Colossians Chapter 2

March 13, 2013

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on Colossians. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

You can listen to the study by clicking here

In Colossians 2 Paul points out the fact that we need to live our present lives in Christ. We need to rely on Jesus as the head of the body (Church), and participate in and with the body (Church) through the power and anointing of the Holt Spirit. In Him we have experienced death and resurrection so that we are freed from the old way of living and can experience real life in Him now and forever. We are to live for Jesus now in this world.

The Gnostics, and all legalists, insist however, that life is found in following a strict set of rules and regulations. Paul says that these ideas have an appearance of wisdom, and may even limit the practice of certain kinds of sins, but the sin nature will still find ways to express itself, often with legalists in the sin of spiritual pride.

Focusing on rules and regulations as a means of trying to live in relationship with God, has the opposite effect. It causes us to get cold and hard. We must live by faith in Christ, trusting in His grace and yielding to the work of the Holy Spirit in us to find real life now and forever,

Colossians 2:1-23 (NIV)
1 I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is. 6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. 16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. 19 He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow. 20 Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

Let’s look at the differences between living the way the Gnostics, and all legalists try and live and the way that we are too live in Christ. The way of the the Gnostics:

1. (Goal) Please God by our own good deeds
2. (Means) Practice, diligent service, discipline, and obedience, in hope of reward
3. (Power) Good, honest effort through self-determination
4. (Control) Self-motivation; self-control
5. (Result) Chronic guilt, apathy, depression, failure, constant desire for approval

Living in Christ:

1. (Goal) Trust in Christ and then live to please God
2. (Means) Confess, submit, and commit ourselves to Christ’s control
3. (Power) The Holy Spirit in us helps us do good work for Christ’s Kingdom
4. (Control) Christ is in us; we are in Christ
5. (Result) Joy, thankfulness, love, guidance, service, forgiveness

We are in Christ!

Colossians 2:8-12
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

Always live in Christ! Be ever vigilant of the legalism that is always trying to creep back into your life. To the Colossians, the discipline demanded by the false teachers seemed good, and legalism still attracts many people today. Following a long list of religious rules requires strong self-discipline and can make a person appear moral, but religious rules cannot change a person’s heart. Only the Holy Spirit can do that.

Colossians 2:16-17
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

The reality is in Christ! Real now and forever life is found in Him!

Colossians 2:6-7
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

The life in Christ is a life of joy, thankfulness, love, guidance, service, forgiveness.

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