In Paul’s final benediction to the Colossians he desires that the Colossae Christians apprehend more fully the grace of God in which they stand. This blessing is not a wish, but a statement of confidence that God’s grace will sustain them. It will sustain us as well. This is Paul’s message throughout the letter to the Colossians. Colossians 4:7-18
The false teachers deflected the focus of the believers in Colossae. The Apostle Paul exhorted the Colossians to shift their priorities back to the important basics of the Christian faith: their need to be devoted to prayer (including intercessory prayer) and to live and speak in a manner that brings glory to God. We would do well to heed Paul’s exhortation. Colossians 4:2-6
Husbands, Love Your Wives
Throughout chapter 3 of Colossians Paul has been teaching how to relate to one another in a godly manner. Beginning in verse 18 he turns his attention to the family – the issue is not so much the challenge of being Christ-like in our relationships (that is a big challenge), but that such relationships are so very different for the cultural norm in a Christ-less world. Paul gives practical, Biblical instruction that touches upon everyday relationships and everyday life. The key to understanding what Paul is saying is that we do these things because they are fitting or pleasing to the Lord. Colossians 3:18-4:1
Read Colossians 3:18-4:1
18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.
20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
22 Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God.
23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,
24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
25 But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.
1 Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.
In Colossians chapter 3 the Apostle Paul tells the believers at Colossae that the greatest thing a people could ever be told is that they are God’s chosen people. Therefore they are to clothe themselves with Christlike attributes, letting His Word dwell in them richly, binding it all together in love so that the peace of Christ will rule in their hearts – and to do all things in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. These wonderful truths apply to Christians today, as we desire to put off sin and put on Christ – giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Read Colossians 3:12-17 NKJV
12 Therefore, as [the] elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also [must do]. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
In Colossians 3, Paul reminds the Colossians that they have not only died with Christ in His death, but they were also raised from death with Him. Since Christ is now seated at the Father’s right hand they should seek the things above, and set their minds on things above, putting to death sin and putting away earthly things. They have put on the new man in Christ – and are exhorted to die to old sinful habits and put off the old man – because Christ is all and in all.
Read Colossians 3:1-11
[Col 3:1-11 NKJV]
1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
4 When Christ [who is] our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,
7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.
9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,
10 and have put on the new [man] who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave [nor] free, but Christ [is] all and in all.
False teachers judge and disqualify all those who do not subject themselves to their rules and regulations. In Colossians 2:20 Paul writes, “If you died with Christ from the basic principles of this world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations?” When we died with Christ we were freed from the principalities and powers of this world. Like the Colossians, let us not be drawn away or enticed by the appeal of false teaching.
Col 2:16-23 (NKJV)
16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. 18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in [false] humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase [that is] from God. 20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as [though] living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations– 21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” 22 which all concern things which perish with the using–according to the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, [false] humility, and neglect of the body, [but are] of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.
We are free from human traditions through our life with Christ. In Colossians 2:9 it says “for in Christ all the fullness of the Deity dwells.” When we receive Christ Jesus, we are given “fullness” in Him. The Apostle Paul lays out for us in Colossians 2 what genuine faith looks like; warns us of the dangers of worldly philosophies; and reminds us that we are “complete” in Christ. Nothing we contribute can make us right with God – it is all Christ!
Mr. Martin’s three main points in the message are genuine faith (verses 6-7), worldly philosophies (verse 8), and completeness in Christ (verses 9-15). Colossians 2:6-15
In Colossians 2:1-5 Paul continues his discourse on ministry, providing a wonderful pattern for ministers to follow. Although the Apostle Paul is speaking to the church of his ministry as a minister of the Gospel, these points can be applied to our ministries within our families. (I hope that message will be clear as I work through these verses.) Paul’s last five points of ministry are: the Subject, the Goal, the Strength, the Conflict, and the Warning. All these points focus on Christ, teaching us to rely upon Him, not ourselves, as well as cautioning us to beware of deception. Colossians 1:28-2:5
So what does a true minister of the Gospel look like? How do we identify the life and labor of one called by God to serve the church of Jesus Christ? After laying down a vital foundation on the preeminence of Jesus, Paul now opens his heart and shares with the Colossian church what guides and governs his endeavors. His desire is that they be able to identify a true minister of the Gospel and his ministry. Colossians 1:24-2:5
We are all in need of reconciliation to God. Before our reconciliation we are alienated from God, hostile to His commands and His way. But, God had a plan: that through the blood of Jesus’ death on the cross “all things whether on earth or things in heaven” have been reconciled to Him. Believers are to proclaim the message of reconciliation in Christ to the lost world. Colossians 1:15-23
Who is Jesus? This is the most important question anyone will ask or answer.
The heresy influencing the Colossians taught that Jesus was an emanation from God – a created being – and therefore not the only way to Heaven; they needed other works to attain spiritual fulfillment.
As Paul continues to refute and combat the false teaching at Colossae, he reminds and reinforces the Colossian church of the true identity and headship of Jesus Christ: He is God, He is Creator of all, He is Sustainer of all, He has Preeminence over all things.
Christ has supremacy over all creation because He is the Lord of all. It is through Jesus Christ and Him alone that we reach spiritual fulfillment.
In preparation for worship this Lord’s Day, March 9, please read Colossians 1:15-20, as Mr. Martin will continue preaching through the book of Colossians, Lord willing.
Kert Martin’s sermon continues in the book of Colossians. In chapter one Paul prays for the church at Colosse. Paul’s prayer for the saints is that God will fill them with the knowledge of His will, so that they will live a life fully pleasing to God. At the same time, they are to give thanks to the Father for His mighty and gracious works: He has given them an eternal inheritance, delivered them from the power of darkness, and transferred them into a kingdom where His beloved Son rules – a Son Who has redeemed them by His blood and forgiven their sins. Colossians 1:9-14