Sunday, April 9, 2017

April 9, 2017 | Pastor Bayles | Belief: The Proof of Reconciliation | Colossians 1:21-23



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 April 9, 2017 | Pastor Bayles | Belief: The Proof of Reconciliation | Colossians 1:21-23

The Scripture states: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom.5:8). This is perhaps the most astounding statements in the Bible. We would expect to see and we are so comfortable with seeing that rewards follow successful behavior. We fulfill the commandments, then we receive a reward. However, if this principal is the standard, then we all would be eternally condemned, for “There is no one righteous, not even one!” (Rom.3:10). “But God...” has reconciled the lost to Himself through the atonement of Jesus Christ at the cross. This is the message presented in the poem of vv.15-20 and brought to a crescendo in v.19, 20: “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” Jesus Chris is the guarantor of reconciliation for God. God’s justice is universally for all the redeemed. This is the judicial, eternally resolved fulfillment of salvation. It is total and complete. Yet another dynamic emerges from this universal reality. That is the unfolding or revealing of this redeemed status. This is the subject of Paul’s message today. The unveiling of justification who, though still sinners, are the recipients of the atonement Christ has purchased at the cross. Today we will see the opening of a gift that has been hidden, but now revealed by faith alone.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

March 19, 2017 | Pastor John Bayles | The Supremacy of Christ | Colossians 1:15-23



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 March 19, 2017 | Pastor John Bayles | The Supremacy of Christ | Colossians 1:15-23

The text today is one of the greatest Christological presentations found in the Scriptures. The inspiration of the Holy Spirit is clearly visible in these lines shaped in the form of a poem. How often the Holy Spirit inspires both the words and the form when bringing forth the beauty and magnificence of Christ. As Psalm 65:8 so beautifully states: “The whole earth is filled with awe at Your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.” Here in this text is a three-fold Psalm of praise for the person and work of Christ. The prophet Jeremiah stated this well: “This is what the Lord says: You say about this place, It is a desolate waste, without people or animals. Yet in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted, inhabited by neither people nor animals, there will be heard once more the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord, saying, Give thanks to the Lord Almighty, for the Lord is good; His love endures forever! For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before, says the Lord” (Jer. 33:10, 11). May these verses take wing and form a living song in our hearts today of the Supremacy of Christ!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

March 12, 2017 | Pastor John Bayles | The Context of Christian Maturity | Colossians 1:9-14


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March 12, 2017 | Pastor John Bayles | The Context of Christian Maturity | Colossians 1:9-14

The Apostle Paul is writing to a church he has never visited and to a person he has never met. Though this may seem quite unusual, it does not reflect the full picture of the relationship. The church is Colossae was founded as a result of Paul’s earlier teaching during the establishment of the Church in Ephesus (Act.19:1-10). Epaphras, mentioned in verse 8, was likely a convert of that campaign and now, after several years, has planted a church in Colossae. Into the ministry has come efforts by false teachers to spin the message of the Gospel to their own ends. There is nothing better to address error than presenting the truth. A mentor of mine years ago said to me, “Don’t preach the problem, preach the truth!” I believe the source of his counsel was the scriptures, for this is consistently the tactic used in the Bible. There is nothing that shuts down error faster than the teaching truth. In today’s text Paul will turn from presenting characteristics of Christian community to characteristics of the individual believer. The goal of this sermon is to reflect upon a proper response to suffering, trials and reversals. We are citizens of God’s Kingdom. As a result, not matter what adversity the world may present, we are equipped to endure them with patience and thanksgiving under the supervision of the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

March 5, 2017 | Pastor John Bayles | The Context of Christian Community | Colossians 1:1-8



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March 5, 2017 | Pastor John Bayles | The Context of Christian Community | Colossians 1:1-8

This letter is sent a troubled church. Troubled by efforts of false teachers to subvert the message of the mission and person of Jesus Christ. We do not know about this error directly, for Paul does not address the problem directly. However, Paul knows that the best means for putting down hearsay is to teach the truth of who Jesus Christ is and for what purpose he came to earth. There is not better antidote for the sickness of error as presenting truth. Today we will look fist at the nature of the relationship Paul had with the audience of this letter. Who was Paul writing to? How well did he know his audience? Second, and even more importantly, if Paul had never met Epaphras, the recipient of his letter nor the people who made up the church in Colossae, does that mean Paul has no relationship to them? The mystery and the beauty of Christian community is that when we are in relationship to Jesus Christ, we are in relationship His people.