“Christ is all I need, Christ is all I need, All, all I need. Christ is all I need, Christ is all I need, All, all I need. He was crucified, For me He died, On Calvary. That He loved me so, This is why I know, Christ is all I need.” (Hymn - Author Unknown)
This great hymn is found in most hymnals but bears the authorship of unknown. Perhaps this is best because any Christian can put their name as owning these words.
In Colossians chapter 2 Paul is writing to Christians in Colossae and also Laodicea. Paul emphasizes what is most needful for the Christian life and that is Jesus Christ Himself.
The Bible tells us concerning the Laodiceans that they had become lukewarm (Revelation 3:14-22). How did this happen? They were lukewarm because they had turned away from the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In doing so, they became dulled to their spiritual poverty.
Consider the following statements:
There is no such thing as a Christian without Jesus Christ.
There is no salvation without Jesus Christ.
There is no real victory without Jesus Christ.
There is no resurrection unto life without Jesus Christ.
There is no reconciliation without Jesus Christ.
There is no peace without Jesus Christ.
These few words, though magnificent in their subject, are but a small drop in the bucket; wholly insufficient to describe our wonderful Lord and Saviour and our life with Him.
If I could say it more pointedly and plainly, our lives are meaningless and empty without Jesus Christ. Further, our ministering to others will come to nothing if He is not the beginning, middle, and end of all that we are and do.
He is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the Beginning and the End. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith; but we forget He is also the Sustainer of our being.
From Colossians chapter 2 we may note a few items concerning our fellowship with the Lord.
We see first of all:
The Great Conflict
Paul had a great conflict. He states, (v1) "For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them that are at Laodicea…” The word translated as 'conflict' in this statement means agony. Paul is expressing the great 'agony' that he had for those young believers in both Colossae and Laodicea. His 'agony' was for these Christians not to forsake what should be primary in their Christian life; fellowship with Him (Jesus Christ). Many Christians have come to a place of emptiness because they have allowed their personal fellowship with the Lord to become nonexistent.
Paul goes on to say that he desires that they would be comforted (v2). Today, we recognize that we live in troublesome times. We can say for certainty that these are the last days. Paul describes these days in II Timothy 3:1 as ‘perilous times.' Peter describes this time period as the ‘last days’ (II Peter 3:3) and Jude describes it as the ‘last times’ in Jude 18. If this is so, how are we to be comforted in these days?
The answer is, we are comforted in the riches of Christ Jesus. Paul describes this for us in verse 2. He states, we are to be knit together in love. ( v2 “….being knit together in love…”) This being knit together in love has everything to do with Jesus Christ. (See Colossians 2:19) The word love used by Paul here is godly love; an agape love. That kind of love is only possible through a vibrant relationship and fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
He continues his thought stating that not only are we to be knit together in love but “…unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding…” We are to have a firm persuasion or conviction as to the truth (God's Word). Does this mean that there are Christians that waver in their faith? Yes there are! Any Christian that gets away from Jesus Christ will not have the comfort and full assurance of understanding. When people do not have a firm handle on their life 'in Christ' they will be lacking comfort and this assurance of understanding. When doubt begins to creep into the heart, it indicates a lack of fellowship with the Lord.
Paul finishes this verse by stating that those enjoying the riches of Jesus Christ come “…to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;…” This mystery concerns the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. And it is indeed a mystery! Paul does not say we have plunged to the depths of this mystery, but we acknowledge the Triune God. John Philips said this about this phrase, “The mystery of God is Christ. He is the one who incarnates the fulness of the Godhead. There’s enough mystery in that one thought alone to keep our minds and hearts occupied for all eternity." And to that I say – Amen….Our fellowship with Jesus Christ should be thrilling to us!
Not only do we see the great conflict but we are given:
The Great Command
In verse 6, we find these words, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:” In other words, the conversation of our lives (how we live day to day) has everything to do with Him. We are to walk “in Him...” In verse 7 Paul describes both an abiding and an abounding as we walk "in Him..." Notice this phrase, we are to be “Rooted and built up in him," and “stablished in the faith.” This phrase speaks to the beginning of the Christian life and all that pertains to it afterward. We are born again having received the seed of the Word of God, that message of Salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. That Word then sprung forth from the soil of our hearts and we are to be built up “in Him.” Paul moves forward from this subject of abiding to the subject of abounding. He states, “…as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving." A great many people have invested their knowledge of Jesus Christ in you. There has been much in the way of training, preparation, and teaching that has gone into your Christian life. So much so, that all of us could say, 'as I have been taught…' These in Colossae had been taught, and with that impartation of great spiritual knowledge there was a stewardship. They were not only to abound in the teachings of Jesus Christ but they were to do so with thanksgiving. One of the biggest ways for us to continue in our vibrant fellowship with the Lord is by praying with thanksgiving. Oftentimes we are so quick to supplicate, but let us first remember to be thankful. Sometimes it would do us good to just thank God for all that He is and all that He has done in our lives.
We see not only the great conflict, and the great command, but next we see:
The Great Caution
If there was a warning label we could affix to every Christian, it would begin with the words BEWARE (v8). What are we to beware of? Paul states in verse 8, beware of Philosophy and Vain Deceit. Philosophy and vain deceit come into the Christian life when we begin to place anything above our personal fellowship with the Lord. Any number of idols could be mentioned. (ie. Service to the Lord, Church Attendance, Numbers on Sunday, Souls-saved, Verse Memorization etc...) These byproducts of walking "in Christ" are not bad things, but can quickly become idols. Once these idols are set up, philosophies and vain deceit will become appealing. We will often be tempted to utilize the “latest philosophy” which is often carnal in design to achieve the byproducts of the abundant Christian life. These philosophies and deceiving ideas can quickly be identified by trying them against the Word of God. We find that these philosophies and traditions of the World are after the ‘rudiments of men.” In other words, they are flesh born and not after Jesus Christ.
To combat this common infirmity of the flesh, Pauls speaks finally of:
The Great Completion
Notice his statement in verse 10, “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:” What a tremendous statement! Oh, how that should comfort our weary souls! There is nothing more that we need, He is our all in all. Paul pens for you and I in this verse that we are lacking nothing in Jesus Christ. What we need is a vibrant fellowship with Him! Let it be our firm desire and conviction to cherish our fellowship with the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, after all Christ is all we need!
Pastor James, Associate Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church
As the world continues its descent into chaos over a global health crisis, it provides a unique
opportunity to check on our spiritual health. With houses of worship shut down, Satan would love to use this opportunity to separate believers, sow fear and discord among His children, and stop every opportunity to witness. Unfortunately for him, we have many tools available to continue our witness.
I have seen countless missionaries and many churches, including Sharon Baptist Church, using social media to spread the good news of the gospel. I am asked a lot by my coworkers what God's plan through all of this is. I can honestly say to them that whatever is going on in life or in the world, God's plan has never changed. Everything is centered around an opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior! That is it. It is what our eternal destination depends on. It is the most important decision we will ever make.
This time in our history is a perfect example of how GOD can show us how easily life can change on a moment's notice. Those that have their trust in bank accounts, houses, cars, and other riches now see how fragile life can be. Within a matter of approximately a few weeks, our way of life has changed drastically. I can tell my coworkers I am shocked as much as they are, but the bible gives us assurance.
Isaiah 40:31 tells us, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
The bible tells me I have no reason to be afraid. No one wants to contract this virus. With all that being said, you and I need to use common sense during this crisis. Wash our hands regularly, protect our brothers and sisters in Christ, and everyone else we come into contact with. I have the blessed assurance that if I do get sick, I can trust GOD to heal me, or call me home to be with Him, but “not making it” is not the end for me. The bible tells me it is just the beginning.
All believers have had that “moment” when GOD showed us that HE was there. I can look back to my own testimony. I was serving in the military in Iceland in the mid 90's, close to the North Pole. Certainly, I thought, GOD isn't here. Shortly after I had that thought, GOD began to work on my heart, and my wife's heart at the same time. We both desperately had a burning desire to hear His word. I knew that the base chapel would not provide what we desired, so we both started to pray about it.
Suddenly, I was getting my haircut, and the barber started talking about an Easter Cantata at church. I asked about the details, and he told me about an American missionary that started First Baptist Church Njardvik. Brother Johnny Wright had been serving there approximately 2 years. Once under the preaching of God's word, I found my assurance of Salvation and found myself getting baptized the following week. GOD WAS there! The next thing I knew, I was going door knocking in a foreign nation. What a wonderful time in my life! Jesus took every sinful addiction I had as a young sailor, and used me where I thought was impossible only a few weeks after my prayer to Him. To this day, my wife and I are partial to any missionary family we come into contact with. We thank GOD someone answered His calling, regardless of the circumstances in their lives to carry out the LORD's work. We want every missionary that Sharon Baptist Church supports to know that your name is lifted up in prayer every week.
In closing, this is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to point to Jesus Christ as the answer. Just as in Noah's day, the world was busy. Now, we are at a standstill. For all of the fear that is loose in our nation and the world, let us turn people to our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. If one person within our personal circle comes into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, this crisis will be worth it. I urge all of us to take this opportunity that the LORD has given us.
- Dave Kruger, Sunday School Teacher, Sharon Baptist Church
How could it not be? With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the nation and most states currently under a shelter-in-place order, maintaining our cherished Easter traditions has become all but impossible. Extended families will not gather together this year. Parents will not inflict bow ties on their sons and fancy Easter dresses on their daughters: most churches will observe Easter Sunday in an online-only format this year, so there’s really no need to get all dressed up. I’m sure there will be a marked decline in large-scale Easter egg hunts too (social distancing, you know).
But then again, the first Easter was a little different too. Dead men do not rise. Our common human experience and intuition are quite decisive on this point. Once a body is laid to rest, that is it. No more gatherings. No more conversations. Not in this life anyway. At least that was the case, until that first glorious Easter Sunday morning when a dead man did rise. And in so doing, He defeated death and Hell forever. Those malign enemies are now but fangless, clawless specters to all who know the Lord. They can scare us. They can trouble us. But they cannot ultimately hurt us, because Christ the Lord is risen from the grave.
The coronavirus is like that too. It can trouble us. It can hurt us. It can tank the stock market and inflict loneliness, anxiety, and uncertainty. It can even take our loved ones from us. But that is the worst it can do, because Christ the Lord is risen from the grave. The coronavirus can never separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:31–39). It can never remove our unshakable hope for a far greater country in the life hereafter, where every tear will be wiped away and where sickness, sorrow, sin, and death will be obliterated forever as Jesus makes all things new (Revalation 21:4–5). It cannot even change the fact that God has already blessed us with every spiritual blessing, promised us an unfading inheritance, and positionally seated us in the heavens with Christ (Ephesians 1:3–14; 2:1–6). The coronavirus looks very scary to us right now, but in the grand scheme of things its influence is quite limited. One day God will effortlessly sweep it away along with every other sickness, pain, trial, and atrocity of this life, and He will replace it with all that is good and pure and joyful. And the greatest news imaginable is that you and I will be there to see it, because Christ the Lord is risen from the grave.
Easter is going to be a little different this year. But that’s okay, because Easter isn’t really about the traditions. It’s not about the family gatherings or Easter egg hunts or special services. It is about the fact that Christ the Lord is risen from the grave, and on the basis of His death and resurrection, He promises eternal life to all who trust in Him. So, whatever happens over the next few months, you can trust Him. Even if everything in this life comes crumbling down around you, you can cling to Jesus, the wonder-working Savior, who triumphed over death and redeems all that is broken and undone.
He is risen! He is risen indeed.
Pastor David Carroll, Senior Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church
P.S. Sharon Baptist Church family, don’t forget to email your pictures of your family Easter gatherings to email@example.com.
Sharon Baptist church is an independent, fundamental Baptist church located in Hampton, VA.
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