Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Pastor’s Concern for the Church

Temple Baptist Church - 3-6-2013
Colossians 2:1-4
A. Once again, let me remind you that the Apostle Paul is writing to a church he had never been to and to a people he had never met. These verses expose several things:
1. Paul’s care for the local church. He loved the church! That’s God’s man!
2. Paul’s compassion for the saints. He loved the saints! That’s God’s man!
3. Paul’s concern for the welfare of both. He was concerned for the church corporately: both the people and the purpose! That’s God’s man!
B. As a general rule, satanic error is seductive in nature. It is very subtle, deceptive, and divisive. The word beguiled means to seduce. Seduction always intends to deceive or to lead astray.
1. In the beginning, Satan divided man and wife; he divided man and wife from God; then, as they accused others, he divided again and again.
Genesis 3:12-13 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. (13) And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
2. Thus, it is divisive as it causes divisions within the church body as good people begin to take sides. When false doctrine begins to divide, it preys upon the weak as the strong know what the Bible says and will not be “blown about” with every wind of doctrine. Once again, as a general rule, Bible doctrine is simple and easily understood while false doctrine introduces the believer to the confusion of “deep things.”
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
C. The Holy Spirit, on more than one occasion, gives a look into the heart of the great apostle in these verses.
1. Paul was concerned about the state of their hearts. “comforted” 2 Corinthians 1:4-5 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (5) For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
a. Sufferings abound in the lives of God’s people as life is hard and often unfair. Being overcome with “overmuch sorrow” becomes a constant threat as it will cause even the strong to faint in the day of adversity.
b. In our day, it seems that God’s people are under constant attack from both without and within. Satan does his best to keep us discouraged and beat down with our circumstances.
2. Paul was concerned about the state of their love. “knit” Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.
a. Their lives were to be interwoven, not just meet for a while on the church’s scheduled services and then depart with no interaction or concern for each other until assembled again. Unfortunately, most churches are full of individuals or individual families instead of being a family.
b. The church in Acts 2 was full of people whose lives were interwoven on a daily basis. We may not see each other during the week as they did because of the change in times, but we can interact through daily prayer and be there for each other during difficult times. We need to “think” upon each other, have compassion upon each other, and be there for each other.
3. Paul was concerned about the state of their understanding. “full assurance” Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
a. Times were hard for the believers in Asia Minor as persecution was the rule of the day and it was easy to become discouraged with what was transpiring. They needed to understand that the world hates Christ, therefore, it hates His children. They needed to understand that where truth is, often error invades. Where there are fundamental churches, liberals infiltrate.
b. The same problems exist today. We know what “time” it is spiritually and, yet, often get our eyes on the “change and decay” that we see around us—especially in the spiritual realm. As Bible believers, we battle “change and decay” daily. If we fail to hold fast the foundations of fundamentalism, then they will die with us!
4. Paul was concerned with the state of their spiritual maturity. “hid all the treasures” Ephesians 4:11-15 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
a. The light of the child of God is still the Word of God and the knowledge that, in Christ, is all wisdom and knowledge. Our spiritual growth affects every part of our lives. As goes the inner, spiritual man, so goes the man!
b. If we do well spiritually, then we tend to live quiet, peaceful lives by trusting in the Lord. Such trust comes from the knowledge of Him! He is God and this is the basis for our trust.
5. Paul was concerned with the state of their doctrinal stability. “beguile…enticing words” 2 Peter 2:1-2 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2) And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
a. False brethren and teachers were a persistent problem in the days of the apostles as they are in our day. From Genesis 3 until the end of time, the possibility of deception remains great. These false teachers use every means to infiltrate with their damnable heresies and God’s men (true men of God) must be constantly on the lookout by overseeing the local church and warning God’s people.)
b. Paul wrote to the Thessalonican believers concerning spiritual deception as spirit, word, and “letter as from us” was already a happening in the churches. 2 Thessalonians 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

No comments: