Summary: Everyone wants to live the abundant life, but do we know how? The Apostle Paul tells the Church at Colossae how to have a life worth living.
A Life Worth Living
Text: Colossians 2:1-23
He brushed his teeth twice a day and he went to his doctor religiously—twice a year for a thorough check-up. He wore his galoshes when it rained, and he slept with the window cracked to make sure he got enough fresh air.
He really stuck to the proper diet. He read every label on the food he bought, and identified all the fats—poly and unsaturated—and every other ingredient that might injure his body. He walked, jogged, and worked out at the local health club on a very disciplined schedule.
He made sure he ate plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and he slept 8 hours every night. He never smoked, drank, or lost his temper. He was prepared to live to be 100.
His funeral will be held on Wednesday. He was only 53-years old. He is survived by 18 specialists—4 health institutions—6 gymnasiums—and numerous manufacturers of health food and drugs.
He followed all the rules and imposed upon himself a strict regimen. He did everything he was told to do to have a long life—yet he still died.
· All the specialists,
· All the health institutions,
· All the gymnasiums,
· All the manufacturers of health foods and drugs….
· And all the rules and regulations he abided by….
Still couldn’t help him to attain his goal.
He still died!
Now, if we were to listen to the health Gurus of our day, we might be fooled into believing that if we do everything right, we might live almost forever. And yet, we all know that even if we were to follow all the rules and take strict care of our bodies, we can still die—at any time! Such behavior might make our lives healthier and more wholesome….but there is no guarantee of that either!
What can make life worth living? This is the very subject the Apostle Paul addresses in his letter to the Christians in Colossae. We come to Colossians, Chapter 2, in our series of this letter written by Paul.
The Colossian Church was being visited by spiritual Gurus who were offering similar assurances. They were teachers of false doctrine—guaranteeing that their teachings would make everyone acceptable to God, so that all those who followed their instructions could live forever.
Paul referred to these individuals as being hollow and deceptive in their philosophy (verse 8). Their teachings were based on “human traditions” and following “the principles of this world”—they were not based on Christ and His teachings!
These false teachers were not telling the Christians in Colossae about the right—the correct—the kind of life acceptable to God….the kind of life that was really worth living!
In Chapter 2, Paul tells the Colossian Christians the truth about living the correct life. He described for them a life worth living in Colossians 2:1-5.
---1---“For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face,
---2---that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself,
---3---in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
---4---I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument.
---5---For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ.”
All of us have that longing. We desire a life worth living—a life that has meaning. We could call it a search for significance. It is a life worth battling for and it might require a struggle.
The first thing we see in that life worth living does require a struggle. I don’t think of myself as a fan of struggle; and, I’ve sure you are not either. However, both of us would probably admit that the things we want and that are really worth something come through a struggle.
In verse 1, Paul says, “How much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally.” Paul had not met any of these people…yet he was struggling on their behalf. Paul was preaching and teaching the Gospel so that they would hear the will of God—accept it—obey it—and live it!
If the people at Laodicea followed Paul’s inspired teaching, they would have a life worth living. This attitude exemplifies the life of Christianity, as each struggles for the success of the other. This struggle must be for God’s Truth and against false doctrine!
Paul tells the people at Laodicea this life worth living must focus on the mystery of God, found in Christ Jesus. That’s because, in Christ, all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found. He says: “…I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments…” (verses 2-4).