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Not Just a Trend: A Deep Dive into Colossians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  24:28
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Paul is writing to the church is Colossae, warning them about a 'new teaching' that is coming and how dangerous it is to their faith. Beware the deception.

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Outline:
Intro
Question #1
Context of Colossians
Question #2
The Importance of Christ
Question #3
Closing

Who You Know

Sermon
Intro
For the month of July, we are going to be doing a deep dive into the book of Colossians. Partly because there are 4 weeks in July and there are 4 chapters in Colossians. Partly because I realize I have not spent a lot of time in Colossians and it has recently become a book of interest. Mostly because I was going to be away and I wanted to do something that would be easy for Darren and I to tag team and still bring our own flavor to the series. So next week Darren will be sharing on chapter 2
To help keep us on track, starting Monday we will be doing a reading plan of Colossians for the month of July. The readings will pop up Monday thru Friday, and will be based on the chapter that was preached that Sunday. So Monday to Friday will be chapter 1, next week will be chapter 2, and so on and so forth. Hopefully...
As I was preparing for this series, I was struck at the number of people I have had the privilege of meeting since I became a pastor. I’ve become good friends with some pretty popular Christian band and artists over the years. I’ve got to know some pretty big name Christian speakers. I’ve been a pastor to guys who now play in the CFL. I don’t think I’ve gotten to know anyone who is popular for all the wrong reasons, but I’m sure there are a few exceptions to that rule.
When I say I’ve gotten to know, I mean I could call these guys up and have a conversation with them. There is relationship that has been developed. They know me the same way I know them. There are a lot of people I know of that I could do the same thing with. Guys like Craig Groeschel. I’ve met him, shook his hand, but I couldn’t call him and have him know who I am. I doubt he’d even answer the phone.

Question #1 - Who is the most famous person you know personally?

Now I want you to think of someone who is famous that you don’t know but would love to know. Someone you look up to and think, “Even if I got to meet this person, I would be over the moon.”
Now imagine if one day, you received an email or Facebook Message from this individual. Imagine that they said they were very interested in how you were doing, and they were just checking in to see how things were. I know some of you would print off the message and frame it out of sheer excitement that you were actually talking to this person.
This is kind of what the letter to the Colossians is like. The Apostle Paul probably never actually went to Colossae himself to preach to the city. Instead, it is more likely that when Paul stopped in Ephesus and planted the church there, he sent evangelism teams down the valley to the three cities of Laodicea, Hierapolis, and Colossae. Colossae at one point was the wealthiest and most prominent of the three cities, though that changed over time.
Even though Paul never went there himself, he had led their founding pastor to belief in Christ and no doubt stayed in touch with him and heard many stories. Paul would’ve been prominent enough in the area that receiving a letter from him would’ve been quite exciting.
But this isn’t just a kindly check in letter. The background here is that there is a movement stirring up, and the message of this movement was dangerous to the Christianity and this young church. When this letter was written, it was just getting going in Ephesus. We know that thirty years later, the Apostle John was dealing with this movement head on. It had grown to such prominence that believers were being taken in by the deception and being led a astray.

Question #2 - Have you ever believed something to be true, only to discover it was a lie? What did it take to see the truth?

The key to a good lie is mixing in enough truth to make it believable. If you are writing that down, I hope it is with the intention to refer back in case you think you are getting caught up in a lie.

The Key to a Good Lie is Mixing in Enough Truth to Make it Believable

The deception that was going around was the early beginnings of what was to be known as Gnosticism. Some of you may be familiar with that word and this will be reminder for you. If you’ve never heard that word or heard it and never really understood it, this will be helpful for you.
Gnosticism was this belief that you are saved by what you know. Knowledge was the key to salvation and the acquisition of knowledge was the only meaningful pursuit for a believer of Jesus Christ.
Here’s the problem with Gnosticism. It was only Christian in name. The message and the practices were actually founded in Jewish and Gentile teachings, and had nothing in common with the gospel that Paul and disciples had been teaching. The knowledge that these teachers were teaching was not a knowledge found in Christ but in human effort.
This all brings us to Colossians 1
Paul starts every letter with a greeting and a word of encouragement for the people of the church is writing to. His heart to spur the people onto greatness, and he knows that doesn’t happen when you start out knocking people down.
Then we see Paul’s solution for this dangerous message that is coming.
Colossians 1:9–14 CSB
For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, so that you may have great endurance and patience, joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. In him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Paul’s desire is that the people wouldn’t forget the God that saved them. The knowledge of the will, the wisdom of God, the spiritual understanding; these things all come from a relationship with Christ, not human effort.
It is through our relationship with Christ that we learn what a truly powerful and effective life looks like. It is in Christ that we find the power to accomplish the things God has set out for us. It is the reminder that it is not through human effort we are saved, but through Christ’s forgiveness and work in us. We do not work to earn salvation; we have received salvation, thus we work to please the God who saves us.
This is something we contend with even today. The world wants to think of truth as a concept that can be manipulated and contorted to meet their needs. We know that truth is a person who can be known and knows us.
How many times have we heard in movies or in life that knowledge is power? But God flips that on its head and says true power is found in the person of the Holy Spirit.
The world tells us that joy and thankfulness comes from a life that is problem free. Jesus teaches us that joy and thanks come from endurance and trials.

If Christ is not Central, it is not the gospel

Question #3 - What are some things that try to steal your focus from Christ?

To finish off this morning, I want to read v. 15-23. As I read these verses, let the weight of these truth statements rest heavy in your heart. I would encourage you to meditate on them all day. Jesus truly is the only truth we need in our lives, and he stands opposed to so many other truth statements that try to set themselves up against him.
Colossians 1:15–23 CSB
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For everything was created by him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and by him all things hold together. He is also the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile everything to himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated and hostile in your minds as expressed in your evil actions. But now he has reconciled you by his physical body through his death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before him— if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become a servant of it.
Let’s pray.
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