Good morning friends and family and welcome to part 6 of our study, "Who Are We In Christ," from the book of Colossians. My prayer is that those who have joined our Sunday services and the ones that have been reading these notes on Christian and secular sites have been blessed. Not just blessed, but have actually heard the message, and then live their lives according to what the scriptures have said. I believe that there's a reason that I've been teaching from this book, as it is not how I usually teach.
Here we are in chapter 2. In weeks prior, we found that Apostle Paul did write this epistle. Timothy was in prison with him. We found that Epaphras, a member of the Colosse church had come to visit Paul and to share things that were happening in the church. We found that Tychicus and Oneimus brought this epistle to the Colossian church and also one to the churches of Ephusus and Philemon. We also see that Paul was in prayer for this church, as I have seen in all his epistles for each church that he wrote to. So let's continue reading the second chapter of Colossians and find out what was happening in this church and compare to the happenings of what is going on today in the churches right here in the US and abroad.
Colossians 2:1-23 KJV For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; (2) That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; (3) In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (4) And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. (5) For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. (6) As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: (7) Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. (8) Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (9) For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (10) And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: (11) In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: (12) Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. (13) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; (14) Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; (15) And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (16) Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: (17) Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. (18) Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, (19) And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. (20) Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (21) (Touch not; taste not; handle not; (22) Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? (23) Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
We see that Paul touched on many things that was entering into the church. Because Colosse was part of a trade port, there were people from all over that visited, and because there were so many different beliefs from other parts of the world, things were entering into the church. You had a mixture of Greeks, Jewish and Oriental religions all trying to be part of God's church. It isn't that God didn't love the Orientals or the Greeks, or any other nationality of people, but the Bible needs to be followed. Amen? The same goes for us today. There are so many old beliefs and new ones that are and have been trying to get into the church. It's why I ask you to be in prayer and ask you to read your Bible on a daily basis. Let's look at this verse by verse.
Colossians 2:1 KJV For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;
As we saw in Chapter 1, Paul was very much in touch with what was going on in this church. I also don't think that Paul had ever been there, but was hoping to go one day. Also through studying for this, I find that there was a letter that was sent to Laodicea. As a true disciple, he loved them and wanted them to be united in love.
Church, through this study, I hope that we understand that this unity and love is based on a true knowledge of Jesus.
Col 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
Here, Paul is saying, "In that knowledge of Him, there is safety." You know Him and you know that He is the Creator. You know that he is the sustainer not only of all creation, but of you as well." Amen? Let me ask you this. As a church, are you knit together in love or are there divisions among you? This is a question we should ask often, because of so many people of different backgrounds who have been taught, or belonged to many denominations from all over the world. That, and because we all have our own fleshly desires. We're all human, but to we learn God's ways by researching the Bible.
Let me give you an example. There are so many sayings that have floated around since I was a child, and I took them as the gospel truth.
God will not give you more than you can handle. You can search your Bible, but you will not find it anywhere. Now, let's look at 1 Corinthians 10:13.
1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
This verse refers to dealing with temptation, not burdens.
1 Corinthians 10:13 GNB (13) Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out.
This is just one example. One more that bugs me when I hear it. Please turn to James 4: 2 and 3. I hear often someone say, "You have not because you ask not." I am going to show you that the Bible does not say that. We will look at 2 translations.
James 4:2-3 KJV Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. (3) Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Do you see what James was saying here? Let's look at one more and I think it will be perfectly clear. Praise the Lord!
James 4:2-4 GW You want what you don't have, so you commit murder. You're determined to have things, but you can't get what you want. You quarrel and fight. You don't have the things you want, because you don't pray for them. (3) When you pray for things, you don't get them because you want them for the wrong reason-for your own pleasure. (4) You unfaithful people! Don't you know that love for this evil world is hatred toward God? Whoever wants to be a friend of this world is an enemy of God.
These scriptures are not saying because you don't ask God in prayer, but that your heart is not right when and why you ask for these things. Church, do we get this? Again, be in the Bible and in prayer, daily.
Colossians 2:3 KJV In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Christ is the wisdom of God, and is of God, made wisdom to the humble. The treasures of wisdom are not hidden from us in Christ, but for us. Supposed supplies of spiritual wisdom from any other source are a delusion. The fullness of the Godhead dwells in Christ, not figuratively, but literally, for He is both God and man, the manifestation of the Father to us. Praise Jesus!!
Now come some of the heresies that Paul would warn against.
Colossians 2:4-7 GW I say this so that no one will mislead you with arguments that merely sound good. (5) Although I'm absent from you physically, I'm with you in spirit. I'm happy to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is. (6) You received Christ Jesus the Lord, so continue to live as Christ's people. (7) Sink your roots in him and build on him. Be strengthened by the faith that you were taught, and overflow with thanksgiving.
All true Christians have a salvation complete in Jesus and need not pin their faith on the opinions of philosophers nor bear the yoke of ceremonial law. Christ alone is the hope of glory, and in Him we are complete. Amen?
I just mentioned the phrase about God not giving us more than we can handle and a friend just stopped in and used the phrase in the same manner as many do, but wouldn't stay long enough to hear the truth.
I think what Paul is saying is he wants the Colossians or us to be deceived by clever sounding arguments. Of course, the only way to avoid this is to know your Scriptures and know the person of Christ in truth.
Let's look at some persuasive arguments that the church today might be dealing with. Churches marrying homosexuals. Allowing homosexuals to be pastors, that homosexuals can be ordained, or that Christ has already returned, or that we are supposed to be healthy and wealthy as Christians, or that life in a mother's womb isn't until the fetus is fully formed. I pray that each of you know that these things are very wrong in God's view and that we stay away from such evil. We need to be very careful when hearing fine sounding arguments because we do not want our fellowship with Christ to be hindered. Church, do we get this? The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, and if he can get his foot in the door in the church, you have already got a split in that church.
Believe it or not, some new age groups use verse 5 to support astral projection by citing the term "absent in body." Of course, Paul isn't speaking about astral projection. He's speaking about how he desires to be with them, that his heart is with them.
Paul also says that he desires that they be anchored in Christ and be stable in the teachings of Jesus as well as the doctrines concerning who He is.
Verses 6 and 7. Paul tells us that we should walk in Jesus because we have received Jesus. In other words, we behave according to how we believe. If we have received Christ, we have done so because we have believed and trusted in his atoning work and that he has delivered us from sin. Therefore, we should walk accordingly. We are a new creation. We, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in our faith, just as we were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
Friends, we are able to walk with Christ because we are firmly rooted in Him and are being built up in Him reading our Bibles, in prayer, listening to sound doctrine. Gaining faith in Jesus by studying His Word We are learning and growing in a relationship with Him. Does everyone understand this? Praise God!!
1 Cor. 1:9 is where God calls us into fellowship with Jesus. It is in the heart of our relationship with Christ that we should manifest an overflowing gratitude and dedication to Him. Actually, everyone turn there and we'll close with this passage.
1 Corinthians 1:6-10 KJV (6) Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: (7) So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: (8) Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (9) God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. (10) Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
I would ask each of you to meditate on these verses this week. The plain preaching of a crucified Jesus is more powerful than all the oratory and philosophy of an unbelieving world. All the boasted science of the world cannot do for souls what “Christ crucified” does. All one needs, or can desire, they may have in Him (Jesus). He is made wisdom to the foolish, righteousness to the guilty, sanctification to the corrupt, and redemption to those who are in bonds. Praise the name of Jesus.
Church, praise His name and thank Him for what He's done in your life. Praise Him for delivering you from the bondage that you may have been in for years. Praise His Holy name for loving you and saving you and never leaving you nor forsaking you. Praise King Jesus.