The Book of Colossians #14


Col. 3:15-21
The little book of Colossians is a very practical book. It tells us about God’s design for how life is to work. It you want to understand what life and what it’s all about you can find it in this book.
In chapter 1 we see the sufficiency of Christ. In chapter 2 we read about the deficiency of cults. In chapters 3 and 4 we learn about the efficiency of Christianity and how that the Christian faith applies itself to every area and every relationship of our lives.
In 3:15-21, we find out how the family works. The Christian faith talks about the family and how the home works. If your Christianity doesn’t work at home, it doesn’t work. Don’t export it.
The Bible tells us about some things to help our families be what they ought to be. The one who makes a product understands how that product is put together and how it works. God, in the Garden of Eden, established the family. He founded the family and has given us a book in which He explains just exactly how the family is intended to work.
Your home will work, first of all, when you understand there are some resources which God gives us in these verses which will help our families be what they really ought to be.
I. Home Resources.
In verses 15, 16 and 17 there are three phrases here I want lift from these verses which talk about some resources that are available to you to make your family life what you want it to be.
The first one is in verse 15, “the peace of God.” 
The second in verse 16 is, “the word of Christ.” 
The third is in verse 17, “the Name of the Lord Jesus.” 
All three of these phrases are used in a wider context, but I want to specifically relate these three resources to your family and show you how it will make your family work and be what God wants it to be.
First, he says, “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts.” The peace of God deals in the area of the atmosphere of family--the kind of atmosphere that is conducive to a family and a home being what God wants it to be. The Scripture says here that we are to let the peace of God RULE in our hearts.
The word rule means to act as an umpire. You know what an umpire is. An umpire is somebody who stands there and if you get tagged out he says, “You’re out!” If you break the rules the umpire says, “You’re out!” So, the peace of God is presented here as an umpire that will guide the atmosphere of the family.
This is very important. Atmosphere in a family has a great deal to do with whether or not a family will work as it ought to work. Psychologists and neuroscientists are discovering more and more about the human brain. One of the things they have discovered is that 85% of a child’s personality is already developed by the age of 6. So, the emotional wiring that goes into the brain of a child is greatly influenced by those early years and the atmosphere of the family.
For instance, if in that family mom and dad give them fear, then the child learns to be fearful. If they give that child hysteria, then the child learns to be hysterical. If they give that child love and godliness, they learn love and the direction of godliness. If they give that child discipline,, the child learns disciple; respect, etc. So, the peace of God is very important because it sets the pattern and the pace in family.
We witnessed a child perhaps 5 or 6 years of age recently who was in control. He decided he didn’t want to eat at El Chico. In fact, the entire restaurant knew he hated El Chico. And so, the family, even thought they were seated and looking at the menu, got up and left because little Throckmorton didn’t want to be there.
Gallop did a poll a number of years ago and asked teenagers what was the most important thing in their lives? Money? Some of them said that. Clothes? Some of them said that. But 89% of the teenagers in that poll said the most important thing to them is a good family. I think we would agree that is so very important in the life of anyone. 
“Let the peace of God rule in your home.” That’s the first resource God gives us. 
Look at verse 16 and let’s talk about the second phrase, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.” What is the Word of Christ? If you have a copy of a Bible in your lap or in your hand that’s the Word of Christ. It’s another phrase that describes the Bible, God’s Word. Let God’s Word, let the word of Christ, let the Bible dwell richly in your family. That simply means that the Bible becomes important guiding the decisions that are made in the family. God has given us this wonderful book, the Bible. 
We must let it dwell richly in our family. If a rich person came into your family things would change in a financial and a material way. Well, God’s Word, God’s truth, enriches family life. It is a wonderful, wonderful source which God has given to us helping us understand how to put life together. Helping us understand how to live with one another. Helping us understand how to relate correctly to one another. 
You will be surprised how the Bible will have just what you need when you need it in times of decision making. There is wisdom in God’s Word. Let the Word of Christ dwell richly in all wisdom in you.
I don’t know about you but there are so many family decisions that have to be made that are beyond my human wisdom. This is a book of wisdom. It is the greatest child psychology book ever compiled. It is not mere theories of people, it is the revealed Word of God. 
So, if you want to have family life the way it ought to be then let me encourage you to have the peace of God in your family. Let me encourage you to have the Bible guiding the decisions in your family.
Do you see in verse 16 what a beautiful atmosphere it creates when the peace of God is there and when the Bible, God’s Word, is there. “Teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” 
 “Singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
If you want your home to be a place of celebration and joy and singing, then let me encourage you to make the Bible and the peace of God an important part of your family. These are resources.
These are things God has made available for you to help you in your family life.
Look at this third phrase in verse 17. “And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” 
Is there a name on the earth as sweet as the name
of Jesus? The Bible says, “Neither is there salvation in any other name, but at the name of Jesus people will be saved.” The name of Jesus! What a lovely name--the name of Jesus. You need to ask yourself the question--am I saying this in the name of Jesus? Am I doing what I’m getting ready to do in the name of Jesus? It will absolutely change your perspective on a lot of things you do.
You men are working hard to make a living and bring that income back to your family. It’s good to be doing it for your family, but did you know if you decide you are doing this and working this way in the name of Jesus, it will totally change your outlook on your work.
You sweet mothers and all those meals you prepare and all those beds you make up and all those carpets you clean -- I know you are doing it because you love your family, but if you would begin to do it in the name of Jesus it will change your perspective altogether.
You kids, those chores you have to do around the house-- carrying the garbage or whatever chores your parents have for you-- I know you grumble about it along, but if you will do it in the name of Jesus it will change your total outlook. In the name of Jesus! 
That means that everything you do, you do it with the sanction of Jesus. 
You will say, “I’m doing this because I know Jesus would be pleased with this.” You are doing it in the
strength of Jesus. You are asking Jesus to give you power to do this. You are doing it for the sake of Jesus. You are doing it because you want Jesus to get glory in your life.
The home works a whole lot better when you understand some of these resources that God makes available to you in Jesus Christ. You can have these resources before you leave here today. You can walk out of this building and have God’s peace in your family. 
You can have God’s word in your family and you can have the name of Jesus as the guiding star in your family. Home resources.
II. Home Relationships.
We can have the kind of home that works if we will understand home relationships. 
In verses 18-21 we see how the relationships in the family are supposed to be put together. All of us know that the families of America are in trouble. I could spend a long time talking to you about how much trouble we have in American family life. It appears to me that unless God sends revival in this country that family life is going to absolutely collapse in America. 
About 30% of all the children of America live in single parent homes. God bless our single moms and das who are trying to do right by their kids. It’s not easy. It’s not easy for you to make ends meet. It’s not easy for you to be mother and daddy to those children. But God bless you. You are working at it. You are paying a price. You have them in God’s house and you’re teaching them about Jesus. 
God bless you wonderful singles parents who are doing your very best with your children. 
We have all kinds of problems. But they all root back to fundamentals. And that’s what he addresses.
Notice he talks about the two fundamental relationships of the family. He talks about the marital relationship. Verse 18 and 19 -- “wives and husbands.” That’s the
fundamental relationship. These are the key. The man and the woman, the husband and the wife are either home breakers or home makers.
Verse 18 cause the radical feminists to break out into hives. It says, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands as it is fit in the Lord.” They get all out of joint and torn up about it. The Jane Fondas of this day and the Gloria Steinams don’t like it. 
Maybe one of the reasons they don’t like it is because they don’t understand it. They don’t have a foggy clue about what the Bible means when it talks about submission. It does not mean inequality. It does not mean that a woman loses her own personality. It does not mean that a woman surrenders her brains to some dud of a man she happens to be married to. 
Submission in the Bible just simply means that the wife and the family understand the matter of God-given assignments and responsibilities. We have this in every area of life. Banks have presidents. Businesses have companies. Schools have superintendents and principles. 
Every one of us here today is under the authority of someone. You answer to somebody.
And blessed is the wife and family who have a Christian husband who will take his role as the spiritual leader and I am yet to find a Godly woman who doesn’t appreciate that and desire it. If a wife and family are willing to follow the God-given leadership that God provides through the man it will do wonders toward the relationship in that family.
Here’s the husband on the other side. “Husbands, love your wives and be not bitter tward them.” That is, don’t be harsh and cross with them. Love your wives. It is interesting to me that the Bible puts the primary responsibility for love in the relationship on the husband, not on the wife. 
That doesn’t mean the wife isn’t to love the husband. 
She is. The Bible teaches that also, but it says specifically here for husbands to love their wives.
I heard about this husband who died and went to heaven. St. Peter was at the gate. He said to him, “I’ll let you in if you can spell the password.”
        The husband asked, “What is it?”
        St. Peter said, “Well, the password is love.”
        The husband said, “I can do that -- l o v e.”
        St. Peter said, “Come on in.”
        In a little while the phone rang and St. Peter picked it up and said, “Excuse me but the Lord needs to see me up at the throne. Would you tend to the gate while I’m gone?”
        In a little while there came a knock at the gate. The husband went to the gate and there was his wife. He said, “My goodness, what are you doing here?”
        She said, “Oh, I just couldn’t live without you.”
        He said, “Before I can let you in heaven you have to spell the password.” She said, “What is it?”
        He said, “Czechoslovakia.”
Now, boys, that’s not what I mean this morning. I’m talking about love -- l o v e - love.
He talks about the marital relationship, then he addresses the parental relationship.  “Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” Rebellion against parents is a sign of rebellion in the heart against God.
Romans 1:30 talks about some of the evidences of a decadent culture. One of them is disobedient to parents. Children are to learn to respect and obey their parents. Think about how well that is illustrated in the life of Jesus. Not just with Mary and Joseph, but with the Heavenly Father. The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. He never sinned. He was God in human flesh. 
Yet, when He was a boy the Bible says that Jesus was subject to Joseph and Mary. Did you know the Bible said that? When Jesus came to the climax of His ministry in the height of His ministry, the father from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” The Father is pleased when children are obedient to their parents.
Look at what it says about the fathers.
Verse 21
That word, discouraged, could literally be translated, lest they be crushed in spirit.
There are two extremes that parents tend to go with their children. They can be too lax with their children. If we are too lax with our children they grow up undisciplined and unprepared for life. 
On the other hand if you are too stern and severe with your children it crushes their spirit. They become broken in spirit. It wrecks their self esteem and if children don’t get self esteem in their families they will look for it somewhere else. 
That’s why kids get into sex and drugs and satanic activity. They are looking for respect and acceptance somewhere. It takes a great deal of prayer and a great deal of love and a great deal of compassion on the part of parents to be the kind of parent that God wants them to be.
The relationship of parents to one another and their children is the crucial thing and it will only work when we are committed to one another.
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