Complete in Christ

July 19, 2020

Colossians 2:8-15

I.  Cultural Captivity (Colossians 2:8) 8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

The word philosophy comes from philo- love and sophia- wisdom. It’s the love of wisdom. We all have a worldview, that’s the lenses we see life through. It’s how we personally answer the big questions that start at childhood like, What am I doing here? What is my purpose? How was I created? My prayer is that we are daily sharpening our biblical worldview, in which we see life through the lenses of truth, God’s Word. I call this Word-View. My worldview is the wordview. The number one plague that Satan is using today is to take captive individuals and groups through an unbiblical worldview. Many have compromised the truth. Many groups have bent scripture and interpreted it to say what they want it to say.

We don’t exactly know what philosophies were creeping into the church, but we know Paul was combating false teaching. This is a great warning then and now! We see a glimpse in later verses of possible false teachings he was combating.

a. Legalism (Colossians 2:8-15) Legalism is the false teaching of requiring something more than a saving relationship with Jesus for salvation. We are saved, and as a result we serve. We do not serve in order to be saved. Does this happen today? Sure it does!
b. Mysticism (Colossians 2:18-19) Mysticism is the false teaching that a direct knowledge of god can come through experiences. People involved in this will strive to figure out life through the worship of nature, fortune telling, witchcraft, New Age crystals, even the worship of angels, etc. People will say stuff like, “positive vibes, or positive energy, or even mother nature.” This has creep into Christianity today. Have you ever said, good luck? There is no such thing as luck! God reveals Himself through scripture doesn’t He? Rom. 10:17
c. Asceticism (Colossians 2:20-23) Asceticism is the avoidance of certain things believing they are a barrier to your relationship with God. (example would be Pork, Acts 10).
II.  Complete in Christ (Colossians 2:9-10) 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.

The word captive means to carry off. Don’t be carried off. The only time this word is used in the NT is here. The answer to not being carried off is to cling to Christ by being rooted in Christ! You are complete in Christ! Look with me at verses 6 and 7. Listen to Psalm 1:2-3 “but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does he prospers.” It is vital for young adults to have a love for the Word of God before they are away from it.

III. Flee the Flesh (Colossians 2:11) In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,  

Surgery (Colossians 2:11) Ezekiel refers to the surgery of a heart transplant. This illustration would have related to a ritual the Jewish people would have understood. We undergo transformation in Christ in which the flesh (self-centered desires are killed).

IV. Foundation of Faith (Colossians 2:12) 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.

Submersion (Colossians 2:12) Baptism is a symbol of what Christ has done within all who place faith in Jesus. We are buried with Christ, we are a new Creation!

V. Forgiven by the Father (Colossians 2:13-15) 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”

Substitutional Payment
(Colossians 2:13-14) Jesus took the payment that we deserved to pay.