The Fullness of Time

            In the previous article we discussed two major themes for the book Colossians: Christ is preeminent and He is the fullness of all things. This is to say that He comes before all things and by Him all things consist; all things are made full or complete (Colossians 1:17, 19). This is illustrated in three relationships mentioned in Colossians 1:18: the church, time and the resurrection. Last week’s discussion was focused on the first of these; how Jesus is not only head of, but also, the fullness of, the church. Now we turn our attention to the next phrase of that verse, “He is the beginning!

Christ is the Fullness of Time

            Time is perhaps the most precious commodity for the human experience. You can always work to gain more money, but not so with time. You can always accumulate more material possessions, but not so with time. You can always strive to receive more stature and renown, but not so with time. Time can only be lost, it can only fade away. As swiftly as a bullet will fly from the barrel of a gun into the heart of a hunted animal, so also, time flies by with rapid speed.  Perhaps the best way to determine what our priorities are in life is to assess what consumes the bulk of our time. School, with its many assignments and required hours of study, can consume our days. Family, with the responsibility to take care of our children and provide for our spouse, can consume our hours. Work, with the desire of a life of financial stability for ourselves and the ones we love, can consume our minutes. Or trivial things, like television, the internet or just personal hobbies, all play a factor into how the seconds in our life are spent.

            Though, in this discussion of where our fleeting hours go, we should not forget the very reason that time exists. Jesus is preeminent over time; He is the beginning! Christ is responsible for creating the universe and winding up its clock (Colossians 1:15-16). However, He also is responsible for time’s continued existence; “all things are upheld by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3). That is why He is the fullness of time, because the universe’s minute and hour hands began, and continue to rotate, at His will and obedience. The very reason we have any time to spend is because of our Savior.

            But why does our Lord continue to perpetuate this global clock? Why continue to allow time to flow in a world that is dying both physically and spiritually?

Because of us! Because He “is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2Peter 3:9). For the lost soul that has not been baptized (Romans 6:1-3), or for the Christian who has fallen from God’s grace (Galatians 5:4), this means that Christ is allowing time to stand so that you can have this opportunity to be saved; this moment to embrace the Author of salvation.

And even for the Christian who is living faithful, this means that you should have a deep appreciation for the delay of the Lord. While we long for his glorious return, even praying “come, Lord Jesus,” we must recognize that when we walked contrary to the will of time’s Creator, God forestalled the Judgment with us in mind. The days where we failed to live up to our spiritual potential, Jesus didn’t call a “times up”; but rather, He declared “I will wait for you.”

            How do we spend our time? Do we dedicate any seconds to prayer? Do we devote any minutes to worship? Do we sacrifice any hours for His service? If we appreciate that Christ is the fullness of time, then we ought to strive for filling our time with Christ. 

 

What to expect

We in churches of Christ take seriously the Lord’s words in John 4:24: “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” The word of God, and specifically, the New Testament of Jesus Christ (Heb. 8:6-13), is our standard of truth for acceptable worship (John 17:17). God has not left it up to us to do as whatever we please when we approach him; through the inspired apostles of Christ he has directed the church in the manner in which we are to worship him. Our goal is to do as the early church, which “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).This makes our worship distinctive from what most are accustomed to seeing in other churches.

Because we are committed to following the God-given, apostolic pattern for worship, we praise God in song, “teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Col. 3:16). Our singing is not accompanied by a piano or band or other forms of instrumental music because we do not find authority for these additions in the New Testament. We learn from God’s word the church is to sing (Eph. 5:19), and we do not add to what God has instructed us to do or go beyond the authority of his word (1 Cor. 4:6; Rev. 22:18-19). While most visitors find our a cappella singing unusual, they also find the four part harmonies beautiful and edifying.

We learn from apostolic example and instruction to the early church that God’s people are to observe the Lord’s supper when they meet every first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:23-29), and so each Sunday we partake of the unleavened bread and fruit of the vine in remembrance of the sacrifice of Christ. Also, our members give into a collection for the work of God’s kingdom in accordance with the teaching of God’s word (1 Cor. 16:1-2).

In our worship assembly we also offer prayer to our Heavenly Father in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and listen to the preaching of the life-changing, soul saving gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16). Our preaching is Bible-based, for we are to “speak as the oracles of God,” (1 Pet. 4:11). We are committed to exalting God by teaching and preaching “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27) and citing book, chapter and verse as we exalt God and focus on hearing his will for our lives revealed in the scriptures.

You will also find a warm welcome from friendly folks who want to help you understand God’s will for your life and his plan for your salvation so that you can be sure you are saved by his grace and have the hope of eternal life. We hope you can attend one of our worship assemblies or Bible classes soon. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

“The churches of Christ greet you”

Those are the words of Paul, the apostle of Jesus Christ, and we in the Roanoke Church of Christ echo that same sentiment to you today. But perhaps you’re wondering: Who or what are the churches of Christ? We hope the following will help answer that question:

Before the world ever began, God had a plan for you. That plan is revealed in the Bible and includes his church. The Bible tells us the church is part of the “eternal purpose” of God for every one of us that was made possible through Jesus Christ (Eph. 3:10-11). But there is a great deal of misunderstanding about the importance and identity of that church.

It was Jesus who said to his disciples, “I will build my church” (Mt. 16:18). The Lord kept that promise; he built his church and it exists today. The word of God tells us the church is called “the body of Christ” (Eph. 1:22-23) and that there is “one body…one Lord, one faith” (Eph. 4:4-6). There are no denominations in the Bible, yet when we look around today we see so many different churches, different faiths, different teachings. All of this religious contradiction can be confusing.

But if set aside the denominations, doctrines and traditions of men and simply go back to the Bible, we can belong to the church that Jesus built—the Lord’s church that is a part of God’s eternal plan to redeem us and bring us to heaven through his Son. If we follow the New Testament of Christ and do today what they did then, we can be today what they were then—simply Christians (Acts 11:26). Nothing more, nothing less—just Christians. Not members of any denomination, but members of Jesus’ church we read about in the Bible.

We in the churches of Christ are striving to be faithful to the authority of God’s word and abide by the pattern he has given us for his church (Acts 2:42; 2 Tim. 1:13). We kindly invite you to join us in going back to the Bible to be Christians only, a part of the Lord’s family, the church which he died to save with his blood (Acts 20:28; Eph. 5:23-25). Please let us know if you would like to study the Bible to learn more about the Lord’s church and his plan for our salvation.

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Location
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 737
Roanoke, TX 76262
Physical Address
Map
305 Rusk
Roanoke, TX 76262
P: (817) 491-2388
Meeting Times
Sunday

9:30 am - bible class

10:30 am - worship

6:00 pm worship

Wednesday

7:00 pm bible class

Singing every 5th wednesday of the month