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Cross Examination

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Background:

By Paul’s day, however, the main road had been rerouted through nearby Laodicea, thus bypassing Colosse and leading to its decline and the rise of the neighboring cities of Laodicea and Hierapolis.
Although Colosse’s population was mainly Gentile, there was a large Jewish settlement dating from the days of Antiochus the Great (223–187 B.C.).
Colosse’s mixed population of Jews and Gentiles manifested itself both in the composition of the church and in the heresy that plagued it, which contained elements of both Jewish legalism and pagan mysticism.
The church at Colosse began during Paul’s 3-year ministry at Ephesus ().
Its founder was not Paul, who had never been there (2:1); but Epaphras (1:5–7), who apparently was saved during a visit to Ephesus, then likely started the church in Colosse when he returned home.
Several years after the Colossian church was founded, a dangerous heresy arose to threaten it—one not identified with any particular historical system. It contained elements of what later became known as Gnosticism: that God is good, but matter is evil, that Jesus Christ was merely one of a series of emanations descending from God and being less than God (a belief that led them to deny His true humanity), and that a secret, higher knowledge above Scripture was necessary for enlightenment and salvation.
The Colossian heresy also embraced aspects of Jewish legalism, e.g., the necessity of circumcision for salvation, observance of the ceremonial rituals of the OT law (dietary laws, festivals, Sabbaths), and rigid asceticism. It also called for the worship of angels and mystical experience. Epaphras was so concerned about this heresy that he made the long journey from Colosse to Rome (4:12, 13), where Paul was a prisoner.
This letter was written from prison in Rome () sometime between A.D. 60–62 and is, therefore, referred to as a Prison Epistle (along with Ephesians, Philippians, and Philemon).
Pluralism, Religious. To better understand religious pluralism, several terms related to religion need to be distinguished: pluralism, relativism, inclusivism, and exclusivism:
Pluralism, Religious. To better understand religious pluralism, several terms related to religion need to be distinguished: pluralism, relativism, inclusivism, and exclusivism:
• Religious pluralism is the belief that every religion is true. Each provides a genuine encounter with the Ultimate. One may be better than the others, but all are adequate.
• Relativism (see TRUTH, ABSOLUTE) claims that there are no criteria by which one can tell which religion is true or best. There is no objective truth in religion, and each religion is true to the one holding it.
• Inclusivism claims that one religion is explicitly true, while all others are implicitly true.
• Exclusivism is the belief that only one religion is true, and the others opposed to it are false.
Christianity is exclusivistic; it claims to be the one and only true religion (see CHRIST, UNIQUENESS OF). This places Christians at odds with the modern movements to study comparative religion and work at interfaith communing. Asks Alister McGrath, “How can Christianity’s claims to truth be taken seriously when there are so many rival alternatives and when ‘truth’ itself has become a devalued notion? No one can lay claim to possession of the truth. It is all a question of perspective. All claims to truth are equally valid. There is no universal or privileged vantage point that allows anyone to decide what is right and what is wrong”
Geisler, N. L. (1999). Pluralism, Religious. In Baker encyclopedia of Christian apologetics (p. 598). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
Geisler, N. L. (1999). Pluralism, Religious. In Baker encyclopedia of Christian apologetics (p. 598). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
Syncretism:
Syncretism
syncretism, either a conscious combining of two or more religions over a short period of time, or a process of absorption by one religion of elements of another over a long period of time. In both types the absorbed elements are usually transformed and given new meaning by the fresh context. The borrowed item may remain outwardly the same but its new context signifies something quite new.
MacArthur, J., Jr. (Ed.). (1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed., p. 1830). Nashville, TN: Word Pub.
Colossians 1:6 ESV
which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,
Colossians 1:13 ESV
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
Colossians 1:14 ESV
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Col 1:
Colossians 1:21 ESV
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,
Colossians 1:22 ESV
he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,
Col 1:
Colossians 1:23 ESV
if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Colossians 2:1 ESV
For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face,
Colossians 2:2 ESV
that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ,
Colossians 2:3 ESV
in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Colossians 2:4 ESV
I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments.
Colossians 2:4 GW
I say this so that no one will mislead you with arguments that merely sound good.
Colossians 2:5 ESV
For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
Colossians 2:6 ESV
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,
Colossians 2:7 ESV
rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
Colossians 2:8 ESV
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.
Col 2
Romans 1:22 ESV
Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
Rom 1:
Galatians 1:7 NLT
but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.
2 Thessalonians 2:10 ESV
and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
1 Thes
Psalm 14:1 ESV
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good.
Colossians 2:9 ESV
For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,
Why Is My Life So Incomplete ?
Colossians 2:10 NLT
So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.
Filled : a beautiful picture of the way Jesus heals spiritually. If Jesus heals physical illness and makes people entirely whole, then that is precisely what is meant by the apostle Paul In 2:10 when he says, “and ye are complete in Him.” You can put the word ‘whole’ in there.
Just as Jesus Christ did miracles of healing that made people entirely well, so when Jesus touches a life spiritually and gives salvation, it is entire salvation, it in whole salvation. That person becomes spiritually entirely well. In fact if you want to choose another Pauline term, “if any man be in Christ, he is a,” what, “new creation.” I mean that is brand new wholeness.
a beautiful picture of the way Jesus heals spiritually. If Jesus heals physical illness and makes people entirely whole, then that is precisely what is meant by the apostle Paul In 2:10 when he says, “and ye are complete inHim.” You can put the word ‘whole’ in there. Just as Jesus Christ did miracles ofhealing that made people entirely well, so when Jesus touches a life spirituallyand gives salvation, it is entire salvation, it in whole salvation. That person becomes spiritually entirely well. In fact if you want to choose another Pauline term, “if any man bein Christ, he is a,” what, “new creation.” I meanthat is brand new wholeness.
He is trying to say to these people, look when you receive Christ, you were made whole.
A healthy man doesn’t need anymore medicine. You don’t need human philosophy, you don’t need Jewish legalism, you don’t need strange pagan mysticism, you don’t need abstaining aestheticism, you don’t need anything when you receive Christ and his salvation
Literally it says you have been made full. You have been made full in him. There is nothing missing. Christ fills you up. There aren’t any other things to add to that. You have been made full with the fullness of him who fills all in all. Human philosophy based on the traditions of men as verse 8 says and the elementary marks of infantile human religion has nothing to add to what is already completed.
And so Paul deals a blow to the heresy of human philosophy and religion which tries to deny that Christ has the power to give complete salvation
The Colossians who have in Jesus Christ the fountain that never fails would be fools to listen to these false teachers who would have them hue out broken cisterns that hold no water. You don’t need philosophy and you need angelic intermediaries. Christ in the completer. He makes anything he touches whole.
Filled: Complete, to become generously supplied with; to make full.
Matthew 9:22 KJV 1900
But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
Matthew 12:13 KJV 1900
Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.
Matthew 12:13 KJV 1900
Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.
Matt 12
Matthew 15:28 KJV 1900
Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
Matt
I’m I really Saved ?
Colossians 2:11 NLT
When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature.
False Relationship: They taught that a man had to be circumcised to be saved.
That God would not accept Him unless He was Circumcised
Giving His heart and His life to Jesus Christ was not enough
Even if He gave His everything to God, God wouldn't accept Him unless He was circumcised
Circumcised was symbolic of two things
I belong to God “Covenant People”
A Cutting Away of Sin
The Cutting away of Self And Sin
The Cutting away of everything but the will of God.
So a person was accepted not because He trusted God but because He was cut
Joining a Church
Was christened
Was Baptized
Keep the Law
Colossians 2:12 ESV
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.
Colossians 2:12 KJV 1900
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.
*Powerful Working of God
*Operation of God: process or manner of functioning or operating
It literally means Energy
Why Do I Feel So Guilty?
Romans 6:4 ESV
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:6 ESV
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
Romans 8:11 ESV
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
Rom 7
Col 2
Colossians 2:13 ESV
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,
Dead in Sin:
My sin, your sin, our sin was nailed to the cross. What does that mean? It means He paid my debt; He bore my punishment; and He has taken my sin, nailed it to the cross. And therefore it was buried, when Jesus was buried, in the grave of God’s forgetfulness.
Romans 8:1 ESV
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Rogers, A. (2017). Nailed to the Cross. In Adrian Rogers Sermon Archive (). Signal Hill, CA: Rogers Family Trust.
Colossians 2:14 NASB95
having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
It was a custom in Rome, when a man was found guilty, condemned for a crime, if he were put in prison, they would take something and nail it to the prison door. It was called a “certificate of debt.” On that certificate of debt would be written the crime that this man was guilty of, the number of years that he would stay in prison—days, months, or whatever.
And when he had fulfilled his duty to the law, his certificate of debt was marked “paid in full.” It was taken, given to the judge, who would have it notarized, and he would carry it with him. And if anybody were to accuse him of that crime again, he could pull out the certificate of debt and say, “Yes, I may have been guilty, but I have paid in full. You’re not going to bring me into double jeopardy; I’ve already paid for that crime.”
Now, what about if a man were guilty of a capital offense? They would take the offense that he’d done and they would nail it to his cross above his head. That’s the reason that Pilate nailed above the head of the Lord Jesus, “Jesus Christ, the King of the Jews”: it was sarcasm. Here was a man who made Himself King.
And that’s why Pilate allowed Him to be crucified: because it was insurrection against Caesar; it was a crime worthy of death. And the Romans would put on that cross whatever that individual had done. And they crucified people openly, in public; and they wanted people to see a man die in agony and pain and blood and anguish upon that cross. And up there on that cross would be what that man had done.
And every citizen who walked by would say, “I’ll never do that. No sir, I will not buy me one of those crucifixions. Whatever it is on that cross, whatever that person did, I will never do it, because I don’t want to end up there.” You understand? So that was what they did in Rome so long ago.
Now, from God’s point of view, there was something else that was nailed to that cross—and that was God’s holy law. It’s called here in the scripture that I read to you, “the handwriting of ordinances.”
Do you see it here in verse 14? It says He was “blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us.” () God’s holy law was nailed up from the heart and mind of God on that cross.
Well, had Jesus broken the holy law of God? No. But “Him who knew no sin, God had made to be sin for us.” () And so Jesus Christ is adjudicated guilty of breaking the holy commandments of God: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. This “handwriting of ordinances,” from God’s point of view, was nailed on the cross. They thought He was dying for sins against Caesar, but what He was dying for was our sins against God—our sins against God.
He was in our place. Had you and I been up there, God could well have put the Ten Commandments up there and said we’re guilty of those, right? There’s no one here who would say, “I’ve not sinned.” As a matter of fact, the Bible says, “If we break the law in one point, we’re guilty of all.” ()
All of those Ten Commandments could be put above our head, had we hung there upon that cross.
Now when Jesus died, it was both tragedy and triumph. It was tragedy, because it was the dirtiest deed ever done. They lied on Him. They abused Him. They misused Him. And you and I were guilty of it: we were there.
Our sins were the nails that put Jesus Christ on that cross, and our hard hearts were the hammers that drove those nails. He died because of our sin. Yes, He willingly died; but had we not sinned, He never would have died, for He would not have needed to die. And so, on the one hand, it was tragedy; but on the other hand—listen—it was triumph.
Now there was someone else nailing some things that day. There was someone else who was nailing some things to that cross—and His name was Jesus.
Why Do I Feel so Defeated ?
Rogers, A. (2017). Nailed to the Cross. In Adrian Rogers Sermon Archive (). Signal Hill, CA: Rogers Family Trust.
Rogers, A. (2017). Nailed to the Cross. In Adrian Rogers Sermon Archive (). Signal Hill, CA: Rogers Family Trust.
Colossians 2:14 GW
He did this by erasing the charges that were brought against us by the written laws God had established. He took the charges away by nailing them to the cross.
Colossians 2:14 GW
He did this by erasing the charges that were brought against us by the written laws God had established. He took the charges away by nailing them to the cross.
Our Sins are what caused Him to Die.
2 Cor
2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
There is none of us that are exempt from Sin
James 1:
James 2:10 ESV
For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.
Colossians 2:15 ESV
He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
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