(#013) Colossians 1 - Christianity is Easy Until You Have to Live It

COL-16-211003 - length: 104:34 - taught on Oct, 3 2021

Class Outline:

The selfless life reveals our true character.









Welcome To


a Christian Church


Rory Clark



Good Morning! 


Welcome to Barah Ministries…an intimate, local Christian Church with worldwide impact.  My name is Pastor Rory Clark.  Welcome to this Bible lesson! 


Who is Jesus Christ?  At Barah Ministries we know this truth…that Jesus Christ is God.  What has this indescribable God done for all mankind?  Colossians. Chapter 1, Verses 21 and 22 remind us…



Although all of you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind (toward God when you were unbelievers) … engaged in evil deeds (sinning)…



…yet the Lord Jesus Christ has now reconciled all of you in His fleshly body through death (on a Cross) … to present all of you (believers in Christ) before God the Father holy and blameless and beyond reproach—


It was God the Father’s purpose to reconcile us to Himself through His Son…even when we were His enemies...John, Chapter 3, Verse 16…


JOHN 3:16

“For God the Father loved the world unconditionally…and He loved the world so much…that He gave His uniquely born Son (the God-man…the Lord Jesus Christ…to be crucified on a Cross) … so that whosoever believes in Jesus shall not perish, but has eternal life.”


As a result of what the Lord did for us at the Cross…Second Corinthians,

 Chapter 5, Verse 17 says…



If anyone is in union with Christ, and all believers in Christ are, there is a new creation…the old man things passed away (they died)…behold, new things have come.


Only God can do such wonderful things as these…and the Lord Jesus Christ did them for all of us because He is GOD…He is our Creator!


Why does Barah Ministries exist? 


At Barah Ministries, we introduce people to the Lord.  We make a difference by teaching the Word of God verse-by-verse from the Lord’s perspective and not from man’s perspective. 


Barah Ministries is provided by God for the benefit of unbelievers, to give them the gospel message…the good news concerning Jesus Christ’s salvation offer. 


Barah Ministries is provided by God for the benefit of Christians as well, for those of us who want a deep, intimate, and personal relationship with the Lord through the study of His Word. 


Why do we study the Word of God?  We study the Bible to allow God’s truth to shape our reality.  John, Chapter 20, Verse 31…


JOHN 20:31

…these things written in the Bible have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ (The Jewish Messiah) … the Son of God (in human form) … and that by believing in Him you may have the resurrection life in His name.


The Bible contains the Lord’s exact thinking.  It is your “owner’s manual”

for life.


God has an enemy…Satan…whom God made ‘the ruler of this world.’  In John, Chapter 12, Verse 31, the Lord says…


JOHN 12:31

“Now judgment is upon this world…now the ruler of this world (Satan) will be cast out (he will be dethroned at a future time).”


Satan's purpose is to ruin your life.  His strategy against the human race is

religion.  He deceives people into following false teachers and gets them to worship false gods.  The spiritual life is warfare, and your soul is the battleground.  Our enemy wants to discourage us so we’ll quit…so we will abandon our forward march in the plan of God.  As believers in Christ, we follow the Lord’s suggestion in Matthew, Chapter 4, Verse 10…



Then Jesus said to Satan, “Get out of here Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”


We choose not to give in to Satan’s empty temptations.



Christianity is Easy Until You Have to Live It




Unconditional love, forgiveness, and grace.  These are among the virtues that make relationships great.  These virtues are good enough for God….are they good enough to you?  They seem simple enough, especially because all three of these virtues are not inborn…they are gifts from our Almighty God.  All we have to do is use them.


As Christians, we always have a better idea thanks to false teachers and their false teaching which encourage a do-it-yourself lifestyle.  In today’s lesson, as we continue our study of Colossians, Chapter 1, we’ll see God calling us to be honest with ourselves about the lifestyle we have chosen to live.




Our lives are filled with challenges…especially the challenges of adversity…Ephesians, Chapter 6, Verse 12 says…



For our struggle is not against flesh and blood (human beings) … but our struggle is against the rulers…against the powers…against the world forces of this darkness…against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.


When we face adversity, we have a reminder from Sarah Reeves in a song…hey God, you have me RIGHT WHERE YOU WANT ME!



Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises



Sarah Reeves




Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises



Sarah Reeves



Let us pray...


We’re grateful, Heavenly Father, for the privilege of studying Your absolute truth...the Word of God…


Father, thank you for the mirror of the Word of God which is a critic of thoughts and intents of the heart…thank you for the truth which encourages us not to be false…thank you for the spiritual eyes that help us see legalism and asceticism and mysticism and world philosophy for what they are…empty deceptions…


Give us the spiritual strength through God the Holy Spirit’s enabling power, to see the world with spiritual wisdom and spiritual understanding…help us to reflect Your goodness to all we meet…help us trust You for the solutions to the problems in our lives and to not lean on the frailty of our own human understanding…


…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ's




Christianity is Easy Until You Have to Live It


The passage under study is Colossians, Chapter 1, Verses 1 to 14.  As we continue to go more in-depth into the passage, the picture God is presenting in the passage is becoming more abundantly clear.




In Colossians, Chapter 1, Verses 1 and 2, Paul introduces himself to a group of believers he has never met and whom he never would meet…



A letter from Paul…an apostle of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, the Jewish Messiah…by spiritual gift an apostle…by means of the will of God the Father Himself…with Timothy our brother (who is with Paul as co-worker and co-author)…



…a letter to the saints…those who are believers in Christ…and a letter to the holy and faithful brethren in union with Christ who are at Colossae… grace to you and peace from God our Father.


Paul is a man with credentials! 


A thought hit me this week.  Upon inspection of Paul's credentials, I've decided that we shouldn't study his letter to the Colossians, or any of his letters for that matter.  How can we study with a man as flawed as Paul, who admits that he is "the least of all the saints" … a man who says he is "not worthy to be called an apostle because he persecuted the church of God?"  Can we learn anything from a murderer and a rebellious zealot who was opposed to Christianity and to Christians…a man who says he is not able to practice the things he preaches? 

Instead, perhaps, we should study with the apostle Peter who wrote two letters to Christians.  But wait…Peter is a liar and a betrayer.  After promising to never betray the Lord…a man who said to Jesus’s face, “Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!”… who then betrayed the Lord…how can we study the words of such a man?


Perhaps we should study with James.  Wait…James was the half-brother of the Lord Jesus Christ.  He grew up in the same household with Jesus for nearly a quarter-century, yet did not believe that Jesus was who He said He is until after His death and resurrection from the dead.  How can we study with a doomsayer?  How can we study with a former unbeliever family member of the Lord?


Well, if we don’t want to study with flawed human beings, we just knocked out three-quarters of the New Testament.  False teachers encourage us to think this way because Satan’s false teaching minions don’t want us anywhere near the truth.  They focus us instead on things that encourage us to reject the Lord and to reject His mind, the Bible.  They encourage us to give up…to quit the race that is set before us by God. 


False teachers encourage us to be one-sided in our approach to life…we convict people without a fair trial which is judging, one of the worst of the sins.  We put our eyes on people, expecting that they will be something different than what they are…human.  We are enticed to take our eyes off of Christ, the pioneer and perfector of our faith.  False teachers want to discourage us.




What God wants for us is spiritual wisdom and spiritual understanding that results in a different lifestyle than the one you see being lived by those in the world.  Colossians, Chapter 1, Verses 3 to 8…



We (Paul referring to himself and Timothy) always GIVE THANKS to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…when we pray for all you Colossian believers …


…because we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus (from Epaphras) and we heard of the unconditional love which all of you have for all God’s saints…



…because the faith and unconditional love you have comes from the hope stored up for all of you in heaven…of which hope all of you previously heard in the word of truth, the true gospel…


Faith in God…hope in self…unconditional love for others is the outward manifestation of the Christian Way of Living.  Is this lifestyle showing up in your life?  With faith, we trust in a God that keeps His promises.  With hope, we don't beat ourselves up for anything, especially not for being imperfect. And when we are in a relationship with people, we love others unconditionally because we know it’s the only answer to human relationships.  How do we know?  Because God says so. 


As Christians, WHAT GOD SAYS TO US IN HIS WORD HAS TO MATTER TO US.  Second Corinthians, Chapter 5, Verse 16 says…



…from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh…even though we have known Christ according to the flesh…yet now we know Him in this way no longer.


As Christians, we don’t evaluate people on externals.  We don’t allow ourselves to distort Christianity into a “world view” … we accept God’s view concerning people and circumstances…because everything God says is true.  We don’t accept the selfish life that false teachers propose.  We live the selfless life God gave to us from the moment of salvation. Second Corinthians, Chapter 5, Verse 17 says…



If anyone is in union with Christ, and all believers in Christ are, there is a new creation…the old man things passed away (they died)…behold, new things have come.


We die to self and live to Christ.  Are you living a selfless life?  In

Colossians, Chapter 1, Verse 6…Paul is grateful for the believers in

 Colossae who have accepted…



…the gospel which has come to you…just as also it is coming (to others all) throughout all the world…the gospel message that keeps on bearing fruit and keeps on increasing…



…even as the gospel message also has been doing (bearing fruit and increasing) among all of you since the day all of you heard it and truly understood God’s grace…


Unconditional love, forgiveness, and grace are the gifts God the Holy Spirit gives us Christians with His enabling power of sanctification…the things that make us different from the world.



…just as all of you learned the gospel message from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf…



….and Epaphras also informed us of your unconditional love in the Spirit (en Pneumati).


The Lord tells us in His Word that Paul is a person we can rely on even though he is the most flawed person of all time.  He tells us the gospel is a message we can rely on to lead us to salvation.  God gives us human teachers and the truth of the Word of God to help us construct a lifestyle worth living.  Our human teachers are enough.  The gospel message is enough.  These two things are from God, and they are perfect, and they need no additions and no subtractions.  False teachers don’t agree.


For Christians, everything starts with the truth of the Word of God.  Then Satan comes in to steal and kill and destroy.  He sends in false teachers with their false teaching to take us away from the truth.  He is encouraging us to quit on God by quitting on people…by getting us to look beyond the perfection we have been given by God for the more-more-more-life.

 I assure you our human teachers are enough…and the gospel message is enough.  In Romans, Chapter 1, Verse 16 Paul speaks for the Lord saying…


I am not ashamed of the gospel of God…for the gospel of God is the power of God the Father for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first (chronologically)…and also to the Greek (us Gentiles).


The gospel is POWER!  When we return from the break, we’ll take the offering, and then we’ll take a look at the next section of the passage under study.




Casting Crowns



Christianity is Easy Until You Have to Live It


God the Father loves all of His creatures unconditionally…and He loves us so much that He gave His Son to save us.  God is not conflicted about giving.  Are you?  First John, Chapter 3, Verses 17 and 18 say this…



…whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the unconditional love of God abide in him?



Little children (believers in Christ)…let us not love with word or with tongue…but in deed and in truth.


Let this be a time in your life when you realize what God is able to do with what we give.  Realize how important giving is to making life an amazing experience for others.  Be generous with the gifts your Lord has given you. 


Let’s welcome up Deacon Denny Goodall with one of His always insightful offering messages.





Make sure that your character is free from the love of money…being content with what you have…for the Lord Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you…”





…so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.

What will man do to me?”




Donna Summer and the Musical Youth



Christianity is Easy Until You Have to Live It


In the third section of Colossians, Chapter 1…





For this reason, also, since the day we heard the report of your faith, we have not stopped praying for all of you Colossian believers…



…and we have not stopped asking that all of you may be filled by God with the knowledge of God the Father’s will in all the spiritual wisdom and spiritual understanding (that God the Holy Spirit gives)…


Paul is asking the Colossians to continue the course they have begun by responding positively to the gospel message.  What does that kind of lifestyle look like?


First, we learn God’s will for our lives.  When we were unbelievers, God’s will for our lives was that we be saved.  Once we became believers in Christ, God’s will for our lives is that we grow by means of His grace in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  God’s will for us is pretty simple.  First Timothy, Chapter 2, Verses 3 and 4…



This is what is good and acceptable in the sight of the God who is our Savior…the Lord Jesus Christ…



…who desires for all men to be saved and who desires for all men to come to the knowledge of the truth.


As a believer in Christ, is your life unfolding this way?  If it is, it is a lifestyle that will manifest itself this way…Colossians, Chapter 1, Verse 9…



…so that (as a result of the Spirit’s work in you) all of you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord…to please Him in all respects…bearing fruit in every good work…and increasing in the knowledge of God the Father…



…strengthened with ALL POWER (God’s divine, unlimited power)… according to His glorious might…for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience…


We share in the power that raised Christ from the dead!  If that doesn’t make us patient, nothing will!



… joyously giving thanks to God the Father…who has qualified us believers in Christ to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.


Paul is praying to God and is asking God to give us a different kind of life.  What does this kind of life look like? 


          The Christian Way of Living is a Unique Lifestyle

          We are Pleasing God by Obeying Him

We are Bearing the Fruit of the Spirit

We are Doing Good Works

We are Growing in the Knowledge of God (Not Stagnant)

We are Living Using God’s Power

We are Being Grateful


This is a life of discernment.  We let God the Holy Spirit change us.  We abandon our works…we abandon guilt for our sordid past…we stop obsessing about our sins…we stop reflecting incessantly on our mistakes… we get our eyes off of people…we stop expecting things from people they could never deliver, even if they wanted to…we learn to love ourselves so we can have the room in our hearts to love others.  We notice when the enemy is present in our lives to steal and kill and destroy what is precious to us and we reject his overtures!


We had an old lifestyle…an old walk…a lifestyle of hostility toward God… a lifestyle alienated from the resurrection life.  We are to walk this way NO MORE!  Said another way…in Romans, Chapter 12, Verse 2…a command from God…


ROMANS 12:2a

…do not be conformed to this world (by Satan, by his cosmic system of thought, and by the flesh resident in you)...instead, keep on being transformed by (God the Holy Spirit)...through the renewing of your mind (by studying the Word of God)...


ROMANS 12:2b

...so that you may see clearly...through the testing of experience...what the will of God is...and the will of God is that which is good for you and that which is acceptable to Him and that which is perfect (in result).



Our enemy, as Christians, is complacency.  We want to relax amid spiritual warfare.  We can't.  Our enemy never takes a break.


Paul is suggesting a lifestyle switch….from the self-life to a selfless life.  Christianity is pretty easy until we have to live it.  Paul ends this section with these verses…



For God the Father rescued us believers in Christ from the domain of

darkness, and He transferred us to the kingdom of the Son the Father loves (the Lord…Jesus)…



…the Christ…in whom we have redemption…the forgiveness of sins.


In our next lesson, we’ll investigate what this suggests in the matter of the lifestyle God calls us to.



Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life


The Sovereign God of the Universe, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, wants a relationship with you.  Do you have a relationship with Him?  If not, what are you waiting for?  First Thessalonians, Chapter 5, Verse 2 says…



For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.


The Lord doesn’t want you to be surprised, and He certainly doesn’t want you to miss out on your “so great” salvation opportunity.  On the day before Thanksgiving in 1987, the news on the radio in my hometown…Chicago, Illinois…was quite shocking.  Our beloved Mayor, Harold Washington, was dead.  He was in a meeting in his fifth-floor office at Chicago’s City Hall.  He slumped forward, his face rested gently on the desk, and in a moment, he was dead from a massive heart attack.


I can remember the day as vividly as if it were yesterday.  What I remember most was wondering what it must be like to get up in the morning and as you’re getting dressed not knowing that in a few short hours you would be dead.


All of us will die physically one day.  That is not at issue.  What we don’t know is when we will close our eyes in this life.  My concern is that you may be one of the people who is walking around today unprepared for the reality in that moment.


I was talking to a young man on a trip to Mallorca, Spain who was quite unprepared.  I asked him if is he is a Christian.  He said, “No.”  I asked him why not.  He said, “To tell you the truth, I don’t even think about God.”  I appreciated his candor.  I told him, “It would be wise to think about God all the time.”  He asked, “Why?”  Here’s what I told him.  First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verse 22a says…



For all in union with Adam at physical birth (and that is every human who comes to earth) are set to die the second death in the Lake of Fire…


You were born physically alive, yet spiritually dead.  That’s bad news.  Worse news is that you may not have even known that is your situation. 


The good news is that the Lord Jesus Christ paved the way to get you out of the predicament.  First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verse 22b says…



…yet all those in union with Christ (all believers in Christ) will be made spiritually alive.


Do you want to be saved?  Do you want to spend all eternity in a relationship with the Sovereign God of the Universe, the Lord Jesus Christ?  The Lord Jesus Christ provides the plan.  Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31 says…


ACTS 16:31

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”


Right now, right where you sit, you can spend the gift of faith given to you by God…and you can use this faith to be saved…Ephesians, Chapter 2, Verses 8 and 9…



For by God the Father’s grace you have been saved through faith (in Christ for salvation) … and that grace and that faith and that salvation are not from the source of yourselves…it is the gift of God the Father…




…so being saved is not as a result of your works (deeds you have done in self-righteousness) … so that no one may boast (about saving himself).


Right now, the Lord Jesus Christ wants to save you.  Funny thing about the young man I was talking to…he knew what faith is…he said to me, “It sounds like you’re saying if I put my confidence in Jesus Christ I will be saved forever.”  It’s exactly what I am saying.  Faith is placing your confidence in the object of your faith.  When Jesus Christ is the object of your faith, you will be saved.  John, Chapter 3, Verse 36 warns…


JOHN 3:36

“He who believes in the Son has the resurrection life right at that moment… but he who does not obey the command to believe in the Son will not see the resurrection life…instead the wrath of God (the Lake of Fire) abides on him.”


How can you get to heaven?  Right where you sit, RIGHT NOW, you can tell God the Father that you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that is the moment of eternal life for you.  John, Chapter 14, Verse 6…


JOHN 14:6

Jesus said to the doubting apostle, Thomas, “I am the way (to salvation), and I am the truth (through the gospel message from the Word of God), and I am the resurrection life…and no one comes to God the Father (in heaven) but through believing in Me.”


Who is this God who saves you?  The apostle Paul describes the Lord Jesus Christ…in First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verses 3 and 4…



For I (Paul) delivered to you as of primary importance the gospel message I also received from God… that it was Jesus Christ who died for our sins according to the Old Testament Scriptures…



…and that He was buried…and that He was raised from the dead on the third day…according to the Old Testament Scriptures…


Won’t you join me in heaven?  If you choose to believe in the Lord Jesus

Christ right this minute, you will be joining me in heaven.


Mayor Harold Washington had no idea that he would not celebrate Thanksgiving in 1987…at least not on earth.  Yet he was somewhere.  Either he was in heaven or he was in the Lake of Fire.  Quite often, my thoughts drift to the young man in Spain.  I wonder what God the Holy Spirit chose to do with the seed our conversation planted.  I’m sure the Spirit knows how to get him saved.  I hope to see him in heaven.


If you choose to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, you’ll have no concern about the moment you close your eyes in this life.  You’ll be in heaven.  You’ll have no chance to go to the Lake of Fire.  Do it now!  Don’t let the day of the Lord sneak up on you!




Fear is a sin.  When you have the Sovereign God of the Universe on your side, there is nothing to be afraid of according to Psalm 34, Verse 4…


PSALM 34:4

I sought the Lord and He answered me…and He delivered me from all my fears.


God has an answer for all of our fears and all of our concerns.  Here’s June Murphy to sing her beautiful song…FEAR NOT.




June Murphy




Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises



June Murphy



          Words of Praise to Our God


Let’s acknowledge the magnificence of our Almighty God. 


ROMANS 11:33

Oh, the depth of His glorious riches…both of the wisdom of God and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how unfathomable are His ways!



Rejoice, brothers and sisters…keep on being made complete…keep on being comforted by God…keep on being like-minded…keep on living in peace… and the God and Father of unconditional love and peace will be with you.



May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ…and the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.



Let us pray...


Thanks for coming!

Thanks for watching!

Thanks for listening!



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