Colossians 2:1-7

Steve Viars October 8, 1994 Colossians 2:1-7

REVIEW

  1) What is the theme of the book of Colossians?
       (the preeminence of Christ)

  2) What are some examples of how the preeminence of Jesus Christ is
       taught and emphasized in chapter 1?

  3) List a hypothetical way in which this material could cause us to
     change.  For example, how might a person complete this sentence:
     "Focusing on the preeminence of Christ this week caused me to
        _____________"

  4) One last idea. I realize that the Faith Bible class got through
      verse 28-29 two weeks ago while the Philadelphians did not.
       - those two verses are very important because they tell us how
         this doctrine should affect our philosophy of ministry.
           - or how we go about doing the work of the ministry here at
              our church.
           - from either SS class, based on Col. 1:27-29, how should the
               doctrine of the preeminence of Christ affect our
               philosophy of ministry?

- with those thoughts in mind, let's move into Col. 2:1-7

- in this chapter, Paul is going to keep developing how he wants this
   doctrine to affect this church family.

- read Col. 2:1-7

I. Paul's Conflict

    - Paul says in verse 1 that he wants the Colossians to know that he
         has a great conflict, or a great struggle for them.

    - let's ask some questions about that?

    A. In what sense was Paul having a conflict regarding the Colossians?

        - Is he saying that he's fighting with some members of the
           church?

        - INPUT? (no)

           1) conflict in prayer -- in chapter one he was telling them
                about his prayer requests for them, and when he thinks
                about the importance of them growing in Christ, and not
                being swept away by false teachers
                  - it results in a conflict//struggle in his soul.

- let me ask you to turn over to II Cor. 11:28
    - read

- with this verse and Col. 2:1,

B. What does this tell us about Paul?

    - he loved the church
    - God's work accomplished through His church was of utmost concern to
        Paul.
          - He wasn't lackadaisical
          - He wasn't indifferent
          - there wasn't a take it or leave it attitude

    - Paul's heart was intertwined with the heart of God when it came to
       this matter of what was happening in the church.

- the verse also says that Paul wasn't just concerned for the Colossians,
    but also for whom?
       (the Laodiceans)
- that statement ought to take our breath away:

C. What do we know about the Laodiceans?

    - Paul wanted this book to be read to the Laodiceans - Col. 4:16

    - Christ addressed the Laodiceans in the book of Revelation as a
       church that was lukewarm--a church that He wanted to spew out of
       His mouth.
         - Rev. 3:14-19

D. What can we learn from this verse?

    INPUT?

    1) Are we concerned about other churches/ministries?

        - develop - NANC Conference, miss. conf., etc.
            - we as a church have taken a decided course to seek to
                minister to other pastors, and other churches.
            - in fact, we're going to have some presentations for you in
                upcoming weeks that will be part of our budget decisions
                for next year that go right along with this issue.

    2) When the Bible tells us to be concerned about something regarding
        our spiritual lives, do we get concerned about it?

        - in a sense, the Laodicean church listened to the same SS
           lessons we've been listening to.
             - but it didn't do much good.

         - the matter of the preeminence of Christ didn't move them.

             - and because they didn't heed the Word of God, look where
                that took them.

             - this isn't just a book that fills up some time during SS,
                we're talking about a message that is intended to protect
                our spiritual vitality.  (individually and as a church)

 

- Paul explains this struggle more in verses 2-4
- we're going to call these verses:

II. Paul's Concern

    - he says first of all, I want your:

    A. That your hearts be strong

        - remember, when the Scripture speaks about our hearts, it's
            talking about our inner person
              - talking about our control center

        - definitely includes the thinking
           - as a man thinks...in his heart, so is he.

        - that's a very important point
           - what concerned Paul the most about these people was not some
              issue of behavior
                - it wasn't even an issue of service

         - what concerned his first and foremost was their hearts.

         - INPUT - why would Paul first and foremost be concerned about
            their hearts?

            (guard your heart, for out of it flows the issues of life)

    - another part of his concern is:

    B. That their lives be balanced

        - INPUT - what balance do you see Paul arguing for here?

             - the balance between truth and love.

         - some churches have a sign in their church foyer that says
            this:
              - We have no law but love, no creed but Christ.

         - INPUT - how would you evaluate that sign?

         - According to the passage--what will happen if they have the
            right balance between truth and love? (what is the
            controlling verb?)
              - the answer is -- they'll be knit together.

    - Paul continues to develop that idea when he says that he's
       concerned:

    C. That their focus be on Christ.

        - read vs. 3

        - the only way that any of the things that are mentioned in verse
           2 are going to happen is if they are convinced of the
           preeminence of Christ.

        - the greatest and most important knowledge to ever be gained is
           the knowledge of Christ.


- and of course undoubtedly Paul has in mind the Gnostic heretics who had
   the view that they had access to knowledge that was even greater than
   the knowledge of Christ.

- isn't it interesting that that’s exactly where the church is today.
   - you read the average book on Christian living today,
       - listen to the average Christian radio broadcast
       - read many journals and magazines....

       - and you are more likely to hear the supposed "wisdom" of
          psychology than you are the wisdom of Christ.

- and we have an entire echelon of people today who view themselves as
   the new experts on how to handle life because they have access to
   special knowledge

- and I realize that if you haven't been around a while, you might think
   that we're a bunch of flaming rednecks when it comes to this topic--
     - but its important to recognize that we're not talking about a body
        of literature that is neutral in it's relationship to
        Christianity.

     - we're talking about a body of literature that is absolutely in
        competition to the Christian faith.

     - you cannot handle the problems of life apart from a personal
        relationship with Jesus Christ.
     - that is exactly what psychology purports to do.

        - the ironic thing is that many in the church today have run to
            broken cisterns that can't hold water in order to find
            knowledge on how to live.

            - Paul says--it's in Christ, that all the treasures of wisdom
                and knowledge are hid.

- INPUT - (if time) - implications to child-rearing?  (how important is
   it to you that your child be growing in his/her knowledge of Christ?)

    D. So that they wouldn't be deceived

        - read vs. 4

        - Paul says, I don't want anybody to be able to beguile you.

        - now it's very important to note that Paul doesn't go into all
           of their false teachings and all the rest
             - he just lays out the truth.

             - Why?

        - because the best protection against false teaching is to know
           Jesus Christ, and to know him well.

        - that’s why, when they are teaching bank tellers how to recognize
            counterfeit bills--what do they use?
               (real money)

                 - study the real money--and you'll be able to recognize
                     what's not real.


- that’s the same thing we try to do around here.

    - we're not going to spend our time studying every last doctrinal
       deviation out there
         - instead--we're going to teach the truth of the wisdom and
             knowledge of Christ.
         - when God's people come along, God's people will be able to
            recognize it as error.

- so Paul's saying that he has a great conflict in his soul for these
   young believers
     - he wants them to have strong hearts
     - and a godly balance between love and truth
     - he wants their focus to be on Christ
     - he wants them to be prepared to handle whatever false doctrine
        might come their way

- he concludes this section of Scripture with a challenge:

III. Paul's Challenge

    - read 5-7

    - he says, I appreciate your orderliness//your discipline
    - I appreciate the steadfastness of your faith.

    - now, just like you received Christ--I want you to continue to walk
       in Him.

       - continue to grow in your knowledge of Christ
       - continue to grow in your love for Christ
       - continue to grow in your desire, and ability to be like Christ

       - continue to walk in Him.

       - here's what will happen--your roots will grow down deep

          - develop--instead of a spiritual tumbleweed

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video