Colossians 2:6-23                                                            Monday, December 26, 2011
Key Verse: 2:6-7                                                              Kevin Jesmer NIU UBF

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

Dear Lord, thank you for a blessed Christmas. We could meditate on the meaning of Jesus and accept him newly as Immanuel, “God with us.” I thank you for Dupage UBF. They put on a very meaningful and wonderful Christmas service. Thank you for the singing at the nursing home. I pray that the love of God may fill the hearts of all the residents there. Please grant each of us a clear key verse to hold onto for the New Year. Please make 2012 a breakthrough year for us in terms of reaching out to the community and to NIU. I pray that you may grow our co-working with DeKalb Christian church so that we may bring glory to Jesus together. Please grant me one word of God to hold onto through this daily devotional time. I pray in Jesus’ holy name. Amen!

1. What Christ has done for us (6-15).

Verses 6-15 read, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces[a] of this world rather than on Christ. 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh[b] was put off when you were circumcised by[c] Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you[d] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

Paul gives us a clear direction: just as we received Christ, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened and thankful. We can do this as we remember all that Christ has done and what that means to us. In Christ, we have been brought to fullness. In Christ, the old self ruled by flesh has been put to death through baptism with Christ. In Christ, God has made us alive. He forgave all our sins. He removed our condemnation on the cross. In the cross, Jesus triumphed over all evil powers and authorities that seek to hold us in bondage. In Christ, we have victory and fullness forever.

I agree that there is great fullness and victory in Christ. In the past I was deceived by a hollow and deceptive philosophy. I lived by the philosophy of enlightened self interest and hedonism. I truly believed that I should “eat and drink for tomorrow I die.” I wanted to live for fun and pleasure but at the same time I was willing to deny myself to work and study so that I could make money and continue to seek fun and pleasure. I also was willing to deny myself in order to build up my own life and future for my own glory. It was all about me and my feelings and my life and security. It was not about God and the glory of God and the benefit of others. When I lived like this I did have moments of fun, but I became a very empty and lonely person. No matter how hard I tried to make myself into a cool and successful guy I was only becoming a junk person, because I only wanted to have fun. I was extra ordinary and petty. Who could save me from such a fruitless life? Not only that I was destined to spend eternity separated from my Lord and Savior Jesus , outside of the kingdom of God. Only Jesus Christ and the gospel of Jesus could save me!

Since then I have been brought into the fullness of Christ. I have been tasted the love of God and goodness of God. He is making my life fruitful and meaningful because of his grace. I was dead in my sins, living like a cut flower in a vase. But I have been made alive in Christ. There are times when the deadness of this life tries to overwhelm me pushes me to want to despair and sleep. But that is when the power of Christ takes over and gives me his life. I can be driven by the power of the Holy Spirit. I can taste true joy. I can also have great victory. I would say that yesterday was a great victory. We worshipped Jesus on Christmas Day. We encouraged our brethren. We could also sing at a nursing home, bring joy and faith to some seniors, who are very lonely this time of year. Through Jesus I could have a sense of victory at work. I have a sense of victory in my relations with others. I also have an assured victory because I know that after all is said and done, I am going to heaven to spend eternity with Jesus. I pray that this gospel…this Jesus may come in to the hearts of young people in DeKalb and given them new life too.

2. Deceptive heresies (16-23).

Verses 16-23 reads, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow. 20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.”

Hollow and deceptive philosophy based on human tradition and the spiritual forces of this world plant corruptive heresies: Ancient Judaic ceremonialism based on food and religious festivals (16), angel worship (18), and asceticism (seeking to control the flesh through harsh treatment of the body, self-imposed worship and worldly rules) (21-23a). All of these are deceptive heresies that separate us from Christ and have no value to restrain sensual indulgence. Instead of being deceived by these, continue to live in Christ, rooted and built up in him. Then we will grow as his holy people, victorious over sin.

We need to be saved from hollow and deceptive philosophies. We are helpless not to be swayed by the prevalent philosophies of the culture around us. We have our own brand of American Christianity. There is Canadian Christianity. There is Middle Eastern Christianity. We are all influenced by the philosophies of the culture around us. There are good aspects of human culture. But there are also destructive aspects of culture. My kids are influenced by their culture and it is not always Christ loving. Usually human culture drags us away from Jesus and the gospel. We must be into Jesus’ culture. Though we can not know what that is fully, we can see it more and more the more we are into the word of God and the more we pray and put the word of God into practice. Lord, open our eyes so that we may stay clear of human philosophies and hold fast to Jesus and the gospel and adhere to the philosophy of the Kingdom of God.

Prayer: Lord, protect me from deceptive heresy. Help me continue to grow in Christ, free from sin.

One Word: Continue to live in Christ

Interact with us using Facebook

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.