Sunday, July 21, 2013

Colossians 2 - Fullness, Forgiveness, and Freedom in Christ ALONE

LINK: Colossians 2

BACKGROUND 


Paul struggled to proclaim truth to the Colossians and believers in the surrounding areas. Some were caught in the deception of the false teachers. There are many warnings against deception in the New Testament (Romans 16:17-18; Galatians 1:6-9; Acts 20:28-31; 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 6:3-5; 2 Timothy 4:3-4; 1 John 4:1).


Paul wanted the believers to understand the truth that Christ was enough and that all the fullness of God dwells in Him. They could move forward with that. They were already complete (full) in Christ and rooted in Him (the verb tense means "once for all" rooted). They were not to be tumbleweeds!  They once were dead, but now they were alive (2:13-14; Ephesians 2:1-10). Their sins have been nailed to the cross, and they were forgiven. He warned them not to be taken captive by false doctrine. They were not to submit themselves to rules and regulations that Christ never gave them to follow. They were free through Jesus who was their life source. There was no room for legalism. Legalism leads to not being connected to the Head, Christ. 


The same is true for us today. Fullness, forgiveness, and freedom are available in Christ. He is all we need. Hallelujah!


REFLECTION/APPLICATION 

Spirituality is not a matter of knowing more bible facts or having all the doctrinal wrinkles ironed out. Spirituality is not a matter of conformity to a code of rules. Spirituality is not a matter of exciting experiences. Knowledge, rules, and experiences all foster pride. Finally, spirituality is a not a matter of recipes: "Do these three things two times a day and you'll be spiritual." Spirituality is not mechanical. These things seem so spiritual but are nothing more than distractions.  
What then is genuine spirituality? 
An Attitude: Trust 
An attitude of trust means that I confidently rely on, put my weight on, Jesus Christ. Whatever life throws at me, I trust him. In my business practices, do I trust God rather than manipulate? Can I trust him when things don't go my way? 
A Behavior: Obedience 
"If you love me, keep my commandments," Jesus said. Spirituality is loving obedience to Jesus Christ, not legalistic conformity to a man-made code. It's loving obedience to the Word of God, not chasing the flash and pizazz of experiences. Simple, loving obedience.
Spirituality is an attitude of trust and a behavior of obedience. Life is challenging; and as we face it, God simply wants us to trust and obey. Spirituality is not a matter of rules or experiences but a relationship with, and obedience to, Jesus Christ. Let's keep our eye on the ball.
 
(Holman New Testament Commentary: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians & Colossians, p. 312-13)
This is why simple "obedience-based" discipleship with regular application of Scripture and accountability in a group of like-hearted believers is SO important. What is your "I will" statement for today? Remember the "Discovery Bible Study with Lists" download from yesterday? Why don't you start a group?

PRAYER


Jesus, thank You that all the fullness of deity dwells in You, and I need not look anywhere else for "spirituality." Please draw us near to You and help us to walk in minute-by-minute trust in You and obedience to Your Word. Amen. 
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