Summary: There's something out there trying to trap you into making it/them the Lord of your life. Anything or anyone who is not Christ is trying to trap you.
(To hear the sermon please go to my podcast at: https://www.buzzsprout.com/697261/2066766)
Don't Get Trapped
• Better mousetrap. Little bit of peanut butter, irresistible.
o An easy meal, easy fulfillment.
• What kind of traps do we fall into?
o Mystical tools, ideas
o Gurus, political parties and personalities
o Just living for self.
• Paul’s argument that a “Jesus only” life avoids being tempted into believing/trusting other philosophies, lifestyles, etc.
• Something will entice you to be lord of life. Anything or anyone who is not Christ is trying to trap you.
• To help the Colossians (and us) to avoid these traps, Paul reminds us of the basics of our faith.
Encouragement: Grow Up Strong
Colossians 2:6–7 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
• Living in the Lord
o Roots - Already done
o Built, strong, overflow - continuing in our Christian walk.
• Gut check: What are we rooted in? Who are we really following with our hearts? Do we make a conscious, deliberate effort to mature in the Lord?
Warning: Don’t Get Trapped
Colossians 2:8–9 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. 9 For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.
• This is an important caution.
• Philosophies could mean culture, values, agendas, even religion.
• Paul teaches that these competing philosophies will trap you and drag you away from Christ.
• Basic spiritual powers is also the “ABC’s” of what could be called elemental principles
• Gut check: Whose agenda are we following?
Reminder: You’ve Already Been Freed
Colossians 2:9–12 For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. 10 So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. 11 When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature. 12 For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.
• Paul contrasts human culture and thinking, relying on “ABC’s” or “What everybody knows,” with Christ who is Creator, Redeemer, and Head.
• Jesus has all the presence of God in His incarnation.
• No need to get trapped and dragged away. God has brought you to Christ. There’s nothing else needed.
• This has been accomplished by a death and resurrection.
o His first point is to contrast faith in Christ to circumcision.
Ephesians 2:11 Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts.
• Rather than minor surgical procedure that has no effect on our hearts and minds, God has made us new.
Romans 2:29 No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.
• The shift from circumcision to baptism is to contrast ineffective rituals to a spiritual reality of death and life based on faith.
o It signifies a break with the past. We die to the old ways of living and thinking.
• Christians die with Christ and enter his tomb with Him and the same might God who raised Christ from the dead and has raised us to live in eternity.
Colossians 2:12 The Message If it’s an initiation ritual you’re after, you’ve already been through it by submitting to baptism. Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ.
• Gut check: Have you been baptized? Do you remember why you were?
Because: God Forgave You
Colossians 2:13–14 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.
• dead in sins is meant to teach that we were alienated from God.