Summary: Let no-one……… (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: Colossians chapter 2 verses 4-15.
A reporter was interviewing an old man on his 100th birthday.
• “What are you most proud of?” he asked.
• “Well, “ said the man, “I don’t have an enemy in the world.”
• “What a beautiful thought! How inspirational!” said the reporter.
• “Yep,” added the centenarian, “outlived every last one of them.”
• There was a pastor of a local Church,
• Who was concerned about some unsavoury business outside his local school:
• His protests finally led to a court case,
• And the opposing barrister tried to do everything he could to discredit the pastor.
• “Are you a pastor?” the lawyer asked.
• “Yes” came the reply.
• The lawyer continued, “Does the word pastor mean shepherd?”
• The minister replied “Yes it does”.
• The lawyer then said;
• “If you are a shepherd , why are you not out taking care of your sheep?”
• The pastor replied;
• “I am caring for the sheep by fighting the wolves”.
Paul was very aware that enemies were attacking the Church at Colosse:
• And so Paul offered them some encouragement and advice,
• If they heeded his warning the Colossians could overcome their enemies.
• Ill: Now a sheep would never be able to scare off a wolf,
• But a sheep protected by and in the company of the Good Shepherd can!
Let no-one deceive you (verse 4&8).
4”I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments”.
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ”.
• Every Christian has an enemy called Satan;
• His plan is always the same, to deceive and to lead believers astray,
• And one of the ways he does this;
• Is by using deceptive words.
The Greek term used here in verse 4:
• Describes the persuasive arguments of a lawyer.
• Who is doing his best to defend his client, even though he knows his client is guilty!
• Satan is a liar,
• And by his lies he wants to lead believers away from Christ
In warning the Christians at Colossae of the evil ones strategy:
• Paul used several vivid word picture;
• Grasping hold of these truths will help us overcome the enemy.
(1). The army (verse 5):
5For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.
• Dwight L. Moody did not want his song leader Ira Sankey;
• To use the hymn ‘Onward Christian soldiers’
• Why? Well, Mr Moody thought that the Church as he knew it;
• Did not look or act like an army of Christian soldiers.
Quote: C.T. Studd powerful writing ‘The Chocolate Soldier’.
• THE OTHERWISE CHRISTIAN IS A Chocolate Christian,
• Dissolving in water and melting at the smell of fire.
• Sweeties they are! Bonbons, lollipops!
• Living their lives in a glass dish or in a cardboard box,
• Each clad in his soft clothing,
• A little frilled white paper to preserve his dear little delicate constitution.
• Too many of us as Christians want an easy life.
• What we do is often a show, looking good to please others!
• When actually each Christian is called to enlist in a war.
• We are in a battle and expected to fight hard!
In verse 5 a soldier is pictured:
• The words “Order” and “Firm” or “Stead fastness” are military terms.
• They describe an army that is solidly united against the enemy.
• “Order “describes the arrangement of the army in ranks,
• With each soldier in his proper place.
• Not everybody can be a five-star general,
• But •the general could never fight the battle alone.
• “Standing firm” or “Steadfastness” pictures the soldiers in battle formation,
• Presenting a solid front to the enemy.
• Christians ought to make progress in discipline and obedience,
• Just as soldiers on the battlefield.
(2). The pilgrim (verse 6):
• Late last century,
• An American tourist paid a visit to a renowned Polish rabbi, Hofetz Chaim.
• He was astonished to see that the rabbi’s home was only a simple room filled with books,
• Plus a table and a cot.
• The tourist asked, "Rabbi, where is your furniture?"
• Hofetz Chaim replied, "Where is yours?"
• The puzzled American asked, "Mine? But I’m only a visitor here. I’m only passing through."
• The rabbi replied, "So am I."