Talk Title: Be honest…Who are you?
This week at Emerge we launched into our first talk series. To find out more about the aim of this series check out the Emerge Happenings page. This past Wednesday we started wading into the book 0f Colossians. We started off the night explaining that the book of Colossians is one of the 66 books that make up the whole Bible. I really wanted to give a general understanding that the Bible has one author (God) and about 40 different writers so as we dive into reading this whole book together we have some context about it origin.
We read Colossians 1:1-2 and focused on who wrote this book and who was he?
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
First we talked about who Paul was. He wrote this letter to a church in Colossae. History tells us he wrote this letter from prison. Paul was a guy who made a lot of bad decisions in his life, just like you and I, but this was not the reason he was in prison. He was in prison because he loved Jesus.
Throughout his life Paul made three big missionary journeys just like the one we did in Nicaragua. The main differences between him and us was he walked (or took a boat ride…which ended up being worse than walking) and he made a number of different stops along the way. Every stop he made he told people about Jesus.
Lastly we talked about that Paul was a guy that knew who we was. In Colossians 1:1 he says right off the bat that he is an “apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God.” What does this tell us? Who was Paul? An Apostle. Who made him an apostle? God did. Did he decide to be an apostle on his own? No, God called him to be an apostle…it wasn’t a choice but a calling.
The application of the night was focused on see Pauls confidence in himself and asking what that means for us. (If you are a follower of Jesus) Who am I? A Christian. Who made me a Christian? God did. I can’t do anything to earn God’s favor, God saved me despite all my sin. Did I decide to be a Christian? No. God called me to be a Christian. For parents that may be worried, this conversation goes way beyond a “predestination” conversation. Please see the last paragraphs for what I mean.
To give us teeth to sink into this truth we talked about a football player. A football player decides to be a football player. The majority of “football players” will not go on to be professionals…as much as we think we might. Even those who do go that far, they do not play their entire lives. On Sundays I don’t see 80 year old men play football. When we, as football players decide that we’re done with football we can decide to not be football players anymore. Do you get this. As a football player our identity is not football, our current decision is to play football.
When things get tough or when you get hurt, as a football player, your identity changes and this is okay and it’s good. This idea is what separates the idea that we decide to be a Christian. If that is our mentality then at any point we can decide to quit when life gets hard or we don’t want to do it anymore. The truth is, as Paul understood it, he was called by God, his identity from this point out was that he was a follower of Jesus.
How do I know? Because when life got hard Paul did not quit his faith. That was never an option for him because to quit Jesus would be like severing his head from his body…impossible to do and still life. Fact: Paul died with Peter under the reign of Cesar Nero because he loved Jesus?
Is your identity Jesus?