Who Are You People?
2/26 – Together with Him (Colossians 2:8-19)
Introduction — Here Paul urges the church to make certain that no one takes them captive through an empty gospel. He alerts them to steer clear of anyone who promotes the traditions of men over the person of Christ. Again, Paul wants the best for this church. He wants them to walk in step with Christ. He wants them to see the wonder of Christ, the death and burial and resurrection of Christ. Christ is God. Christ is fully God. And Christ fills each member of His church. Christ makes them new. Christ gives them life. Each member of the church shares in the death of Christ. Each member shares in the burial of Christ. Each member shares in the resurrection of Christ. By God’s grace, He makes them alive together with Christ. By God’s grace, He holds the body together. He grows the body. The church is alive together with Christ. The church exists through Him. The church exists for Him. Christ gives life to His church. Christ is our life. How about us? Do we see the wonder of Christ? Do we marvel at the work of Christ? Do we see our close connection to Christ? Do we realize that we are together with Christ?
By His grace, God unites us to Christ. He makes us alive together with Him. Our old life of sin is gone. Our new life of freedom is here. Do we see our close connection to Christ? Do we cherish our life in Christ? Do we live like we belong to Christ?
In this section of the letter, Paul gives one basic warning—do not fall for a false gospel. That’s what we should do. Now, let’s look at the why.
WE ARE COMPLETE IN CHRIST.
Our New Nature in Christ (9-10)
9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; 11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;
Comments: Paul wants the best for this church. He loves them. And, so, he directs them to consider Christ’s deity. Christ is God. Christ Jesus the Lord is fully God. The Father makes the church complete in Christ. He fills us up. He makes us new. Through Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on the cross, God makes us new. He removes our old, sinful nature. Our old life of sin is gone. Our new life of freedom is here. We are complete in Christ. We now have a new nature in Christ. Question: How urgently and how frequently can we remind one another of our new nature in Christ? Connections: For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. ~ Romans 6:5-7
Our New Identity in Christ (12)
12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
Comments: Paul loves this church. He wants the best for them. He shows them the heart of their faith—they are new people in Christ. They have a close connection to Christ—in His burial and resurrection. The idea of the burial with Him in baptism points to the completely new identity they have in Christ. Their sins are buried. Their old nature is buried. Their old identity is buried. Now, through faith in the working of God, they are raised up with Christ. They receive a new identity in Christ. They point to Christ. They look to Christ. They look like Christ. Question: How urgently and how frequently can we remind one another of our new identity in Christ? Connections: For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. ~ Galatians 3:26-27
Our New Life in Christ (13-14)
13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
Comments: Paul quickly reviews their past—they were dead in their transgressions. They were unresponsive and unaware of the totality of their rebellion toward to God. They had no idea they needed God. They were dead. But God made them alive together with Christ! God made them alive together with Christ, (1) having forgiven us all our transgressions, (2) having canceled out the certificate of debt, and (3) He took it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. By His grace, God united this group of people to Christ. He gave them new life in Christ. Question: How urgently and how frequently can we remind one another of our new life in Christ? Connections: Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. ~ Romans 6:8-11
Word Study for Colossians 2:8-19
8 see (blepo—watch out for; perceive visually; behold; think about; beware; pay attention)
8 take captive (sylagogeo—carry off as spoil; plunder; rob; lead captive; seize; strip bare; take control of)
8 deception (apate—trick; beguiling; allurement; fraud; treachery)
10 made complete (pleroo—make full; filled; cause something to be full; to satisfy; to finish; accomplish)
12 buried (synthapto—bury together with)
12 raised (synegeiro—raise to life with; raise together with; awaken)
13 alive (sysoopoieo—raise to life with; make alive together with)
14 canceled (exapleipho—wipe away; eliminate; to plaster; to destroy; obliterate; remove; bout out)
15 disarmed (apekdyomai—take off; strip off; to put off)
18 defrauding (katabrabeuo—condemn; disqualify; give judgment against; rob of a prize)
19 holding fast (krateo—be strong; take possession of; control; be master of; lord over)
19 ligaments (syndesmos—bond of union; unite; that which binds together; fetter)
19 held together (symbibazo-unite; teach; knit together; cause to be a unit; join together; drive together)
Application for Colossians 2:8-19
Let’s see to it that no one takes us captive through philosophy or empty deception.
Let’s remember that Christ is fully God.
Let’s remember that Christ makes us whole.
Let’s see the grace of God through Christ.
Let’s marvel at the life we have in Christ.
Let’s marvel at the forgiveness we have in Christ.
Let’s see the glorious union we have with Christ.
Gospel Connections for Colossians 2:8-19
Christ is truth. Christ is the resurrection and the life. Christ is God. Christ is fully God. Christ fills the believer. Christ makes the believer whole. Christ gives life. Christ gives life through His atoning sacrifice. Christ paid the debt of sin. Christ is victorious over sin and death. Christ unites and holds together His body, the church.
Thoughts and Quotes for Colossians 2:8-19
Nothing cuts the nerve of the desire to pursue holiness as much as a sense of guilt. On the contrary, nothing so motivates us to deal with sin in our lives as does the understanding and application of the two truths that our sins are forgiven and the dominion of sin is broken because of our union with Christ. ~ Jerry Bridges, The Discipline of Grace
The truth must be repeated again and again because error is constantly being preached round about us, and not only by isolated individuals but by the majority. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A true and faithful Christian does not make holy living an accidental thing. It is his great concern. As the business of the soldier is to fight, so the business of the Christian is to be like Christ. ~ Jonathan Edwards
Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. ~ Colossians 2:6-7