Summary: The Gospel of Christ sets us free from being condemned, controlled and confused by others.
SET FREE THROUGH CHRIST - Colossians 2:6-23
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?
‘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:
“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
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