Summary: Paul was concerned for the believers in Colosse.
Date Written: November 26, 2006
Date Preached: November 26, 2006
Where Preached: OZHBC (PM)
Sermon Series: A Study in Colossians
Sermon Title: Paul’s Concern over Heresy in the Church
Sermon Text:: Col 2:1-5
Just a note, this outline is NOT original but was found in “Preaching the Word” Commentary on Colossians and Philemon written by R. Kent Hughes…
Have you ever had a concern about what is taught in the church? If you haven’t… you should! What is taught here in this church is what people see in the world around us…
When we are faithful and true to God’s Word and the teachings of Jesus we disciple believers into a solid and stable Christian walk, but when we teach things that are NOT of the Bible… that is when the flock begins to fracture and go astray…
Paul knew that sound teaching was the only way to combat the Gnostic heresy that was being taught in Colosse and Laodecia (sister cities about 8 miles apart)
I know that as a pastor, I have a great concern on WHAT is being taught in our church… in each Sunday school class, in every discipleship training hour… in every home meeting… I am concerned about WHAT is being proclaimed as the Word of God!
And my concern is NOT for my sake or for my control, but it is the simple fact that Christ has made me undershepherd of this flock and I am responsible for WHAT is taught…
Likewise, Paul had been kind of adopted as the ‘pastor emeritus’ of both the Laodecian and Colossian church and they had begged him to come and see them… and to help them with a heresy that was being spread around by the Gnostic type believers who were claiming that Christ was GOOD but not all sufficient for salvation and heaven!
These people claimed that the believers had to obtain this ‘special knowledge’ to know God, but Paul is quick to respond and he sets them straight in this short passage we find at the beginning of chapter 2…
1. The Greatness of Paul’s Concern (v.1)
1 For I want you to know HOW GREAT A STRUGGLE I have for you, for those in Laodicea, and for ALL WHO HAVE NOT SEEN ME IN PERSON.
Col 2:1 (HCSB)
I want us to understand just how much Paul was concerned for these 2 particular churches. The Greek word he uses is Agon which means struggle, conflict or opposition. But it is the Greek word where we get our English word Agony!
Paul was literally in agony over the heresy that was being preached and taught in these 2 cities. He had not had the chance to come to these churches in person, but had contact through Epaphras who had met Paul in Ephesus and was saved and went back to Colosse and started a church.
But it was not simply agonizing over something and doing nothing about it… Paul was also fighting this heresy with his pen. He was writing to these churches and encouraging them and teaching them the way of Christ.
The word Agon also carries with it a sense of striving for victory… like trying to win a race. In this sense Paul was striving to win the victory over the heresy that was being presented in these fellowships.
Paul was eager to get there in person to speak the truth… to let them hear it from him… he was not bragging here but understood that he had been chosen by God to take the message of the Gospel to the Gentiles and he did not put that responsibility off on anyone else… he felt a personal responsibility to meet this heresy head on and in person, but had not had the opportunity.
It was this striving for victory that drove the heart of Paul… that same heart that had been changed on the road to Damascus years before… was now a heart filled with compassion for the lost and the family of God.
And on top of all this Paul was striving for them from a prison cell. He was under persecution at the time of this letter so physical agony was not out of the realm of possibility! Paul was so focused on doing what God had called him to do… that he disregarded his circumstances and strived forward for the sake of the Gospel…
As believers this is what our hearts should reflect in our lives! We should have this same AGON… this same struggle… this same striving for the lost souls of the world around us! Even for those we will NEVER see, our prayer and striving should be for the advancement of the Gospel and the growth of the kingdom…
This can be realized in our lives today through our giving to the Lottie Moon, Annie Armstrong and Georgia Barnett missions offerings. But it can also be realized by our willingness to go on mission trips and share Christ with those we do NOT know… and may NEVER see again! If you want to serve Christ as He has called you to serve, you must first have a great agony for the lost of this world!