Wesley Word – August 3, 2022
To go along with service on: Sunday, August 7th
- Traditional Hymn: #131 We Gather Together
Colossians: In Christ Alone – Free In Christ
We are continuing with our series in Colossians called, “In Christ Alone.”
Throughout the letter to the Colossians, Paul is lifting up the supremacy and sufficiency of Christ. Paul is preaching Christ alone in the face of the “Christ and…” heresies that had emerged in the church.
On the one hand, there was the heresy of Christ and Greek philosophy in the form of Gnosticism, the rejection of the physical body, and the search for secret mystical knowledge.
On the other hand, there was the heresy of ritualism in the form of adhering to the old Jewish rituals and customs. The thinking was that one had to become Jewish, which for males included being circumcised, before one could become Christian. This was a problem for the Christian community from the very beginning and throughout the New Testament despite being resolved at the Council of Jerusalem as recorded in Acts 15.
Paul, of course, rejects both of these and brings the focus back to Christ, Christ alone. First, Paul says that we should not let anyone judge us with regard to food and to religious festivals, new moons, or sabbath days. These are all part of the Jewish ritual life. Remember how much trouble Jesus got into for healing people on the Sabbath? While the idea of a day of worship and rest is an important spiritual discipline for Christians, we no longer live under the legalism of sabbath requirements.
Later on, Paul is going to address Gnostic mysticism and secret knowledge. He says that those who practice those things have lost connection with the head who is Christ.
Legalism, both Jewish and Pagan, threaten to place us in religious bondage. We are set free from all of this by Jesus Christ to follow and obey him. We are free in Christ, in Christ alone.
New Testament in a Year: https://wesleyonline.org/biblereading/
- August 3 Romans 16:10-27
- August 4 1 Corinthians 1:1-17
- August 5 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5
- August 6 1 Corinthians 2:6-3:4
- August 7 1 Corinthians 3:5-23
- August 8 1 Corinthians 4:1-21
- August 9 1 Corinthians 5:1-13
- August 10 1 Corinthians 6:1-20
Expressing Love: Family/Mission Activity
Throughout history, people have gravitated toward religious rituals as a way to draw close to God.
People were starting to influence the Colossian church with their own rules and traditions. They were quick to pass judgment on others. It seems that this group had their own rules-based gospel. They had many rules about what foods to eat, what drinks to drink, what festivals to celebrate, how to keep the Sabbath, and more.
But for them, it wasn’t just a personal preference. It wasn’t just a good habit or a healthy way to live. It was the law. It was their way or the highway. Anyone who didn’t follow their rules was judged lesser, perhaps even unsaved.
That is a lot of pressure. Someone says, “you aren’t saved” if you eat pork or don’t keep the Sabbath or don’t fast a certain way or whatever it is.
Many in the church have turned to rituals as a way to seek salvation.
For every decision we make, we should evaluate our motivations. You should ask yourself if you are making a decision because others expect you to or pressure you or because that is what God is calling you to do.
Sit with your family, children, friends and look at some of your daily rituals. Are they Christ based rituals or rituals that you have adopted to conform to society? Look at the rituals around meal times, daily Bible study, music you listen to, clothes you wear.
After taking an inventory of this, watch for God signs in your daily life.
- Handbell Choir and Chancel Choir begin Wednesday, August 24. New Members are welcome! Contact Dan Laaveg, 563-263-1596.
- Join the Celebration Band – If you can play an instrument or are interested in singing with the Celebration Band, please see Joe Barton after the service or call/text 563-506-5909.
- Fall Kick-Off Sunday is August 28. One worship service at 10:00 am followed by a kick-off party at the Wesley Family Life Center. We will have a cookout meal, games, and a jump house!
- Pen Pal Program – We are starting a pen pal program (yes, old-school writing letters) with our sister church in Nairobi, Kenya. Please contact Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We are looking to September to start sending letters.