1For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh,
2that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ,
3in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
There was wrong teaching surfacing at the church in Colosse.
There were people adding to the simple teaching of the gospel message.
They seemed to have been adding false teachings on two levels.
1. The gospel isn’t enough; you need deeper, secret knowledge and understanding.
2. The death of Christ isn’t sufficient for salvation; you must also perform religious deeds to be saved.
Paul had a great concern for these people whom he had never met.
1. That their hearts would be encouraged
2. Knit together in love
3. Full understanding of God the Father and God the Son
4. That would result in full assurance
a. That God loves them
b. That they are fully forgiven by faith in Jesus, and his death for their sins.
c. Assurance of salvation
d. That brings rest for the mind, heart, soul.
e. Not like… the astronaut who remembered that his spacecraft was built by the lowest bidder, when we look to man, we have no true assurance
4Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words.
5For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.
6As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
7rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
This is what they were to be doing…
1. Live the Christian life according to what they had been taught.
2. They were to be rooted in Christ.
3. Built up in Christ.
4. Established in the faith.
5. Abounding in thanksgiving re. Jesus and the faith.
The trouble with the Colossians was that they thought they needed to add something to what Jesus had done for them.
They needed to continue in the faith the same way they started in the faith.
Faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross was sufficient to pay for their sins.
8Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
The Colossian heresy was marked by this sort of philosophy and empty deceit; most of all, it had the stamp of man on it, not God
The question we should ask about things in the church shouldn’t be… “Is it good or bad?” ; rather, “…is it from man or from God?”
When we take what man says as even near in authority to what God says, we get cheated
9For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
10and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
1.They were to avoid being cheated from human philosophy.
2. They were to avoid being cheated by empty deceit.
3. They were to avoid the traditions of men.
4. They were to avoid the basic principles of the world.
(Worldly thinking vs. Biblical thinking.)
5. They were to realize the fullness of God in Christ
6. They were to recognize that they were complete as they were in Christ.
7. They were to recognize the supremacy of Jesus over all principalities and powers.
1. to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full
2. to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally
3. to fill to the top: so that nothing shall be wanting; to fill to the brim
4. to make complete in every particular, to render perfect
5. NOTE– completeness is not something to be achieved or earned.
It is something to be enjoyed.
6. Barnes-There is no necessity, therefore, that we should look to the aid of philosophy, as if there was a defect in the teachings of the Saviour; or to human strength, as if he were unable to save us; or to the merits of the saints, as if those of the Redeemer were not sufficient to meet all our wants.
11In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,
12buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
1. Jewish men were commanded by God go practice circumcision. They were to be identified with God by the cutting away of the foreskin, the cutting away of flesh. They were to obey God’s laws, and they were related to God through obedience to His laws.
2. The Jews went on to take great pride in circumcision and other external religious practices. Instead of these practices being an outward sign, reflective of a love for God, these practices became a source of spiritual pride, and they felt justified because of their external actions.
3. When a person becomes a Christian, the power of change comes from God.
4. Paul likens baptism to burial. The person accepts Christ, and spiritually speaking, that person dies and is born again. It is as if that sinful person died, but was then raised to life, with a new life in Christ.
5. This picture shows that the work is of God. A dead person cannot raise himself to life. If we put our faith in Christ, than God does the work of bringing us to the born again experience.
13And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,
14having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
15Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
1. Prior to conversion, the unsaved person is dead in their trespasses.
Trespasses– a lapse or deviation from truth and uprightness, a sin, misdeed
2. The unsaved person is spiritually dead because they have sinned against God; they have not lived as they should have lived.
3. There is a list of requirements which they have not kept, and are therefore guilty before God.
That list of requirements is a good list. Start with the 10 Commandments. Rom. 7:12 12Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
4. There would be no need for law enforcement or for armies if humanity obeyed the 10 Commandments.
5. Paul says that that list is contrary to the unsaved person. The contents of the list are perfect, but people fail to obey the list. The list of requirements is the word of God. There is nothing wrong with the list, the list is holy, just, and pure. The list condemns us, because we have failed to obey God’s commands.
6. That list, which is good, becomes contrary to us, because we are guilty and condemned. Spiritually dead to God, condemned, and destined to eternity without God.
7. When a person was crucified, they had to carry a plaque which named their crimes. The condemned man would have that plaque paraded before him, as he would be marched through the streets, on is way to die for his crimes.
8. Jesus took your list, and died in your place.
9. If receive the pardon that Jesus offers, that list cannot be applied to you. It was nailed to the cross; those crimes being paid for by Jesus himself.
10. If you do not receive forgiveness for your sins, that list will be read when you are judged by God himself. Hat list is contrary to you, and will forever be contrary to you, unless you receive the pardon that comes through Jesus Christ.
11. NOTE- The handwriting was taken out of the way. Removed for the person that puts their faith in Jesus Christ.
12. If you have received forgiveness through Jesus Christ, leave that list nailed up on the cross, and don’t carry it around with you.
16So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,
17which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.
18Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
19and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.
20Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—
21“Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,”
22which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men?
23These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.
Paul summarizes this section by saying that self-imposed religion is of no value.
This characterizes legalism, which is known more for what you cannot do that for what God has done for you.
The Colossians were adding to their Christianity.
We cannot add to what Jesus has done for us.
We are not more saved by obeying religious traditions.
Paul says that these things can make us look good on the outside.
We can appear to be very religious by doing these extra, but non-beneficial religious deeds.
1. The unsaved person…
a. Has a written list of laws that God has expected him to obey.
b. That list is good. The world would be a better place if that list was obeyed.
c. Man has failed to obey that list. That list, which is good in content, is contrary to man, and condemns him.
d. People deserve God’s punishment for breaking His laws.
e. Jesus took the punishment that we deserved. He took the list of our crimes, and paid for those cries himself. Our lists were nailed upon the cross with him.
2. The saved person…
a. You are complete in Christ.
b.His death for your sins completely satisfies the judgment of God for your sins
c.You do not need to try to pay for your sins, but receive that forgiveness and give thanks for it.
d.You do not need to add any works to secure your salvation.
e.There is no higher learning or secret wisdom or philosophy that you need to discover. All the wisdom you need for life with God is found in Jesus Christ.