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Summary: Discussion of the idea that we need to follow the philosophies of Christ rather than the philosophies of the world.

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Avoiding the Captivity of Your Mind

Colossians 2:6-8

June 7, 2009

NOTE: THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE FORMAT IS FROM ANDY STANLEY’S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE."

Me: My heart broke last week when I found out that New Hampshire’s governor had signed a bill into law allowing gay marriage.

New Hampshire is now the sixth state to allow it, and that’s just tragic.

So on Wednesday night during the weekly prayer meeting, we were reading Colossians, and we read this passage we’re going to look at today.

And I felt that God was leading me to talk, not about gay marriage necessarily, but about the mindset that the world has regarding issues like this.

I find myself shaking my head a lot of the time when I come across something in the news or on TV or whatever, that basically says that because “everyone” seems to be doing or saying or believing something, that it’s okay or true.

We: All of us are bombarded with messages telling us that traditional ways of thinking, especially ways of thinking based on the Bible are out-dated, out of sync with society, and even down-right dangerous.

So how do we combat these ideas? How do recognize the falsehoods of these beliefs and how do we discuss them with those who disagree with us?

How do we equip ourselves and our children to face these things in a way that promotes truth and enables us and our kids to stand firm when confronted with error?

I don’t know that I’ll be able to answer every question, but I do want us to look at some things that I believe will help us as we look to bring the truth of Christ to those around us.

God: I believe the answers lie in a short passage in the book of Colossians.

Colossians 2:6-8 (p. 834) –

6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

8 See 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.

I’m going to do things just a bit differently, today.

We’re going to look at the last verse of our passage first, then finish by looking at the two verses ahead of that last.

Let’s talk first of about the philosophy of the world mentioned here in verse 8.

The word “philosophy” here just means a mindset or way of thinking. We’re not talking necessarily about something you have to have a PhD to understand or discuss.

Everyone has a philosophy about life, even if they can’t describe it. Okay?

Here are some funny philosophies I found while working on this message:

“To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there’s no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other.”

“It takes a big man to cry, but it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man.” (brainofbrian.com)

And one of my personal philosophies, “There’s more to life than finding the closest parking spot.”

Anyway, the Apostle Paul describes the philosophy of the world in four ways:

It’s hollow, deceptive, it depends on human tradition, and it depends on the basic principles of this world.

In other words, the mindset of the world has no substance, it lies, and depends on the idea that humans are the center of existence.

Man’s ideas of what is truth and what is good change all the time.

People used to believe that truth was objective and absolute. In other words, truth could be known and believed because it was true in every circumstance.

Now people believe that truth is relative. It might be true for you, but not for me, and that there is no such thing as absolute truth.

But when mankind is the decider of what is true and what is good and right, then those standards of truth and right will change with society, and I think I can safely guarantee that as we continue to the time when Jesus returns, those standards will only continue to go down, not up.

And if you’re not careful, you can be taken captive by these things. And that’s just plain dangerous.

But this passage of Scripture also tells us that we can avoid being taken captive.

Let’s look back at verses 6-7 –

6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

The key to avoiding the captivity of your mind is found in Christ – living in Him, being rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in your faith in Him.

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