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LOOK WHAT GOD HAS DONE. WRITTEN BY BRIAN EICHELBERGER, CAM HUXFORD, & ZACH BOLEN. resources. Raise your voice and thank him. See the .
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We still remember and are grateful but it's not the same. I contend that our salvation is like one of those events. When we first believed we had a joy and an awe that was like when your child was born. But, as time goes on, the joy and the sense of awe fades. It's not that we no longer appreciate our salvation. Or that we are not grateful to God. We wouldn't trade our standing in Christ for anything the world has to offer. But the glory has dimmed. That's why it is good to linger over verses such as those before us this morning.
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It's like looking through a photo album or watching a video of the past. These verses become a vivid reminder of what our salvation is all about. These words remind us of how we came to believe in Christ. They stir up the embers and fan the flame of devotion anew. As you read these words, if you are like me, your first response is, "Huh? We are at a disadvantage because we are not aware of the situation that was going on in Colosse. As you recall, there were false teachers in the city. They sounded good, they quoted lots of Bible verses, people were talking about the difference that was being made in their lives.
They were leading them to depend on themselves, not God. It appears that one of the things these false teachers were proclaiming was that circumcision was one of the things required before you could be made right with God. Circumcision was a Jewish rite that took place on the 8 th day after the birth of a baby boy. The boy would be circumcised as a visible symbol that this child was part of God's community of faith. It was a visible reminder that they were one of God's children. So significant was this rite that when Moses neglected to circumcise his child, God threatened to kill Moses!
The false teachers said circumcision was required for salvation. He also emphasizes the need for a circumcision of the heart.
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Paul says this internal transformation is what is important. Paul then argues that this is something only God can do. L ook at these verses again with a few clarifying comments. We are not saved on the basis of our external ritual. Now we don't have people telling us that we need to be circumcised before we can be saved today, but there are lots of people prone to give us a long list of things we need to DO or BECOME before we can be saved. Some point to good we must do.
Others point to habits we must eliminate. Paul however says, "conversion starts in the heart! But we'll talk more about that next week. Paul continues, "When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. Notice Paul says "we were dead in our sins". He says the same thing in Ephesians, "As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air.
He did not say that we were sick. He did not say that were misguided by our social surroundings. He says we were dead! We were without any spiritual life at all! Paul drives home his point with vigor in Romans 3,. Do you grasp Paul's point? We were not only unable to return to God. This is what theologians call total inability or total depravity.
It means we are unable and unwilling to do anything to effect our own salvation. This is why Jesus said, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. This is what Jesus means when He says we "must be born again. What profound words these are, "but God made you alive in Christ. He refers to this verse and the parallel verse in Ephesians 2. He does not say: This understanding of "regeneration" or "quickening" was one of the most profound discoveries of my life.
Even our faith was something that God gave us. He is responsible for our salvation! He alone makes it possible for you and I to be a child of God. In the Reformation the cry was Sola Gratia! It means by Grace Alone. And that is Paul's emphasis here. We can do nothing to effect our salvation.
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He must first move in us to bring us spiritual life. He must do this before we even realize that we have sinned and are in need of a Savior. Why is this important? Because there is a growing notion in our ego-filled society that we are saved because of what WE do. In other words, we are diminishing the work of grace in our life.
Max Lucado speaks with his usual clarity,. This is the point Paul wants to make. The false teachers were telling the people that it was all up to them. They wanted them to work harder, run faster, do more.
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They spent more time looking back than looking forward. Paul says, "You've got it wrong! God is the one who makes the changes. He is the one who brings life.
We need a brand new beginning. What wonderful words these are: He revealed this one day in church as we were worshipping and sap began dropping out of a 60 year old decorative wooden sconce. How could tree sap come from this 60 year old wood that isn't even connected to a root? We believe God was giving an analogy of what He is doing with His church. There is an awakening where He makes alive things that were once not!
The evidence of this was to come through some very timely events. I was working as a paramedic in south Dallas and we received a call for a lady having a miscarriage. Ironically, the ambulance happened to be in the same subdivision at the time of the call. It took us a very short time to arrive at the house. When we arrived, a 19 year old female was in the restroom, sitting on the toilet, cramping with pain. With compassion, I asked her to lean forward expecting to find evidence of a miscarriage.