Adult Sunday School

Focusing on the Transcendent

Colossians 1:15-20

(15) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, (16) because in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or lordships or powers or authorities. All things were created through him and for him. (17) And he is before all things, and all things cohere in him. (18) And he is the head of the body, the Church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that in everything he might be the first. (19) For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, (20) and through him to reconcile all things to himself, making peace through the blood of his cross – through him – whether things on earth or in the heavens.


Two weeks ago we looked at the first twelve verses of Colossians with this question in mind: what does it look like for a good church to become a great church? The Colossians are praised by Paul for their love and faith and for bearing fruit. In other words, they were doing well. In view of this, Paul’s prayer for the Colossians is that they would be full with the knowledge of the will of God, and this fullness would lead them to walk worthily of the Lord and with every effort to please God. In short, Paul says that his prayer for a good church is that they would be so single-mindedly obsessed with knowing and pleasing God that there would be room for nothing else. How healthy a church is is directly connected to how focused they are on knowing and pleasing God. Richard Foster, a well known Christian author from the Quaker tradition, says it like this: “The more clearly we understand the nature of God, the more clearly we understand how we are to live” (Freedom of Simplicity: Finding Harmony in a Complex World, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 2005), p. 17.). (more…)

By Kerry Lee, ago
Adult Sunday School

When a Good Church Becomes a Great Church

(From the Adult Sunday School Class, 10/16/2016)

(1) Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy, my brother, (2) to the holy and faithful brethren in Christ that are in Colosse, grace to you and peace from God our father. (3) We always give thanks to God the father of our Lord Jesus Christ when we pray for you, (4) hearing of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints (5) because of the hope laid up for you in the heavens, about which you heard beforehand in the word of truth of the gospel (6) which has been present in you bearing fruit and increasing – just as it is in all the world – from the day you heard it and comprehended the grace of God in truth; (7) just as you learned from Epaphras our beloved fellow slave, who is a faithful minister of Christ for you all, (8) and the one telling us of your love in the Spirit. (9) Because of this also we, from the day we heard it, have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you might be full of the comprehension of his will in all spiritual wisdom and discernment, (10) so as to walk worthily of the Lord with every effort to be pleasing to him in every good work bearing fruit and increasing in the comprehension of God, (11) being empowered with all power according to the might of his glory for endurance and patience in every situation, with joy (12) giving thanks to the Father, the one equipping you for your part in the inheritance of the saints in the light.
I feel that our congregation has Spiritual momentum. And I don’t think I’m alone in this feeling. Perhaps you all have sensed it as well. Over the last who-knows-how-long God has been shaping our little congregation in all sorts of imperceptible ways in a manner that only God can do. I know that God loves this congregation just as it is. We don’t have to be a big megachurch for God to adore us and to be pleased with us. Over the last several months, my prayers before service have been largely ones of invitation: Holy Spirit, come dwell among us and within us. Fill us and empower us. Heavenly Father, visit us today and enjoy yourself. Be pleased with our meager gift of worship. Let our praise be a refreshment to you. Let this house be a place of rest and joy for your heart. Really, I just want us to make him happy. And I believe that is exactly how God feels about us. I think he has been greatly pleased with our worship, by which I mean everything we do: singing praising, praying for one another, teaching and learning, and fellowshipping. I think this little congregation has a special place in God’s heart, and when he visits us on Sunday morning he gets a special joy from being among us. So I don’t think we have to do a thing to be pleasing to God or to be more acceptable to God. He is pleased, and he accepts us. (more…)

By Kerry Lee, ago
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