Summary: Here in this chapter Paul addresses the main reason for this letter, a heresy being taught in the church at Colossae, a heresy that cheapened Christ and His sacrifice for sin...
Colossians 2:1-23 [NLT]
November 7, 2012
Oak Park Baptist Church – Wed Bible Study Series
Colossians Bible Study
Paul’s encouragement and teaching on heritical teaching:
To this point, Paul has been very encouraging and uplifting to the church in Colossae, but here he broadens his appeal for encouragement a bit as we see him reaching out to more believers in v.1-5
[show v1-5 now]
1I want you to know how much I have agonized for you and for the church at Laodicea, and for many other believers who have never met me personally. 2I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. 3In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4I am telling you this so no one will deceive you with well-crafted arguments. 5For though I am far away from you, my heart is with you. And I rejoice that you are living as you should and that your faith in Christ is strong.
Here we find Paul reaching out, not only to the church in Colossae, but also to a church in a city called Laodicea as well as to those other believers who do not know him personally. This as Paul’s encouragement to basically ANYONE who would eventually read this letter…
[show highlighted v1 here]
But let’s go to the church in Laodicea for a moment, where do we know that name from? We know this city from the letters of Paul and the writings of John in the book of Revelation. The city of Laodicea is mentioned 6 times in the NT and 4 are by Paul here in this letter to the Colossian church.
Laodicea was a city in the Lycus valley and the neighboring towns were Colossae and another town named Hierapolis. Paul mentions both Laodicea and Hierapolis in this letter to the Colossian church in 4:13.
So we can be certain of a few things by Paul mention of Laodicea here and in ch4… WHAT he was about to teach… WHAT he was about to address was happening in the entire valley and he wanted the teaching to be known to ALL believers, not just those in Colossae.
The heresy that Paul was about to address and instruct against was spreading and Paul did not want any believer to fall prey to its enticing and misleading message.
Paul encourages the Colossian believers but that encouragement is also offered here to the church in Laodicea as well… and as Paul says, to any other believer who had not met him… Paul encourages before he admonishes!
But when we get to v6-7 Paul continues in that encouragement but specifies from where the encouragement should emanate… Jesus! Look what Paul says in v6-7: [show v6-7 now]
6And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7Let 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.
Paul was encouraging these believers, but then he encourages them with Christ. Just as you accepted Christ as Lord… is his advice…
When we accept Christ as LORD, we accept Him as the SOLE and UNIQUE path to God. As well as this be a great encouragement to these believers, this is also the beginning of Paul’s argument against this heresy being taught in the Lycus valley in these three towns of Colossae, Laodicea and Hierapolis…
The first thing Paul teaches is Jesus as sufficient for all belief and faith… Look what he says here:
[show highlighted v7 now]
7Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him.
As Jesus illustrated the Kingdom as a vine garden and Jesus being the Vine and us being the branches… Paul also says for us to GROW in Christ… to allow the roots of our lives to embed themselves in Christ!
The roots of our lives is where we get our life… our life emanates from Christ, our life is built solely upon Christ!
Paul wanted the believers of these churches to know and understand that their lives could NOT be founded on anything BUT Jesus…
Jesus was and is the only foundation upon which we can build an eternal home that will dwell with God. If we build anywhere else, we are building on ground that will crumble and our foundation will crumble along with it…
Later in v7 we find Paul giving us a result if we are willing to submit to the Lord… if we are willing to live IN Christ in our lives and dwell with God in our lives!