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Stewardship and Our Steadfastness (5 of 9)
Series: Responsible Stewardship
July 23, 2003
1. Paul is writing to the Church at Colosse. Some of the believers there had fallen into heresy--the worshipping of angels, observing dietary laws, circumcision, etc. They were once again placing themselves under the Old Testament Law and the Sabbath. That's why he admonishes them in (2:16), "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days."
2. In (vs.1), he makes reference to the Church at Laodicea: Laodicea was located a few miles northwest of Colosse. It was a wealthy center of trade and commerce. Later, Jesus would criticize the believers at Laodicea for their lukewarm commitment (Rev. 3:14-22). The fact that Paul wanted this letter to be passed on to the Laodicean church (Col. 4:16) indicates that false teaching may have spread there as well. 1
3. Tonight I want to talk to you about steadfastness--"Stewardship and Steadfastness." Our first lesson was on "Stewardship and Separation," where we talked about the importance of taking care of our body and our testimony. . .that we are to be separated from the world, and we are to be separated unto God. Paul said, "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ" (2 Cor. 11:2).
a. Differently than taking care of the body and our testimony--the outside, we will discuss the importance of taking care of the inside--our soul and our spirit.
1) This evening I want to give you some thoughts as we consider that we have a stewardship--a responsibility, if you will, to guard and protect our personal faith. It is our faith in what we believe, and it is the faith by which we live.
I. FAITH--WHAT WE BELIEVE
A. We are responsible for knowing the faith
1. Underscore the words in (vs.2), "full assurance of understanding. . ." Then again, in (vs.7), ". . .as ye have been taught." Teaching happens in two ways: We are self-taught, and we are taught by others.
2. First, we are responsible for teaching ourselves.
a. 2 Tim. 2:15, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
b. Every Christian is to be a responsible steward of Bible knowledge. Yes, we have pastors and teachers, and yes, we are to learn from others; however, God has given us a guardianship over personal knowledge:
1) In the book of Acts, we read how the saints at Berea took seriously this matter of teaching themselves and knowing their faith. In Acts 17:11, we read, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
3. Again, we are to be taught by others: Ephes. 4:11, "And he gave some, ...
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