Summary: REAL transformation takes place when we focus on Jesus.
• SLIDE #1
• Our life in Christ should be a joy; it should be a life transforming experience. One of the exciting parts of belonging to Jesus is experiencing the transformation into the image of the one we love and serve!
• Each day belonging to Jesus can be and is an adventure.
• When we gather together each week I pray that we are encouraging one another to grow in Christ.
• In the Colossian church there was a problem. There was a group of false teachers who were coming into the church to try to steal the freedom and joy one would normally experience in Christ by trying to make people adopt things that really have little to nothing to with growing in Christ.
• Have you had a day when you could feel to joy of the Lord only to have Donna Downer and Jack the Joy Ripper come in and try to steal your joy?
• The issues that the church at Colossae faced are some of the same issues we struggle with today.
• Our struggles sometimes come from those within the church who have misunderstood with it means to be a Christian and we also have those outside of the church who can try to cause us damage.
• Paul launched a full out assault on the false teachings.
• In verse verses 2:8-10 we have covered worldly philosophies and damage these philosophies can do to ones’ faith if adhered to.
• In verses 11-15 the sufficiency of Jesus is dealt with. Reminding us that IN CHRIST we have everything!
• In the text today the issues of legalism, subjective experience, and self-denial are under assault by Paul.
• When we get caught in any or all of these issues we will lose our joy and adhering to any or all of these issues will not allow us experience the joy of transformation!
• When we substitute Jesus for legalism. Subjective experience or behavior modification our transformation is in jeopardy.
• Let’s begin by turning to verse 16-17
• SLIDE #2
• Colossians 2:16–17 (ESV) Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.
• SLIDE #3
I. Jesus was the focus of the Law. (16-17)
• The church was struggling in part because there were people trying to get them to revert to their former way of life in Judaism.
• Right after we are told of all the blessing we have BECAUSE of Jesus, Pal reminds the readers and he also reaches out to us by reminding us not to let anyone act as our judge concerning following what THEY think we ought to be living and practicing our faith.
• In a sense the principle being conveyed here is do not sacrifice your freedom in Christ for a set of man-made rules.
• The issue of legalism can stop our transformation process because we trade our freedom in Christ for man-made religious activity.
• SLIDE #4
• Romans 10:4 (ESV) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
• All the items in verse 16 refer to aspects of the Old Testament Law that we examined last week and saw that the Law is not the standard by which we are judged today, the Law was fulfilled in Christ as it was nailed to the cross.
• SLIDE #5
• Galatians 5:1 (ESV) For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
• Many of the Jews of the day and even today found their comfort in legalism; this is why 10 Commandments can turn into over 600 plus laws.
• To bring this into today’s world, we may not struggle with being told to go back to the Old Testament Law, however; as we have said before, many people think they are good with God because they somewhat follow what they consider the more important of the 10 Commandments.
• Why is being legalistic fruitless?
• Look at verse 17 again.
• These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.
• Rule keeping is just a shadow; there is no real spiritual substance to making rule keeping the center of your faith.
• A shadow has no reality; the reality is what makes the shadow. Jesus Christ is the reality to which the shadows pointed.
• We should do what we do because we love Jesus; Jesus needs to be our focus.
• And to the title of this point, Jesus was the focus of the Law; this is why Jesus fulfilled the Law.