This Is The Gospel
November 26, 2017
Series: LETTERS – Jesus365
Speaker: Pastor Roger Valci
“That you heard and that has been proclaimed, to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.” – Colossians 1:23
In the movie, Up, Doug the dog who is easily distracted. At ay moment, in the middle of a conversation, suddenly, without warning, Doug will find himself derailed of focus and chasing “rabbits” (going down rabbit trails of thought). I think all of us are like Doug in some manner. If someone brings up Steph Curry in a conversation, some people may jump into the discussion. Or Star Wars. Or iPhones. Or Politics. Or Certain authors. Or Television programs. Or business practices. If the right topic comes up, in a second, a person can go from disinterest and disengaged to demanding to be heard.
That’s what I see from the Apostle Paul in his letter to the church in Colosse. He introduces himself briefly (Col. 1:1-2), gives a prayer of thanksgiving (Col. 1:3-14) and quietly mentions Christ in verses 13-14. Suddenly, with no warning, he turns the conversation. Rather than someone else putting a topic on the table, he puts a topic that causes him to praise more than teach. He presents a list, fifteen in all, attributes of Christ (Col. 1:14-20). He then reminds his audience of their evil past (Col. 1:21) and then reminds them of how Christ through his death made them without blemish and free from accusation (Col. 1:22). He then summarizes: “This is the gospel…” (Col. 1:23).
In one sense, this is strange. Who talks like this? In others, it is magnificent. Who worships like this?
Last week, we encountered an early church hymn. Today, we discover a poem that is loaded with powerful statements of Christ. We are looking for Jesus and there is perhaps no more loaded set of verses in the New Testament that what we find in Colossians 1.