Secure in Christ

26 March 2023 PM – Colossians 1:21-23 – Col23 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Years ago, Colonel Byrd, an American from the state of Virginia, was condemned to death by the Cherokee Indians. In that tribe, there was a chief who had been his friend. That chief said, “This man is my friend; before you can get at him, you must kill me.” The Cherokees let him go free.
            The believer is held safely in Christ’s hand. Before the believer could lose his salvation, Christ would have to be overcome; and that is impossible. Source: Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations, Paul Lee Tan
Transition: God wants every Christian to have assurance that his sin problem has been resolved by the Saviour’s provision and that he is secure in his unmovable faith. Paul clarifies this for us in our text this evening by addressing the Sinner’s Problem, the Saviours Provision and the Saint’s Proof.
  1. The Sinner’s Problem (v.21)
a.         All sinners were sometime alienated
1)         The word “sometime” speaks of a former time or formerly. Before salvation, every sinner is alienated from God.
2)         To be “alienated” is to be shut out from one’s fellowship and intimacy. It describes a stranger or an alien.
3)         Because of our sin, we were formerly shut out from God’s fellowship and intimacy, and treated as aliens.
4)         Have you ever tried to connect the positive ends of two magnets? They forcefully push away from each other. That is how it is with God and the sinner. God hates sin so much that His purity repels the sinner.
5)         Some of the Colossian believers were Gentiles. That too kept them at a distance from God.
b.         Sinners were enemies in mind by wicked works
1)         The word “enemy” describes one who is hated.
2)         The Apostle James described sin like this. (James 4:4) “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
2.        The Saviour’s Provision (v.22)
a.         He reconciles repentant sinners
1)         Paul is writing to those who have trusted Christ by faith (v.4).
2)         Christ brought them back into harmony with God. He reconciled them to God.
3)         He did this in the body of His flesh through death. God required a human body of flesh in order to die for the sins of the human race. Thus, Christ, the second Person of the Godhead, became the God/Man.
4)         The debt of my sin was so great that it required the death of the spotless, eternal Lamb of God as payment. We would not dream of taking a dinner plate that has been in the smelly sewer and washing it well enough to use it to serve dinner to a special guest, yet our filthy sin, which was much worse than the stench of the sewer, Christ washed so clean that He could bring us into the presence of our sinless, holy God. That is amazing grace!
5)         In John Newton’s words, Amazing grace! how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch; like me! I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.
b.         He presents us spotless in God’s sight.
Paul explains that Christ paid the debt of our sin to reconcile us to God, in order to do three amazing acts for us.
1)         He did it to make the repentant sinner holy. To be holy is to be set apart from sin and the world and set apart for God’s use. He removed us from the sewer of sin, cleansed our stench and stains, and presented us to His Father to be used for His glory. This is why it is so offensive to God for us to live like the world.
2)         He did it to make the repentant sinner unblameable. This means that He made us faultless. When He washed us clean and forgave us, He removed every trace of our fault. Read 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
3)         He did it to make the repentant sinner unreproveable. This is the third amazing act that Christ did. He made us so spotless that we became unaccused or guiltless. Even the fiery searching eyes of the all-wise, all-knowing God of heaven cannot find one trace of guilt left behind after the blood of Christ cleanses us. That is Amazing Grace!
4)         God, knowing the frailty of our sinful flesh, lovingly enables confession to Him to maintain the cleansing that Christ did for us at salvation. (1 John 1:9) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
3.        The Saint’s Proof (v.23)
Here is the proof that saints are secure in Christ’s reconciliation.
a.         The saint will continue in the faith
1)         To “continue” is to remain upon something. It is to stay put and not move. This word was used to describe Peter’s continual knocking at the door when Rhoda feared to open it (Ac 12:16). It describes an action that presses on.
2)         This verse is not saying that saints must hold on tightly to keep from losing their salvation. Instead, it is saying that true faith in Christ will last. Those who truly know Christ will bear fruit, as in the Sower and the Seed parable.
3)          N.T. Wright states, “… that genuine faith is seen in patient and steadfast day-to-day Christian living, while counterfeit faith, so hard in its early stages to distinguish from the real thing, withers and dies.” Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Colossians, p.83.
4)         I think we have all seen people who professed faith in Christ, who at first seemed sincere, but soon fell away. That is so sad, but it is a reality.
b.         The true saint will be solid in the faith.
1)         He will be grounded. In other words, Christ gave him a solid, stable foundation on which to live. Christ is our firm foundation. On Christ, the solid rock we stand.
2)         He will be settled. This takes it to the next level by saying that his faith will be immoveable on that foundation. No earthquake of trial or heartache will shake him loose. No loss or grief will unsettle his faith in Christ.
3)         He will not be moved away from the hope of the Gospel. That hope of glory, of resurrection, of Christ’s return, of heaven and of eternal life will remain.
4)         Can a true saint stumble? Yes, of course, but he will not turn and walk away without God’s chastening. (Hebrews 12:7-8) “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” Anyone who can walk away from Christ without receiving God’s chastening is illegitimate. He was never truly saved.
5)         Solomon wrote, (Proverbs 24:16) “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
6)         The Gospel that saves is the one they heard. It changed their lives. God wants it preached to every creature under heaven. That was Paul’s ministry.
Conclusion: God wants every Christian to have assurance that his sin problem has been resolved by the Saviour’s provision and that he is secure in his unmovable faith. This evening we have looked at the Sinners Problem, at the Saviour’s Provision, and at the Saint’s Proof. True Christians are secure in Christ, all because of God’s Amazing Grace! If you know Christ this evening, why not take a moment as we close to thank Him for His amazing grace to you.
Song: Amazing Grace – 236