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Colossians# 15 2-2 thru 2-5

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I.   Col 2:2-3

A.  Paul begins to state here why he's concerned about them and what his desire is for them.

1.    Not of all, he says, "that they might be comforted."

a)    It's interesting, but the word "comforted" in the Greek literally means, "called to one's side."

b)    That is more of an idiom referring to "holding someone near to you to comfort them or to encourage them."

2.    He also says, “united in love.”

a)    Sometimes, an order for us to be united, it takes communication and often correction.

b)    However, Paul states united in love. We need to be united but it has to be done in love.

3.    He talks about, "riches of the full assurance of understanding."

a)    Having an understanding and knowledge of the truth of God's Word is very valuable and it does give you assurance or reassurance that what you believe is the truth.

b)    He's not talking about the truth or knowledge of the Gnostics.

(1)  Their Knowledge Produces Death. The Gnostics were actually very legalistic and the letter of the law kills.
(2)  But there is liberty in the knowledge of God and His Word when it is put together with the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit who reveals all truth to us.

4.    Next he says, "to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God."

a)    In other words, he wants them to have a full knowledge of the mystery of God.

(1)  We already talked about what the ministry of God was.
(2)  However, Paul in dealing with the problem and the heresy that was in the Church of Colosse, saw that it was necessary to refer to this mystery often.
(3)  What was this mystery? That the Gentiles would be fully accepted in the things of God. All born-again Jews and Gentiles would be equally accepted into the Kingdom of God and of his kingdom right now.

5.    All right, verse two hands with, "and of the Father, and of Christ;"

a)    In some of the manuscripts the words "and of the Father" are not found.

b)    Either some of the manuscripts have added the phrase and of the Father or others have omitted it.

B.  In verse three he says, "In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."

1.    Here again the word "Wisdom" is the Greek word "Sophia," which means the "fullness of wisdom."

2.    However, the interesting word here is "Knowledge."

a)    Knowledge is the Greek word "gnosis." This is the Word which Gnostics or Gnosticism comes from. (Gnosticism is the error that Paul was trying to correct).

b)    So, Paul was saying that it is in Christ where we can receive the true wisdom and knowledge.

(1)  There is no need to get it from anywhere else.
(2)  So what Paul was saying is that if anybody else brings a knowledge to you that is against what I've preached to you then it is in error.
(a)   The only spiritual knowledge that is needed and considered the true knowledge of spiritual things is all found in Christ and in His Word.

C.  Knowledge is the apprehension of truth; wisdom is its application to life. Knowledge is prudent judgment and wisdom is prudent action. Both are found in Christ.

II.Colossians 2:4-5

A.  Only this full knowledge and wisdom in Christ can keep you from being deceived.

1.    Many will come with their enticing words to try to get you off track or to error from the truth.

2.    These errors can be something as major as a false doctrine or something small like saying, "Oh, the Word is better over here." (Causing people to be bouncing from one church to another.)

a)    It might be something like, "Oh, just have one drink, it's not going to hurt you."

b)    One might not hurt you, but it can lead to three, four or more.

B.  Paul goes on to mention that he could not be with them in the flesh, but he is with them in the Spirit.

C.  However, word must have gotten to him, and probably through Epaphras, how orderly the people were and how orderly the church was.

1.    The Word "ORDER" in this verse literally means, "rank, order or arrangement."

2.    This gives us a little indication that the church was operating in an orderly fashion, but also there was no jealousy in the church. Everyone respected the others anointing and gift. No one try to usurp someone else's authority.

a)    They recognized their rank, order, and arrangement.

D.  Paul then talks about their "steadfastness of their faith in Christ."

1.    The word "steadfastness" literally means, "solidness."

a)    They were strong in faith or better translated "they were solid in faith or strong in faith."

b)    The reason for this is that the word faith is link with the article “THE,” but the Greek always puts the word “the” before most nouns; it is up the translator to include it or not.

(1)  The general rule is “if the noun makes sense with the article “THE” you include it, but if it is awkward in the sentence, you would leave it out.
(2)  In this case the article THE is found in this verse in the Greek, but the translators leave it off.
(3)  My point is, any time you see the phrase “Of THE faith,” you can leave the article off and say it “Of faith” instead of “Of THE faith.”
(a)   The same is true with “In THE faith,” you can word it “IN FAITH.”

2.    Faith in whom? And of course it is in Christ.

III.      Col 2:6-7

A.  In verse 7 we see again that Paul says “Stablished in the faith.”

1.    This is not really a common word in the Greek, but according to Theological dictionary of the New Testament. (Kittel)

2.    It means “firm,” “steadfast,” “steady,” “reliable,” “certain.”[1]

a)    He goes on to say that in Col. 2:6-7 it would be best translated as (established in faith).

b)    Well, what does “established” mean?

c)     According to the Webster's collegiate dictionary it means, “to make firm or stable, to introduce and cause to grow and multiply: to bring into existence: bring about: to put on a firm basis : set up: to put beyond doubt : prove (established my innocence) [2]

B.  I got a little ahead of myself so let’s go back to Verse 6.

1.    Now, Paul is talking to Gentiles who never walked in the Jewish law.

a)    So, he’s asking them, “How did you get saved?” And of course it was by faith, faith in Him.

b)    So, now he’s saying to them, “So now continue to walk in Him.” HOW, IN FAITH.

(1)  So, what he’s saying to them is don’t get caught up in the doctrines and traditions of men.

2.    So, how are we to walk, “Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”

WOLCC May 15, 2003 Thursday


[1]Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. (1995, c1985). Theological dictionary of the New Testament. Translation of: Theologisches Worterbuch zum Neuen Testament. (Page 103). Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans.

[2]Merriam-Webster, I. (1996, c1993). Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary. Includes index. (10th ed.). Springfield, Mass., U.S.A.: Merriam-Webster.

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