SERMON SUMMARY. We continue to wrestle with the theme and reality of the kingdom of God versus the kingdom of the world. Current headlines and our life situations often remind us and challenge us because the kingdom of the world – with it bitterness, its exploitation, its lack of compassion – is advancing. And, as the family of God, we are called to battle on behalf of the kingdom of God. But, the weapons of our battle are not always what we think. Although we think to respond with fighting words, physical force or crafty strategic thinking, God’s ways are higher than our ways and God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Our power is in God. And, in this passage, we see that – in the kingdom of God – there is power in God’s peace, power in God’s word and power in the name of God. These may seem simple, but they are keys weapons for God’s people as we navigate the world.
BACKDROP. Paul is writing to the community in Colosse to correct some heretical (false) teachings. It is believed to have been written during the period of Paul’s first imprisonment. The church is always under explicit and implicit attack because of its power to change lives – then and now. We need to be aware of the weapons God has provided that we not be defeated.
GOD’S PEACE (v15). There is power in the peace of God. Peace here means peace, quiet, rest . . . to set at one again. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us that it will guard our hearts and minds. And, this text is telling us that we have access to God’s peace; we simply need to let or allow it to be in control.
- Read Philippians 4:6-7. What does it say about being anxious? What does it say about the peace of God and what it will guard? Why is God’s peace and important weapon for us as we walk through life?
- The verse tells us that we must allow God’s peace to rule in our hearts. Do we recognize that we can simply let God’s peace rule our lives? What gets in the way?
- To allow it to rule means that it will govern, rule . . . act as an umpire. Are we successful in allowing God’s peace rule our lives? How will our lives look if we let God’s peace govern us?
GOD’S WORD (v16). There is power in the word of God. We sometimes try to fight in our own power and our own words – often unsuccessfully. But the power is in the word of God and its authority dwelling in us. And, like God’s peace, it is accessible to us. We must simply access the power of God’s word.
- Read 2 Timothy 2:15 and 3:16-17. What does it say about what the word of God does and is good for?
- What are some things we can do to allow the word of Christ to dwell in us . . . richly? Do we do them?
- What does verse 16 say psalms, hymns and spiritual songs? How do these help the word of God to dwell in us richly?
- What does this say to us about the importance of worship? Does worship help the word of God to dwell within? How is worship empowering?
GOD’S NAME (v17). There is power in the name of God. Sometimes we try to fight in our own power and sometimes in our own name. But, our best weapon, is to remember that we are children of the most high God. The battles before us are not our own; they are the Lord’s.
- One of the ways of the world is to distract us from our source of power. Do we ever find ourselves struggling through life’s challenges and forgetting to seek comfort and direction from God? How would following the admonition of this verse help our struggle?
- What are some ways that we can be reminded of or have a discipline of doing things in the name of and giving thanks to God for that we do?
It is so important for us to access these three things that are readily available to us – God’s peace, God’s word and God’s name. They are foundational to living out our faith in the world. We sometimes skip over “the basics” in life but the basics are what establish our foundation. Be sure not to be ruled by the ebbs and flows and circumstances of your life. Be ruled by God’s peace. Be diligent in “digesting” the word of God – in study, in prayer, in worship, in praise. Get God’s word on your inside so it will bear fruit inside and out. And, always remember to lift up, call on and give thanks in God’s name. It will keep the reality of God and the presence of God near. It will help you to remember, in times of trial, that God is with you and God has equipped you for battle.