New Sermon Series - Colossians: Life in Christ
What an incredible journey we were able to take together during Latino Heritage Month in our sermon series “Ruth: The Gospel in the Crossroads of Life.” We started our journey with Naomi and her family in search of food in Moab, traveled with Naomi and Ruth back to Bethlehem after tragedy struck, experienced the Lord’s provision as Ruth gleans barley from Boaz’s fields eventually marrying him and finally were able to look ahead to the birth of Christ and to our heavenly home. As Gustavo and I look back on the last 5 weeks, we are exceedingly thankful to have been able to experience this journey with you, the congregation at New City East Lake.
Looking back at our series on Ruth also creates in us a sense of excitement for our next sermon series, Colossians: Life in Christ. Because the book of Ruth ends with such a clear genealogical map to Christ, we thought it would be a wonderful experience for us to spend a couple of months preaching a series that was designed to help us all understand what it means for Jesus to be the center of our lives. That led us to Colossians where the apostle Paul writes while in prison to the church in Colossae to help them know Christ more deeply. The cultural voices of his day were causing Christians to drift from their belief in the resurrected Messiah so Paul writes to remind the believers who Jesus is and how they are to live.
We won’t be preaching every verse of the book during this eight-week series but we will cover the major sections. It is our hope that by taking this approach we can bring to life the great theology of Colossians and apply the truths of the book in such a way that we grow in our understanding of what it means to have life in Christ. Like Ruth, Colossians is a book with 4 chapters and can be easily read through in a couple of sittings. However instead of being written as a narrative as Ruth was, Colossians is intended to be instructive by helping us grow in our knowledge of the Lord and showing us how to live as followers of Christ. Because Colossians has this two-pronged purpose, our reading challenge to you for this sermon series is for you to read through the book slowly, taking time to process each chapter. We plan to take roughly 2 weeks to preach each chapter so if you would like you can read at the pace we are preaching.
Our recommendation is that you mark, highlight or underline the verses or sections that are written to help you grow in your understanding of Christ, then in a different color do the same thing for verses that instruct you how to live as a Christian and if verses come up that do both then come up with a creative way to highlight those verses. Seeing how much of those two things Paul packed into Colossians is one way for his letter to come to life for modern day readers. If you like living on the edge or if traditional boundaries bother you or if you are an “all in” type of person or if boldly going where no one has gone before (yes—that is a Star Trek reference) excites you, then we encourage you to take this reading challenge one step further and make a few notes on a piece of paper with any questions, deep thoughts, disagreements or encouragement that come up during your reading. This exercise can better prepare you for the sermon each week as you come to worship with things you are interested in knowing about the passage. We may not cover all of your questions and thoughts but we do love to hear from you regarding the text that we are preaching so please take time to let us know what the Lord is teaching you as we move through Colossians.
As always, please be praying the Lord gives us greater joy in our salvation and greater unity as a church as we dig into this great book together during the next eight weeks.