Col. 2:1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face,
Col. 2:2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself,
Col. 2:3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Col. 2:4 I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument.
Col. 2:5 For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ.
Paul says I struggle over you and Laodicea, the other church in the region he never visited (and all others that had not seen his face)
As the mention of Laodicea in the Book of Revelation attests, they were suffering from the same problems of false teachers
In fact, Laodicea becomes a symbol of the apostasy threatening the church in the end times
In v.2, Paul explains his purpose in writing
The NIV captures the verse better:
Col. 2:2 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,
My Purpose is to encourage them
So that they may have complete understanding
In order that they may know Christ
Then Paul gets to the point in v. 4
I say this so that no one will delude you with a persuasive argument
False arguments can sound persuasive
There is a misconception at times that “we will know false teachers when we see it”
Forgetting that the enemy can come in disguise
Judaizers, Mormons, Gnostics, Jehovah’s Witnesses all take the truth, cloud it with additions or subtractions, and end up with a false Gospel
Instead we test what we are told against Scripture
And though Paul wasn’t there, he says I’m on your side hoping that you have good discipline in the stability of your faith in Christ
Spiritual discipline of the believer includes:
Study of the word
Not forsaking gathering together
It doesn’t happen because we will it, but because we make it a priority
Col. 2:6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him,
Col. 2:7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Col. 2:8 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.
Paul is about to juxtapose what it means to depend on Christ, with what are hollow, empty, deceptive human philosophies
Let’s finish today by looking at how he describes depending on Christ
First, v.6 says as you received Christ, continue to live in Him
What worked at first is always enough
Live in Him refers specifically to new life, being born again
On the same basis you were saved in the first place, continue to be saved in an ongoing way
Paul said the same to the Galatians:
Gal. 3:1 You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?
Gal. 3:2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?
Gal. 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
Paul is asking, if faith was good enough to save you on Day 1, why was it not good enough on Day 2? On Day 10?
If you were susceptible to teaching that you need more now, you would’ve needed it then
Verses 9-15 are a concise doctrinal thesis of what it is to depend on Christ