Communion (1:1-2)
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

Communion (1:1-2)


Today is a special service, the first time we are celebrating communion at ConnectUs Church! Because of God's grace he has made us at peace with himself and has created a family where everyone can be our brothers and sisters in Christ.

... in the life of our new church, our first time taken communion together as a as a family, as a family of God in Christ here in this local church. is at time to remember Jesus died, was buried and came back to life. That's what we're remembering today and if you missed the sermon last week that explained a lot more about that, I encourage you to go check it out, because we looked at how Jesus at the Last Supper, he sat down with his closest friends and followers and they had a Passover meal which was designed and instituted by God to remember when God rescued his people out of Egypt, out of slavery and leading them into the promised land. And Jesus sat down to have that meal to remember that thing and Jesus said it's no longer about that, it is all about me and what's going to happen in the coming hours. And so that's what we are remembering today and I hope today, as we say, as Jesus said, do this in remembrance of me, that that flashback in your mind would go back to say wow. Jesus really changed the game. He changed everything. He changed the way that you relate to God, he changed the way that you obey God. In that moment he says it's no longer about all that stuff. It's about it's about Jesus and his death, is burial and his resurrection, and that's what we remember and celebrate through his the communion service that we're taken today. Rick, you're getting that fixed stuff over there. All Right, I'm going to keep going. We got some good people on our tech team there. Got Lots of stuff to do on Sundays setting everything up here. So today we also start a series through the book of Colloshans, and yes, I said through the book of Colloshans, verse by verse, thought by Thought, through the book of Collossians was going to take a little while. It's going to take a while, and the reason that we do things like that is because we believe that the Bible is true and it's important and it's God's word and there's no other book more helpful and relevant for today than the Bible. That's what we believe. So we want to open it, we want to study it, we want to look at it and see what God's word has to say to us. Now, I love creative series. If you were here at all the last five weeks, we did some crazy stuff on the stage to illustrate points and we will continue to be creative and make it just practical and come a life to life as best as we can and we'll continue to do those good topical series and what's really important. But we also want to take time to go through books of the Bible and just see what what God has to say to us, and so I chose for our very first book to go through Colloshins, because the theme of this book is really that Jesus is enough. And on Thursday night Adams Road Ministry was here and that's basically was their message and I thought it was such a great connection. Jesus is enough in communion today. How you going to get to heaven? How are you going to have your sins forgiven? How are you going to have a right relationship for God? How are you going to live your life? How are you going to make right decisions? How are you going to honor God? Jesus, that's all. That's it. It's too easy. Well, that's what we're going to dive into through this series and in the coming weeks will provide a lot more information about the background of the book and where it was written and all that, all that fun stuff. But we are just kind of going to jump right in to Colossians chapter one, versus one and two. I said, what's going to take a while to get through. It versus one and two. If you have your Bible, and encourage you to turn there with me. If you don't have your Bible, that's all right. You can grab one in the lobby as you leave here.

We got a free one to give you and you can take home with you. And if you don't have one, you can look at the words on the screen behind me. These are the verses we're going to look at today. Says this letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy. We are writing to God's holy people in the city of Colossi, who are faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. May God, Our Father, give you grace and peace and God, as we open your word, as we get ready to hear a small sermon of what you're saying to us in these moments. I pray that our hearts would be open, that you would work through your word, through your scriptures, that you would speak to us in a personal way that only you can, God. Maybe we be ready and able to take it and apply it to our life in Jesus name. Amen. So we see that this letter Colossians was written by a guy named Paul and he was with his brother Timothy. Timothy was a younger guy in the faith, a son of the faith of Timothy, and he was passing on all of this information, all of this thing that he got from Jesus discospel, this faith, this grace, to Timothy. And throughout the book of Collossians and the other letters of of Paul, we see that we meet a lot of Paul's friends, a lot of his companions, and we'll get to know some of them throughout our series and our time in the New Testament here. But it says that Paul was chosen, which is awesome because like God has chose you. We saw heard that in the video. God chose us, God chose Paul. It's his decision, his will, will, his Perspecti from his perspective, he's he's choosing US and he chose Paul to be an apostle, an apostle just as a scent one, one who sent of Christ Jesus. Now there's a capital a apostle. There was like some official apostles, and those apostles were the twelve disciples of Jesus. And what's interesting is that Paul was not one of those twelve. In fact, Paul Wasn't even a follower of Jesus at all. During Jesus life, he actively fought against Jesus and shutting down the Christian faith. But something amazing, miraculous happened in Paul's life after Jesus resurrection. He appeared to Paul and literally knocked him off his horse and that whole experience of seeing Jesus radically changed his life. And God had a plan and a purpose for Paul. He wasn't the one of the original twelve, but he certainly was, as he calls himself here, and Apostle of Christ Jesus. He took the message of Jesus in the Gospel all throughout the known world. He took it into places that no one had ever heard about Jesus before. He went all throughout Turkey and into Greece and would eventually get to Rome, places that no one had ever heard about. Jesus. Paul took the Gospel there and he started church. As people believed in Jesus. They thought this message of grace and forgiveness and and this God who became a man and died for the sins of the world like that, that all made sense and that all gave us purpose and people believed and churches were started. But what's interesting about this book of Colossians is that Paul, as we kind of come to know, he never went to Colossity, he wasn't there when he wrote this letter to them and he didn't start this church.

One of Paul's closest friends, epaphus, he's the one that probably started this church and came back to Paul and told him about what was going on, and Paul sent this letter back with epaphus. Paul wrote this letter while he was in jail to these people in the city of Colossy, whom he calls and we go Paul and the apostle, whom he calls God's holy people, Holy People. The word, the Greek word there is Haggi, as it's saint set apart one. He calls every single Christian, every single follower of Jesus in the city of Colossi, a saint, and that's if you're a follower of Jesus. That's exactly what you are. There's not like separate classes of Christians, the Super Christians, the ones that are on the stage doing all the cool stuff, and Oh, there's just me and everybody else. Like God, through his word, calls us, all the leavers sixty two times in the New Testament, saints, holy ones, not holy because of anything unique about you, anything special about you, any good things that you did. Holy because of Jesus what he has done for us. And that's again what we're celebrating in remembering through this communion service. And he he wrote to people who he calls faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. Now, how can Paul, who never met these people before, how can he call them a part of his family, brothers and sisters? Now, sisters isn't in the original Greek. They didn't say that back then. They just said brothers and it just encapsulated everybody, you know, male and female, sort of like when we look at a group of people and there's guys and girls, in there and we just saw them. You guys. You know, you guys did that. That's kind of how they talked, but the new living translation through that in there. To clarify, we're not just talking about the guys, we're talking about the ladies too. Were all in this together and he's writing to them. Brothers and sisters. Do you look at those around you right now as your brothers and sisters, as your family? Because God designed his church to be that way, a unique blend of all their ferent kinds of people from all different places, you know, coming from different things and different lifestyles and different things that go on in the world, and he brings them all together under Jesus, united in Jesus, and says your family. Now you're my brothers and you're my sisters. It's a powerful thing to know that we need each other. We need to pray for each other, encourage each other, we need to be with each other, share Jesus with one another. Like like. We need each one of us your unique gifts and abilities that only you can bring to this place, to this body, to this family. Like you, we need your voice, we need your decision making, we need your abilities, we need your love. We need the way that you think and care about people like we need every single one of you to be a part of this family. And Paul Calls these brothers and sisters faithful. Are you faithful to the family that you're a part of, that God has birthed you into? Are you faithfully coming to show up in each other's life? Are you faithfully invested in prayer and faithfully invested in giving and using your gifts and ability? Are you faithful? Can we count on you? Are you there for one another, as Paul calls and rights to those who are faithful, because it's possible to be UN faithful. It's possible that these things don't describe you. It's possible that it's not faithful in...

...your life, in the way that you operate, in your faith, and that we want to be faithful, faithful to Jesus, faithful to God, faithful to one another, faithful to the family that God has put us together so beautifully in. And then Paul writes a final kind of greeting in this opening section of his letter. The letters in the first century all kind of start with this kind of a greeting. So of course that's when Paul wrote this one. So that's what it looks like. And so he ends this little section by saying may God our father member. It's a family God, our father were the sons and daughters, brothers and sisters in this family. May God give because it's God's to have and he he gives it to us. You Grace and peace. The Greek word for grace is caress and pieces a reign a. These are important words, important concepts, and I think there's such good concepts to look at as we continue to think about communion, of what Jesus did for us, because Jesus died for me and he died for you, he died for the world. And did we deserve it? No, we didn't deserve his payment on our behalf. We didn't deserve for his blood to cover and pay for our sins. Why would the god of the universe die for me, for you? There's nothing special that I did, but that's exactly what grace is. It's God giving us something we don't deserve. It's unmerited favor and that's what God wants to show us. And Paul writes in another letter he wrote in Ephesians, that is for by grace, that you are saved, like it's disgrace that God gives us, that saves us, that makes us right with God, that forgives our sins, that we're born into this new family of God. It's by grace now. It's by grace through faith, like faith is is our part of the ball game here. Faith is what what we do to believe to receive this free gift for right grace. You're saved through faith, and that not of yourself. It is a gift, a Free Gift of God, so that none of us can boast, none of us can say I did enough good things, I went to church enough times, I was a part of the right church or the the best church, my pastor was the best pastor, so I gave the most money, I did the most helpful things to those that were hurting. I did there's nothing of that to boast about. God's grace is given to us. We're saved by grace through faith, and it's not about ourselves. And you might think or you might ask, and it's been said many times before, that sounds too simple, it's too easy. And then, as Mike I said on Thursday night, then you reject it and walk away. If it's so simple, then everyone should get it right. It's not that easy, but at the same time it really really is. We just have to receive the free gift that God wants to give you of eternal life, of forgiveness of sins, Free Gift of grace. And yet there's something inside of us, something inside of all of us, that wants to earn it. It's like built into who we are as people, isn't... We're always working for something, working to earn a better place at work, working to earn that raise or earn the boss's approval. We're working to earn a better standing with our friends, trying to gain more followers on social media. We're working the try and earn so many things, and it's like we got to do it, we got to put the effort in, we gotta make it happen, and everything in this life you like, you just don't get if you don't work for it. and Jesus shows up and says it's not like that with me. I give it to you as a free gift. Will you receive it? It's a great question to think about because it's all about what Jesus has done. And so now Paul gives us another really important and powerful word, and that word is peace. Is anyone like peace out there? You want some peace in your life? We got one person wants peace. Two people are there. We go peace. You're awake this morning. That's a good thing. Peace is important, but peace is not sitting on the sand lawn chair somewhere overlooking the ocean and everything is just peaceful around you. That's not that's not peace peaces. Everything's going nuts. The world is going crazy. My world is going crazy. This is not right and this is frustrating. In my stress levels are so high. And in the middle of that, you just have peace because you know that God is in control and that even the craziest things in Your Life God has somehow how working together for good. How does that even work? I don't know. It blows my mind, but we trust and believe in a God that can give us peace even when our world around us can be absolutely crazy. So there's that personal peace. But then there's also an aspect of peace that is relational, between you and God and between you and somebody else. And and I wondered this morning, do you have that kind of peace? Are you at peace with God or do you feel distant from him, because God wants to give you peace, peace with himself, peace in this family, as you're a son and a daughter of his, and he also wants to give you peace with one another, your brothers and sisters. So I wonder is there's somebody in your life that comes to mind and you're just like I am not at peace with them. I'm not at peace with my coworker because of something that happened. I'm not at peace with that person in my family who I really absolutely love. I'm not at peace with them. You know, God wants to give you peace and it's a peace that comes from God through Jesus Christ, and it's this type of peace that is just peace and grace that is perfect for our time together as we continue to think about and move into this time of communion together, because communion, it's like a common union. Right as it we're coming united in Jesus of what he has done for us as death, burial and resurrection. And it's amazing because at that same last separate supper where Jesus started this whole communion thing, he sat...

...down across the table or with at the table, with his disciples, with his closest followers and friends, and he said that I give you one command, if you do anything in this world right, do this one thing. Love one another, just as I have loved you. And it's like, okay, Jesus, I've seen for the last three years we've been with you, how you've loved me, how you've loved the world, how you've loved those who are hurting, love to those who are outcast, loved those who could not participate in the worship of God. You went to those people, you spend time with those people, you healed those people. Jesus, we've seen how you've loved but what they hadn't seen yet was how Jesus would die for them. And that takes that command that Jesus gave to love one another just as he has loved us to a whole nother level. Like there is a sacrificial kind of love that Jesus has for you and for this world. He paid the ultimant price for you in this world to die for somebody, to give up your self for somebody else. That's it's not an easy thing to do, and that's the problem in this world is life is hard. We're not always at peace, with each other. I do things that hurt people and peace doesn't happen anymore. You know, you walk into the same room and it's like you just feel that tension because your there's not peace that's going on. Or you go out, go to work and you you try to avoid that person because you know that you're not at peace with them. Or maybe you you try to avoid God, try to avoid praying and maybe going to church or reading your Bible because you just feel like you're not at peace with him and you may as well maybe not be at peace with him like that is the thing, like the what you're feeling is not like made up right. You're not just like walking or how did I get this way? Like, I don't understand right. It's called sin. Sin Separates us, breaks our fellowship with one another. If I sin against you, you're going to not be at peace with me. If I sin against God, he's not going to be at peace with me. I'm not going to be at peace with him. Now, of course, I'm not talking about salvation. I'm not talking about you believe in Jesus, you're saved, you're forgiven, you're born into the family of God. That's a one. It's and done thing that's sealed for all eternity, like that's taken care of. But it's the daily walk that you have with your savior, with your Lord, that can be broken, it can be disrupted, it can be fractured because of decisions and choices that we make to make life all about us instead about God, you know, following our own way instead about his way. And so that's why, as we turn our attention to the communion elements, that Paul says, and first granting chapter eleven when he's talking about communion, that we should examine ourselves before eating the bread or drinking the cup. And in just a few moments a song is going to play, a video song is going to play and it's a song from the Adams Road Ministry that was here and close their time with on Thursday night, so you might recognize it. But I want us to take these moments, these minutes during this song, to consider for ourselves, reflect for ourselves, pray to God, Talk to...

God. You Talk to God right now, right and just see where you're at with this grace and this peace stuff and ask yourself, am I experiencing grace and peace in my life? Because, as Paul prayed to these believers and Collossians, he's praying that God would give you that. God wants to give you grace, he wants to give you peace, and so I want us to take a moment and reflect and think, have I received that? Have I been living my life in light of those two things? And so your answer to that question might be no, or I'm not sure, to which that is a great answer. It's an honest, true answer and that's a great place to be. And so again, God wants to give you these things. So asked him. Ask Him to give you grace and peace, because Jesus has already taken care of it, all right. He died on the Cross, he paid the penalty for your sin, he was buried, he rose again the third day to give you life. So will you receive that grace and have a right relationship with God, be at peace with your relationship with God and that peace and that grace that God wants to give you, that love that he wants you to experience? Is it overflowing to other people? It can and it should. And so if it's not, if you're not at peace with other people, ask God to help you live that way, help help your relationships to be the big word is reconciled or brought back together right ask him to do that and I believe that in our time of prayer and this time together, a decision now could could make big ripple effects into the future and whatever it is that you're hoping for, whatever it is that you're praying for, asking God for, and if the answer to are you experiencing grace and peace right now from God is yes, well then take these moments to thank God for the gift that he's given you, that he's made possible in your life, that you can experience His grace, that when we do mess up and when we do sin, that he does still love and forgive, and when we do hurt each other and hurt one another and our family of God operates like a family that we all experience and nothing's ever perfect, we can still love each other, we can still sacrifice for each other, we can still be there, united in Jesus with one another because of what he's done for us, and thank God for that reality.

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