Colossians 2:6-23 - "It's All About Christ!" - Part Six
6So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
8See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
9For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.
11In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature,[a] not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature,[b] God made you[c] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.[d] 16Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
18Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. 19He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
20Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: 21"Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? 22These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. - Colossians 2:6-23
There are many voices in this world crying out to be heard. Their desired outcome is not to bring you benefit but actually, to cause you eternal harm by diverting your attention from the Master, Jesus Christ. Jesus told a story about how thieves and robbers attempt to steal sheep from their pen so that they can kill and destroy them. But, the sheep are so accustomed to hearing the voice of the watchman that they will follow his voice only and not any other voice.
The Apostle Paul is proclaiming a similar message in Colossians 2:6-23. He wants believers to be enamored with the voice of Jesus Christ. This will equip them to recognize that any voice other than their Master's voice is not from Him and is therefore false and heretical. Our theme, "It's All About Christ!" allows us to live freely in Christ and to avoid the false teachings of this world.
In Colossians 2:6-7, Paul teaches us four steps to building the foundation of our lives on Christ. The first step is that we must continue to stay in love with Jesus. He wrote, "just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him." Do you remember the love you experienced when you gave your heart and life to Jesus? You were captivated by True love. You realigned your life to follow True love. You could not fathom life without Christ. We must keep the fire of love burning as we serve our Savior and Lord. The second step is that we are to grow in our new identity as Christ-followers. Paul wrote, we are to be "rooted and built up" in Christ. Jesus gave us a fresh start, a new identity, and a hope for eternity. The entirety of our being must bring honor and glory to Christ. The third step is that we are to apply the truths of Scripture to our lives daily. Paul wrote that we are to be "strengthened in the faith as you were taught." Growing stronger happens only as we are tested daily and forced to use our spiritual muscles. Our testimony of God's faithfulness in our lives strengthens our faith and love in Him. The fourth step to building the foundation of our lives on Christ is that the declaration of our heart must be thankfulness. We must be thankful for what the Lord was done, is doing, and will do. If our heart is declaring thankfulness to the Lord then there is no room for dissention or division.
If our foundation is, as our theme for Colossians states, "It's All About Christ!" then we can be wise to the devious tactics from the evil one who is trying to kill and destroy us. The enemy's tactics are hollow and deceptive. The world tries to trick us with fine-sounding arguments that have the appearance of truth but in fact are a cheap imitation designed to harm us. The authority for their arguments are found in human tradition that states, "its always been done this way!" and in the basic principles of this world which states, "everyone is doing it!" But, the authority on which we stand is Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Our authority is built on the Rock of Ages. Their authority is built on sinking sand.
A key tactic of our spiritual enemy, the devil, is called "syncretism." This is when the
deceptive philosophies of this world are combined with enough Truth in them that it has the appearance of being plausible when in fact, it is deceptive to the very core of its' teaching. Paul devoted Colossians 2:9-23 to holding up the world's teachings of his day in light of Jesus Christ. In doing so, he exposed the world's philosophies as being false.
In Colossians 2:9-10, Paul exposed the false teaching called "Gnosticism" which tried to diminish Christ by stated basically that Jesus was a spirit who visited earth. We learn that Christ was full Deity in bodily form; fully God and fully man. He is the Supreme Authority who is over every power.
In Colossians 2:11-17, Paul exposed the false teaching called, "Legalism" which stated basically that you can earn your way to heaven by your good works. Salvation is not earned by our works of self-righteousness but only by our being made alive in Christ. Keeping the external rules and regulations imposed by humanity will not save us. The reality of salvation is found in Christ.
In Colossians 2:18-19, Paul exposed the false teaching called, "Mysticism" which stated basically that you can earn your way to heaven by being overly spiritual. But, being self-righteous about how spiritual you are reveals that you are disconnected with Head who is Jesus. You appearance of spiritually may fool others and it may fool yourself but, you are not fooling God.
In Colossians 2:20-23, Paul exposed the false teaching called "Asceticism" which stated basically that you can earn your way to heaven by denying yourself of life's pleasures. Like the false teachings Paul just exposed, this one has the appearance of righteousness but is actually heresy because the emphasis in on your actions rather than on Jesus Christ. Asceticism has the appearance of wisdom but "lacks any value in restraining sensual indulgence."
Paul taught us that we are freed to live in Christ and not be bound by the false teachings of this world. Our theme, "It's All About Christ!" keeps us focused on Jesus, the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We must do all we can to be rooted and built up in Jesus. All we are, and all we hope to be, must reflect the glory of Christ in us.
The devil is out to kill and destroy us. He is doing all that he can to steal our joy of the Lord and to divert us from fulfilling our God-given destinies. We must hold up the teachings and philosophies of this world to the light of Truth. They will then be exposed for what they are; heresy. We must fix our eyes on Jesus and finish the race marked out for us.
Dear Jesus, please keep the fire of my love for you burning brightly. I want to grow in wisdom and knowledge of you. I want to be the person that you want me to be. Please keep me safe from the false teachings of this world. Please keep me focused on the Truth of who you are. Amen.
For You to Consider
- What must you avoiding do that causes you to diminish your love for Jesus? What can you do to grow in your love for Him?
- What can you do to be "rooted and built up" in Christ?
- Share examples of how the Lord brought you through a trial and strengthened your faith.
- What are some philosophies and teachings of this world that tempt or challenge the faith of people today?
- What was the Holy Spirit saying to you during the study of this passage?
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