Colossians 2 notes

For those of my teens wanting to get ahead, and looking forward to our ongoing walk through of Colossians 2, here are the notes for the next couple of weeks:

MONDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY

Colossians 1:24-2:23

TEXT:

24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28  We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. 29 To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. 2 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. 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, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 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.
Freedom From Human Regulations Through Life With Christ
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him,  rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Study:
Let’s look at this section 1:24-2:7
  • This section of Scripture is highly debated. Paul isn’t suggesting that somehow that Christ’s death is somehow lacking, or that he aims to replace what God didn’t do in Christ for them
  • He reminds them that he is Christ’s servant by God’s doing or calling/commissioning
    • Let me ask you: at this point in your life and walk with Christ do you have a sense of God’s call into a specific area? 
  • he mentions sharing this mystery with Gentile and Jew–  which is Christ in you, the hope of glory
    • Last time we talked about why the gospel was a story of hope
    • Why is the gospel a story of hope to you?
      • Be ready in season and out of season to give an answer for the hope that lives within you!
  • Paul knew that God had transformed him (v. 29)
    • After all he went from persecutor of the church to missionary mouthpiece for Christ
    • He put the “J” in Jewish, and now he is traveling all over the Mediterranean world sharing Christ with Gentile and Jew a like
  • V. 28, What was Paul’s message?
    • 28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. 
    • In short, it would be what God had done and was continuing to do in and through Jesus Christ
    • Paul’s goal for ministry is my primary motivator for doing what I do:
      • To see those he served grow/mature in Christ
  • Paul knew that he was transformed and that God’s power was working in him (v. 29)
    • How hard is for you to acknowledge that God is working in and through you?
    • Share a time when you were apart of something that was bigger than you, that had to be a movement of God?
    • Why is it important to recognize God’s working and power in our lives? (I think so that we can get out of the way)
    • At the very beginning of this section I commented that sometimes this section of Scripture is highly debated, scholars aren’t real sure what exactly Paul is saying, so I am going to add my two cents, I think what he is getting at is that they weren’t a cross-shaped people yet. Paul was laying his own neck on the line to teach them the cruciform way!
  • As we move into chapter 2, notice again there is the word struggle again:
    • Paul was working hard for all those he ministered too, and the churches he planted to bring them up in maturity in Christ, to have them be a cross-shaped people
    • His purpose was unity, and for them to rely solely on Christ for wisdom, and life.
      • Listen again to these words: 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, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 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. So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
      • There were those who were creeping into the church trying to lead, persuade and coax away from full reliance on Christ
      • You remember in chapter 1 Paul paints this masterful picture of the size and grandeur, and the majesty of Christ (1:15-20)
    • What does it mean to be rooted in Christ?
      • Paul borrows from agricultural metaphor to drive home an important point
        • If we aren’t receiving our nutrients from the vine of Christ we aren’t truly a part of the vine
        • Where we grow, and what we are building on is important?
          • What does your life look like? Who or what does it reflect? Jesus and the cruciform way or our own selfish wants and desires?
        • A seed can only grow if its roots develop and the deeper the roots, the better and longer the life?!
      • How is a life of thankfulness important?
        • What happens in your life when you focus on the negative stuff and constantly complain?
          • A negative outlook sours our outlook
        • But overflowing with thankfulness, that is something
        • Even in the midst of suffering and trials, being thankful is a mind set on Christ, and his goodness, and a positive focus that sees not obstacles as roadblocks, but as opportunities for God’s providence and power to be seen!
  • Next Section Col 2:8-23 :“  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.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,[a] 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,[ b]  God made you[c] 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.[d]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.”
  • One of the issues present in the Colossians church was a battle over knowledge

    • If you remember we have seen a couple of times Paul mention the importance of knowledge
    • Apparently, the danger was “ hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ”
    • So the issue was with the sufficiency of Jesus

      • He is either all we need for life or not enough
      • Paul lived, breathed, and preached and died believing that Jesus was more than enough
    • What hollow and deceptive philosophies do we encounter in our day and age?
  • Col. 2:9-15

    • “ 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,[a] 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,[b] God made you [c] 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.[d]”
    • Paul once again makes a big deal of Jesus, all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form

      • In other words, Jesus is the full presence of God
      • For those of us who are Christians, we have been given fullness in Christ

        • God is uniquely present within us, as we are in Christ
        • We aren’t lacking in anything
        • We are in a spiritual battle, and the deck has been stacked in our favor
    • In the OT circumcision was the mark of the Abrahamic covenant

      • It was identifying mark that indicated an inward commitment to Yahweh and his work in and through Israel
      • With the coming of Jesus, and what God was now doing in and through Christ, circumcision was no longer necessary

        • There were still some that advocated that to be fully Christian, a person must be circumcised, and then also follow the laws of Moses (cf. Acts 15)
        • But the early church in Acts 15 understood the entry point for believers not be circumcision, but faith, repentance and baptism into Jesus
      • And so Paul notes that baptism is now the entry marker, if you will that identifies one as a follower of God, and it is equivalent to what circumcision was
      • There are couple of things here I want to emphasize:

        • 1. Notice the language Paul uses for baptism –“ buried and raised”

          • Cf. Romans 6:3-4 this is the same language here used by Paul
        • 2. Do you see a connection with the forgiveness of sins and baptism? But more than that, forgiveness of sins is solely through the work of the cross

          • Baptism and salvation are solely the work of God
        • 3. In the same way that God raised Jesus from the dead, he raises us from death to new life as well

          • Baptism is surrender to work, or should I say reworking of God’s transformative power in us
          • Putting off of the sinful nature – the part of us that is hostile and opposed to God
  • Col. 2:16-23: “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.”
  • Apparently in Colossae there were those who were advocating certain days and religious festivals –

    • these things Paul says were a shadow pointing to a better reality
    • Some people get hung up on ritual and external practices that they miss the point of what they are doing, it would be like those who think that just because you come to church, you are a Christian
  • Paul closes this section really again talking about those who are trying to lead the Colossians astray back into slavery if you will to the basic principles of this world

    • He talks about those who were swelled up with a sense of special knowledge, and visionary experiences, and followed strict dietary laws and rules
    • Paul reminds that they died with Christ – in other words, he reminds them of their cruciform life

 

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About Jason Retherford

The random musings of a youth minister.
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