In this sermon, Pastor Neil talks about what being rooted and established– to stand firm and strong as a believer Here are some excerpts:
Just like Paul, I want to encourage you to stand firm and strong and true as followers of Jesus in a world that, like the false teachers in Colosse, wants to move on from the gospel message to whatever it is that sounds good or goes along with the prevailing moral and spiritual compass of our time.
The danger of discouragement was also a prime concern in the Letter to the Hebrews, which says in Hebrews 10:23-25: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess [in Christ], for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another” to keep on keeping on. (That last part is my paraphrase.)
So, as your pastor, let me encourage you to encourage one another and to be intentional about it. Encourage one another by your witness to the faithfulness of God in your life; by your testimony to the grace of God in your life, and by living out His grace in your relationships with one another.
Encourage one another by your acts and expressions of Christian love and by living out our faith in loving acts of service. Maintain strong ties or to strengthen your ties with our church family and with fellow believers at work or school or in our neighborhoods. Encourage one another not to withdraw from the fellowship of the church. Help others get connected or better connected by inviting and encouraging them to come to worship, to join your Faith Group, your Sunday School class, or a ministry you’re a part of..
Paul understood that lasting unity in the church depends on both truth and love. Not one or the other, but both. Jesus calls us to be of one mind with regard to the essentials of the faith as well as of one heart in our love for God, for one another, and for our neighbors both near and far. Our unity is found in Jesus, in the truth of the Gospel and the fullness of God’s Word. It is found at the cross where Jesus died for us in the ultimate demonstration of love. Our unity is found in God’s love for us and our response to that love…
Just as our true unity is found in Jesus, the truth – the whole truth and nothing but the truth – is found in Jesus. In Him, says Paul, “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” are found (Colossians 2:3). No other Savior is needed. There is no other Savior than Jesus. Take it from Peter and John, two “unschooled, ordinary men” who had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13). When brought before the Sanhedrin, the council of religious leaders in Jerusalem, they boldly spoke of Jesus and said: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven … by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Only Jesus has the power to save us…