Summary: How do we refute false teaching attacking the church
Title: The sufficiency of Christ
1.Paul’s purpose for writing this letter to the Colossians
Paul’s purpose for writing this letter was to refute the heretical teaching that was influencing the Colossian church.
3. A brief overview of the heretical teaching that was infiltrating the Colossian church
A.It was heretical teaching on 2 fronts.It was both religious and also philosophical in nature.
1. The Religious element of this heretical teaching – championed by the Jews
1. The Colossian church battled against the heretical teaching that circumcision, keeping special diets and observing the Sabbath and religious festivals were necessary for salvation.
2. Then there was a philosophical element of this heretical teaching – championed by the Greeks.
A. All matter is evil – (Therefore everything you see and touch is evil)
And since our bodies are made of matter; they too are evil.
So in order to keep the body under control you must have rules about everything
B. Since all matter is evil – God could not have directly created the earth
God created angels and gave them the responsibility of creating the earth.
This led to the worship of angels as intermediaries between God and Man.
Relegated Jesus to just being another angel
C. Since all matter is evil the only thing that counts is the invisible (Everything you can’t see or touch)
This led to the belief that one could supposedly achieve perfection by progressing through a number of initiations and levels of wisdom in spiritual mysteries.
Heretical teachings infiltrating the church are not just a thing of the past.
The church is fighting heretical teaching today on the same two fronts.
1.On the religious front
What about other religions? Are all religions not equal? Does every religion not lead us to God? How can we say we are right and they are wrong?
2.On the philosophical front – a different world view
The philosophical attack infiltrating the church today is almost the complete opposite to the philosophical attack that faced the church in NT times.Back then it was taught that everything you see and touch was evil. (The physical) And the only thing that really mattered was what you can’t see and touch. (The spiritual)
Today it is the complete opposite. Today it is taught that everything you can’t see and touch is evil. (The spiritual) And the only thing that really matters is what you can see and touch. (The physical)
We have a name for this – secular humanism- Where man becomes his own God.
Secular humanism controls our government. It controls our public schools and our universities. It controls our media. It even control some churches.
How do we refute false teaching
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.