Verse of the Day

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Pastor's Sermon Notes: Five Words You Must Understand (series), Part 19, "Ye Are Risen With Him." (Colossians 2:12)

Sermon Series:  
Five Words You Must Understand

1 Corinthians 14:19
Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding,
that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

Part Nineteen:  Colossians 2:12
“Ye are risen with Him.”


On the old Daniels and Webster program on ROCK107 we often heard from one Walter Nepasky.  He would begin his commentary with either, “I'm Walter Nepasky and today I wanna talk about three things.”, or “Hi. My name is Walter Nepasky. How you doin? Today I want to talk to you about tree tings.”

What if we had a modern Christian radio station —The Rock of Ages 316 — with a program that began, “Hi, I’m Paul of Tarsus, and today I want to talk about five words.”

The Apostle Paul wrote: Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding,
that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.[1]

Paul follows up his introduction on The Rock of Ages 316 with his personal example — an extreme preference framed as a mathematical proportion: 5 versus 10,000. This is Paul’s “druthers”!  This is when 5 is better than 10,000!

If Paul were here, and you could pin him down to a literal selection of five words, what do you think he would choose?  “Gimme Five Paul!”

Before we get to a selected list of five word Scripture passages that might be in Paul’s “in box” we should also consider how Charles Haddon Spurgeon went even beyond Paul, perhaps due to “spiritual inflation” in the intervening centuries!

“But the seed, though very small, was a living thing. There is a great difference between a mustard seed and a piece of wax of the same size. Life slumbers in that seed. What life is we cannot tell. Even if you take a microscope you cannot spy it out. It is a mystery, but it is essential to a seed. The Gospel has something in it not readily discoverable by the philosophical inquirer, if, indeed, he can perceive it at all. Take a maxim of Socrates or of Plato, and inquire whether a nation or a tribe has ever been transformed by it from barbarism to culture. A maxim of a philosopher may have measurably influenced a person in some right direction, but who has ever heard of a someone's whole character being transformed by any observation of Confucius or Socrates? I confess I never have. Human teachings are barren. But within the Gospel, with all its triteness and simplicity, there is a divine life and that life makes all the difference. The human can never rival the divine, for it lacks the life-fire. It is better to preach five words of God's Word than five million words of human wisdom. Human words may seem to be the wiser and the more attractive, but there is no heavenly life in them. Within God's Word, however simple it may be, there dwells an omnipotence like that of God from whose lips it came.”[2]

Now for some possibilities from Paul’s “in box.” We have come up with a list of 34 five word statements in the Scriptures that Paul would rather speak, and have already preached on 23 of these. These have been arranged under four major subject headings having to do with the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Three of the texts not yet considered in this Five Word sermon series are found under the third of the four headings, “The Salvation of Christ — Redemption Applied”:

“I am crucified with Christ.” (Gal. 2:20)
“Buried with Him in baptism” (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12)
“Ye are risen with Him” (Col. 2:12)

Let us consider today the last of these three five word statements, “Ye are risen with Him.”
Here are “Five Words” that you need to understand!

I. The Significance of Paul’s Affirmation to the Christians in the Church at Colosse

1. The Preceding Context Introduces an Insistence that this Affirmation Must be Clearly Understood and Fully Acknowledged (Colossians 2:1-3)

1 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; 2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

This affirmation is what Paul desires for his fellow believers to embrace with him as true of each and every one of them.
This affirmation is what Paul desires all of his fellow believers to understand, and to have full assurance concerning.
This affirmation involves a recognition of the great mystery of what God has done for us in Christ.

Do you have this full assurance of understanding that you are risen with Him?
Have you been granted certainty of this by the Holy Spirit of God from the Word of God?

2. The Immediate Context of the Affirmation Connects it Inextricably to the Completeness of the Christian in Christ (Colossians 2:4-12)

 4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. 5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. 6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

This affirmation is directly connected to the salvation truths that Christians have been crucified with Christ, and buried with Christ.
The reality affirmed in these words is only possible by the work of God in both raised Christ, and grants us faith that He has done so.

Have you received Christ by faith, and are you walking in Him?
If so, do you understand that you are complete in Him?

3. The Following Context Presents Historical Realities that Stand as Prerequisites for this Affirmation (Colossians 2:13-15)

13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

This affirmation only has significance if we were dead in our sins.
This affirmation is directly connected to the present reality of life in Christ in direct contrast to our previous dead condition. In other words, this is not a future state, but a past accomplished fact, a historical event, that has a direct bearing on the present condition of every born again believer.
This affirmation is also directly connected to the total forgiveness of our sins in justification. In other words, only those who are justified in Christ can affirm this truth.
This affirmation joins us personally to Christ in his universal triumph over every earthly rule and angelic power.

Have you been brought to the point by the convicting work of the Holy Spirit of God where you saw yourself as dead in your sins?
Have you considered what it is to be lost, and needing to be saved?
Have you faced the awful reality of being without hope and without Christ in this world, and what that would mean if you were to pass from this life, and face Him on His throne of judgment?
Have you responded to the revelation of this fearful condition by pleading with God for mercy and grace to deliver you from your sins, and to forgive you?

4. The Concluding Context Makes Direct Application from this Affirmation (Colossians 2:16-23)

 16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. 18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. 20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

This affirmation has a direct impact on the nature of our worship.
This affirmation frees us from the trappings of manmade religion.

II. The Application of Paul’s Affirmation to the Christians in the Church at Colosse

In the introduction I mentioned three of the texts not considered to date in the Five Word sermon series under the third of the four headings, “The Salvation of Christ — Redemption Applied,” are:

“I am crucified with Christ.” (Gal. 2:20)
“Buried with Him in baptism” (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12)
“Ye are risen with Him” (Col. 2:12)

Have you ever considered that the “I am”s of the Christian should be considered in correspondence with the “I am” statements of Jesus Christ?

Some of the sermons previously preached in this series dealt with a few of the “I am” statements of Jesus Christ:

The Person of Christ – The Redeemer:
“Before Abraham was I am.” (Jn. 8:58)
“I am Alpha and Omega.” (Rev. 1:8; 21:6; 22:13)
“I am the Good Shepherd.” (Jn. 10:11)
“I am the True Vine.” (Jn. 15:1)

This same Christ also said to his disciples concerning Himself: “I am the resurrection and the life” (Jn. 11:25), and “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (Jn. 14:6)

What if you had asked Mary, Martha, and the other women on that great morning if they believed in their heart that God had raised Christ from the dead, and if they confessed with their mouth that Jesus was Lord? How would they have responded? What about Peter, James and John, and then the other disciples after their visit to the empty tomb? What would have been their confession?

Their followers in the ancient churches greeted one another: “Ἠγέρθη,” and responded with “Ἠγέρθη ὄντως.” Elsewhere those witnessing Christians greeting each other would have heard, “Surrexit,” followed by the response, “Surrexit vere.” “The Lord is risen indeed” (Luke 24:34) was what they repeated to one another when He had convinced them by many infallible proofs! And this became a better way to greet one another than, “Yo! How ya doin’?” or “Have a nice day!” Their confession to one another on a regular basis was, “He is risen, He is risen indeed!”

Now let us take it one step further. Did they just leave it there? Did it have no significance for them, and their relationship to God? Was it personal for them? How personal was it? And for the Christians in the churches that Paul planted like this one at Colosse, how personal was the reality of Christ’s resurrection for them? Did Paul teach them that it was enough merely to affirm “…that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures…” (1 Corinthians 15:4)? Was there more to it than it? Were there implicates of these Gospel truths that Paul insisted they grab hold of,  personalize, and rest in?

Let us get this straight. Let us understand the Scriptural answers to these questions once and for all. We cannot leave these words in the second person. These words move us from the confession of Christ’s resurrection, “He is risen indeed,” to Paul’s teaching to his spiritual children, “Ye are risen in Him” and beyond.

We cannot leave them as simply words encountered in a historical document remote from our day — written by a first century Apostle to a first century church — in a continent and culture remote from our own.

We must — if we are a child of God, having faith in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, and confessing Him as Lord with our mouths — I repeat, we must be able to personalize this by expressing it in the first person singular, “I am risen with Him!”

Anyone who has been born again by the power of the Holy Spirit, anyone who is a Christian, anyone who can say with Paul, “I am crucified with Christ,” should also be able to affirm, “I have been buried with Christ,” and “I am risen with Christ.” These three confessions stand and fall together, and express the vital reality of every true believer in Christ of their union with Christ in His finished work of redemption.

When the Christians in the church that Paul planted in Colosse heard from Paul concerning themselves, “Ye are risen with Him,” that meant that they in turn should be able to affirm without apology or hesitation concerning themselves, “I am risen with Him!” And so should every believer in Jesus Christ from that day forward! What is true of Christ first, was true for them then, and is true of every Christian today.

No more, no less? No! For there is nothing more, and the believing heart can ask no more. Anything less than this affirmation is sub-Christian, and falls short of the truth of Scripture!

Now, I ask you, is this just about Christ, about Paul, about the Colossian Christians, and not about you? Are you in union with Jesus Christ? Have you bound yourself to Him by faith? Are you in Him, and is Christ in you the hope of glory? What is there between you and the Lord of all that keeps you from affirming concerning yourself, “I am risen with Him?”


Jesus Lives, And So Shall I [3]

Jesus lives, and so do I.
Death! thy sting is gone forever!
He who deigned for me to die,
Lives, the bands of death to sever.
He has raised me from the dust:
Jesus is my Hope and Trust.

Jesus lives, and reigns supreme,
And, his kingdom still remaining,
I shall also be with him,
Ever living, ever reigning.
God has promised: be it must:
Jesus is my Hope and Trust.

Jesus lives, and by his grace,
Vict'ry o'er my passions giving,
I will cleanse my heart and ways,
Ever to his glory living.
Me he raises from the dust.
Jesus is my Hope and Trust.

Jesus lives, I know full well
Nought from him my heart can sever,
Life nor death nor powers of hell,
Joy nor grief, hence forth forever.
None of all his saints is lost;
Jesus is my Hope and Trust.

Jesus lives, and death is now
But my entrance into glory.
Courage, then, my soul, for thou
Hast a crown of life before thee;
Thou shalt find thy hopes were just;
Jesus is the Christian's Trust.

He is risen! He is risen indeed!
I am risen in Him! I am risen in Him indeed!

[Sermon preached 5 APR 2015 by Pastor John T. “Jack” Jeffery at Wayside Gospel Chapel, Greentown, PA.]

End Notes:

[1] 1 Corinthians 14:19.

[2] Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Mustard Seed: A Sermon for the Sabbath-School Teacher” (Lk. 13:18-19), Sermon No. 2110, delivered 20 OCT 1889, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, U.K.; in Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 35 (1889), pp. 565ff.; in Charles H. Spurgeon, The Parables of Our Lord (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 2003), pg. 707; and on The Spurgeon Archive at [accessed 23 DEC 2014].

[3] Trinity Hymnal, #596; Hymns for the Living Church, #159. Highlighted words in first verse altered.

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