Summary: An expository sermon on Colossians 2:6-15 concerning Christian fullness in the triumphant Christ.
Scripture: Colossians 2:6-15
The church at Colossae was started by Epaphras, who was a fellow Colossian and a preacher in Laodicea, Hierapolis and Colossae. The letter reveals that the Colossian believers had a great faith in Jesus and love for their fellow believers.
But despite their love and faith, the Colossians had a great need to grow in the knowledge about Christ. They didn’t understand that God’s complete message was already fully disclosed in Christ.
Apparently there were false teachers who had come to them with a message of additional requirements. They were being deceived by humanistic philosophical arguments that claimed that one needed to have more than just faith in Christ. These additional requirements included: circumcision, rules on food, Jewish special days, false humility, and the worship of angels. These appear to stem from Judaizers (likely former Pharisees; The Pharisees accepted and stringently observed the Law and “traditions of the elders”; mostly centered on laws of ritual purity, table-fellowship, Sabbath traditions, circumcision, and food laws. They believed in the after-life, resurrection of the body, the rewards and punishments of a last judgment, miracles, the coming Messiah and angels).
Having received this troubling news from Epaphras, Paul makes the perfect instrument to address the Colossian Christians. His thorough knowledge of Pharisaical Judaism, Gentile lifestyles in the Greco-Roman world, and strong apostolic faith in the Supremacy of Christ makes Paul singularly qualified to write to them. That Paul is writing from prison (for his witness to Christ) only makes his personal address to the Colossians on the behalf of Christ more compelling. He is not simply providing them instructions, but is living his faith and being persecuted for it.
II. Christ Jesus is Lord (Colossians 2:6-7)
A. Just as you received Jesus as Lord (2:6)
Do you remember when you received Jesus as Lord? What was your life like before you did? What is your life like now? I pray that there is a radical transformation, because that is what Jesus brings to our lives. Do you remember how free from sin and guilt you felt? Do you have that same passion, zeal, and love for the Lord as when you began?
Illustration: I was 15 years old when I went to a summer Christian camp in Hubbardsville, NY for three weeks in 1984. I was privileged to see so many Christians and the Christian life being displayed in those weeks that I knew I was missing something. I was missing the relationship with Jesus that they had. Their faith and love in Jesus compelled me to read the entire NT in less than a week to find out more about Him and what I needed to do. Two counselors helped me along the way, providing loving guidance.
I found out that I needed to make Jesus my Lord and dethrone myself. This was not my parents faith, but my own, authored by Jesus. It was 9:00 at night when I crucified that old man of sin with Jesus, confessed Jesus as Lord, and was immersed for the forgiveness of my sins in the Camp Hunt pool. My heart was changed forever. I will never be the same since He became my Lord and His love and gospel saved me.
B. Continue to live in Him (2:6-7)
Paul’s encouragement to the Colossians is just as true for us today. Often we forget to remain in the same correct teaching, zeal, and focus on Jesus as Lord as when we began our walk with Him. Is He still your Master, Lord, and Boss? Or is He a stranger to you now; grown distant by sin, rebelliousness, and the hardness of an ungrateful heart?
How are your roots in Him doing? Are they shallow, dry, and coming up from the ground? Or are they deep, well watered by prayer, faith, hope, and the actions that spring from His love flowing through you?
2. Built up
Are you staying encouraged in Him? How is your study of our Lord going? Your fellowship with other believers? Are you encouraging others? Are your actions expressing your faith and love in Jesus? Are you helping to expand His Kingdom or are you a hindrance to His work in the world?
3. Strengthened in the faith
There is one faith (Ephesians 4:5) that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3). It is the teaching and trust in Jesus our Lord: Savior, Redeemer, and Judge. This faith was passed on to us by His prophets and apostles and it is contained in His Word and in the hearts of His people. Be strong in it. Be assured. Be confident.
4. Overflowing with thankfulness
This is what Thanksgiving is all about. It overflows from our hearts from a genuine appreciation and love for the Lord and what He has accomplished and provided for us in our lives. But is Thanksgiving reserved for one day of the year? A hard heart cannot be thankful. It grumbles and complains about the slightest thing. Do you know people like that? Are you that person?