Hi everyone, it’s Mick here and welcome to Wednesday’s Podcast.
This week we are asking the question ‘Is it possible to change?’ with reflections on Paul’s letter to the Colossians. Today we reflect on another great bible truth ‘a God changed life is a better life because Jesus is Lord’ – our reading is Col 2:8-12 MSG and our focus verse is v10. when you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.
This verse comes at the end of a warning Paul gives this growing Colossian church; he says beware of false teachers who ‘try to dazzle you with their big words and intellectual double talk’ (v.8, MSG). There is still plenty of that around in the church today! Over many years as a church leader I have seen the church in our nation lose its confidence in Christ and dilute his gospel message by listening ‘big words and intellectual double talk’ from false teachers. As Christians, we have negated our responsibility to present Jesus to our nation and in particular to our young people who see church as boring and irrelevant. An ineffective church is the outcome of a liberal gospel. But there is hope; Paul goes on to say this ‘You don’t need a telescope, a microscope or a horoscope to realise the fullness of Christ and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything’ (vv.9–10, MSG).
He is referring to a specific issue which was causing disturbance in this church community; some were saying that men still needed to be circumcised to be a follower of Jesus. For us today this sound very obscure, even silly, but this was a real issue for Paul’s listeners. He makes it very clear again, as he did earlier, that to be a Christian all you need is Christ in your life – it’s not Christ plus something else.
The sign of belonging to Jesus is baptism. Paul says this ‘going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ’; baptism is an outward sign of this God received better life – it says ‘I am a Christian – I am for Jesus- I am his disciple’. Baptisms at STC are very powerful times. I love to see children of believing parents being baptised; to see their grown ups making real promises to live a God life on their behalf and trusting Jesus for their spiritual growth; I then love to see the church family sprinkled with the font waters as we walk among the Gathering to remind them of their own baptism! I love to see adults being baptised by full immersion in our tank; I love to hear them tell their God story of how Jesus has changed them before they go under the water. Literally thousands of adults have been in our tank over the past forty years or so – amazing! These really are powerful moments in the life of STC.
So, Paul says, we receive Christ, we are baptised and then this amazing gift Jesus gives as we say yes to him His power extends over everything (v10) – and that means over you; the power of heaven is released into our lives! Four verses earlier in v6 Paul’s says this just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him We have seen throughout this week’s reflections that real, Godly and good change comes only through Jesus Christ – when I say yes to him he becomes ‘Lord’ of my life.
The word ‘Lord’ is not a term we use frequently today; if we do we get a picture of older people in Westminster dressed in fine robes in the ‘House of Lords’ but we’re not quite sure who they are or what they do. In Paul’s time the word ‘Lord’ was a powerful term because your Lord gave you protection and provision and allowed you to live in peace because his power extended over you and your family – mess with me, you mess with my Lord!
Jesus wants us to know this; that’s why he left us his prayer, the Lord’s Prayer – remember, ‘give us today our daily bread (provision) and deliver us from the evil one (protection), forgive us our sins (peace). Because he provides and protects and gives his peace every day – we can be free from crushing anxiety and worry because Jesus is our peace! This has been the reality for Tricia and I over our many years of following the Lord Jesus. Yes we still worry at times, we’re human, but it’s not an anxiety that dominates our life and dictates our future. Why? Because in the challenges and battles of life we have known, and still know Jesus as our Lord. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything’
Jesus Christ, I proclaim you Lord of my life this day. Thank you for your provision, your protection and your peace this day. Whatever this day brings, I know your power extends over me and those I love. Thank you Lord. Amen
BIBLE READING: Colossians 2:8-12
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.