Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
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The Desire for Others to Know
Col 2:1-5

1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument. 5 For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ. NASU

Introduction
When you know something good you want others to know it. If I discover a great benefit for life I want to share it. In the text Paul want the Colossians to know what he has found to be true in the Christian faith.

The Desire to Know Paul's. . Struggle. v 1-2 a
The Desire to Know Paul's. . Savior. v 2 b-3
The Desire to Know Paul's. . Spirit. v 4-5
 
 

1.    The Desire to Know Paul's . . Struggle. v 1-2 a


    For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding,..."

A.    Struggle Registered In . . Expression. v 1
        For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, . . . "

        1.    Paul wanted to see their face and to be seen.
        2.    He no doubt had a facial expression of concern
        3.    He wanted to talk to them face to face

Illustration
Most of us could not hide a sincere concern. Few Wives can be mad without their husbands knowing about it. Examples from my home. Paul was concerned and he knew it showed.
 

B.    Struggle Registered In . . Encouragement. v 2 a
        " that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, . . . "

        1.    Encouragement In Love.
        2.    Encouragement In Assurance.
 
Do you have assurance?   Verse One from the Living Bible:

1 I wish you could know how much I have struggled in prayer for you and for the church at Laodicea, and for my many other friends who have never known me personally.  TLB

Illustration
I heard Gerald Mann a pastor from San Antonio say he would have at times in his life given up on God. He would have become a flaming atheist. I was surprised at that and I do not think I could ever say that had been a thought if mine.

He said when he tried to give up on God; God would not let him. He found God's arms of love wrapped around him in those times of despair.

Application

Do you have that kind of assurance in God's Love?
Paul wanted to encourage them to know of his struggle for them to have the full assurance of their salvation
 
 

2.    The Desire to Know Paul's . . Savior. v 2 b - 4


        ". . . resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I say this so that no one will delude you with
persuasive argument.

A.    Knowing Christ as the . . Mystery. v 2 b
        ". . . resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself,
 

B.    Knowing Christ as the . . Mainspring. v 3
        "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Illustration
When my step dad's daughter got married I tried to witness to her husband. I tried to match philosophical thoughts with him and I answered most of his questions but he did not seemed to be greatly impressed.

The next night my mom and step dad, Christa and I ate out. My step dad asked me if I had any real success with his son in law. I said no I don't think so. My step dad who had not even finished the 8th grade said he tries to begin the alphabet with the letter "m"

I did not understand what he was saying and then he clarified. He said my son in-law wants to understand the advanced things of Christianity without beginning with Christ,   Jesus is the A B Cs.   He is the mainspring.
 

C.    Knowing Christ as the . . Mainstream. v 4
        "I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument.

        1.    There Is a group in Missouri that calls them self Mainstream Baptist.
        2.    I would say they are a polluted stream.
        3.    Polluted with Tolerance.
        4.    Polluted with Shades of Liberalism.

Paul registered a complaint at persuasive people who deluded the truth.

llustration
I heard Dr. Walter Martin tell of a machine built to detect counterfeit money. He said the machine was not acquainted with the many varieties of counterfeits but it simply knew the real thing. Jesus is the real

Illustration
Some today want to say the Bible is an authoritative book but not inerrant. A few months ago I had in my hand the schedule for the Air Port Shuttle in San Francisco.

As I remember it told me a bus would be there every 20 minutes? At the bottom of the page it said Printed Under the authority of the Bay Area Transit Authority. It was the authoritative schedule but the bus was late. It was authoritative but it was not inerrant.

What churches in our town have services tonight? It is the churches that have not allowed the word of God to be deluded.

We may not agree with their interpretation of scripture but we agree with them in that the Scriptures are inerrant..

We do not want to listen to those who delude the word of God.
 

Illustration
Rebellion Against Liberal Theology Growing in Presbyterian Church (USA) May 08, 2001

According to Agape Press, the latest statistics from the Presbyterian Church (USA) paint a picture of a denomination in rapid decline. In what the denomination notes as the biggest decline in membership since 1994, close to 35,000 names were dropped from the membership roles last year. Other vital church statistics such as baptisms reflect that trend.

Some conservative pastors in the church are pointing to the denomination's national leadership, says Agape Press. They quoted a Pittsburgh Post Gazette report that says among a gathering of conservative pastors, reference was made about the failure to take a strong stand against same-sex marriages.

Some said they were even more disturbed over an incident last year where top denominational officials refused to discipline staff members who organized a conference where it was declared that Christ was not the only path to salvation.

Such incidents have led to what is being called the "Confessing Church Movement" within the Presbyterian Church (USA). The report says more and more congregations are joining the movement which holds to the absolute authority of Scripture.

Application

The real thing is the word of God. Believed from cover to cover
 
 

3. The Desire to Know Paul's . . Spirit. v 5



5 For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ. NASU

A.    The Spirit of Rejoicing In . . Discipline. v 5 a
        "For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline. . . "
 

B.    The Spirit of Rejoicing In . . Dependability. v 5 b
        ". . . and the stability of your faith in Christ."

        1.    Dependability registered in Stability.

Illustration
Leslie Strobel became a Christian in 1979 and modeled her faith in such a way that it influenced her atheistic husband Lee to begin his own search for God. In his book The Case for Christ, he tells of his 2 years of intensive research that finally led him to receive Jesus as his Savior. With a law degree from Yale and an award-winning career in journalism at the Chicago Tribune, Lee had the ability to answer tough questions raised by unbelievers and cynics.

The change in his life also influenced their 5-year-old daughter Alison, who said, "Mommy, I want God to do for me what He's done for Daddy." Leslie's faith created a ripple effect that changed the whole family.

Application

Paul says in this verse:

5 For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ. NASU
 

His spirit was affected by the Spirit of God and so should ours be likewise affected.