July 30, 2023

Obstacles to faith

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Our summer series has us diving into Paul’s impactful letter to the Colossians. Pastor Leo Klus and our youth director, Jordan Coros, have brought a powerful word in the first four messages. As we come to Colossians 2:16-23 this Sunday, we’ll be looking at “Obstacles to faith.” I’m sure you already have your own experiences with obstacles to your faith as you have sought to live out your Christian life and walk with the Lord. To deny the existence of obstacles, difficulties, doubts, competing belief systems and sin-fueled drifts would be foolish. Every one of us faces obstacles in living for Jesus. We were never promised a smooth road. Jesus promised us just the opposite. In this week’s passage, the Apostle Paul exposes three particular obstacles that relate not only to what the believers at Colossae were facing, but curiously, related perfectly to the times we’re living in today: rules-based religion, gospel-plus-something religion, and self-made religion. The passage gives us what we need to overcome each one. I’m eager to share that with you on Sunday.
Series: Invisible God; Visible Faith-Paul’s letter to the Colossians
Message: 5 – Obstacles to faith
Text: Colossians 2:16-23
Todd Dugard
Harvest Bible Chapel
July 30, 2023
As you follow Jesus, do not expect your personal weaknesses and unwelcome character traits to disappear. They will not. Do not expect to get everything right all the time. You will not. Do not expect, as a disciple, that life will be a little easier for you than for unbelievers. Most likely, it will be more difficult, for the world is an unwelcome place for citizens of the kingdom of God.
The obstacles to faith are overcome when I hold fast to Christ alone.
        Obstacle #1 – Rules-based religion (v. 16-17a)
Mark 7:6-7
                 …is overcome by believing Christ is all there is (v. 17b)
Obstacle #2 – Gospel-plus-something religion (v. 18-19a)
Acts 4:12
Natural man’s sin is precisely this: he wants the benefits of God without God himself.
R. C. Sproul
Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.
David Foster Wallace
…is overcome by experiencing the life he gives me (v. 19b)
Obstacle #3 – Self-made religion (v. 20b-23)
Grace is the beginning, the middle, and the end of the entire work of salvation; it is totally devoid of human merit.
Herman Bavinck
…is overcome by dying to this world (v. 20a)
For the Christian, death is therefore not a state of impotence; rather it foreshadows the coming victory.
David W. Pao