Summary: A Christ-centered faith means that God gives His children a full life in union with Christ, when His children let Him be supreme over all.
A CHRIST-CENTERED FAITH-Colossians 2:1-10
Proposition: A Christ-centered faith means that God gives His children a full life in union with Christ, when His children let Him be supreme over all.
Objective: My purpose is to challenge all to make a full commitment to Christ as one experiences a Christ-centered faith.
Illus: Some Christians try to live from one dramatic mountaintop experience to another. Their relationship with the Lord is based on their feelings at the moment. They go from Bible conferences to seminars to Bible studies, trying to maintain an emotional high. Author Creath Davis, referring to his early Christian life, wrote, "I felt that if something spectacular was not transpiring, my faith was weakening. As a result, I missed most of what was going on in the valleys, waiting to get back to the mountain." What’s an effective antidote for a feelings-centered faith? According to the apostle Paul in Colossians 2, being Christ-centered is the answer. We grow steadily into maturity as we focus on Christ & what He has done for us, & not on our feelings. Illus: “Mountaintop experiences can be beneficial, but nothing is more profitable than an ongoing, Christ-centered life of faith.” —Joanie Yoder
“Christ Jesus the Lord” is the greatest affirmation of the deity, humanity and sovereignty of Christ. The apostle Paul was deeply concerned for the Church at Colossae because she was threatened from the inside by false teaching. In love he exposed the danger that was threatening the church. Like a skilled surgeon he exposed the life threatening cancer and prescribed the only cure. The prescription is loyalty to Jesus Christ. Christ was all the church needed. Here Paul communicates his concern to the Colossians and instructs them to be steadfast in the faith of Christ. How strange in our day many people go off searching the religious cults and mystery religions for a deeper spiritual life when the key to fulfillment in Christian living is to deepen our loyalty to Christ. To be a Christian is to be in fellowship with Christ. It is not a commitment to a culture or traditions of man. It is a vital union with Christ. "As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him" (Colossians 2:6) is the key to a vibrant living Christian life. There were believers in the church at Colossae who were being distracted and led away from the all-sufficiency of Christ.
I. A GREAT CONCERN: “Don’t Be Deceived” ( vvs. 1-4) “I say lest anyone deceives you”—Paul warns these early Christians to be careful in listening to wrong teachings about Jesus Christ. They were hearing, “Christ is not the Creator, the carnation was not real and Christ was not enough.”
1. A great conflict (v. 1) “I want you to know what great conflict I have for you”-- For I want you to know how great a struggle (lit. physical striving in a contest, perhaps to wrestle) I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, His great conflict is because of his great concern over the dangerous doctrines being taught in the churches at Colossae and Laodicea.
2. A greater comfort (v. 2) “that their hearts may be encouraged”-- Here are the evidences of spiritual maturity:
1). Encouragement “encouraged”--The word "encourage" means "with heart." To encourage people is to give them new heart. Shallow sympathy makes people feel worse, but true spiritual encouragement brings out the best in people.
2). Endearment “being knit together”--The mature Christian loves others & seeks to be a peacemaker, not a troublemaker. He is a part of spiritual unity in the church. An immature person is often selfish & causes divisions.
3). Enrichment “attaining to all the riches of all assurance”--Too many Christians are living like paupers when they could be living like kings. Mature Christians do not complain about what they don’t have. Rather, they make use of the vast resources that they do have in Jesus Christ.
4). Enlightment “of understanding, to the knowledge of mystery of God”--The mature believer has assurance in his heart that he is a child of God. Knowledge is the apprehension of truth while wisdom is its application to life. The spiritual knowledge that he has in Christ constantly enlightens him and directs him daily.
3. The greatest certainty (v. 3) “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”— Paul states that this is found in Christ. Christ is “the mystery of God,” that is no longer hidden, but manifested as an “open secret.” The Gnostics, of course, boasted of an understanding far surpassing anything found w/in the pages of divine revelation. Note this: “Knowledge is the understanding of truth, whereas wisdom is the ability to apply what truth has been learned.”