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Summary: The Gospel of Christ sets us free from being condemned, controlled and confused by others.

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9.8.09

SET FREE THROUGH CHRIST - Colossians 2:6-23

INTRO

This week judges made the controversial decision to free the notorious train robber Ronnie Biggs. This became the subject of much debate amongst those who had a particular interest in this, especially relatives of victims and members of his family.

But how free is Ronnie Biggs?

According to the definition of freedom in philosophy – that:

“Freedom is the right to act according to ones will without being held up by the power of others”, Ronnie Biggs is a free man.

But is he really free from the apparatus of the hospital, and the effects of a stroke – or from being recognizable as a guilty person of notoriety, or (as was his stated wish) to go into a Margate pub and order a pint of bitter? What kind of freedom is that?

POINT

‘Freedom’ deserves a better definition.

• Is it only the right to do what we want?

• Or is it better defined as the power to do live as God intended us to do?

Jesus once said to the Jews who believed in him:

John 8:32

“you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Truth can have a very freeing effect, especially the truth of the Gospel:

• When we accept the truth about ourselves as sinners

• When we accept the truth that Jesus loved us enough to die for us

• When we accept the truth that Jesus’ death was in our place and that we can be forgiven and saved

• When we accept Jesus as our Saviour and Lord

Then we are

• set free from our guilt,

• set free from our fear of judgment,

• set free to be truthful without fear before God,

• set free from the power and tyranny of sin

• and empowered by the Holy Spirit to live as God intended.

Questions: As a Christian,

• how much are you in touch with your freedom today?

• How much are you enjoying your freedom?

• Has anything crept into your life to take away the joy of your experience of freedom in Christ?

It happens – And the Christians in Colossae are good examples of how this kind of thing can happen to us:

READING: Colossians 2:6-23

POINT

The irony of this letter is that Paul is writing from his confinement in a Roman prison but considers himself free.

And his concerns were for those who, though socially free, were in danger of becoming captive to:

• False teaching about Christ

• False guilt from attitudes of others

• False wisdom based on human philosophy rather than divine revelation.

In summary Paul said to them:

• Don’t let anyone confuse you v8-15

• Don’t let anyone condemn you v16-19

• Don’t let anyone control you v20-23

But grow up in Christ. V6-7

1. DON’T LET ANYONE CONFUSE YOU v8-15

In Colossae the Christians were being influenced by what could be described as pre-Gnostic philosophy.

POINT – Gnosticism was a ‘mystery’ religion

• The word ‘mystery’ was used by the pagans to describe secret information made known to an exclusive group.

Paul used their language to describe what the true ‘mystery’ is = not something hidden and secret, but something revealed by God in the Gospel.

PAUL WARNS THEM:

‘See that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy’ v8

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