Expository Preaching
J. Michael Shannon and Robert C. Shannon
(c)opyright J. Michael Shannon, 1982
THE MATURITY WE SEEK
Colossians 2:2-7

Introduction:
A.  When we think of a mature church, what do we think of?
B.  Paul was concerned about the Colossian church, that they would be a mature church.
Proposition:  Paul says that there are certain marks of a mature church.

  I. STAND TOGETHER IN LOVE, v. 2

A.  The church cannot proceed to other essential matters until it stands united.
B.  That unity can only be found in love.
 II. STAND TALL IN WISDOM, vs. 3-5
A.  Of the mystery of God
B.  Of Christ
C.  Of His treasures of wisdom and knowledge
III. STAND FIRMLY IN FAITH, vs. 6, 7
A.  Receiving Christ is only the beginning; He continues His work in you.
B.  You must be rooted and built up in Him.
C.  You must be strengthened in faith.
D.  You must be overflowing in gratitude.
Conclusion:  These signs of the mature church can only be found in Christ.  Let Him lead you to be what you ought to be.

    The emblem of the state of Kentucky shows two men facing each other, shaking hands.  The motto beneath reads: "United we stand, divided we fall."  That could also be the motto of any congregation.  Could it perhaps be also a fitting motto for the church at large?
 

    When a new minister was introduced for the first Sunday of his ministry, he was surprised and pleased to be greeted with sustained applause.  Thanking them, he said that he hoped for a long ministry with them.  He said that when there is applause at the beginning of a ministry, that's faith.  When there is applause in the middle, that's hope.  When there is applause at the end of a ministry, that's charity!
 

    No church building in the world is more startling than the unfinished Sagrada Familial church in Barcelona, Spain.  Already years into the building of it, it still will not be finished in this century.  Great, frosted towers mount crazily toward the sky.  There is no symmetry anywhere in this truly original design.  The exterior resembles a randomly frosted cake.  Four of the twelve towers are completed, but there is not a roof yet; and the vast structure is open to the skies.  It is worth going a long way to see this most remarkable house of worship ever built, and the most avante garde.  But the doorway is finished; and over it is one Latin word, "veritas."  Truth!  That word could well be over the doorway of all our churches.  Truth!
 

    Whenever Ethiopian Emperor Menelik II was ill, he would eat a few pages from the Bible.  He believed it would restore his health.  He died in 1913, after eating the entire book of Kings.
 

    The elder presiding at the little New Zealand church worked on the Cook Strait Ferry.  Cook Strait lies between New Zealand's north and south islands.  It is regarded as the second roughest ferry crossing in the world.  Several times each week he crossed that wild sea.  It was not surprising, then, that he announced as his favorite hymn the Sailor's Hymn:

Eternal Father, strong to save,
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.

The Church We Serve (1:24-29)
Table of Contents
The Errors We Avoid (2:8-31)

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