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The supremacy of Christ
Colossians 2

Last week we began our study in the Book of Colossians

-This church was founded by Epaphras a fellow worker with Paul
-Paul writes to them, commending them for their faith and love for each other. Faith and love are to characterize us!
-Note: This letter also intended to be passed on to the church at Ephesus (2:1; 4;16)
-Paul also writes to them warning them of the dangers that were at their door- infiltratators who would come and take the focus off of Jesus and His majesty and the exclusive message that salvation is by faith in Christ alone
-In warning the Colossians Paul details how the enemy would seek to destabilize them in their faith. This is a good thing for us to know- the tactics of the enemy, how and where the assaults will come. Ponder how this applies today.
-As Paul equips the Colossians he lays out for them afresh what makes Jesus so awesome and worthy of our praise and service- holding up Christ as having no equal and as being the only Savior. Hence the many majestic statements about Christ and His work on our behalf

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A WALK THRU OF THE TEXT- Lessons, principles, applications

1. INVEST YOURSELF IN THE LIVES OF OTHERS FOR CHRIST v.1ff

"I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not met me personally"

The Bible says that in Christ we are brothers and sisters. This means we are family and are supposed to be concerned about the well being of each other.

Paul had never met the Colossians, all he had was the news brought to him by those who knew them- yet Paul cared, he cared deeply.

We to care about and pray for our brothers and sisters all over- when we hear from our missionaries about the church in other places we to pray and be concerned for them.

An interesting question: How was Paul contending/struggling/laboring for the Colossians?

a. He was emotionally, intellectually, spiritually invested. They were not a passing thought
b. They were on his daily prayer list (make a list and post it)
c. He wrote this letter, seeking to equip them to live the Christian life
d. He inquired about them, pondered their situation, he reached out to them
e. He carried them close to his heart- adopting them in his mind

2. IN JESUS WE LACK NOTHING - whether it be for strength, supply, or for the basic need of knowing what to do in any given situation. HE IS SUPREME! v.3

In v.3 is a really cool phrase about Jesus "In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge"

This great verse declares the all sufficiency of Jesus. It also reminds us that Jesus is the embodiment of WISDOM. Jesus is wisdom incarnate

We have this verse because into the church- particularly in Colossae and Ephesus were sneaking those who were promising a deeper experience, greater knowledge, more-- but only under their tutelage. Nothing has changed- just consider the religions of the worlds and their promises as it regards wisdom and knowledge for living- For example: Buddhism declares an 8 fold path to enlightenment. That sounds so wonderful, so tempting, so mysterious. Mix in a few mindfulness exercises and viola- you have peace. Don't fall for these lies, these false promises.- in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. In Jesus we have everything we need to live for God and to be ready for the next life.

If we want to know what to do or what decision to make, we are turn to Christ. We are to ask for His wisdom and help and guidance, we are to look to His Word and its principles- His Word is the final authority as it regards our faith and practice

James 1:5 says;-- "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you."

Taste and see that the LORD is good. Pursue Christ alone. In Jesus we are not missing a thing. Attend to the promises of the Bible- it has a perfect track record. Take up your cross and follow Jesus.

2 Peter 1:3 says; "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness."

3. WE MUST REMAIN ON GUARD AGAINST THE FALSE AND EMPTY PROMISES OF THE RELIGIONS AROUND US AND OF THE PHILOSOPHIES OF OUR DAY

As an interesting exercise- in pondering Paul's words of warning of what to look out for as it regards keeping our faith in Jesus pure and undefiled- consider how many different religions and philosophies you can identify that connect with Paul's warnings in these verses?

Paul's warning

"I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments." v.4

"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ." v.8

Note on v.8,20 "Elemental spiritual forces".

The language, paired with "human tradition" indicates baseness. It is low, it is not of God, it is of the flesh and of Satan. This language makes us aware of the spiritual conflict we are in- we do not battle against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers. Ours is a spiritual conflict against

These verses square with Christ's warnings in Matthew 7:15-16 wherein he says; "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them."


Question: How can we tell what's real from what's fake? What can we do to guard our hearts and minds from the false teachings around us?

We have to make yourself really familiar with the genuine article- whether it be money, your cell phone, that Canada goose jacket, whatever it is, if one doesn't know the real thing they can be fooled into believing that a substitute is it.

Jesus is the real thing: He is the truth! He is the only Savior!

Over and over again Jesus declared "I tell you the truth" as he preached. He also said ""I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6.

To back up His claims Jesus fulfilled dozens and dozens of ancient prophecies, he performed many powerful miracles. In addition to this, he lived a sinless life- even challenging the crowd in John 8:46 saying; "Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me?"

The Bible- for which there are many good reasons to believe it is the Word of God- gives us first hand accounts of the life, ministry, and death of Christ. We are to immerse ourselves in it, that we might be able to guard the integrity of our faith

AS CHRISTIANS WE NEED TO STAY VIGILANT. We must ensure that the Christian faith does not become mixed with other religions or the philosophies of our culture. We must be in the Word. Teach your children. Always ask this question: What does the Bible say? What does the Bible teach? What are the timeless truth's of the Scriptures as it regards whatever the topic is.

If you not convinced that Jesus is the only Savior I'd like to encourage you to take a look at the basic teachings of the various religions and what they espouse as the way to God. Compare these teachings directly to the Bible and the teachings of Jesus. In addition to this take care to investigate how reliable and trustworthy the writings of these other religions are in comparison to the Bible. Further, compare the leaders of all these other faiths and philosophies to Jesus. Pray and ask God to reveal Himself to you. Make the pursuit of truth- no matter how uncomfortable it may be a priority. Your soul hangs in the balance- this makes the pursuit a priority.


4. JESUS IS GOD. HE IS THE LORD OF LORDS AND KING OF KINGS. BASK AND TAKE IN AFRESH, OVER AND OVER AGAIN, HIS MAJESTY v.9-15

'For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.'

This grand statement as the identity of Christ harkens back to Colossians 1 wherein Paul says of Christ; " The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers 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. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."

JESUS AND HIS AMAZING WORK

a. We serve Jesus He is God in the flesh God became a man and dwelt amongst us- coming on a rescue mission to save us from our sins and the Judgment to come

b. We serve Jesus- He is Lord over all- to him all power and authority has been given and belongs.

c. We serve Jesus -our Creator and the one who Sustains all things. He is all powerful, all knowing, all present
d. We have serve Jesus- of whom we used to be an enemy of- and yet because of His grace and mercy we have been forgiven

e. We serve Jesus -who has set us free from the Law and it's demand of perfect obedience

In coming, Jesus perfectly kept the Law. He did what is impossible for people to do and in so doing he qualified to die as a once for all sacrifice for our sins. He being perfect - as one who never sinned and kept the letter and the spirit of every command, died on the cross for us- taking the punishment that we deserve.

f. We serve Jesus- who has marked us and identified us with Him- not physically, but spiritually as his own, by his death, shed blood, and resurrection

g. We serve Jesus -who has made us alive in Him. Note v.13-15

"Once we were dead in our sins and in the uncircumcision of our flesh, but God has made us alive with Christ. He has forgiven us all our sins, having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, who stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross"

Ephesians 2:1-5 expands on this saying; "As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesha and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved"

h. We serve Jesus- our triumphant King

Satan is a defeated foe. We are to resist the Devil and he will flee from us and we will be able to overcome the temptations that come our way.

CONCLUSION

1. We to invest ourselves in the lives of others for Christ. We to be a caring community
2. In Jesus we lack nothing. He has everything we need- whether it be for strength, supply, the right words, or for knowledge of what to do. In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge
3. Jesus is the true and only Saviour. We must remain on guard against the false and empty promises of the religions around us
4. Jesus is God. He is the LORD of lords and KING of kings. Bask and take in afresh and over and over again His majesty