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Colossians Chapter 2

Memory verses for this week:   Rom 8:38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Rom 8:39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Introduction:    In chapter one last week, we saw Paul giving his salutation to those in the church there in Colosse.  He taught a number of excellent points, including the Mystery of how Christ died for not only the Jews but also for the Gentiles. 

I.  The Godhead Incarnated in Christ 

Col 2:1  For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; 

Paul had a great desire that these Christians at Colosse and Laodicea might know what great conflict that he had for those there in the church.   When you think of conflict, you think of either an outward battle, or one that is waged inside a person.   It can be fightings without, or fightings within.    Here Paul speaks of his inward struggle.   Paul was a man who believed in prayer, and he had really prayed in a great way for this group.   This wrestling that Paul went through really had caused him conflict and he wanted them to know how important they were to the cause of Christ.   Every Christian is unique and is important to the Lord.   We have studied how that God sets the members in the body as it pleases Him. 

Col 2:2  That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

Col 2:3  In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 

Paul was always encouraging and exhorting the brethren on in the work of the Lord, and here his main concern is that they might have their hearts comforted and established.   He wanted them to understand the mystery of Jesus Christ. 

1 Timothy 3:16   And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

When you study God’s Word, it is clear that all of the hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge are contained in Jesus Christ.    Try to seek wisdom outside of Christ, and you find a difficult path with no rewards.   The true treasures are hidden, and can only be found in Christ.  They do not lie on the surface, but must be sought out with serious study and prayer.   When we seek earnestly, we can find the hidden treasures that make life worth living.    We are commanded to meditate on the scriptures, and let them fill our minds. 

1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.


II.  Paul Warns of Enticing Words 

Col 2:4  And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.

Col 2:5  For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. 

We know that the world is full of false teachers, and we had better beware of people who speak smoothly and with manipulating words.   The devil is the master of taking half a verse and using it out of context to mislead the weak Christian.   False teachers can be spotted by the fact that their teachings are not in harmony with the whole Word of God.  And we must have a thorough knowledge of the bible in order to notice these small things that don’t line up with other scripture.   Paul was a man of simple words, and like our Lord Jesus, he taught with clarity and simplicity. 

1 Corinthians 2:4  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:   

J. Vernon McGee said this about teaching with enticing words: 

He is going to deal with the matter of philosophy and enticing words. Philosophy and psychology have been substituted for the Bible, and this is the thing that is enticing to so many young preachers in our seminaries today. I am amazed to find that some of these men with a Ph.D. degree from a seminary know so little about the Bible! They know all about Bultmann and Kant and Plato, but they don’t seem to know very much about the Word of God. That is the great problem of our day.

There was that same danger in Colosse and also in Laodicea. I think that is what actually killed the church in Colosse, and it made the church in Laodicea the weakest of the seven churches in Asia Minor. It was in the worst spiritual condition, and yet the people thought that they were well off. These cities were wealthy. They boasted of their wealth and affluence and also of their knowledge, but they were blind to their true spiritual condition.  Paul says, “Don’t let any man beguile you with enticing words.” Beguile means “to victimize.” Enticing words are a lot of oratory or sweet-talk.

I heard of a theologian who uses big words and tries to be very deep in his thinking. He was talking to a group of men for about half an hour. Another man walked up to the group and asked one of the men on the outside of the circle, “What’s he talking about?” The fellow answered, “He hasn’t said yet.” That is the problem—he never would say. All he did was talk with enticing words.  I know a dear lady who attends a certain church because, as she says, “I just love to go there because the preacher uses such flowery language and he makes me feel so good all over.” That is the danger today. A great many people love this pretense toward intellectuality among preachers rather than the simple Word of God.

I started preaching before I went to college, and then in college I was exposed to liberalism because I went to a liberal college. That was all I knew at that time; I was not grounded in the Word of God at all, even though I had had a wonderful pastor. I thought I wanted to be an intellectual preacher—I thought that would be great. I thank God that that was knocked out of me in my second year of college. I became concerned with teaching the Word of God.

Paul warns us to beware that they will beguile us with enticing words and will victimize us. Their words cause many people to follow a certain individual instead of the Word of God. Like the Pied Piper of Hamlin, he starts playing, and the unwary start following.  [1] 

Paul affirms that they sought after truth due to their stedfastness of faith in Jesus Christ.  We must have faith to please God as it says over in Hebrews chapter 11. 

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.  

Col 2:6  As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

Col 2:7  Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

 When we come to know Christ as our Lord and Savior, we should put on the new man and walk after the pattern of Jesus Christ.    These Colossians had received Christ by simple faith, and without conformity to Jewish ritual.   Paul encourages them to continue as they had commenced. 

Galatians 3:1-3 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

They had been rooted in Christ and needed to be continually built up in Him and established in the faith.  Like you and I, they had been taught the truth and needed to abound in it with thanksgiving. 

J. Vernon McGee said this about being rooted in Christ. 

“Rooted” means rooted like a tree, and a tree is a living thing. And we are to be “built up” as a house. A house is not a living thing, but it requires a tremendous foundation. Paul tells us in Ephesians that the foundation is Jesus Christ. Having received Christ, we are to walk in Him. Doing what? Being rooted, drawing our life from Him as a tree, and built up in Him, your faith resting upon Him.  [2] 

III.  Warning Against Philosophy 

Col 2:8  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Col 2:9  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 

What does Paul mean by using the word “Spoil”?   I think he is speaking of being carried off as a captive and a slave.  What brings us under bondage?  It is sin.  Sin of any sort of like a ball and chain that keeps us pulled down.  Paul tells the to not be spoiled by philosophy, vain deceit, after the tradition of men, or the rudiments of this world.   We should seek after Christ, and Him alone. 

IV.  Completeness Is In Christ 

Col 2:10  And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Col 2:11  In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

Col 2:12  Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

Col 2:13  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 

Notice all of the “In Him” instances there are in these verses.  In Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.   In verse 10, we are made complete “in Him”.  Verse 12 speaks of us being buried with Him in baptism, and in verse 13, we are quickened together with Him. 

2:13. You … hath he quickened: God gave them new (spiritual) life.  [3] 

V.  Handwriting of Ordinances Nailed to His Cross 

Col 2:14  Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Col 2:15  And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. 

Thank God for all that Jesus did when he died for us on Calvary.  It is important that we remember that not only were our sins nailed to that Cross, but the ordinances against us were nailed to that cross also.    Some falsely teach that the 10 commandments and tithing were eliminated when Christ died on the cross, but all of these commandments were for our good.   And the ordinance of tithing was never against us the way the law was, but it was made to bless man.  Of course we don’t follow rules in order to have our salvation….  Jesus fulfilled the law on the cross, but we follow  the commandments to honor God, and to have a happy and fulfilling life. 

Concerning tithing, here are two excellent verses showing that tithing is good for us and causes us to receive spiritual blessings. 

Proverbs 3:9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

Malachi 3:10  10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 

Christ, in His atonement for sin made a show of Satan and his demons and triumphed over them. 

Col 2:16  Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

Col 2:17  Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Because of Christ’s victory on Calvary and His resurrection from the grave, the law was taken out of the way.   Therefore, no man can judge us in meats, drink, or in respect of an holy day, the new moon, or of the sabbath days.  These things mentioned were simply a shadow of things to come. 


VI.  Paul Warns Against False Sects 

Col 2:18  Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

Col 2:19  And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. 

Paul tells them to not let any man beguile them of their just reward.   There appears to have been false teachers telling them to worship angels, and there is no scripture anywhere that teaches us to do this.  One large denomination teaches that we should worship and pray through Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.   While we all know Mary was perhaps the greatest woman living at the time, she was just that.  A good woman chosen by God to become Christ’s mother.   We are to pray to God, through the name of Jesus Christ.   Worshipping Mary makes no more sense than for us to choose some man like Paul or John the Baptist.  But Paul said to follow him as he followed Jesus Christ.   Our eyes should be fixed on Jesus Christ, and HE and HE alone should come our worship and dedication.   Some apparently taught that they had visions, and we have many self proclaimed prophets today saying God told them special revelations that we should follow.   But the Word of God is finished, there will be no new Word from the Lord except by prophesying from the written Word of God.   We are to seek God through His Word and through prayer, and to wait for Jesus to come and take us out of this old world. 

1 Th 1:9  For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;

1 Th 1:10  And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. 

1 Cor 13:8  Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

1 Cor 13:9  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

1 Cor 13:10  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 

Paul tells them that the things these false teachers claimed was carnal.  Jesus is the one with the truth, and He is the head and body of the church. 

Col 2:20  Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,

Col 2:21  (Touch not; taste not; handle not;

Col 2:22  Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

Col 2:23  Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. 

When Christ died on the cross, he paid for our sins.  When we accept Him as our Savior, we die to the old man and are born again and the new man is to walk in newness of life.   We are to be separated from the things of the world mentioned in the above verses.   We are dead in Christ to the rudiments of this world. 

Romans 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  

Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. 

Paul told the Galatians that he was crucified unto the world.  That is how we should be, living each day for the honor of God as pilgrims just passing through, awaiting our new home in heaven. 

John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  

All of the commands mentioned about touch not, taste not, handle not… these were all commands that Christians do not have to be concerned about today.  These things were after the commands of men.   And following those things may satisfy the flesh, but only God can give us that peace that passes all understanding.



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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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