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Summary: Exposition of Colossians 2:8a dealing with the believer's sufficiency in Christ.

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{Not a manuscript: transcribed from cassette recording}

Well let’s take our Bibles together and turn with me to Colossians chapter 2. As we continue in our study together, let’s read verses 8 through 10:

"See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him (that is, in Christ) all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority".

This past week, I read a true story about a pastor who was conducting a series of meetings on the East coast. And while he was there, he stayed with some friends and traveled from their home to wherever he was speaking that particular evening. And on that night, he was scheduled to speak at a church in Greenville, South Carolina. A member of the church in Greenville came to pick him up and the pastor told his hosts that he would be back no later than midnight. And after teaching at the Greenville church, he stayed for a while to enjoy some fellowship and then rode back to where he was staying, which was in a neighboring town. As he and his ride approached the house where he was staying, he saw the porch light on and assumed that his hosts would be prepared for his arrival. And he told the member from the Greenville church who was taking him there to "go ahead, hurry back, you’ve got a long drive, and my hosts expect me to be late, so go on". It was in the middle of winter and the pastor made the long walk to the house, which was set a ways off the road. He was already quite cold by the time he reached the front door. And he tried the door and it was locked. So he gently knocked. And there was no answer. He knocked a little harder. There was no answer. He knocked even harder still. No answer. He went around to the kitchen door. Tried that. It was locked. He knocked there. Checked the kitchen window. No success there. So he ended up walking several miles to find a telephone where he could call his friends, whom he figured were sound asleep. And during his walk, he slipped on a wet spot on the grass and fell down an embankment into two feet of water. Freezing wet, he finally came to a motel, where he found a telephone and he finally reached his sleepy hosts. And he told them, "I hate to wake you, but I couldn’t get anyone in the house to wake up and let me in. I’m several miles down the road at the motel. Could you come and get me?", to which his friend replied, "Don’t you remember, you have a key in your coat pocket. I gave it to you before you left this evening." Well, embarrassed, the pastor reached into his coat and pulled out a key to the front door.

This story illustrates the Christian who vainly attempts to open the door of God’s blessing on his life through his own self-effort, all the while possessing Jesus Christ, who alone holds the key to our every need. I’m convinced that the primary reason so many Christians unduly struggle in their Christian lives is twofold: we don’t know and we don’t apply. We’re either ignorant or we’re negligent or both. You say, "What do you mean?". Well, I think we don’t fully realize, or we forget, who we are in Jesus Christ. And we don’t really believe that Jesus Christ is all we need. Now listen. If we really believed that Jesus Christ is all we needed, we would never be out there trying to fill voids and find answers to problems anywhere else but in Jesus Christ: voids and answers to questions that only He can fill.

Does the Church really believe the Word of God as penned through the apostle Peter in Second Peter chapter 1 verses 2 and 3:

"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has (past tense) granted to us everything (all encompassing) pertaining to life and godliness".

Do you believe, as God’s Word says, that Jesus Christ has granted to you "everything (past tense) pertaining to life and godliness"? When you were saved, you received all you needed to live the Christian life. Everything. There’s no other experience you need. Nothing.

But I wonder if we really believe that. I’ll admit, I’m somewhat simplistic. Not a simpleton, but somewhat simplistic. I would never make a good self-help author. I see things pretty simply. Someone says, "Hey, I have a problem with this sin issue". Well, you have a problem with the flesh? Galatians 5:16 says "walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh". Pretty simple. It comes down to the sufficiency of Jesus Christ and the sufficiency of God’s Word. And I see that throughout Scripture. Colossians chapter 3 verse 16: "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you". What’s that mean? The truth of God’s Word: let it indwell you, let it control you. By the way, when we get there, we’ll also look at Ephesians 5:18 because that’s a parallel passage, and there Paul says "be filled with the Spirit".

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