Walk in Christ

30 October 2016 PM – Colossians 2:4-7 – Col16 – Scott Childs

Introduction: On my computer, I have installed Norton Antivirus. It is a program that protects my computer from invasions that can harm, destroy or steal my data.

As Christians, we too need spiritual protection. The devil and his false teachers are actively working to deceive God’s people.

Transition: In this section, Paul gave the Colossian believers and us three challenges to increase our spiritual protection.

1.        Do Not be Deceived (v.4)

a.         “This I say then”
1)         Paul probably is referring to what he has said so far in this letter. He has just emphasized the preeminence of Christ. He informed them about the mystery of the gospel – that the Gentiles could not only be saved but become one with the believing Jews. He assured them that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid in Christ. Christ is all we need for everything in life. The false teachers were denying these facts.
2)         Paul may be referring to what he is about to say. He still had more instructions and warning that would help them stay true to Christ.
b.         Deceivers abound
1)         His next word in the verse is “lest.” It is two Greek words that literally translate as in order that not. He was warning them in order that the false teachers would not beguile them.
2)         The word “beguile” simply means to deceive by false reasoning. Paul said that the false teachers were using “enticing words”. In other words, they were using persuasive arguments or logical arguments.
3)         False teachers do not play fair. They use reasoning that is not biblical. The cults today often use logical reasoning to defend their unbiblical doctrines. For example, the JWs claim that God would never send a person to a burning hell because God is love. That may sound logical, but it is not biblical.
4)      Deceivers abounded in the first century and they super abound today. The devil is their master teacher (and many of them do not know it). (2 Corinthians 11:14) “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (15) “Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”
5)         How can you avoid being deceived? Paul’s words “this I say then” refer to God’s written Word. The better you know the Word of God, the easier you will spot and flee from deceivers.

2.        Be Encouraged (v.5)

a.         Paul assured them of his friendship
1)         Paul was not in Colossi. He was in prison for preaching the gospel. He had never even met most of the Colossian believers.
2)         However, Paul assured them that he was with them in spirit. He had learned much about them from Epaphras. He felt like he was right there together with them.
3)         Did Paul know what it was like to face false teachers? He sure did. Everywhere he went he seemed to attract them like flies on a piece of meat. They argued with him. They worked against him. They hated him. They tried to kill him. He was then in prison because of them.
4)         I think Paul was simply saying, “I am your friend. My heart beats with yours. I know what you are going through.”
5)         Godly friendship is encouraging.
b.         Paul praised them for their qualities
1)         He said that he was “joying and beholding their order”. The word “order” is a military term that describes an unbroken military line. In his heart he was rejoicing over them and in his mind’s eye he was seeing their orderly conduct. They were lined up for battle with the enemy.
2)         Paul also rejoiced that their faith in Christ was steadfast. “Steadfast” was also a military term describing the firmness of their stand against evil.
3)         Paul was not writing to weak ignorant Christians. He was writing to a congregation that was well-disciplined, orderly and had a firm faith in Christ. However, even solid Christians need encouragement to remain true and to be alert for the devil’s attacks.
a)      Remember Peter’s warning? (1 Peter 5:8) “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
b)         Jude also sounded this warning. (Jude 1:3) “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
c)         In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul warned those who thought they were strong to beware. (1 Corinthians 10:12) “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

3.        Walk in Christ (v.6-7)

a.         Walk as you received Christ
1)         The word “received” means to take to one’s self or to accept. Here it most likely refers to how they had accepted the doctrines concerning Christ which they had been taught. They had received Christ’s doctrines in full faith. The false teachers were now trying to undermine and twist the doctrines of Christ.
2)         Now Paul commands them to walk in Christ by faith and full assurance of who He is. They are to walk confidently in Christ, without questioning His preeminence.
3)         We too must walk in Christ, in simple faith that He is God (1:18-19). Walk as one He has redeemed and forgiven (1:14). Walk in confidence that He created all things (1:16). Walk as one whom He reconciled (1:21).
b.         Walk as you were taught
1)         Evidently, Epaphras had taught them well the doctrines of salvation and the work of Christ in their lives.
a)         Paul wrote, “You have been rooted.” This word is in perfect tense meaning that it took place in the past but the result is still present. Christ rooted us in Himself. He is our foundation. That rooting took place the moment we trusted Christ and we are still rooted strongly in Christ.
b)         You are being built up. We are being built upon Christ’s foundation. We are being built up in Christ. It is a building or growing process. This is an ongoing process.
c)         You are being established. This word means to make firm or to confirm. Day by day as we walk with the Lord, we are being made more solid in our faith.
2)         The Colossian believers had learned these doctrinal truths. Now they were to abound in them in thankfulness.
a)         The word “abounding” means to exceed a fixed number of measure, to exist in abundance or to overflow. No matter how long you have been saved, you need to keep growing and sharing the overflow of what you learn with others. A Christian who is not daily learning from the Bible and growing in the Lord is a prime target for false teachers and the devil.
b)         The Christian life is not to be like water sitting in a bucket that evaporates, turns stagnant and breeds bugs. Instead, the Christian life is like kefir that is always hungry, always growing and always feeding others.
3)         The Christian walk is a walk with Christ led by God’s Word.

Conclusion: How is your spiritual protection? The devil wants to deceive you, corrupt you, pollute you, and ruin your effectiveness for Christ. The solution is to walk in Christ as you have been taught, spending quality time with the Lord every day. In Jude’s words, (Jude 1:20-21) “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Let’s walk in Christ as we have been taught. Make it a priority!

Song: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus – 204