COLOSSIANS 2

5 Outlines

 

 

Colossians 2:1-7

PROGRESS!

Series in Colossians #5

 

The Christian life is to be one of spiritual progress.  We are not to stagnate as Christians, but we are to keep PROGRESSING.

 

As Paul wrote to the Colossians who were being besieged by false teachers, he challenged them to make progress in at least 5 areas that would help them withstand false teachers.

 

BEHIND THE SCENES - Vs. 1 - THE PRAYER MINISTRY OF PAUL

 

The Apostle Paul was an encourager. Not only did he encourage through his words, and his letters, but also through his prayers!  For more proof of that just check out Colossians 1:9-14, Ephesians 1:15-23 and 3:14-21, and Philippians 1:9-11.

 

In this passage Paul is encouraging the people to continue to stand firm for what is right. He talks of his own personal involvement with them, even though he had never seen them.  It was his friend Epaphras who had won the Colossians to Christ.

 

The word conflict means to strive. Paul was striving for the Colossians.  The Greek word here is the one from which our English words "agony" and "agonize" come from. I believe Paul's strivings, his conflicts, his struggles were centered on prayer.  One of the best ways we can encourage people is to pray for them.

 

A good example of encouragement through prayer is the one who won many of the Colossians to Christ, Paul’s friend Epaphras. Colossians 4:12

 

It is because of Paul great burden for the spiritual well being of these people that he wants them to progress in five ways.   

   

1. PROGRESSIVE STRENGTH - Vss. 2-3

 

The Greek word "comforted" is often translated "encouraged".

But Paul is talking more about being strengthened here.

The real "us", especially our hearts or minds need to be strengthened.

We start as Spiritual "babes" in Christ, but we are expected to get stronger in our Spiritual thinking and actions. 2 Peter 3:18, Colossians 1:11

 

So what happens when our hearts are strengthened?

They are knit together in love.

We might use the word, "united".  As saints are strengthened, they are united in love.

 

There are some things that help a church grow. Inviting people certainly helps. Evangelism certainly helps.  But the way the church will grow that is often overlooked is when people are united in their love for the Savior and their love for each other. John 13:34-35

 

Our understanding is to include knowing God's mystery, or sacred secret of Christ.

We need to be strengthened so we have a true knowledge of Christ!

 

Vs. 3 tells us why. We need to know Christ better, because Christ is the source of all treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  The more you know Christ on a personal basis, the more you will know wisdom and knowledge.

 

PROGRESSIVE AWARENESS Vs. 4

 

If we are going to be PROGRESSING in Christ, we must become more and more aware of the existence of false teaching. We must also become more and more competent at spotting false teaching.

 

False teaching is dangerous.

It will keep unsaved people from coming to Christ.

It will keep saved people from being victorious in Christ.

 

And notice what the problem is.  There are lots of "smooth talkers" who can trick us with beguiling words. Someone has called them "fine sounding arguments." 

 

PROGRESSIVE STAND - Vs. 5

 

Now Paul gives these people a compliment. They were doing some things right.

They already had a PROGRESSIVE stand for Christ.

Paul was not there in body, but he was in spirit. And evidently through the reports he had received about the Colossian church he rejoiced in knowing of their order.

 

The words "order" and "steadfastness" are military terms.

The word order refers to a line of soldiers drawn up for battle.

Steadfastness refers to the solidity of a group of soldiers.

So far, the Colossians were standing strong, individually and corporately.

He was encouraging them to continue that stand, especially against false teachers.

 

This is something we need to do as well.  We need to be armed for battle clothed with the Christian’s armor found in Ephesians 6. We need to be ready to stand strong against false teaching and against sin.

 

PROGRESSIVE FAITH - Vs. 6

 

So how were you saved?

By receiving Christ by faith!

You believed in Him for eternal life and forgiveness of sin.

As you received Christ, now you are to live in Christ. That's the life of faith.

And please notice when you received Christ you received God's chosen one, the Messiah.

And when you received Christ you received "Jesus", who is the salvation of Jehovah.

And when you received Christ you received a sovereign, a boss, a king. HE IS LORD!

 

By faith He's your Messiah.

By faith He's your Savior.

By faith He's your master.

 

5. PROGRESSIVE MATURITY - Vs. 7

 

 

If we are soundly rooted in Christ we will be able to stand firm when the winds of adversity and false teaching start to blow.

 

After being rooted firmly in Him, now we are to build.

The Christian life is one of continual growth.

As we are built up in Him, we will become established, firm, mature in our faith.

 

A mature faith leads to thanksgiving.

 

Are you making progress?

PROGRESSIVE STRENGTH - Vss. 2-3

PROGRESSIVE AWARENESS Vs. 4

PROGRESSIVE STAND - Vs. 5

PROGRESSIVE FAITH - Vs. 6

PROGRESSIVE MATURITY – Vs. 7

 

 

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Colossians 2:6-8

HOW TO GROW!

 

Christians are to grow up in their faith. 2 Peter 3:18

These verses tell us how to grow.

 

BE CONSISTENT - Vs. 6

We received Christ by faith. We are to walk in Christ by faith.

 

BE CONCRETE - Vs. 7

We are to be "rooted", "built up" and "steadfast" in our faith. We should also practice thanksgiving.

 

BE CAUTIOUS - Vs. 8

We are to be careful not to get involved with false teaching.

 

 

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Colossians 2:6-10

FAITH

 

THE WALK OF FAITH - Vss.6-7

We received Christ by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), so our walk is by faith.

As we increase in faith, we will become "rooted", "built up", established, and abounding in thanksgiving. Our faith increases as we are taught by the Word of God ((Romans 10:17).

 

THE WARNING OF FAITH - Vs. 8

Faith leaves no room for false teaching.  We need to reject all that is not of God (1 Timothy 1:3-7, Titus 3:10-11, 1 John 2:18-23).

 

THE WONDER OF FAITH - Vss. 9-10

When our faith is in Christ, we see the wonder of Christ's fullness, and the wonder of our completeness in Christ.

 

 

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Colossians 2:8-10

DON’T BE FOOLED!

 

 

There are all sorts of religions looking for something that isn’t there.  Can you name some of those religions? (Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon, Islam, Hindu, Buddhist, etc.)

 

We Christians can be fooled into looking for something that isn’t there when we try to add various beliefs to our Christianity that God never intended to be part of our faith.

 

In this passage we find Paul warning the Colossians and us not to be fooled.  In our text tonight Paul tells us to:

          BE WARNED – Vs. 8

          BE WISE – Vs. 9

          BE WHOLE – Vs. 10

 

BE WARNED – Vs. 8

 

The Old Testament prophets were good at handing out warnings. Ezekiel 3:17, Jeremiah 9:23-24,

 

In the New Testament warnings are handed out by the Lord Jesus, the Apostles, and writers of the Epistles the Book of Revelation. Luke 12:1-2, 2 Corinthians 13:5, 1 Peter 5:8, Revelation 22:18-19

 

And the preacher is told that warning is part of his job in

2 Timothy 4:2 - Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

 

So Paul gives the Colossians and us a warning in verse 8.

It begins with the word “Beware”.

 

Paul was warning the Colossians because of false teaching that was prevalent in Colossae. 

 

The word “spoil” here means to “kidnap”.

The Colossians were not in danger of being kidnapped physically, but spiritually.

They were in danger of being drawn away from the true faith.

It has been said that many cultists are those who been drawn away from the Christian religion.  Although they were probably not saved individuals, they did have their roots in the Christian faith.   

 

The word “philosophy” literally means “love of wisdom”.

We as Christians should love wisdom, the wisdom that comes from God. James contrasts two kinds of religion in James 3:14-18.

 

The “philosophy” presented to the Colossians undoubtedly sounded very learned and, I imagine, complicated.  It would have relied on man’s “wisdom” and not God’s. All it amounted to was learned sounding gibberish!

 

vain deceit” means “empty deception”.

 

Were these false teachers evil? Of course they were.

Did they appear to be evil? I highly doubt it.  They were probably as moral, or more moral than the average Christian in Colossae.  Satan is a deceiver, and can make his followers appear to be very righteous. 2 Corinthians 11:14-15

 

“Philosophy and vain deceit” have two sources.  They are mentioned next.  The first source is “traditions of men”.   

 

Not all traditions are bad.  However they are bad when they are contrary to the Word of God.

Mark 7:5-9

 

“Philosophy and vain deceit” have two sources.  The first source is “traditions of men”.   

   

The second source is “the rudiments of the world”.

The word “rudiments” could be translated “elemental spirits.”  And there is not agreement as to what it refers.

 

It could refer to the “basics” or the “ABC’s” suggesting that the teaching was simplistic no matter how learned it sounded.

 

Astrology was practiced in the days of the New Testament.

“Rudiments” or “elemental spirits” could also refer to angels who supposedly moved the stars around. A person supposedly needed knowledge in order to understand what they were doing.

Whatever the word “rudiments” means let us remember that it is of the “world”, that is the world system.  Whatever is of the world system is to be avoided. 1 John 2:15-17

 

And the last phrase of verse 8 reminds us that the teaching being practiced was not after Christ.

 

Some religions and philosophies claim to honor Christ, but they do not recognize Him as the supreme authority.  They do not recognize his deity. They do not recognize His authority as “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords”.   

 

BE WISE – Vs. 9

 

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

 

We should be wise as to who Jesus is!

In Christ, in his person, resides all there is of God.

He is God the Son. He is a member of the Trinity. John 1:1-5, Colossians 1:15-19, Hebrews 1:1-4

 

Jesus is God in a body. John 8:58, John 14:8-9

   

BE WHOLE – Vs. 10   

 

Colossians 2:10 - And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

 

When it says that we are “complete in him” it means that we are filled with or have his fullness.  The moment we were saved we became “full of Christ”.

 

What does this mean to you and me?

It means, first of all, being full of Christ, I have all I need for eternal life.

There is nothing lacking.  There is coming a day when my faith will be sight.  I shall be in his presence. 1 John 3:2

 

Secondly, because I am complete or filled full with Christ I have the capacity for fellowship with Him.

Jesus would never ask you to do something that is impossible would He? 

And Jesus because He is fully in me, wants me to “abide in Him”. John 15:4-5, 7

 

Finally, because I am complete or filled full with Christ I have the assurance of living a victorious Christian life. Galatians 2:20

 

As I recognize myself as dead with Christ, and alive with Christ I have all I need for victory over sin!

Romans 8:3-4

 

We have been given so much with Christ in our lives. Let’s enjoy it! Let’s appropriate it for Godly living!

 

 

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Colossians 2:8-23

IF IT ISN'T BROKEN, DON'T FIX IT!

 

The title of this message is an American saying. Usually, however we don't say it using correct English. We usually say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"  The Phrase simply means don't try to change something that doesn't need changing. As verse 8 shows us in our text, there were false teachers who were trying to "fix" Christianity. Paul warns the Colossians about these people.

 

CHRISTIANITY ISN'T BROKEN - Vss. 9-15

1. We have the fullness of God. Vs. 9

2. We are complete in Christ. Vs. 10

3. We are circumcised. Vs. 11

4. We are baptized. Vs. 12

5. We are alive. Vs. 13

6. We are forgiven. Vs. 14

7. We are victorious. Vs. 15

 

DON'T FIX IT!

1. Don't add legalism. Vss. 16-17

2. Don't add mysticism. Vss. 18-19

3. Don't add asceticism. Vss. 20-23

 

 

 

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