Summary: THE APOSTLE PAUL’S MESSAGE TO THE CHURCH IN COLOSSAE WAS SIMPLE.SOME PEOPLE WHO SAY THEY ARE RELIGIOUS MIGHT TRY TO TELL YOU THINGS CONTRARY TO THE WORD OF GOD. IF YOU ARE FOLLOWING THE WORD OF GOD, KEEP DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING.
The Sufficiency of Christ
Text: Colossians 1:1-14
A preacher looks out his window one hot summer day and he sees an overturned hay-wagon on the road with a young farmer boy struggling to move the pile of hay out of the road. The boy looked hot and sweaty….and upset.
The preacher walks out and says to the boy, “You look hot, my son. Why don’t you rest for a minute?”
The boy replied, “No, I don’t think my father would like that.”
The preacher then said, “Don’t be silly. Everyone is entitled to a break. Come on in the house and let me get you a drink of cold water.”
The boy again refused saying, “No. I think my father would be upset with that!”
The preacher was quickly losing patience and said, “Your father must be a real slave driver! If you tell me where I can find him, I’ll give him a piece of my mind!”
The young boy replied, “You can find him under this load of hay!”
In this situation, the boy knew what he had to do. There was a sense of urgency in his actions. He was intent and driven—and no one could sway him from his goal.
No matter how dedicated he was, it didn’t stop somebody from trying to stop him. The preacher had a faulty understanding of what was going on. He thought he was right and he did everything he could to persuade the boy to stop what he was doing.
The Church at Colossae.
The City of Colosae was located on a main road from Ephesus to the Euphrates. There were members of the Lord’s Church in Colosae, and these were the people the apostle Paul was addressing in his letter, which we call “Colossians”. These people had a problem similar to that of the young boy with the overturned hay-wagon.
The Church at Colosae was a “driven” Church!
Theirs was a Church seeking to please their Father.
In his letter, the apostle Paul was commending them for their Faith, and Love, and Hope. However, apparently, there was someone trying to convince them to stop what they were doing.
Paul warned the members there of a problem.
---8---“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the traditions of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
There were people claiming to be religious people; and they were trying to convince Christians to stop what they were doing—and so Paul urged the Colossians….
---18---“Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of angels, taking his stand on visions he has see, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind.”
But why? Why did Paul feel it necessary to warn these Christians about this danger? There was a lesson for the Church in Paul’s letter.
Are there lessons in the Book of Colossians for the Church today? I believe there are, and over the next few weeks, we will be studying the letter to the Church in Colossae.
Why was this message from Paul so important to them? Because, apparently, some had become convinced of what these so called “religious people” told them. Some may have been taken captive by this false teaching. Some may have become disqualified for the prize or, at least, they were in danger of becoming so.
And so, Paul warns them, “Be aware! Don’t be swayed by thinking the way others want you to think. Don’t stop doing what you’ve been doing!”
You know, we can fall into that same trap. It’s so easy when we’re approached with a new message from a strong-willed person who tells us he got this message straight from God!
It can be hard to resist when we’re told, “Believe this way and it will be better for everybody. Believe and teach what I say and you will be accepted by all the other people—they will like you and you will be known as a person of “tolerance”. After all, if you do what these people tell us, we will be called “politically correct”.
Now Colossians is really an intriguing letter. Some biblical college teachers will tell us the Bible is a “theological treatise” that was just written to impart a good doctrine. It is as if they believe that the letter to the Church at Colossae really had nothing to do with that specific Church.
I think I can see where they get this idea when we look at how Paul begins his letter. If you were not aware that something was wrong with the Church in Colossae, then you wouldn’t guess there was anything wrong. Let’s look at how the apostle Paul begins his letter to the Colossians….