Walking in Christ: Colossians 2 (7)
Opening Prayer: Psalm 116.1-6
I love the LORD, because He has heard
My voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.
The pains of death surrounded me,
And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me;
I found trouble and sorrow.
Then I called upon the name of the LORD:
“O LORD, I implore You, deliver my soul!”
Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;
Yes, our God is merciful.
The LORD preserves the simple;
I was brought low, and He saved me.
Sing Psalm 116.1-6
(Mit Freuden Zart: All Praise To God Who Reigns Above)
I love the Lord because He hears my cries and pleas for mercy.
Because He bends to me His ears, my prayers shall ever thus be.
The snares of death encompassed me; hell’s grip could not unloosened be;
distress and anguish pressed me.
I called to God, “O Lord, I pray, my soul redeem with favor!”
The Lord is gracious in His way, and righteous is our Savior.
His mercy to the simple flies; He lifted me up to the skies –
I rest in Him forever!
Read Colossians 2; meditate on verses 16-19
1. In this chapter, how does Paul describe Jesus?
2. What does he say about those who would draw us away from Jesus into the “shadows” and “appearances” of faith?
In Colossians 1, Paul celebrated the fact that the faithful saints in Colossae were truly in Christ. They proved the genuineness of their faith in love for one another, thus demonstrating that they had truly been conveyed into the Kingdom of God’s Son and were on the path toward perfect holiness and blamelessness before Him. Paul saw it as his duty to reinforce their faith, encourage them in following Jesus, and to contribute what he could to help them become daily more complete in Jesus.
In chapter 2, Paul extends his description of the greatness of Jesus, that He is the true substance of faith, the Treasury of all wisdom and knowledge, and the fullness of the Godhead bodily. In Jesus, we who believe are complete – complete, but not finished. We must labor to walk in the Lord and before Him in all things, at all times being on guard against those who would distract us from faith in Jesus to trusting in human practices, doctrines, or disciplines. These things may serve to show us a shadow of Christ, but we do not trust in shadows, especially since we have been buried and raised with Christ to new life in Him, “who is the head and principality of all power” (v. 10).
We will always be tempted to look for shortcuts, to get in step with popular movements, or to listen to the impassioned words of those who want us to swap God’s ways for theirs. Doing so may help us to strap on some appearances of faith, but they will draw us away from the substance, which is Christ. Let your faith be always lodged in Him, and hold fast to Him and His Word, rather than the shadows of faith men may devise.
Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“Let no one cheat you of your reward” …that… “grows with the increase that is from God” (vv.18,19).
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them” (Matt.25.14).
Imagine for a moment that someone gave you a huge inheritance, but because you made a bad decision with it due to the poor guidance of your financial planner, you lost it all.
Or you were given a big bundle of loose jewels that you placed in a container from an acquaintance, but neglected to check if it was secure. The container had a hole in it, and you lost them all.
Perhaps you had an amazing talent, but someone discouraged you from using it, and it was lost to you.
Sadly, for a variety of reasons, you have been cheated of your reward.
But with our faith, we are never to let this happen. Paul tells us this emphatically!
We have been given the gift of Jesus Christ, and with Him, entrance into the Kingdom of God.
God has delivered His goods to us.
We are to cherish, care for, and use them for His glory.
We are to keep a close watch on this treasure.
“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Prov.4.23).
And “…lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal”, nor can anyone cheat you of this reward. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6.20, 21).
This treasure, this inheritance, this reward is from God.
Let’s not ever let anything or anyone, shoddy or shadowy, cheat us of it.
“For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things,
To whom be glory forever. Amen” (Rom. 11.36).
Hold fast to Jesus!
1. Why are we so prone to let go of Christ and prefer appearances and human doctrines instead?
2. What can we do, when we are tempted like this, to make sure we hold fast to Jesus?
3. How can you prepare yourself day by day to prevent anyone from cheating your of your inheritance in Christ?
Here we have the anticipation of an objection, in which, while he concedes to his adversaries what they allege, he at the same time reckons it wholly worthless. For it is as though he had said, that he does not regard their having a show of wisdom. But show is placed in contrast with reality, for it is an appearance, as they commonly speak, which deceives by resemblance. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Colossians 2.23
Father, keep me connected to Jesus today, so that I…
Closing Prayer: Psalm 116.7-19
Pray through all the ways God has blessed you in Jesus Christ. Thank Him that you are complete in Him, and ask Him to help you improve your walk with the Lord in specific ways this day.
Sing Psalm 116.7-19
(Mit Freuden Zart: All Praise to God Who Reigns Above)
Full well the Lord has dealt with me; my soul from death He delivered.
My weeping eyes, my stumbling feet, He has redeemed forever.
Forever I before His face shall walk with those who know His grace,
and dwell with them forever.
Afflicted, I believe His Word, though lying men would undo me.
What shall I render to the Lord for all His blessings to me?
Salvation’s cup I lift above and call upon the God of love
and pay my vows most truly.
How sweet to Him when saints depart – save me, Your servant, Savior!
From sin You loosed my wand’ring heart; I praise Your Name forever!
On You I call, my vows to pay; here in Your presence I would stay
Your praise to offer ever.
T. M. and Susie Moore
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Except as indicated, all Scripture are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.
Accept no substitutes. Colossians 2