Sermons by Mitchell Gregory
The first people to hear the Advent message were shepherds, a group considered in the culture of that day to be untrustworthy outcasts. The shepherds were terrified as they saw a glimpse of divine holiness and might. But the angel spoke with the reassuring message, “Fear not.” The good news for all people presented by the angel is a message of forgiveness and great joy. The High King of Heaven came into our world to bring grace. He is Emmanuel, God with us.
The account of the birth of Jesus in Luke 2:1-7 reveals much about three attributes and the character of God. God is sovereign: the mighty emperor of the Roman empire became the unwitting servant of God to fulfill prophecy (Micah 5:2). God is faithful: every detail foretold concerning the birth of the Messiah came to pass. God is humble: Christ came to our world, to seek and save the lost.
Colossians 3:15-17 sets forth how we can live Christ-centered, Christ-exalting lives in Christian community. We should live in peace with one another because we have been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. God’s Word is to dwell in our hearts, and we should teach, encourage and exhort one another. All that we do should honor the name of Christ.
Spiritual clothing matters—we are to clothe ourselves with the virtues listed in Colossians 3:12-14 imitating the character of Jesus Christ before a watching world. We do this because of who we are in Christ: “God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved,” enabled by the Holy Spirit. Our position in Christ serves both as a motivation to display these virtues and also as a source of hopefulness that we will be able to follow Jesus in this way.
As believers, we are to be sin killers, putting to death evil desires, and sinful actions with the aid of the Holy Spirit. If we do not fully obey the Lord, this is the same as making a truce with our sins. Sin can rip our lives apart, hurt others, and bring serious consequences. We must have a steady resolve to acknowledge our sin, face it, see its ugliness, and eradicate it from our lives.
Grace is undeserved, unearned redeeming love and forgiveness. God’s forgiving grace is eternal and irreversible.
All believers in Christ are “with the Lord” even as we live on Earth because of our vital connection with Him. Christ is our victory, our security, and our destiny. Therefore, in light of Christ’s preeminence and lordship, let us set our hearts and minds on things above.
Why should we memorize scripture, in particular Colossians 3? Scripture is the objective recorded Word of truth from God. It is able to move our hearts and shape our lives so that we can resist sinning against God (Psalm 119:11). Colossians 3:1-17 is an all-encompassing passage which concerns how to glorify God by crushing our vices, cultivating virtues, and becoming preoccupied with Christ.
Pastor Gregory steps away from the series on Colossians to remind us of the faithfulness of God during Hurricane Florence. No one ever trusted God in vain. God is faithful, perfectly trustworthy to all generations. In the passage above, God renews His promise to Abram at a time when Abram’s faith is wavering. Let us lean on God, remembering that He will fulfill His promises in His own timing.
Nothing more powerful than the love of Jesus on the cross has ever happened in this world. The entire sin debt that we owe to God has been cancelled forever. Satan and his demonic forces have been defeated. The cross is a triumphant cross of victory.
Colossians 2:11-15 describe the unbreakable spiritual bond that believers have with Christ because we are in Christ. Christ’s death on the cross makes it possible for us to be united with Christ. Our sins are forgiven, our debt cancelled, and the forces of Satan that bound us are defeated. By faith in Jesus, we can enjoy the benefits of what God is doing in us. We become dead to sin and alive in Christ. Let us always express our love and gratitude to Christ for all He has done.
Colossians 2:8-10 contains a warning to believers: We must be aware of the real danger of being kidnapped away from the truth. Empty deceptive philosophies that are not found in scripture rob Christ of glory and rob us of our spiritual freedom. To protect ourselves we must diligently examine the scripture with a humble, teachable spirit, seeking to know Christ as He truly is.
The eternal holy, self-existent, unchanging God reigns in supremacy over all. When we realize God’s holiness and our accountability to Him, this leads to humility and the revival of our heart and spirit.
For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. Colossians 2:9-10 (ESV) It is supremely significant that Christ is divine. More than possessing the attributes of God and performing the acts of God, Jesus is the full totality of God in human form. God became flesh in order that He might deliver, redeem, change, forgive, and rule us. May Christ always be preeminent in our lives.
You have received Christ Jesus (believed the message of the Gospel and embraced Him by faith), so steadfastly pursue Him. Be devoted to growth through the truth of scripture, and overflow with heartfelt gratitude.
“It is finished” (John 19:30). What was finished? Christ’s sacrifice for our salvation – the satisfying of the wrath of God. The cross was necessary because we have sinned against a holy God. God’s wonderful love for us is always linked in Scripture to the cross. Salvation through faith in the crucified and risen Christ is free and available to all.
In Colossians 1:12-14, Paul expresses gratitude to God for many reasons, all related to Christ’s sacrificial death on our behalf. We have been qualified for heaven, delivered from the dominion of darkness into the kingdom of light. We are eternally forgiven and redeemed from our sins. Our expressions of gratitude should be natural and habitual. Thanks be to God!
The prayers of Paul for the church are frequent and habitual. We too should pray the truths of scripture into our lives, never settling for spiritual mediocrity. Access to the Father through prayer is a privilege purchased for us through the sacrificial death of Christ on our behalf.
The Gospel is the core truth that we are to grasp and to apply to our lives. It is the Word of Truth, containing specific, true information about the substitutionary death of Jesus on our behalf. The Gospel is spreading throughout the world. Let’s proclaim it, speaking with clarity and boldness.
Pastor Gregory explains how the apostle Paul is filled with gratitude to God for what God is doing in the lives of all the saints in Colossae. Paul points out three areas for his thankfulness. He is thankful for: their faith in Christ Jesus, their love for all the saints, and the hope that is laid up for them in heaven. Gratitude should be a distinguishing characteristic in the life of a believer.