ROBERT >> Today on The Truth In Love we want to talk about the power and the authority of Jesus Christ from a very pivotal passage in Colossians 3:17. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God through Him.
>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.
ROBERT >> I do hope you have your Bibles turned to Colossians chapter 3 as we continue to study here from verse 17, where the Bible says, Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God through Him.
Yes, whatever we do ought to be done in the name of the Lord Jesus. And we learned last week that when we talk about the name of the Lord Jesus, we’re talking about the person of Christ, we’re talking about his person, we’re talking about who he is, that we would have the heart of Christ, that we would live the life of Jesus Christ, a life consistent with who Jesus is. But I want you to notice this morning that to do something in the name of somebody not only means to do it according to his person, but it also means to do it according to his power or his authority.
You see, when you bring a person into what you’re doing, you’re also bringing with that person his power. And I want you to notice the power of Jesus. In Matthew chapter 28, beginning in verse 18, after his resurrection, just before ascending into heaven, Jesus was gathered with his apostles. And look at the claim that he makes for himself here. All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.
You see, Jesus Christ claims to have all authority: To have all authority in heaven and on the earth. And that means when it comes to what I say or whatever I do, whatever I do in word or whatever I do in deed, whatever my doctrine, whatever my practice, how I live my life, I look to Jesus for his authority and for his power. You see, I don’t look to some man on the earth. I don’t look to some group of men on the earth. I don’t look to some council or some convention. But when I want to know what should be my belief, what should be my practice, how should I live my life, how should the church conduct its services and carry out its work and its worship and all of these kinds of things that come to play, I need to look to Jesus Christ for my authority and for my power.
The people of Jesus’ day understood that, and Jesus taught that. If you’ll look back in Matthew chapter 21, you’ll see Jesus have a discussion with the religious leaders of his day about this very thing. Here in Matthew chapter 21, let’s begin in verse 23.
Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority? Now, those are very good questions, by what authority we do something and where that authority comes from. Jesus answered here in verse 24 and said to them, I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things: The baptism of John, where was it from? From heaven or from men? Jesus answers their question with a question.
They asked him by what authority he did what he did, and so he asked them by what authority John did what he did. And he made something very clear, that there are but two sources of authority: From heaven and from men. Either it’s from God, or it’s from this earth. But remember, Jesus Christ claimed authority in heaven and on the earth. And so we must go to the proper source of authority, not to men on the earth, but to Jesus Christ, who is in heaven. Jesus Christ is our authority.
So what about John’s baptism? By what authority did he teach and practice that baptism? Well, everybody knew it was from God. But these religious leaders did not want to admit that. Notice the dilemma they found themselves in. Here it says as we continue on in verse 25, And they reasoned among themselves, saying, If we say, From heaven, He will say to us, Why then did you not believe him? But if we say, From men, we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet. You see, they were stuck. Any way they answered, they were in trouble. If they said that John did what he did because that’s what God authorized him to do, then they would be in trouble, because they didn’t believe John and they didn’t practice, that is, they did not submit to the baptism of John; but if they said that what John did was from men, that he really didn’t have authority from God to do it, they were afraid of the multitude. They feared the multitude. They wanted their power and their position, their influence over the people, but they were afraid that they might lose it if they disagreed with the people about what John did and by what authority he did it.
And so what did they do? Well, the Bible says here in verse 27 that they answered Jesus and said, We do not know. And He said to them, Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. Jesus was not being rude here. He was not trying to keep anything from them, but he was trying to help them to think about what they were doing and by what authority they did it.
We need to think about that today. We need not to act presumptuously. We need not to speak, we need not to do anything unless we first ask, what does Jesus want me to say? What does Jesus want me to do? And this is particularly true when it comes to things like how to become a Christian and how to worship God and how to live our lives as a Christian.
For example, by what authority, by what power do we do what we do and preach what we preach in the church? For example, in becoming a Christian, how can I know how to become a Christian? How can I know how to be saved? Do I listen to what some man says? Do I read it in some tract written by man? Well, only if you can find it in your Bible would you want to believe it and would you want to accept it.
You see, the Bible’s very clear about how to become a Christian. You can read through the book of Acts, and you can see how that people came to the Lord. In every example we will see, that having heard the gospel and believed on that gospel, they would be baptized into Jesus Christ. In fact, Jesus said this in the very beginning even when he was on the earth and he was preparing people for his coming kingdom. He talked to them about being born again, being born of water and the Spirit if they wanted to be a part of the kingdom of God. You read that in John 3:3-5.
But there are those who would tell us, you don’t have to be born again of the water, just of the Spirit. You don’t have to engage yourself in water baptism to be saved. But you remember what Jesus himself said in Mark 16:15-16? He said, you go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He that believes and is baptized will be saved; he that disbelieves will be condemned. So Jesus said that one needs to believe and to be baptized so that he might be saved.
I think about Acts the 2nd chapter when the people there were convicted of the fact that Jesus was the Christ, the Lord, the savior, and they asked, What shall we do in Acts 2:37. And I want to read to you the answer of the apostle Peter, and I want you to see what Jesus instructed his apostles to preach about how to become a Christian.
Here it says in verse 38 of Acts chapter 2, Then Peter said to them, Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call. And so you see, becoming a Christian is coming to believe on the Lord and savior Jesus Christ and realizing what he did for you at Calvary’s cross, turning from your sin in repentance, as Peter said, to repent, and then being baptized upon the name of Christ, upon your confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and savior, give yourself to him by being immersed in water for the remission of your sins.
The Bible is very clear that this is how we come to Jesus Christ so that we might be saved. Let me read another passage to you from Acts the 22nd chapter and verse 16, where the apostle Paul, once old Saul of Tarsus who persecuted the church, comes to believe on Jesus Christ, and he tells us exactly how he became a Christian. In Acts 22:16, this is what the preacher told him to do. And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
So you see, old Saul of Tarsus, once he came to see that Jesus Christ was Lord and savior, he spent three days fasting in prayer, he was penitent, he was sorrowful over his sins, and he was ready to give himself to Christ, and so he got up, he was baptized so that his sins could be washed away. It was in that act of baptism that he called upon the name of the Lord. You see, he did what he did by the authority and by the power of Jesus Christ. This is how we’re saved today.
The same thing would be true when it comes to the worship of the church. How do we know how to worship God but to see what Christ has authorized in the new covenant? We look at the church of the first century, and we see how they gathered together on the first day of the week to break bread, to partake of the Lord’s supper, as we read in Acts 20:7. We also see how that the early church would sing and make melody in their hearts to the Lord, Ephesians 5:19. And many wonder, why don’t they use musical instruments? Simply because there’s no authority from Jesus Christ to do so.
That wasn’t the way the church of the New Testament worshiped the Lord. And so we don’t do that today. We don’t act presumptuously.
And that’s not only true in how to become a Christian and how to worship God, but how to live our lives every day. On Monday, on Tuesday, on Wednesday, on Thursday, on Friday, and on Saturday I must be thinking, whatever I do, whatever I say in word or in deed, whatever I say, whatever I do, I must do it in the name of the Lord; that is, by his authority and by his power.
We need to recognize that when we bring Jesus’ name to what we’re doing, we’re not only bringing his person, but we’re bringing his power. And that ought to be encouraging to us. That ought to be comforting to us. It ought to give us confidence in what we’re trying to do as we strive to follow after Jesus, as we strive to accomplish his will in our lives.
In Acts the 3rd chapter, we read about Peter and John coming to the temple. And they find a man that’s lame, and they heal him. But I want you to notice how this is put here in Acts 3:6. Then Peter said, Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.
So you see here how that Peter and John were able to heal this lame man in the name of Jesus, that is, by his authority. They were permitted, in fact, they were commissioned to use this power to heal this one. They did it by the authority of Jesus. They did it by the power of Jesus.
Look how this is described in Acts 4:7. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power or by what name have you done this? You see, when they healed that man, it was in the name of Jesus. And that means by the power or the authority of Jesus.
And Peter and John were later threatened by their enemies, and notice what the enemies said to them in Acts 4:18. So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor to teach in the name of Jesus. By his power, by his authority.
Now, it’s our commission to teach and to preach and to do everything in the name of Jesus, by his power and by his authority. And again, that ought to be comforting to us. That ought to give us confidence when you take the name of Jesus, when you claim his power, when you claim his authority.
Let’s take, for example, some of the applications of this that the apostle Paul gives us back here in Colossians chapter 3 in our text. You remember in verse 17 where he said, Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord. Immediately following that, he tells us what to do in verse 18.
He speaks to the wives. Submit to your own husbands as is fitting in the Lord. A wife says, Paul, you don’t know what kind of husband I have. Maybe not. But you see, in the name of the Lord, wives, you can learn to fulfill the role that God has given for you, to support your husband, to help your husband to be the kind of man of God that God would have him to be. You can be that wife who serves her husband for the very best of her family and for the glory of God because you have the power and the authority of Jesus Christ.
He goes on in verse 19, Husbands, love your wives, and do not be bitter toward them. Somebody says, Paul, you don’t know what kind of wife I have. Maybe not. But again, you do this in the name of the Lord, by his authority and by his power. You remember Ephesians 5:25? Really it’s the parallel here to Colossians 3, where we learn from Paul that husbands are to love their wives as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it. Now, I’m thinking, I could never love my wife like Christ loved the church. Oh, but I can do that in the name of the Lord, by his authority and by his power. I’ll be that sacrificial husband. I’ll serve her and I’ll love her just as Christ loved the church.
And then continue reading on in Colossians 3. He speaks to the children in verse 20. Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Again, I can hear the children saying, you don’t know my parents, Paul. But you see, God gives us strength and gives us power through Jesus Christ to do all things.
And the same is true to you fathers or to you parents. Do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. That’s what he says here in verse 21. Fathers, no doubt, is here put for parents as it is in Hebrews 11:23. And again, some of the parents may be saying, Paul, you don’t know my kids. Sometimes they require so much of us, and sometimes they seem so difficult. Sometimes it seems impossible. But it’s our job to be the kind of parents God would have us to be. And we can do that in the name of the Lord, with his power, with his authority.
You see, when we bring the name of Jesus to what he would have us to do, we bring his power. If he’s authorized us to do it, if this is what he wants for our life, we’re going to be able to accomplish that will.
Here’s a key verse: John 14:14, where Jesus told his apostles before going to the cross, If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. I’ll do it. You see, we need to let Jesus take over in our heart and let Jesus take over in our life, and we will be able to accomplish his will for our life.
Paul said in Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Yes, with the power of Christ in my life, I can be the kind of husband, the kind of father or parent to my children. You ladies, you can be the wives and you can be the mothers that you need to be. And you children, you can be the kind of children that God wants you to be. And even when you leave the church building and you go to work or you go to school or whatever you’re doing in life, you can accomplish God’s will in the name of the Lord.
Look at it here as we continue on in Colossians 3, beginning in verse 22, where he talks to the bondservants and how they are to obey in all things your masters. Maybe we don’t have that servant/master relationship today in our society, but we do have workers who are to serve employers, and it’s the same kind of principle. And look what he tells us here. He says to do that according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men. That is, he says, Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. You don’t be a clock watcher when you’re out there. You don’t think, well, I don’t like this boss, and he’s not a very good boss, and so I just can’t wait till I get out of here; but you go there serving the Lord. Look what he says in verse 23. Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. That ought to put a joy in our step.
You know there’s a hidden paycheck when you go to work? You may get a salary from your boss, but there’s a hidden paycheck that you’re going to receive, and you’re not going to receive it until the Lord comes again, but it’s an eternal paycheck. And so let me encourage you, whatever you do, wherever you are, in word or deed, to do all in the name of the Lord.
We see to do all in the name of the Lord, it’s not only do it consistent with his person, with his character, with who he is, but to do it according to his power, by his authority. With God’s help, we can be the kind of people God wants us to be. We can do what God wants us to do.
Another key in this whole passage is found in Colossians 3:16, because you see, if we’re going to do things according to his person and according to his power, then we must let the word of Christ dwell in us. Let’s read it together here, Colossians 3:16. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
You see, if we do not have his word in our heart, if we are not living that word in our life, then we’ll never be able to bring praise to God. But when we let God’s word run in our hearts, when we let his word take over our lives, then praise will pour out of our hearts, and God will get the glory.
I want to talk to you some more about that, the Lord willing, the next week here on The Truth In Love. But today I want to remind you again that our salvation is in Jesus Christ. Our salvation is in the name of the Lord. There’s no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved, Acts 4:12. It’s by his power that we can find salvation. It’s through his blood that our sins can be washed away, Revelation 1:5. And so I’m encouraging you today to submit to Jesus Christ as Lord and savior, turning from your sins, confessing his name, and giving yourselves to him in baptism. Calling upon the name of the Lord, you can be cleansed, you can be washed, you can become his new creation, and you can enjoy the blessings of Christ now and for all of eternity, and you can be a blessing to others and you can bring glory to God.
So please, let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards heaven today.
>> Wonderful grace of Jesus, greater than all my sin.
How shall my tongue describe it?
Where shall his praise begin?
Taking away my burden, setting my spirit free.
Oh, the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.
Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus, deeper than the mighty rolling sea.
Wonderful grace all sufficient for me.
Broader than the scope of my transgressions, greater far than all my sin and shame.
Oh magnify the precious name of Jesus, praise his name.
Wonderful grace of Jesus,
reaching the most defiled by its transforming power,
making him God’s dear child.
Purchasing peace and heaven for all eternity,
and the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.
Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus, deeper than the mighty rolling sea.
Wonderful grace all sufficient for me.
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
greater far than all my sin and shame.
Oh, magnify the precious name of Jesus, praise his name.
ROBERT >> Thank you so much for watching our program today. We’d really like to hear from you. If you have any questions or comments or requests, if you’d like a personal home Bible study or maybe specific prayers, if you’d like to order today’s lesson or any other lesson on CD, DVD, or in manuscript form, let me encourage you to write The Truth In Love. It’s P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053. You can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or just call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966. And also, please visit our website at www.ttil.tv.
And remember that all of our materials and our services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to thank today the many churches of Christ who help support our program and encourage you to visit one of them in your area very soon. I know they’ll be an encouragement to you and a help to you as you strive towards heaven. And we’re going to show their names. They’re going to be scrolled on the screen at the end of our program. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. Let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.
>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so.
Showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall. Sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low, till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary, when the day is long, sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall.
Sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.