Since the first lie in the garden the enemy of our soul has been continually working at destabilising our identity as children of God.
Every bereavement he has exploited; every accusation he has magnified; every mistake he has echoed; he has continually worked at reminding you of what you don’t have and who you are not; you have fallen short and do not make the grade; you are not good enough for God and for this world; you need to work harder and be better; you need to follow this and that; you need another baptism; you need to wander, search until you find because what you think you have is not enough.
This is the work of the father of lies. The Colossians were listening to him. I also have heard this voice throughout my whole entire life. As you read this you also can remember the voice that has tried to destabilise you, blind you and bring you down.
It is as if the Apostle grabs the microphone and cranks up the sound system and blasts out something that the world needs to know not just the Colossians:
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation – if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. (Colossians 1: 20-23)
You now stand
In just over an hour I will set my satnav to get to the church where I will be preaching this morning. After that service I will set it again to travel to another church this evening. I will drive around 500 miles today. What is absolutely crucial is that on my iphone I have my location entered. If it doesn’t know where I am then I am not going to get where I need to be.
The Apostle reminds them where they used to be.
You were outside; worshippers of idols; ignorant to the purposes of God; every part of your life was a distorted image of Christ; you were out of alignment in your minds and behaviour.
That’s not your location now. That’s not where you stand. So you need to know this. When people come and say you are not what you should be remind yourself where you now stand. When the voices of doubt say you need to perform and prove yourself in order to be accepted by God then it is a complete lie. Do not listen to that lie. It is a falsehood. Ignore it.
Without going into the detail of how it happened Paul states that the death changed everything. The death painted a new landscape. The death relocated you.
The death is of course Jesus Christ!
I will keep driving today. I have to. I won’t get there if I don’t!
Paul says continue, remain steadfast, firm, grounded, established in the faith.
Daily remaining in the truths of Jesus Christ that you came into the faith and based your life on.
You are complete in Him; you are alive in Him; you are free and not afraid; you are a child of God and belong to Him; you are without blame within His love; you have peace with God and the peace of God in your mind; you have the Spirit of God hovering over your life and dwelling in you; you have the Spirits wisdom and understanding for every situation you face; you have the powerful strengthening enabling to be and do whatever needs to happen; you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you; you are chosen by God for this moment; you have everything you need for this life because you have Him; you are a temple of the Holy Spirit; cleansed, forgiven and set aside for a holy life; you are saved by the grace of God.
Do you understand this? Are you reminding yourself daily of these truths? Keep going!
Strangely the Apostle then says ‘Don’t move’. He is speaking of not moving from the hope of this gospel, Christ’s gospel. The Message has this, “constantly tuned into the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted.” Can you imagine this! It blows my mind. So let us join the Apostle and crank up the sound system and stay tuned to a love that is loud booming through the airwaves to us. That we might know who we are and where we are going. Let the gospel sound not just to us but to the whole world. There is no other gospel. Just this one. This is for the whole world. It is Christ’s gospel.