Summary: Paul’s message to the church to not be stuck in the slavery of human tradition’s. Really impacted me as to how I personally worship God.
Colossians 2: 6-8
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him...” How? How are we as Christians supposed to continue to live in him? Let’s read on and see. In verse seven we read this...
1. rooted and built up in him.--See tree root systems--
We in our lives can truly be rooted. But do we ever stop and ask ourselves along the journey what we are rooted in? When the storms of life try to break our limbs what force keeps us from toppling over? That’s why Paul said rooted IN HIM. We have no strength apart from what God has given us. There is another idea present here in which we must seriously look at. These trees that we speak of with such a strong root system are many. We as Christians must remain together if we are to maintain a strong root.
2. Strengthened in the faith as you were taught...
What is faith? You could try to define it as a belief in something that cannot be seen. A sure hope in something. Some might suggest that it is the inward voice of man reassuring us of a higher power, and of his love for us all through good times and bad. Whatever you may define faith as we must also ask ourselves if we are to be strengthened in this faith, how are we to do this? Paul in Romans 10:17 tells us, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” If faith comes from hearing the message one must also ask himself what then is the message? I feel that the message can be any grain of wisdom that can be applied to your life to help you. Okay so where am I going to get this grain of wisdom? “...the message is heard through the word of Christ”.
3. We are still seeking that idea of how to continue to live in him. The third piece of advice that Paul gives us on how to remain rooted in him is “...overflowing with thankfulness”. This is probably one of the most understandable pieces of advice that he gives us. We are to be thankful for all things in our life. If we remain in an attitude of constantly praising and thanking God is serves a twofold purpose. First is that we are giving praise to the one whom it is due. Second, we are keeping our minds focused on God, and in the process drawing closer to him.
What a positive message from Paul about continuing to live in Christ Jesus. The amazing thought to me and it must’ve been to Paul as well is this idea of overflowing praise or overflowing thankfulness. It was so important to Paul that he continued on in this thought. Only this time from a different perspective.
Let’s read Colossians 2:8. As you may first read through this text you may see that you understand the ideas such as not letting people take you captive through false things. That’s good. Let’s dig deeper in the text and see what might have truly been going on that he would give them this warning. What is this hollow and deceptive philosophy that we see here in the text? We know that it depends on human tradition. We know that it relies on the basic principles of this world, rather than on Christ.
In worshipping God can we be held captive by human tradition and the basic principles of this world. I believe we can. As I read this text I thought that it might be a break that goes on to another thought. It doesn’t seem that the text would lend itself to talking about worship. But as I began to look I was astounded by the very fact that it is wholly about our worship of God. I searched and found several key scriptures that support this idea. The first is from the old testament. It is found in Isaiah 29:13, “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.” In Matthew 15:8-9 Jesus even quoted the prophet about the vain worship of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.
Today we celebrate Independence Day. It is supposed to be a day when we celebrate our Independence from the formalism and rules and regulations that we were forced to worship under in the old world. That was the very reason for the foundation of this Country. To escape England’s human traditions. Guess what? It didn’t help...we’ve just created our own. We’ve taken worship and put it into a box. God gave us this spirit of thankfulness in our lives so that it would be exciting. If something is exciting to us then we are always thinking about it. Worshipping the God of this Universe is not supposed to be regulated, timed and planned so that it fits into our schedules. For the rest of this message I’ve decided to phrase everything in the form of a question. I’m going to cheat and tell you the answers to the questions beforehand. Every answer to every question is “NO”. So matter of fact after every question is posed I want you to answer no. And when we get to the end of the questions and you haven’t answered no to ever question then you need to come spend some time with God and find the freedom that we have in truly worshipping God this morning.