Don't lose your head!
Don’t lose your head by losing site
Don’t lose your head by losing site
Do you ever sit down and come up with a plan, set a goal and then get distracted from it? The church at Colossi is being attacked trying to detour them from the goal, from the reward they have waiting for them. We too can lose our site, take our eyes off the prize at times and lose our head.
(below for handout not to be said; jump over this section)
We need to remember what we have in Christ, who is our head
Our fullness is found in Christ (1:19)
In Christ we have the hope of glory (1:27)
In Christ is all things (1:16-17)
He is the fullness of God (Eph3:19; Col1:19)
Why, Because He paid the debt for us (2:14)
19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,
Don’t lose you head, that head being Christ for the fullness of God dwells in Him
27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Don’t lose your head, knowing that the the riches of God’s glory is found in Christ! who is the hope of glory!
16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
Don’t lose you head for the head created all things, and all things created for Him and that includes you. Don’t lose site of that, don’t lose your head
For in Him is the fulness of God.
19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
And finally, because of Christ our debt is paid in full.
14 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.
We can lose our head when we get too comfortable in our Christianity and lose the proper perspective of God and of the Christ. We take Him for granted and He can lose site of the goal, being heaven, when we get to comfortable in this world.
Paul is going to give some warnings to the Christians in Colossi to not lose their head though our passage today.
I. Don’t lose your head
I. Don’t lose your head
Warning signs, we see them everywhere, from railroad crossings, to warning labels, and we pass on warnings to our children and grandchildren. Paul is giving some warnings. Here in this passage about legalism. (Col2:16-17)
16 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— 17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.
Legalism defined as: Excessive adherence to law or formula, dependence on moral law rather than on personal faith.
The being of Gnosticism was coming in, a mixture of Oriental mysticism, Jewish legalism and a little smidge of philosophy and yes even some Christian teaching too.
Legalism can be overcome when we remember the basis for our freedom; we need to remember the “in Him” that we just looked at. (see Col2:10; 11-15)
In case you don’t remember, our fullness, our freedom is found in Christ
10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;
Don’t lose you head, for He is our head!
11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 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.
15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
As a believer the basis of our freedom is found in the person and the work of Jesus. At the cross he cancelled the debt and the dominion of the law, then gave us the gift of grace from being freed under the bondage of the law.
Oh as Gentiles we were never under the law of Moses and the legalist want us to subject ourselves to Christ and the law. A system of works not of grace.
Something to think about: The person who judges the believer who is not living under the Jewish law is really judging Jesus Christ saying that His redemptive work on the cross is insufficient.
Don’t lose your head to the bondage of legalism (v.16; Act15:10; Gal5:1; 1Cor8:8; ref Lev11; Mt15:1-20 and Act10:9ff)
Don’t lose your head, don’t let anyone tell you adherence to a set of rules, regulations will make you more spiritual is a form of bondage, a form of legalism.
Some of these things may seem spiritual, but they do not accomplish what they promise by making you more spiritual.
Peter called legalism bondage, a yoke around the neck; one others could not bear
10 “Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?
Paul warned the church at Galatia
1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
In our passage it is discussing food and days. As for the food it comes from (Lev11) where the Lord said things that were clean and unclean at that time, which Jesus put aside Himself declaring all food clean (Mt15:1-20) and Peter was reminded of that in (Act10:9ff) Food does not bring us closer, nor keep us away if we eat it or not eat it.
8 But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.
I mentioned it covers food and days, so now let us look at days for a minute. Sunday is not the Christian’s Sabbath, for we are told the Lord is our Sabbath and our rest is in Him.
Don’t lose your head over days (v.16; Gal4:8-11)
8 However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods. 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?
10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.
Now we do have a day of remembrance called the Lord’s Day (Rev:1:10; Act20:7) the day we commemorate Jesus victory at the resurrection (Jn20:1, 19, 26)
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet,
7 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.
The problem, people were trying to judge spirituality by keeping certain codes of behavior (food, drink, religious festivals, Sabbaths). Legalism is not only rigid and lifeless but it fosters false pride, arrogance, makes us judgmental and even angered.
Don’t lose your head, remember the blessings of grace (v.17; Heb10:1)
See the things in Leviticus were a mere shadow of the the N.T. and the grace we have in Christ.
17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.
The Law was but a shadow of the reality of what we have in Christ.
1 For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.
Don’t lose your head by going back to the shadows when you have the Light!
II. Don’t lose your head
II. Don’t lose your head
Paul comes and warns against people who want to steal you receiving or believing you have the prize awaiting you. Self basement and angel worship do not add to your spirituality and they take your eyes of the head, off the prize.
18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.
Now look at the KJV in (v.18) uses different word.
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,
How about the definition of Beguile? It means to declare unworthy of a prize
It is an athletic term showing someone is disqualified because a person did not adhere to the rules. He still runs the race, but they are trying to take the prize away, to take away their reward.
Don’t lose your head: stay faithful (1Cor3:8)
8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
Just because you don’t do what someone else does, don’t be beguiled by it. Run your race set before You for You are accountable for Your race!
There is the danger, so we have the warning here, that our lives today will rob us of reward and glory tomorrow. Not keeping us out of heaven, but of the rewards we had coming to us as faithful servants when we get tricked by the false teachers.
Don’t lose your head by angel worship (v.18; 2Cor11:13-15; Remember Heb1:14; Heb10:19 and Heb4:16)
Don’t lose you head, don’t be tricked.
13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.
There is only one who is worthy of worship, that is God through Jesus Christ. We need to remember angels are created servants
14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?
Whose servants? God’s servants to us who will inherit salvation. We worship the One who tore the vail so we may confidently enter the holy place by the One who was sent, not by an angel.
19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,
Not only can we enter with confidence we can enter boldly
16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Don’t lose your head by self-abasement/self-denial
Self-abasement is really will worship (you do what you think not what God through His Word says)
Bodily discipline is good, for a time, but it is not the nature of what saves you, if the fulness of Christ is Christ then it is Christ that saves you, not self -abasement or self-denial. Don’t get me wrong, we are the temple of the Living God that dwells in us and we should take care of the temple, I know should do it out of love for Christ not out of legalistic requirement.
Don’t lose your head by mysticism
Don’t get caught up by emotional experiences, claimed vision that are not in accordance to God’s Word. The false teachers were claiming they needed to have deeper experiences to be truly spiritual. Again, remember Christ is our all, and all fullness if found in Him.
Solution: Hold fast to the head; The Head who spoke through the prophets, through the Apostles and gave us the Spirit so that we may mature.
The person who worships through angels, or trying to be more spiritual by Self-abasement does not prove his humility, for then he is not submitting to God’s Word.
True worship always humbles a person. True worship has the right perspective of God and the worshiper is in awe of God and their heart if filled with the love of God and for God. They live a submitted life to God and want to live out God’s purpose for their life. - So don’t lose your head!
True worship, true spirituality comes in submission and leads to wilful service. (Lk5:8; Isa6:5 and Rev1:17)
Peter fell down in awe and reverence
8 But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!”
Isaiah was undone
5 So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.”
And John, well just look
17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,
Warren Wiersbe said:
“Tragically, vain religion of the puffed-up fleshly mind, is but a mere substitute for true spiritual nourishment from Jesus Christ, the Head of the body, His Church.”
Solution: We need to draw our nourishment from Jesus through His Word and through His people so we are not weak and we are protected from the false teachers.
The Spiritual body grows by nutrition not by addition, we are all needed as a part of the body look again at this.
19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.
The entire body, is the entire church, the body of believers to work together, united, each bringing the faith given and the gift given to help the body.
Don’t lose your head by trying to add to what the Lord has given us, the Word and the body!
III. Don’t lose your head
III. Don’t lose your head
Paul continues with asceticism, beyond self-abasement. The words are hard, they may even be harsh, but the warnings are real for today just as they were for the 1st century church.
Asceticism is the practice of rigorous self-denial and even self-mortification in order to become more spiritual
I think it is easy to see the relationship between legalism and asceticism, for the ascetic subjects himself to rules and regulations as we wee in the passage.
20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!”
22 (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.
Don’t lose your head over foods, practices or things to avoid
Things don’t make you holy, or more spiritual, God and His Spirit in transforming you matures you and grows you.
The ascetic hopes to sanctify the soul by the discipline of the body, but only the Lord can sanctify by His Spirit.
Paul gives several warnings about religious asceticism
The Spiritual problem (v.20)
Don’t lose your head due to the rudiments of this world, keep your eyes on the riches of the Kingdom. (Col2:8; may we remember Rom6:3-4; Col2:12-15)
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
Our spiritual position is in Christ Jesus, in which the Father qualified us for (Col1;12) and transferred us (Col1:13) and then governs us, not by the laws and the rules of man but by His very Word.
Don’t lose your head, ascetic rules are futile (vv.21-22; remember 1Tim6:17)
17 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
God supplies all things we need to enjoy our life, our pilgrimage here with our citizenship in heaven.
Don’t lose your head by the deception of asceticism (v.23)
While they may have the appearance or the reputation of spirituality, they don’t live up to the promotion they are peddling.
True worship is done in spirit and in truth (Jn4:24)
In trying to wrap this up, there are a few good things for us to remember
The power of Christ is in the heart of the believer not the muscles and mind set self disciplines
We have a new nature, Christlike nature: Nature determines Appetite (2Pt1:4)
4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
Paul has been defending the preeminence of Christ here in chapter 2, refuting false doctrines of legalism, mysticism, and asceticism.
Answer to legalism is the spiritual truth we have in Christ.
Answer to mysticism is our spiritual union with Christ
Answer to asceticism is our position in Christ
So, is Christ preeminent in your life today? Are you drawing on His spiritual power or that of a man made substitute?
May we know the warning are there so we adhere to them and have the blessings in which the Lord died for for us to have.
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