Summary: Since we can be complete in Christ with a full commitment to Him, there are certain benefits of a Christ-centered faith as we follow Him.
THE FULLNESS OF GOD’S PEOPLE IN CHRIST Colossians 2:11-15
Proposition: Since we can be complete in Christ with a full commitment to Him, there are certain benefits of a Christ-centered faith as we follow Him.
Objective: My purpose is to challenge God’s people to be experience the fullness of following the preeminence Christ and enjoying the benefits of a CHRIST-CENTERED FAITH..
Illus: Years ago, a teenage boy came to know Christ. His parents did not take him to church & the only way he could attend was to catch the church bus that came by his house to pick him up each Sunday. The young man accepted the Lord, & he tried to get his parents to attend, but every time he asked them, they refused. The pastor of the church went to the young man’s house, & also invited the parents to come, but they let him know they were not interested. Nothing could touch them, but this healthy looking, nice young man around 18 or 19 years old died an unexpected death one evening in his sleep. The first thing those parents did was to call their son’s pastor. When the pastor arrived, both parents sat crying with hearts so broken you could hear their crying out in the streets. They said to the pastor, ”What are we going to do?” The pastor said, “When it comes to bringing him back, there is nothing you can do. But if you ever hope to see him again, you have to go to where he is in heaven, & if you do not accept the Lord Jesus as your Savior, you will never see him again.” That night both parents came to know the Lord due to the death of their only son! They were able to experience the benefits of a Christ-centered faith due to the Christ-centered faith of their son.
Kent Hughes states: “As we take up Paul’s words in verses 11-15, we find him further elaborating upon how the Colossians’ fullness was accomplished in Christ. They participated in the events of the Cross—namely, Christ’s death, burial and resurrections. This was foundational in their fullness—and ours.” This shows us the benefits of a Christ-centered faith. The thought of Christ’s sufficiency is now stressed by the mention of things Christ has done. These have to do with spiritual cirumcision (vv. 11, 12), forgiveness of sins (vv. 13, 14) & victory over the forces of evil (v. 15).
The cry of the Gnostics was: “Christ is not the Creator, the carnation was not real and Christ was not enough.” Then there was the Judaizerss: “The Gentiles must be circumcised.” Paul shares the benefits of a Christ-centered faith. We do not need circumcision, but faith in Jesus Christ. Paul magnifies the unique-ness of Jesus as God’s Son. We enter into a new relationship, a new redemption by the death of Christ on the Cross. There is a reminder of the victory that we can experience due to the triumph of Christ when He died & rose again from the dead.
I. A NEW RELATIONSHIIP(vvs. 11-12) “In Him you were”-- We are people who know that Jesus died for us. In baptism we celebrate our crucified and risen Lord, our new identity, and our new name. After the Israelites were circumcised, Moses pointed out that what they really needed was a circumcision of their hearts by God. We are incorporated into His death on the cross as symbolized in our baptism.
1. The confusion (v. 11a) “circumcised with the circumcision”—
Circumcision was the typical rite of Judaism. It is a minor surgical operation in which the knife was applied to the flesh of the male child. Spiritually it signified death to the flesh, or a putting aside of the evil, corrupt, unregenerate nature of man. All through the history of Israel there had been two views of circumcision. There was the view of those who said that in itself it was enough to put a man right with God. It did not matter whether an Israelite was a good man or a bad man; all that mattered was that he was an Israelite and that he had been circumcised. But the great spiritual leaders of Israel and the great prophets took a very different view. They insisted that circumcision was only the outward mark of a man who was inwardly dedicated to God. Circumcision was, indeed, the badge of a person dedicated to God; but the dedication lay not in the cutting of the flesh but in the excision from his life of everything which was against the will of God.
2. The confidence (v. 11b) “by the circumcision of Christ”-- What the verse is teaching is this: The circumcision of Christ refers to His death on the cross of Calvary. The thought is that when the Lord Jesus died, the believer died also. He died to sin (Rom. 6:11), to the law, to self (Gal. 2:20) & to the world (Gal. 6:14). (This circumcision was “made without hands” in the sense that human hands can have no part in it by way of merit. Man cannot deserve or earn it. It is God’s work.)