Christ the answer to Doctrinal Error
Colossians 2: 1 – 5
Doctrinal error has crept within the church in Colosse and Paul must deal with it. Paul has never seen the Colossian Church and so is the church in Laodicea, yet he loved them and he prays for them. He wants them to grow into maturity and to let them know the error that is contrary to the gospel.
I. The conflict (Col. 2:1)
A. Paul’s conflict or struggle was for people he had never seen and people who never saw him personally.
B. This struggle probably was struggle in prayer. Fervent prayer is a struggle, between you, sin, and Satan. It may involve your own effort to live a holy life, to be faithful to the Lord and to be steadfast in difficult situation.
C. He struggles in prayer because he knows the Colossian Heresy is dangerous. False doctrines or false teachings are always dangerous.
Do you have a burden for the church? Do you pray for other believers who are in need? In what way do you show your love to your fellow believer or church mate? Are you willing to sacrifice or do something or give yourself for the church? It may sometimes cause personal pain but the effort, time, and labour is worth it. (1 Cor. 15:58).
II. His prayer request (Col. 2:2)
A. That the Colossians might be comforted- comfort is found only in Christ, but when he ascended into heaven, he sent another comforter (parakletos) which is the Holy Spirit. (Jn. 14:16-18). The comforter is someone who is always at hand who can provide help and encouragement in time of need. According to some expositors, the concept of a defence lawyer comes from this word. Since the Colossian Church is being invaded by false teachers, they need the comfort of the Holy Spirit who knows the truth and teach them all things (Jn. 14:26) specially the Word of God. Knowledge of the Word of God gives spiritual stability. If you know the Word of God, you can easily detect false teachings and doctrines.
B. That they might be knit together in love – he wants to Colossian Christians to be united joined together in love. God wants us to join together in union of fellowship. God wants believers to join together in love to fight against error. In love we must tell the truth even sometimes it hurts. We have to be truthful to the people we love. Love is very important. Without love, how can a church be a true church? We must love one another.
C. Unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the father and of Christ. This long term is quite difficult to explain but I will simplify it as “that they may know the mystery of God (which is) Christ. Jn. 17:3. It is the sound judgement of the great truths of Christianity. A person who has full assurance of understanding no longer doubts the Word of God. From there you will have peace, confidence and trust that you know the truth. As we have taken in Chapter 1, the mystery of God is the church (Eph. 3:1-6, Rom. 16:25- 26, Col. 1:25, 26), is to be composed of Jews and Gentiles. The second is the indwelling Christ, which is both not revealed in the OT.
III. The wisdom and knowledge in Christ. (Col. 3:3)
A. We find both wisdom and knowledge in Christ (Rom. 11:33, 1 Cor. 12:8). Knowledge is knowing the facts. Wisdom is application. We all want wisdom. We want to know the truth and we seek for reliable information, the right way of doing things that will really help us. In Christ, everything we need to know is hidden in Him.
B. The wisdom in Christ is not hidden to everyone, except to those who are very proud to seek it in Christ. Those who seek it in Him will find it readily.
C. We can obtain knowledge in universities but not wisdom. Spiritual wisdom comes from personal knowledge and fellowship with Christ. We have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16), and has put it into writing, the Bible, the Word of God, which is according to Peter contains all things that pertains unto life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3). Christ is sufficient. Salvation can be found only in Christ, not from human knowledge or effort.
D. In contrast to the false teachers who are called Gnostics who believe that they were the knowing ones. They put too much emphasis on knowledge as a means of salvation.
The name Gnosticism comes from the Greek Word gnosis which means knowledge. Gnostics consider themselves the knowing one or the enlightened ones. For them salvation is not a matter of faith, but by knowing certain mystical information. It was an intellectual approach to life and religion. For them spirit and matter are opposed to one another, spirit is all good and matter is all evil, and the two could never come into direct contact. For them Jesus being divine cannot really come in human body for that would involve mixing of spirit and matter. This is a very serious error.
IV. Enticing words of false teachers (Col. 2:4)
A. Now Paul gives a warning that they should be careful because of false teachers that uses enticing words or persuasive words. Satan deceives people by beguiling them (2 Cor. 11:3).
B. False teachers can be very persuasive, logical, attractive (Rom. 16:18) in contrast to Paul. (1 Cor. 2:1-5). Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Charismatics, Pentecostals, etc., can be very persuasive. Joel Osteen with his health, wealth, and prosperity gospel has one of the biggest congregations and even his false doctrines are already exposed, he still has a lot of following.
C. If believers are thoroughly grounded with the Word of God, false teachers can never deceive them. We must stand fast and study the Word of God diligently. If the preachers don’t preach about repentance, salvation, Christ, cross, the blood, hell, the second coming of Christ, etc., then there is something wrong.
D. Enticing words are the perversions of the devil. Probably false teachers in Colosse were teaching different things about the person and all sufficiency of Christ that’s why Paul was Paul was writing about the deity of Christ and his all sufficiency for salvation, and for spiritual maturity. Some expositors think that enticing words were a form of liberalism an unbelieving, rationalist approach to Christianity. It denies or downplays the miraculous element of Christianity.
The answer to enticing words is again knowledge of who Jesus Christ is. It is the most important thing in the world. By knowing who Jesus really is, we will be able to handle the enticing words of false teachers. The question is do you know Jesus personally? Have you experienced the life giving, peace giving, joy giving, loving Saviour who died for you? If not why don’t you repent from your sins and receive Him now as your personal Saviour?
V. Saints’ Fellowship (Col. 2:5)
A. Paul loves the Colossian Christians very much that he is there with them. Paul’s spirit was with them. If we really love other believers, we are in fellowship with them in the spirit even if they are far away and we haven’t seen them personally. (Ps. 119:63, 1 Jn. 1:7)
Paul struggled in prayer for the Colossians and Laodiceans. He wants them to be encouraged, knit together in love, and know Christ more which is the mystery of God. Gnosticism is a very dangerous error. Knowledge of the Word of God is the answer for doctrinal errors as well as enticing words from false teachers. In Christ we have everything, he is all sufficient for our salvation and we don’t need additional knowledge anymore. Trust in Christ, He alone can save you.
Preached: 07 April 2013.