The Book of Colossians #7



Colossians 2:1-7
These verses are a transition from the first emphasis of Colossians into the second emphasis. In chapter 1 we have set before us the sufficiency of Christ. In chapter 2 we will study the deficiency of the cults. 
There’s a transition going on. Look at verse 3. “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” The sufficiency of Christ. 
Look at verse 4, “And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.” 
The deficiency of the cults. He’s moving from one to the other.
The best way for us to be prepared and not to be taken in and deceived by that which is false is to be very well grounded in that which is true. The same Jesus Christ who is the creator of the universe and who died on the cross for our sins, lives in our hearts and lives as born again believers.
In Jesus Christ there is total sufficiency for your life. 
All of its challenges and opportunities, all of your difficulties and all of your problems, Jesus Christ is absolutely, totally, 100% sufficient. That’s what you need to know if you are going to be able to counter all the false teaching that you will run across along the way. 
There were false teachers who had come to Colosse who were saying that Jesus Christ is fine, but He’s just one among many. You need to add something to the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s very much like the religious atmosphere of our day. 
We’re dealing with a situation here in Ardmore right now where different faith groups have been invited to participate in Ardmore 20/20. The problem is the local Muslim group is very involved. 
Now I believe that we should be tolerant of other people’s faith in that every person has a right to believe what they believe. But we do not believe in toleration to the point that all beliefs are equally true. 
Jesus Christ is not just something you add on. The Bible is very, very clear that Jesus Christ is the only way to God. 
Jesus said in John 14:6, I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes unto the father but by me.
So, the attitude today is toleration--all religions are equally true.
Another attitude you will encounter in the religious world today is that you can just pick a little from this religion, pick a little from this religion, add a little on to what you believe from what someone else believes and it will just all find together to become a kind of do-it-self religion.
John MacArthur shared an experience he had speaking to a group of Hollywood actors some years ago. He was speaking about the claims of Jesus Christ. After it was over a young actor from India came up to him and said to him, “I want Jesus Christ. I’m a Muslim and I want Jesus Christ in my life.”
MacArthur said he was thrilled. He shared with him the simple plan of salvation. He invited him to pray the sinners’ prayer which the young actor did. When it was over the young actor said, “Isn’t this wonderful! I now have two religions--Christianity and Islam.”
MacArthur explained to him that becoming a Christian was not just adding another religion. He pointed out to him that no man can serve two masters and that Jesus Christ claims absolute, total lordship over the lives of those who receive Him as their Savior. 
Upon hearing that the young actor, very much like the rich young ruler, turned and walked away, unwilling to give up his religion for the Lord Jesus Christ who alone can save the human soul.
That’s the atmosphere we are living in today. And to counter that, in these verses, you have a setting forth in a positive way of the total sufficiency of Jesus Christ.   The better you can recognize that which is true, also the better you will recognize that which is false.
The more familiar you become with Christ, the more you know about the all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ, the better able you will be to spot that which is false. That’s what we are
talking about in these verses.
Paul does this in a rather interesting way. He first of all sets forth the total sufficiency of Christ in -
verse 1
He is really talking about a prayer conflict. The word is our word, agony. It’s a word used for striving or competing in an athletic game. He’s talking about something that he was in an agony about, something he was striving about.
Have you ever had an agonizing experience of prayer? Have you ever become so exercised about a burden, a need, that it became literally a spiritual struggle? Paul was in a spiritual struggle. It was a struggle for these believers that they not be pulled away from the sufficiency of Christ into one of these doctrines of error. He says he is in conflict. 
What is the conflict?
Verse 2
Understanding here is insight which enables you to tell the difference between the false and the true. So, the prayer here is a prayer that we will come to understand and appreciate truth. 
Do you see what appreciation for truth brings to your life? It brings encouragement. The truth encourages your heart. Truth brings love into your life. It also brings great conviction, great insight, and great assurance. He says that he wants you to be well aware of that which is real. He wants you to have a grasp of that which is true.
verse 3
That verse is one of the greatest verses in the Bible. It is one of the most important verses in the Bible in terms of understanding what is available to you in Jesus and how sufficient Jesus is for every need you have in your life. 
In Greek mythology you remember reading about the island of the Sirens and how that when the sailors would pass by the Sirens would sing a very alluring song. It would entice the sailors and they would sail toward the island there to be wrecked upon the rocks. Ulysses put wax in the ears of the sailors so they would not hear the enticing songs of the Sirens. 
Orpheus came upon a better method. 
Orpheus played so beautifully on his harp that when he played the beauty of his song drowned out the enticement of the Sirens. 
That’s what Paul is doing for you and me. That what the Word is doing right here. It’s saying, “Listen, in Jesus Christ, you have hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” 
He is saying that you have it all in Jesus. You don’t need anymore than Jesus Christ. You have it all in Him.
 “In Jesus Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Wisdom is the ability to apply spiritual truth. Knowledge is the ability to acquire spiritual truth.
We find this in the Lord Jesus Christ. When Jesus was on the earth every now and then He would just open up the treasure chest. 
For instance, the Sermon on the Mount. Was there ever a greater sermon preached than Matthew 5, 6, and 7. Look at the treasures of truth that God gives about daily life in that sermon that the Lord Jesus gave.
Do you remember the time of the woman taken in adultery? She was dragged into the presence of Jesus by the legalists who were seeking to take the law and condemn her. 
Do you remember the riches of the treasures Jesus brought out? How that Jesus Christ said, “Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more.” He was showing the treasure. He was going to fulfill the demands of the law and pay the penalty that the law demands and by so doing make it possible for sinful people like that poor woman to be saved. He opened up the treasures. 
He talked about love. He talked about forgiveness. So much so that people said, “Whence hath this man wisdom, never having learned.” To the point that some said, “Never a man spake like this man.” The riches of Jesus. The treasures of Jesus
Christ.   All truth is stored in Jesus. Everything that is true finds its truthfulness in the Lord Jesus Christ.
We have in this congregation people who are involved in all kinds of things vocationally. 
How does a person determine what is truth? How do they determine if what they are hearing and reading is right or wrong? For the Christian, here’s how you do it.
 “In Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” 
That is, you just bring everything to the Lord Jesus Christ as He has revealed truth in His Word. If it coincides with the Bible, it’s true. If it contradicts the Bible, then it’s false. Everything you find in any field of science, you bring it to the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word. If the Word says it’s true and Christ says it’s true, it’s true. If it contradicts the Lord Jesus Christ, then it is false.
When you have problems in life you go to the Scriptures and ask God to help you. It’s wonderful to know Christ because in Him you have access to all the treasures.
There is also a prayer here that we will avoid error. 
Look at verse 4
The word was used in those days to apply to the arguments of a skillful lawyer.
Actually the word here really means, to argue alongside. It’s the idea of arguing alongside of truth to the point that people are pulled away from truth. 
Paul is warning us that there will be false teachers. There will be those who will delude you with smooth talk, with attractive arguments.
The devil is a smooth talker. He is very convincing.   In the Garden of Eden, that’s what got Adam and Even into the trouble they got in, and got us all into trouble. The devil came in. He had a congregation of two. He preached a very convincing sermon. He convinced them that there was something outside of God for them. 
He convinced them that they could find answers to their deepest needs outside of God. He convinced Adam and Eve and the result was that they turned from God and fell into sin. So it is today. 
People use alluring, attractive arguments to get people to believe they can find the answers to the deepest needs of our lives somewhere besides Jesus Christ. That’s why people go from pleasure to pleasure. They go from religion to religion. They go from relationship to relationship. They go looking for what can only be found in Jesus.
Have you ever lost your car keys?   You reach into your pocket and can’t find your car keys. You fumble around but can’t find hem. You reach in another pocket and can’t find them. You reach in your back pockets and can’t find them. You look everywhere but you can’t find your car keys because they aren’t in any of those pockets. 
That’s the way a lot of people do. They try to find the solutions of the deepest needs of their lives, looking in the wrong pockets. You aren’t going to find the answers to life a part from Jesus Christ.  
“In Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom.” 
Don’t let enticing words pull you away from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Fortunately, these believers were holding firm. 
verse 5
It’s a military term. They are standing shoulder to shoulder. The steadfastness of their faith. They are solid. They are presenting a solid front. So far, so good. Churches must be faithful to truth. God’s church must be faithful to the Word. 
We have an all-sufficient Savior in Jesus Christ.   That’s his prayer.
In verse 6 he does something else that ties into the all-sufficiency of Jesus. 
He gives us -
He gives us a pattern for Christian living. He shows us in verse 6 and 7 how that Jesus is all sufficient for our daily Christian life. Verse 6 says, “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.”
Let me paraphrase this. Just as you have trusted Christ to save you, trust Him, too, for each day’s problems. He is saying that you live the Christian life exactly as you became a Christian. You live for Jesus Christ on a daily basis exactly on the same basis that you came to Christ in the first place. “As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord.”
The tense of the verb means something that happened just like that. The salvation experience happens just like that. 
There may be a period of time building up to it when people witness to you, when God’s Holy Spirit works in your heart, but there comes that moment when you turn from your sins and by faith invite Jesus Christ into your heart and John 1:12 says, “As many as receive him...”
Boom, right on the spot. 
“To them gave them authority to become the sons of God.” I don’t know when that moment was. I don’t know when the Christian life began in your life, but the moment you said, “I’m a sinner. Jesus Christ, I trust you to save me,” at that moment when you received Christ, you
became a child of God. Isn’t that wonderful! 
He is not only the Savior of your soul. He says you have received Christ Jesus, he is also the Lord of your life. “You received Christ Jesus as Lord.” 
That means that He runs things from now on. That’s what the word, lordship conveys. He’s in charge. When you receive Jesus as your Savior, He is the Savior of your soul, but he is the Lord of your life. That means that your daily life is to be lived in faithfulness to His will, to His plan for your life. 
“As you have received him, so...” 
See those two little words, as--so. Here’s the key to living the Christian life. As so. As you received Him, so walk. The tense of the verb is continuous action. It’s not something that just happens one time. It continues on.
The Christian life is a daily matter. It goes on every day. We are living in an instant day. Everybody wants something instantly. Everybody is so used to it. You get in a line at a fast food place and we are so used to getting the food fast that if there is a 30 second delay we get a little impatient. We want it right on the spot. Fast food. 
Some people want instant spirituality. Instant maturity. It doesn’t work that way. 
“As you have received him, so walk ye in him.” 
It’s a day by day by day, step by step, walk with Jesus Christ. You walk in Him as you received Him. 
How did you receive Him? You received Him by repentance and faith. Isn’t that what the Bible says? You repent, you turn from your sins. 
By faith you turn to Jesus Christ and place your trust in Him. That’s really how you live the Christian life every day.
He is sufficient. I can’t live the Christian life. You can’t live the Christian life. Nobody can live the Christian life. But the good news is -- Christ is in you and just as you received Him, so you can walk in Him.
Having stated that pattern of how the Christian life is lived, he gives us some pictures here to describe the Christian life a little for us. 
Look at verse 7, “Rooted in him.” 
That’s the first picture. Here the Christian life is pictured as a tree planted in soil. 
We are rooted in Him. You look at a tree and whatever you see in a tree on the outside is
a reflection of what has been going on with the tree down on the inside of the soil. What
the tree produces is dependent upon what happens to the roots in the soil. 
For the Christian Jesus is the soil that feeds our lives. We draw nourishment from Jesus. We are to be rooted in Jesus. That’s why you need a daily quiet time. There you draw
nourishment from Jesus. 
You root your life in Jesus. Like a tree He’s the soil that feeds our lives.
The second picture, “And built up in him and established in the faith...” 
That’s the picture of a building. Our lives as Christians are like buildings. Jesus is not only the soil that feeds our lives, He’s the structure that forms our lives. He’s building a building. He’s taking a life and making a beautiful building out of it. Jesus is the pattern of the building. He wants you to be like Jesus.
There’s a lot of construction going on around in Ardmore. Every where you turn it’s going on. You see signs every now and then in front of something that says, “under construction.” 
That would be a pretty good sign to put in front of your life and my life. We are under construction. The building is not through yet. He’s building us like Jesus. He wants us to become like Christ.
I heard about a sculptor who had a big piece of marble. He was just chipping away on that marble. Someone came up to him and said, “What are you doing?”
He said, “Oh, I’m making a statue of a horse.”
The guy looked at that marble and said, Man, that doesn’t look like a horse to me. How are you turning that into a horse?”
He said, “It’s really rather simple. I just chip away everything that doesn’t look like a horse.” 
That’s what God is doing with us. He’s building a building. He’s chipping away things from our lives that doesn’t look like Jesus.   He wants us to be like Christ.
We are like a tree. He’s the soil that feeds us. We are like a building. He’s the structure that forms us.
“Abounding therein with thanksgiving.” The picture here is of a river just flooding it’s banks. Overflowing. Our life here is pictured like an overflowing river. Abounding, overflowing, flooding with thanksgiving. 
He is saying that Jesus is the song that floods
our lives. We are to be flooded with thanksgiving. Overflowing with thanksgiving. That’s how we ought to live every day.
There’s always something to thank God for. I was reading this week about Matthew Henry whose commentaries are still used by Christians today after hundreds of years. He was robbed on an occasion. 
Afterwards he said, “I want to express my thanksgiving. First of all, I want to give thanks that I was robbed and was not killed. I also want to give thanks that I was robbed and it was not I who was robbing. I want to give thanks that I was robbed of that which I had, I was not robbed of my own life.” He just went on and on talking about all the things he was thankful for in that experience of being robbed. We can just overflow with thanksgiving.
I have noticed that when Christians are not thankful, they are susceptible to the imitations of the devil. When you are not grateful for what you have in Jesus, when you are not thankful for the treasures you are open game for the devil to try to slip in some substitute in your life.
But remember: in Jesus, you have everything you need!
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