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Christlike Conformity

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class=MsoNormal align=right style='text-align:right'>1)  2-10-08…..PM…..SBC“Christlike Conformity”

Colossians 2:9-23

Introduction:

1-      Paul has just finished telling us the true nature of this false teaching in v8 and why they should be so careful with their interaction with it.

Colossians 2:8 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.[1]

2-      Paul now focuses his attention on the centrality of Christ who the readers are to follow unswervingly.

3-      Paul resumes the phrase “in Him” from v6-7 as the scarlet thread that is to be woven into the fabric of our lives


Proposition:   Paul’s emphasis in these seven verses that Christ Jesus is more than sufficient to meet the dangers of false doctrine and that we are to continually conform our thoughts and actions to His teaching.

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1) Sufficiency of Christ          v9-15; cf: 1:9-18

 

Ø     Paul is teaching here in chapter 2 that Christ is the standard by while all systems of teaching are to be judged

A-    In Him exists (resides, dwells) and fullness of Deity            v9

Ø     Syntax:  The verb tense for “dwells” (κατοικεῖ ) portrays an action in process or a state of being that is occurring in the present time with no assessment of the action’s completion.[2]

1-      This High Christological statement serves as the basis for the application to the particular needs of the congregation[3]

2-      the false teaching did not recognize this.[4]

3-      In later Gnostic thought (based on ‘inside knowledge’) Christ was seen as the last in the line of mediators by which one could reach God. But Paul states that all the fulness of the divine being or Godhead dwells directly in Christ and that this indwelling is permanent.[5]

4-      “Bodily” = in concrete reality as opposed to mere appearance

Application:   Today legalism, justification by works or any teaching that devalues Christ’s saving work on the cross, can be used by the powers of darkness to hold men and women in spiritual slavery.[6]

Illustration: 

                        1- Christ’s offers salvation but does not require right living – “fire insurance is sufficient enough”

                        2- Christ offers salvation and then I have to do something else – faith + ______________ (Galatians)

3- To say that we have to have SS, AM, PM, Wed BS, Kid’s / Youth  program and calling programs to be a proper Baptist church is legalism that leads to spiritual slavery.

Transition:  Paul goes on to say…

B- In Him is all that is needed           v10

1-      Christ Jesus is more than sufficient to meet the dangers from the false doctrine. [7]

2-      in their union with Christ they have received fulness of salvation. So they do not need to stoop down before the spiritual powers of the universe or to observe their rules to attain this fulness, as the false teaching demanded.[8]

C- In Him is received the removal of the old nature              v11-12

1-      The theme of union in Christ continues as Paul describes how the readers are linked with the gospel events, i.e. Christ’s death, burial and resurrection[9]

2-      The Colossians were also circumcised in him, that is, they died with Christ in his death. theirs was notdone by the hands of men; it was a divine work in which God himself made the change from the old life to the new.[10]

3-      Most scholars are confused as to Paul’s insertion of “circumcision at this point in the argument

4-      I believe that Paul is using “circumcision” to introduce the symbolic belonging to the New Covenant – it is possible that the false teachers were preaching the circumcision was necessary for salvation

Ø     The heresy which the apostle was combating was a somewhat baffling mixture of Judaistic and Pagan beliefs propagated by men who probably posed as Christians, yes better Christians than the common lot. [11]

Ø     BAPTISM:

-          identification with Christ

-          outward symbol of inward salvation

-          it is a public event showing others your allegiance to Christ

-          nothing more than a bath if salvation is not present in one’s life

D- In Him is received deliverance from the condemnation (conviction) of the law              v13-15

 

1-      Dead points to the state of separation from God as a present condition of those outside of Christ.[12]

2-      But now because of the death of Christ God has made them alive in him.[13]

3-      Regeneration:  the giving of spiritual life to the spiritual dead

4-      He has forgiven all our trespasses – violations to His way of doing things (sin)

5-      God has not only removed the debt; he has also destroyed the document on which the debt was recorded. (χειρόγραφον, the written code, means an ‘IOU’, a note that refers to a debt written in one’s own hand as proof of obligation.) [14]

Application:    Everything we have from God is a mercy, beginning with salvation and freedom from punishment

6-      Paul states that God defeated and disarmed the evil powers of their authority.[15]

7-      Jesus hung naked and disgraced, dying publicly for sinners. The evil forces assumed they had triumphed. In reality, through this act of both sacrifice and triumph, God disgraced these evil beings. The tables were turned. God triumphed in the redemptive work of Christ.[16]

Transition:  In contrast to sufficiency in Christ, Paul gives us…

2) The Principles that were inconsistent with the standard of Christ’s sufficiency               v16-19

Ø     This paragraph alludes to the teaching and catchwords of the philosophy[17]

Ø     Bad theology leads to bad practice! [18] (Bad actions can be traced to bad thoughts)

Ø     The mistaken ideas about ‘fulness’ and the work of Christ (which the apostle corrects in vs 8–15) have corresponding errors on the practical side.[19]

A-    In the false teaching it was believed that the Colossians would progress as Christians to ‘fulness’ by keeping certain Jewish food taboos and rigidly observing their special days.[20]          v16-17

1-      Christ and his new order are the perfect reality to which these earlier commandments foreshadowed.[21]

2-      Any demand today to abstain from certain foods or to keep religious festivals as a requirement for growing as a Christian brings down upon it this same severe criticism. [22]

B-    To the false teachers, who boasted in their special spiritual experiences, Paul’s criticisms are sharp.[23] v18-19

 

  • The rejection of the false teachers’ claims by the apostle are difficult to understand because of our partial knowledge of the practices. [24]

1-      the suggestion of the false teachers was probably that the believer’s were not complete in Christ and that they needed to follow a strict discipline of ritual practices as well as tapping into the spiritual powers needed along the path to “fullness of life.”[25]

2-      The most devastating criticism is that by using their own private religious experiences as the basis of their authority they were in fact rejecting Christ as their Head. [26]

3-      He is the source of life and nourishment by which his body lives and the source of unity through which it becomes an organic whole.[27]

3) Self Imposed religious practices are of no value                v20-23

 

A-    Paul is referencing the man-made set of rules used by these false teachers

1-      the OT example of this is in the OT command of circumcision which God intended as a sign of faith but some made into a condition for grace. 

2-      Paul says that living by these types of man-made regulations has a certain appearance of wisdom but in the end it has no value to restrain the flesh

3-      Paul is teaching that since they have died with Christ they do not need to submit to legalistic rules

Conclusion:

1-      As believers, we have all we need spiritually in Jesus Christ

-          this does not mean that we are given instant perfection at salvation

-          it does meant that we do not need anything else to make us spiritually mature

(human philosophy, OT Law, angelic spirits)

2-      Christ is the always the remedy against error and is always the standard of truth

-          we must be the standard by which all of our ministries and programs are based

Ø     Let this passage be a reminder to us to always keep a high standard in our Christology

Ø     Let us not go to our Christian bookstores blindly picking up books that don’t promote a high view of Christ

Ø     Let’s be careful of the Prosperity Gospel that says God wants you healthy, wealthy and wise.

Ø     Let us be united together in the perfect bond of Christ so as not to be kidnapped by false teaching

Ø     Let us evaluate each aspect of our lives and let us be found always exalting Christ!


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[1]The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Col 2:8.

[2]Michael S. Heiser, Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database Terminology (Logos Bible Software, 2005; 2005), present.

[3] Word Biblical Commentary: Colossians, Philemon; p111.

[4]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Col 2:6.

[5]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Col 2:6.

[6]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Col 2:6.

[7]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Col 2:6.

[8]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Col 2:6.

[9]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Col 2:6.

[10]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Col 2:6.

[11]William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, vol. 6, New Testament Commentary : Exposition of Colossians and Philemon, Accompanying Biblical Text Is Author's Translation., New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953-2001), 114.

[12]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Col 2:6.

[13]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Col 2:6.

[14]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Col 2:6.

[15]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Col 2:6.

[16]Richard R. Melick, vol. 32, Philippians, Colissians, Philemon, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991), 266.

[17]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Col 2:16.

[18]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Col 2:16.

[19]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Col 2:16.

[20]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Col 2:16.

[21]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Col 2:16.

[22]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Col 2:16.

[23]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Col 2:16.

[24]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Col 2:16.

[25] Word Biblical Commentary: Colossians, Philemon; p133.

[26]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Col 2:16.

[27]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Col 2:16.

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