter 1.

Colossians 1:10b

“…being fruitful in every good work, and increasing (day by day) in the knowledge of God:’

Now when we get down to verses 15-17 we’re going to hit some of those areas that very few people have delved into, with regard to the knowledge of God. But for now, let’s just move on in Paul’s prayer.

Colossians 1:11

“Strengthened (spiritually) with all might, according to his glorious (what’s the word?) power,…”

Now you see none of these things that I teach can be accomplished without the power of God. It’s utterly impossible. You cannot become a student of the Word without the power of God. You cannot become a child of God without the power of God. And so it’s an intrinsic word that means exactly what it says. That it has to have the power of God that will bring us to where God wants us to be. Now let’s go a couple more statements here as we only have a couple of minutes left. In other words, I guess I should have pointed out that this is another one of those instances where Paul has seven things. You can pick them out yourself. I’m always commenting on that. Paul didn’t sit there and rack his brain and think, now how can I get seven statements in here. But over and over, throughout his epistles he comes out with 7 full statements. Now that’s inspiration because that’s God’s perfect number. So here again, he has 7 statements and now he goes on to verse 12 that he’s giving thanks to the Father.

Colossians 1:12

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us (all believers) meet (has prepared us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.”

Now I’m afraid I haven’t got enough time left to really bring everything out that this is doing. That he is giving thanks to God the Father who was instrumental in bringing us out of darkness and transplanting us into the kingdom of His dear Son, which is life. We’ll look at it a little further in our next program because we’ve only got a few seconds left. But all this was in Paul’s prayer on behalf of these ex-pagan believers who knew nothing of the past Scriptures. They knew nothing of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They knew nothing of Israel’s God. They knew nothing of Christ’s earthly ministry. But when Paul came and presented the fact that One died for their sins and rose from the dead and they believed it, God moved in and opened their understanding. And we’ll look at that in our next program.

But here again he is praying all of this. And this is just as appropriate for us as it was for them. We too are to be growing in the knowledge of God, day by day. This week you should know more of the Scriptures than you did last week. By this time next week, you should know more than you do today. Now, we’re living in a time of exploding technology. It’s just mind-boggling. But listen, there’s just about as much to learned in here if we’ll just put our hand to the plow, as it were, and start digging for it and the Lord will bless you for it.

477: Seven-Fold Prayer of Paul for Us – Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 40

477: Seven-Fold Prayer of Paul for Us – Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 40

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 40

Seven-Fold Prayer of Paul for Us

I always like to give a few words of introduction before we start a new book, as we call them. Remember that Colossians is also one of the prison epistles. This is another one of the epistles of Paul that was written while he was in prison in Rome. And it’s in that category of letters that is a jump up, doctrinally, from his introductory letters of Romans, Galatians and the Corinthians. And as soon as we get into these prison epistles of Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians it’s just higher ground. It’s deeper water. And these are elements of the faith that I’m afraid too many people are just glossing over or are not paying any attention to, but it’s paramount if we really want to get into the depths of the Word of God, we have to do a study of these prison epistles.

Ephesians, if you remember, was just almost totally doctrinal. Our position, where are we as a believer in the body of Christ. Well, what does that mean? Well, it’s a position. It’s something that the Old Testament believer knew nothing of. We are in the Body and are connected to Christ, the Head. Even though He’s in glory and we’re still on earth, there’s still that connection. And so Ephesians brings that out. And then Philippians had to bring about the fact that even though and we may be going through trials and temptations and tribulations, we have every reason in the world to rejoice. Rejoice, the apostle Paul says, in spite of our circumstances.

And now Colossians is written primarily to warn the Colossi believers, as well as us today, of things that can so easily make inroads into our belief or faith. Now you might say that you didn’t know that Paul dealt with any false teaching in Colossians. Yes, he does. He deals with two facets. One of them was atheticism. Now most people, I think, probably hear the word and don’t really understand what it means. Atheticism was that teaching that you had to put down all the desires of the flesh. And it all had to do with “you can’t do this” and “you can’t do that” and “you can’t enjoy this” and “you can’t enjoy that”. In fact, I think that some of the early church monks and the monastery type of people would just literally put themselves through misery for that very reason, that they were not to enjoy a single day of life. And hoping thereby to gain favor with God. You’ve probably heard of the hair shirt, where they would just wear that shirt with the hair next to their skin and just be miserable. Well, they thought by so doing they were pleasing God.

And then on the other hand you had these people who were trying to convince the early church believers that there was more to it than what Paul had given them. And that you had to get in and get understanding of the angelic powers and some of these things that we would say today were the New Age movement and so forth. And we’re up against the same things. In fact, I guess I’ll let you read the two verses where that’s brought out the most clearly. It’s over in Colossians chapter 2 and verse 8 and then the other concept is over in verse 16. And so the whole little book of Colossians revolves around these two warnings. And it’s just appropriate today as it was when Paul wrote it. So let’s look at chapter 2 and verse 8. This is just an introduction and then we’ll got back to the first chapter.

Colossians 2:8

“Beware (that’s a word of warning.) lest any man spoil through philosophy and vain deceit, (that where it comes in that “you can’t do this or that” and “you’ve got to put yourself down and keep your appetites under control”) after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, (not God’s word that they’re following, but man-made devices) and not after Christ.”

Now let’s go over to verse 16 and here we have this warning not to get caught up in these things that we do to, again in the flesh, merit favor with God.

Colossians 2:16

“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days;”

What does that mean? Don’t get hung up on what day of the week you worship. You’d be surprised how many letters and phone calls we get from the television audience that say, “Aren’t we supposed to be keeping the Sabbath?” You see, here is a warning in verse 16. Don’t get hung up on those things. I always answer with one stock answer and that is that we’re not under Law. Law demanded Sabbath worship, seventh day Sabbath. We’re not under anything like that. And so here is the warning. Don’t get hung up on some of these things as to what you eat or drink or a holyday or a new moon or Sabbath days. Now look at verse 18. And this is another warning.

Colossians 2:18a

“Let no man beguile you (or deceive you) of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels,…”

Do you see what that says? A voluntary humility is something you force on yourself to literally put yourself down so that somehow God will kind of feel sorry for you, I guess. So don’t be taken in by that.

Colossians 2:18b

“…intruding into those things which he hath not seen vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.”

Now in America in the last few years have you noticed this constant emphasis on angels, especially at Christmas time. Everything you see is angels, angels, angels. Popular television show has something to do with angels. I’ve never seen it but I can just about imagine what it amounts to. And listen, we’re warned that we don’t get involved with things like that. And we’ll be commenting on that more strongly as we come through it verse by verse.

So anyway, this little letter to the Colossians was, along with other things, written to warn us of various types of false teachings. And always remember, I’m afraid too many believers today do not get a concept of what the Apostle Paul was up against when he went out into that Gentile world. And he did not have a great army of advance men. The poor fellow had maybe one or two of his co-workers, Luke or Barnabas, or whoever, would come in to these cities steeped in paganism. And even as you visit some of those ruins of those ancient cities and you see the ruins of these ancient temples. And you see, especially in Athens, the female goddesses, umpteen of them, just standing there in a row up on top of those columns. That’s all they saw. Everywhere you looked it was a constant reminder of their worship of the gods and goddesses of mythology and along with that was gross immorality. And into that environment comes the Apostle Paul with nothing more than the Gospel. And yet the Gospel was so powerful that in the midst of all that idolatry he was able to bring people out of it and put their faith in that finished work of the cross, and it so transformed lives.

Remember that account in the book of Acts that Ephesian silversmiths were losing so much business of making their idols and these new found believers were throwing them away and were no longer buying them. Listen, you know what that tells me? He made such an impact in the city of Ephesus that it affected the business people who were selling idols and so forth. We can’t imagine what that must have been like. And without any support. Now, the same way with Colossi. Colossi was just a little city just a few miles inland from Ephesus and it was evidently a congregation that had been begun by one of Paul’s converts at Ephesus, Epaphras. And then from that one individual a little congregation, again of pagan people, have become believers.

And so as Paul writes this letter, remember he’s never met these people. This is one group he writes to that he didn’t know one of them but by faith. But it was still the result of the man’s ministry in Ephesus a few miles away. So always remember that whenever Paul writes to these believers, they had just recently come out of abject paganism, idolatry, the worship of the gods and goddesses. And then to be able to bring them to the place where they would separate from all that and endure the persecution that was brought on them. I just can’t imagine.

Because here we are in our enlightened America and with all of our Constitutional rights and we can’t get people interested. Isn’t it amazing? And yet, he went into these pagan cities, steeped in their idolatry, and did nothing but preach the Gospel and they came out by the scores. Well, that’s the background of this little letter to Colossi. Inland from Ephesus which is on the western end of present day Turkey and a congregation, as I said, who he had never met personally, but he had heard of them through Epaphras and consequently he writes this little epistle. Starting at verse 1

Colossians 1:1a

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,…”

A lot of people, I think, have gotten the idea that Paul was some kind of an egotist. That he just sort of went out on his own. In fact, the Corinthian church kind of accused him of that. And that he’d just sort of gotten this idea that he could start something on his own and he was making inroads into Judaism and all that. No, here he makes so plain that his apostleship was by the will of God. And of course, Timothy is with him. And remember he is writing from prison in Rome.

Colossians 1:1b

“…and Timotheus our brother.”

And here I’m always emphasizing to whom is he writing? To the saints. Paul always writes to the believer. Never to the lost world. But he’s writing to the believers and so these are Gentiles like we and so this is why we can read the books of Colossians, Ephesians, and so forth and know this could just as well have been said to the believers in the United States of America in 2000 or whatever year we happen to be in. It could have just as well been. Now reading on in verse 2.

Colossians 1:2-3

“To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ (see how he positions them?) which are at Colossi: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.”

You remember one time, I think it was back in the Corinthian letter where he was listing all the pressures and the tribulations he was going through, and how many times he was cold and hungry and on top of all that he had the care of the churches! Well, this was on his mind constantly. These little groups of believers, scattered throughout the Roman Empire. He was praying constantly for them. Now verse 4. And here is proof that he’s never been at Colossi. He’s never seen these people.

Colossians1:4

“But since we’ve heard of you faith in Christ Jesus and of the love which you have to all the saints,”

Have you ever had someone ask you, “How can I know that I’m really saved?” It’s a good question. I don’t mind a bit if someone calls me and says, “Now Les, you’re always talking about someone being a true believer. How can I know that I am a true believer? And not like multitude of others who are simply church members and sitting in their pew for an hour on Sunday morning and hope that they’re okay. How can I know that I’m a true believer?” You know what my first answer is? “Do you love the Word of God?” And then I follow that right up with the second one. “Do you love being with God’s people?”

In fact I just had a gentleman call last night and ask the same question and I said, “Okay. Do you have a love for the Word of God?” He said, “Yeah, I do for the last couple of years. I just can’t get enough of it.” I said, “Okay, then my next question is, do you enjoy being with God’s people or would you rather be in some night club instead of a Bible study?”He said, “I hear you. I hear you.” Well, that’s just exactly what Paul is saying here. What was the proof of their faith? Their love for fellow believers! See, the world doesn’t love us. The world would much rather have us be out there in some night club or some other place of amusement than to be in a Bible study. You know that. But we’re to be the other way around.We’d much rather be with fellow believers studying the Word than being out there being entertained in some ungodly way. That’s always the mark. And so here again he says that the proof of their faith was the love that they had for the saints or their fellow believers.

Now that doesn’t mean that every believer is perfect. I don’t think we even have to like every believer. There’s a difference between love and like. Isn’t that right? I hope I don’t get my foot in my mouth. But I maintain there is a difference between liking someone and loving them and you don’t necessarily have to do both. You’ve got to love them, but you don’t necessarily have to like someone who rubs you wrong and doesn’t have the same interests that you do. And you just certainly wouldn’t say, “Well I just wish I could spend every day of the week with that individual.” No, you don’t have to like people all that much but we have to love them. And there’s a big difference. Love is that which seeks the other person’s highest good. These people had a love for the fellow saints. Alright let’s read on.

Colossians 1:5

“For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel.”

Now I was mulling over the programs as we produce them and it’s now over 500 of them, I believe. And I got to thinking maybe I have not been emphasizing enough that one of the fruits of our salvation is not just the hope of glory, but eternal life. Now think about it for a minute. You probably haven’t heard me emphasize that as much as I should. Listen, when we’re saved we enter into eternal life as over against death. And this is all part of the package. That when we step in by faith and embrace the Gospel, God imbues us with eternal life. That means that we will never die. Now I know that we think of it casually, but I’m going to hit the nail on the head a little harder. Do you know what it means to have eternal life? It never struck me until the other day I was reading an article on how many billions and billions of years the universe is.

And I got to thinking, goodness even if it is that old, and I don’t believe it is, but if it were, do you know that we’re going to live way beyond even that length of time? Do you realize that our life will never end? That’s beyond me and I think it’s beyond you. But see, this is all part of what Paul is talking about. That not only is it just salvation for the here and now, not only is it a fire escape that we’re not going to go to Hell, but that we have eternal life! And life is something that is vibrant. Life is something that is exciting. Life is something that there’s a never a dull moment. You know I’m always afraid that when I get to the place that I haven’t got a quality of life, I want to be gone. I don’t want to lay around as a vegetable. I know we haven’t got any control over that, but if I could have my desire I’d want to go from one day of activity and then be gone. Because that’s what life is all about. But listen when we get into eternity, it will be vibrant. It will be exuberant and it’s going to be forever and ever. You know you hear in Handel’s Messiah the end part that says, ‘forever and ever and ever’. I told Iris the other night when we were listening to it that I wondered if the people who are singing that really know what they’re singing? Forever and ever and ever! That’s eternity. That’s what Paul is talking about. Now verse 6

Colossians 1:6

“Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you since the day ye heard of it and knew the grace of God in truth.”

Now I’m going to deal with the word “fruit” when we get to verse 10, so I’m going to skip it here in this verse. When we get to verse 10 we’ll see what he’s talking about when he prays that we’re to be fruitful. So now let’s go on to verse 7.

Colossians 1:7-8

“As you also learned of Epaphras (the gentleman who I feel brought this letter to the Colossians and was probably instrumental in getting that congregation started) our dear fellow servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ. 8. Who also declared unto us your (what’s the next word?) love in the Spirit.”

That should be the very epitome of a believer’s life is our love for the Lord, first and foremost. You love the one who died for you and bought you and forgave you. But then that love just literally goes out all the way around us to our family, co-workers, fellow believers. And love is the key, as Paul teaches it throughout his letters. Now verse 9.

Colossians 1:9a

“For this cause…”

What cause? Because of the love that he’d heard of these Colossi believers. And don’t you dare forget what were they just a few months or years ago? Pagans! And pagans didn’t know what love was. We’ve got missionary friends down in Bolivia and he was just sharing with me one of the last times they were home, how they were doing a translation for some of those primitive tribes and every once in awhile they get hung up in their translations because those people just don’t have a word for something. And you know what one of them was? Love! They didn’t have any idea what love was. They didn’t even have a word for it in their vocabulary. Now that’s shocking to us. But listen, when you have people who have never been exposed to the love of God and the truth of the Gospel, they don’t understand real love. And these pagans especially had no love. And consequently they could follow all these gods and goddesses and stuff because there was not true understanding of love. Let’s read on.

Colossians 1:9

“For this cause (because he understood that the Colossi believers knew what love was now all about. They loved each other, the Word, loved God and so he says for this cause) we also since the day we heard it, (what do we call that today? Reputation. What was the reputation of these Colossi believers? They were loving, sincere, godly ex-pagans) do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.”

What do you suppose he was praying for? That it wouldn’t stop! That it would just continue. And this is the reason, I think, the Scripture told us that Christianity literally did turn the Roman Empire upside down and it was because they were so sincere in their love first for one another as well as for the Word and God Himself.

476: Philippians 3:17 – 4:23 – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 40

476: Philippians 3:17 – 4:23 – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 40

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 40

Philippians 3:17 – 4:23 – Part 2

We always like to thank you for your letters, your financial help, and most of all for your prayers. We realize that the Lord is using us in a tremendous way. We’re living in a day when a lot of people think that, “Christianity is for the women.” But I think that we are unique that we reach so many men in our ministry. All my classes here in Oklahoma are over half men, and when we have seminars around the country, it’s always over half men, and that’s as it should be. It’s the men who need to be men, I tell you what, living the Christian life is not for the weak. It takes real men to walk it as Paul of course is evidence. Now I think we’re ready to move on into Philippians chapter 4. There is a possibility that we’ll finish this Book in this lesson, and be ready for Colossians next month.

Philippians 4:1

“Therefore, (because of the Lord’s coming as Paul has been talking about. It’s at hand, and could happen at any time.) my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.”

Now never forget, where is Paul when he writes this? Well, in prison right next to Nero’s palace, and is chained to a Roman guard constantly. Many of whom I’m sure were probably some of the most furious warriors of the Roman army. Probably some of them had carried out the capital punishment. Wouldn’t it be bazaar if one of those fellows who had been commissioned to lop off the head of Nero’s wife, had actually become a convert of Paul? That wouldn’t surprise me a bit, because some of the most ruthless men in the Roman army were chained to Paul as a guard.

And he was such a powerful witness that I’m sure that by the time many of them left their tour of duty, they were believers. You say, “Well where do you get that?” Well look what it says in Titus chapter 2:11 You know I try to encourage people, when you read a verse, don’t just read it but contemplate it. Just stop and think and let the Spirit lead our thoughts, “How could something like this happen?” Well look at the verse, and always remember that it takes the Grace of God to bring a person, and especially people like these Roman guards to a knowledge of salvation.

Titus 2:11

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.”

Now of course the “all men” of Paul’s day would have been the then known world or the Roman Empire. But nevertheless Paul’s gospel had already permeated the Roman Empire from the west to the east. How else could it have happened except that these Roman soldiers in their revolving tour of duty would go to one end of the empire to the other. And as a result they became emissaries, and following in the foot steps of the apostle Paul by taking the Gospel of Grace everywhere they went. My what greater evangelist than a saved hardened Roman warrior. Have you ever thought of that? We’re going to see as we close the letter of Philippians that Paul mentions the very believers in the household of Nero. Now verse 2.

Philippians 4:2

“I beseech (or I beg) Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.”

Now these are two ladies that evidently had some differences of opinion in the Philippian congregation, but they were active. A lot of people think that Paul was anti-feminist, and always putting women down. No he wasn’t! And here he is encouraging these two ladies that he knows that are active in the Philippian Church that they solve their individual differences so that they could be of the same mind in the Lord. Now along that same line when people tell me that Paul hated women, I tell you he couldn’t have because he let so many help him in the ministry. So come back to Romans chapter 16 and let’s take a look at some women who helped Paul, and these are not the only ones. You can also defend the apostle by directing that kind of people who are of that mind set to these verse.

Romans 16:1

“I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea;”

Do you see that? Now she wasn’t a pastor, but she was active in the Church. She was a servant, she was serving the Lord, and Paul commends her for that. Now verse 2.

Romans 16:2

“That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer (helper) of many, and of myself also.” Now verse 3. Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Now let’s drop down to verse 6.

Romans 16:6

“Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us.”

Naturally this wasn’t Mary the mother of Jesus, so remember over and over Paul makes reference to women. And I think the crowning accolade that a man could put on a woman, especially in those days, was that this whole Roman letter was committed unto this lady Phebe in the first verse. She carried this letter from Corinth all the way to the city of Rome. So always remember that Paul was not anti-feminist whatsoever. If he thought so little of women as some people claim, he would never have entrusted something as precious as the letter to the Romans to a woman, but he does, so whenever anybody comes up with that idea you just pitch it, and tell them they’re way out in left field, and that was not the case. Now coming back to the Book of Philippians and verse 3.

Philippians 4:3-4

“And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also and with other my fellow labourers whose name are in the book of life. (they were believers, no doubt about it. Now verse 4. From that prison next door to the most horrible death spot that ever lived Paul can write the following) Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”

My, if Paul could rejoice under his circumstances, then who are we to ever complain. Now the next two or three verses I always use when it comes to prayer for the Grace Age believers. For years I got hung up on John chapter 14, where Jesus says, “Whatsoever you will.”

John 14:13a

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do,…”

Well that didn’t work for me. I wrote to more than one friend of mine in the ministry, and wanted to know what was the matter with me, because this doesn’t work. And my friends had all kinds of gobbledygook for answers. But now I know why that didn’t work for me. Our Lord at that time was talking to the twelve under totally different circumstances. That was all in view of the Kingdom, then indeed whatever they asked it would happen.

At that time I didn’t know Paul gave the Church Age believes instructions for prayer. So here is the answer for our prayer life today. Does God always answer prayer? Yes.

Now it may not always be the way we think it should be, but He always answers. But now let’s look at it in verse 5.

Philippians 4:5

“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.”

We’re not to go way out in left field, or get carried away with kooky ideas, but we’re to maintain a stable walk and manifestation of our faith, and now here it comes in verse 6.

Philippians 4:6

“Be careful for nothing: (in our language, what do we say? Don’t worry about anything. That’s easier said than done isn’t it?) but in every thing (and that means what it says. But in every thing) by prayer and supplication (but there is one string attached, and what is it?) with thanksgiving let your requests be made know unto God.”

Be thankful! That’s why I think most people’s prayers go unanswered. They just are not thankful. I think many Church congregations over the years have gone down the tube because they forgot to be thankful. I think our beloved nation has gotten to the straights that we’re in because we have forgotten to be thankful. Remember when Paul was in Athens we find that being thankful isn’t just an admonition to the believer, but the whole world should recognize the goodness and provision of God. I think it’s in Acts chapter 17 that we find that.

Acts 17:24

“God that made the world and all thins therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25. Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things. 26. And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27. That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28. For in him (God) we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”

Now Paul is talking to pagan Greek philosophers. He’s not talking to believers here, but even the unbelievers had better wake up and realize that all these good things that make life possible come from the God of glory. Now back to Philippians chapter 4. So we can come with our prayers of supplications, but it has to be with thanksgiving. You thank the Lord for what He’s going to do before you even ask for it. I think that is the clue to the whole idea of Christian living, is that we live in that constant attitude of thanks. Thank Him for His Grace. We thank Him for such a great salvation. We thank Him for His Word. We thank Him for all the promises in it. Now if we approach Him with that attitude of thanksgiving we can do the following.

Philippians 4:6b

“…let your request be made known unto God.”

Nothing is held out. Now I’m not going to let people come up with something frivolous, but anything that is of necessity, or we find dear and important to us, then we have every privilege in the world to bring it into God’s throne room. Alright now I always put it this way. God may answer yes, and miraculously, or otherwise our prayers can be answered. Oh we see it happen occasionally. But other times the Lord says no, and our prayers are not answered. Other times the Lord may say, “Just wait a while, I’ll do it in my own time.” But the next verse tells me that here is our immediate answer to prayer, whether He says, “Yes, No, or Maybe Later, that’s beside the point. The answer to our prayer is now in verse 7. The moment we pray and ask with thanksgiving we have the following.

Philippians 4:7

“And the peace of God (why? Because we’ve left it in good hands. He knows how to handle it, He’s in total control. So the peace of God) which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Now we know we’re living in a world where many are stressed out. Everybody is talking about stress, and no doubt it’s there. Stress works on the mind, but what is the best treatment for stress? The peace of God, that passeth all understanding. It’s beyond human comprehension that even when things are going against us, even when things are tough, and even when we think God has forgotten all about us. Don’t you ever think that. That’s when you’d better wake up and realize that God is in total control, even when the bad things happen. So that’s our real answer to prayer, that just as soon as we bring something into the throne room, God responds with His peace that passeth all understanding. Now let’s move on down to verse 8 and hopefully we can finish the chapter today.

Philippians 4:8a

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,…”

Now here we come with a list of statements again, and how many do you suppose there’s going to be? Seven. That perfect number of God. We know over and over Paul will peal off seven statements, and here’s another one. Seven things that we can find as part and parcel of the peace of God.

Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Seven perfect mental attitudes. My, that’s enough to heal depression or almost any malady. Oh to think on things that are true. What causes a lot of the dilemma today? People don’t know what’s true. People don’t know what they can believe. Our newspaper, the Daily Oklahoman, has articles everyday warning us not to be taken in by the con artist of what ever the media vehicle, whether it’s the internet, or tele-marketing, or whatever, don’t be taken in. We’re living in a world that is not truthful. But we’re supposed to think on things that are true. Think of things that are honest. Honesty has almost become a lost art.

The used car dealer is the butt of most jokes in that regard I suppose. I’ve got a friend up in Minnesota who was a used car dealer for a long time, and he’s a character, and I’m sure he’s watching the program. I’ll never forget we were at a Church picnic up there, and a dear old gentlemen came up to him, and said, “Aren’t you Don so and so?” He said, “Yeah.” He said, “Well I bought my first car from you years and years ago.” He said, Yeah I remember that deal explicitly. That’s the only time I ever lost money.” Well that’s the glib response of a used car dealer salesman. Some of them like to pull the wool over people’ eyes. That’s not a blanket statement as I’m sure there are some who like to be fair and honest in their dealings.

But nevertheless we’re living in a world where we’ve got to be constantly on guard that some body doesn’t pull a fast one on us. We’re not living in a world where everything is honest.Whatsoever things are just. Now that’s along the same line as honesty. If it’s honest and just, what more could you ask for. Whatsoever things are pure. Boy there’s not much of that anymore either, and that’s why I’ve quit watching television. There is absolutely nothing pure on there any more, it’s getting ridiculous. Whatsoever things are lovely. I always have to think of my wife’s sister, as that was one of her favorite words. Everything was always lovely. Well that’s nice, that’s great, but it’s a word that probably is not as easy to explain, but whatever. Take it for what it means.

Whatsoever things are of good report. Now you see all seven of these tie in to the basic Christian premise of truthfulness, and honesty, and integrity, in fact I can just lump the whole shebang into one word. Biblical morality. See that’s what makes for good citizens. If there’s any thing that you can really feel good about, then this is where it’s at. Now verse 9. All seven of these areas of Christian lifestyle Paul says –

Philippians 4:9a

“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me,…”

Here was a man who filled the bill on all seven of these attributes of a Christian life. Now do you see why the Holy Spirit says, “Follow Paul?” If you can fulfill these seven attributes as a believer in your everyday life experience never will some body point a finger at you and say, “Well there’s a hypocrite if I ever saw one.” Because this is true Christianity, and there’s nothing that makes us less than real. You know I’ve always said, “Christianity isn’t being so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good.” No that’s not what it is. Christianity is so practical. There is nothing more practical on this planet than the Christian life, but only a believer can live it, because it has to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. If I’m going to finish Philippians I’ve got to do it in 2 minutes huh? Verse 9 again.

Philippians 4:9

“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do and the God of peace shall be with you.” Now there’s a promise, it’s a response from a loving God. Now verse 10.

Philippians 4:10

“But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, (or mindful) but ye lacked opportunity.”

In other words, the Philippians were not wealthy people. They were up there in northern Greece, and not a big commercial center like Corinth. So they didn’t have a lot to give. Now verse 11.

Philippians 4:11

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

Now I’ve brought out in past program since we’ve been in Paul’s letters that I think early on when he was a big wheel in Judaism, he was a wealthy man. I think he was probably one of the wealthiest Jews in Jerusalem. But he pitched it all for the sake of the Gospel. Does he complain? No he’s still content. Even though he has nothing, but a few pieces of parchment and a cloak or two, and never complains about his lack of physical material wealth. Now verse 12.

Philippians 4:12-13

“I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (now verse 13, and what a promise). I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

We can do nothing of ourselves, but when Christ is in control there is nothing that we cannot do that He wants us to do. Then of course in verse 15 he speaks of the giving and receiving from the Philippians. And in verse 17 Paul tells us the only reason he desired a gift was so that they in turn would get their reward in glory. Now verse 22. I said I’d try to bring this Book of Philippians to a close, but I wish I had a few more seconds. Now here again Paul makes mention about the saints Nero’s palace.

Philippians 4:22-23

“All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household. 23. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

So we find Paul’s converts in the very heart of Nero’s palace.