The church, an established community
Scripture: Colossians 2:1-12
Aim: To help the pupil understand that the Church at Colosse was established in Christ and was instructed to be aware of the work of men to nullify or destroy its effectiveness for Christ.
Golden Text: “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6-7).
Paul named three “mysteries” that were present in his time. A mystery in the Scriptures is a truth that is unknown and unknowable unless and until God reveals it. Man cannot find out the truth without God’s explanation.
The three mysteries listed here are: One, the mystery that God had planned for the Church of Jesus Christ to be established in the world (Colossians 1:24-26); two, the mystery that the Gentiles would have Christ living within them to give them hope of eternal salvation by grace through faith in Christ (1:27-29); and, three, Christ and the Father are revealed as God unified (Colossians 2:2-3). God was in Christ, reconciling sinful men to Himself.
Paul address his message to the Christians at Colosse and Laodicea (2:1). Paul had never visited them. He had only heard reports of the churches in the area; thus, he wrote to them in order to help them receive the further blessings of their Christian faith.
I. Note Paul’s deep desire for these Christians (2:2-3). He wanted them to be comforted in their hearts (vs. 2) because of the persecution they were going through for their Christian faith.
Next, he desired they be knit together in love (vs. 2). This would be love for one another and the Lord.
Third, he wanted them to have full assurance that Jesus Christ is God (equal to the Father, vs. 2). Jesus has within Himself “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (vs. 3).
II. Paul warned them not to be carried away (influenced adversely against the Christian Faith) by five different areas of false teaching and leadership.
Here we look at two.
First, Paul warned against “sophistry,” that is the deception through the use of “words.” They must not listen and heed the words of men who would lead them away from their simple faith in Christ (vs. 4-7) .
They are instructed to be “rooted” in Christ to bring forth Christian fruit. They are instructed to be “built up” in Christ that they may be growing in their faith. They are to be “established in the faith” according as they had been taught. This produces patience. They are to be “abounding with thanksgiving” to God. These things help to keep them focused on their relationship with Christ.
Second, Paul warned against “human philosophy” (2:8-15). Men can seen so wise and correct when they deny God’s revelation and truth, but they lead people away from God and truth. The philosophers follow “vain deceit” (vain-empty, useless, worthless), follow the traditions of men (rather than God), follow the “rudiments of the world” (teachings of men without Christ (vs. 8).
Paul reminded them that they are following Christ (vs. 8b) in Whom is all the “fullness of the Godhead, bodily (vs. 9).
Further, the believers are “complete in Him” (vs. 9), and He is the “head of all principality and power” (vs. 10).
They had a heart “circumcision” meaning their heart had been renewed in Christ (vs. 11). They were buried with Him (died in Him ) and raised from the dead (in Him, vs. 12). All this is the operation of God in them (vs. 12); therefore, they are to remain faithful to their Christian faith and let nothing move them away. In Christ they are safe and secure.