Raised With Christ

Col 2:6-15

SS Lesson for 02/10/2013

 

Devotional Scripture:  Rom 8:10-11

Introduction

Overview and Approach to Lesson

The lesson teaches why we should be eternally grateful because we will be Raised with Jesus Christ.  The study's aim is to discover what our text teaches us about what God is doing for us in preparing us to be raised with Jesus. The study's application is to live daily in light of what God has done for us through Jesus and especially for His promise to raise us as He did with Jesus.

 

Key Verse:  Col 2:10

10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

 

Commentary on Col 2:10 from Barnes Notes Commentary

 [And ye are complete in him] Having no need, for the purposes of salvation, of any aid to be derived from the philosophy of the Greeks, or the traditions of the Jews. All that is necessary to secure your salvation is to be found in the Lord Jesus. There is a completion, or a filling up, in him, so as to leave nothing wanting. This is true in respect:

(1)   to the wisdom which is needful to guide us;

(2)   the atonement to be made for sin;

(3)   the merit by which a sinner can be justified; and

(4)   the grace which is needful to sustain us in the trials, and to aid us in the duties, of life.

There is no necessity, therefore, that we should look to the aid of philosophy, as if there was a defect in the teachings of the Saviour; or to human strength, as if he were unable to save us; or to the merits of the saints, as if those of the Redeemer were not sufficient to meet all our wants. The sentiment advanced in this verse would overthrow the whole papal doctrine of the merits of the saints, and, of course, the whole doctrine of papal "indulgences."

[Which is the head] Appointed him to be the supreme ruler. With reference to the church, for benefit and welfare. The universe is under his control and direction for the welfare of his people.

(1)   All the elements-the physical works of God-the winds and waves-the seas and rivers-all are under him, and all are to be made tributary to the welfare of the church.

(2)   Earthly kings and rulers; kingdoms and nations are under his control. Thus far Christ has controlled all the wicked rulers of the earth, and they have not been able to destroy that church which he redeemed with his own blood.

(3)   Angels in heaven, with all their ranks and orders, are under his control with reference to the church; see Heb 1:14; Matt 26:53.

(4)   Fallen angels are under his control, and shall not be able to injure or destroy the church. See Matt 16:18. The church, therefore, is safe. All the great powers of heaven, earth, and hell, are made subject to its Head and King; and no weapon that is formed against it shall prosper.

 

Commentary from The Biblical Illustrator

WE ARE COMPLETE IN HIM.

From His cross our Lord said "It is finished." From the time of creation down to that hour those words could not have been spoken about any human undertaking. But He said it, and mark the consequence. You have to do with a salvation which is perfectly complete. If you think you are to do anything you detract from the completeness of Christ.

We have a twofold completeness.

1.      That which we draw from Christ. The whole disposal of God's gifts is delegated to Christ. In Him all things are treasured up for our sakes. Hence He will supply

(1)   our temporal needs. The Christian, therefore, must not be anxious about them.

(2)   Strength and wisdom for every work we have to do. The Christian, then, must not despair about his weakness and ignorance.

(3)   Grace for Christian growth and comfort. The Christian must not despond when deprived of outward means and help.

2.      That in which we stand in Christ. God sees all who believe in Christ, and accepts Christ for them. Hence everything we do in faith loses itself in some corresponding thing that Christ has done. Our prayer, e.g., mingles with Christ's intercession. What is wanting He supplies, what is redundant He deducts. His perfume gives it sweetness, and so it goes to the throne, how different from when it left us, "complete." He is "made unto us wisdom and righteousness," etc.

 

Approach to the Major Outlines in Lesson

The concept of the major outlines came from NIV Standard Lesson Commentary and was determined by reviewing the Scriptural Text.

 

Verse

Phrase

Major Outline

7

Rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith

Stay Firm in Jesus

9

For in Him

Reasons for Firm Faith

 

Lesson Background

From the NIV Standard Lesson Commentary

The church of Colosse found itself surrounded by competing belief systems (sound familiar?). There were the old pagan religions—famous stories about the heroic gods and goddesses of Greece. There were newfangled “mystery” religions—small, cultlike groups that promised spiritual enlightenment for those willing to undergo a long and costly process of initiation. There were sophisticated philosophical systems—ways of life built around speculation on the nature of existence combined with commonsense observations. There was magic—practices that were thought to manipulate spiritual beings into doing one’s bidding. And there was Judaism—a firm commitment to but one God who revealed himself to a single nation and gave them an elaborate legal code to follow. When the gospel came to Colosse, many saw in Jesus Christ what they had sought but not found in those other ideologies and faiths. Setting aside their old commitments at great cost, they committed to Christ. But old ways can reassert their appeal with time. Paul wanted to remind the Colossian believers of what was at stake in their flirtation with these old ways.

 

From the Barnes Notes

The entire chapter 2 may be regarded as designed to guard the Colossians against the seductive influence of the false philosophy which tended to draw them away from the gospel. It is evident from the chapter that there were at Colossae, or in the vicinity, professed instructors in religion, who taught an artful and plausible philosophy, adapting themselves to the prejudices of the people, and inculcating opinions that tended to lead them away from the truths which they had embraced. These teachers were probably of Jewish origin, and had adopted many of the arts of a plausible rhetoric, from the prevailing philosophy in that region. See the Introduction, Section 4. Against the seductive influences of this philosophy, it is the design of this chapter to guard them, and though the apostle does not seem to have intended to pursue an exact logical order; yet the argument in the chapter can be conveniently regarded as consisting of two parts: A statement of the reasons why they should be on their guard against the arts of that philosophy; and a specification of the particular errors to which they were exposed:

A statement of the reasons why they should not allow themselves to be drawn away by the influence of the prevalent philosophy; Col 2:1-15. This also consists of two parts.

1.      The importance of the subject; Col 2:1-7.

(1)   The apostle felt great solicitude for them, and for all whom he had not seen, that they might hold the truth in reference to the divine existence and perfections; Col 2:1-2.

(2)   All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge were in Christ, and it was, therefore, of the greatest importance to hold to the truth respecting him; Col 2:3.

(3)   They were in danger of being led astray by enticing words; Col 2:4.

(4)   Paul says that he was with them in spirit, and he exhorted them, therefore, to remain rooted and grounded in the doctrines which they had received respecting the Saviour; Col 2:5-7.

2.      Reasons why they should be steadfast and not drawn away by the influence of false philosophy; Col 2:8-15.

(1)   The danger of depending on traditions and worldly principles in religion; of being "spoiled" or robbed by philosophy; Col 2:8.

(2)   All that we need to desire is to be found in Christ; Col 2:9-10.

(3)   We have received through him the true circumcision-the putting away our sins; Col 2:11.

(4)   We have been buried with him in baptism, and have solemnly devoted ourselves to him, Col 2:12.

(5)   We have been quickened by him; our sins have been forgiven; and everything that hindered our salvation has been taken out of the way by him, and he has triumphed over our foes; Col 2:13-15.

 

Major Theme Analysis

(Scriptural Text from the New King James Version; cross-references from the NIV)

Stay Firm in Jesus (Col 2:6-8)

 

6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,

7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

 

Firm through walking in Jesus (6)

Walking in Jesus results in bearing the fruit of the Spirit (John 15:5)

5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Walking in Jesus results in humbly helping others (Phil 2:1-5)

2 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Walking in Jesus results in counting ourselves dead to sin (Rom 6:11)

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Walking in Jesus results in living a life worthy of God's calling (Eph 4:1)

4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

Walking in Jesus results in living a life of love (Eph 5:1-2)

5 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Walking in Jesus results in being able to express my faith through love (Gal 5:6)

6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

 

Firm through being established in the faith (7)

Established in the faith means to give ourselves fully to the work of God (1 Cor 15:58)

58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Established in the faith results in prospering in our work (Ps 1:2-3)

2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

Established in the faith means to practice obedience to God's Word (Matt 7:24-25)

24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

Established in the faith results in being productive in our Christian life (2 Peter 1:5-8)

5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Established in the faith means to make our calling sure (2 Peter 1:10-12)

10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.

 

Firm by rejecting deceptive philosophies (8)

Reject deceptive philosophies by being aware of false prophets (Matt 7:15)

15 "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Reject deceptive philosophies by not being carried away by lawless men (2 Peter 3:17)

17 Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.

Reject deceptive philosophies by keeping away from those who cause divisions (Rom 16:17)

17 I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.

Reject deceptive philosophies by not heeding deceptive empty words  (Eph 5:6)

 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient.

Reject deceptive philosophies by not being carried away by strange teachings (Heb 13:9)

9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them.

Reject deceptive philosophies by opposing arguments against the knowledge of God (2 Cor 10:5)

5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Reject deceptive philosophies by staying away from false knowledge (1 Tim 6:20)

20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge,

 

Reasons for Firm Faith (Col 2:9-15)

 

9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;

10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,

12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,

14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

 

Firm because Jesus is supreme (9-10)

Jesus is supreme because He is the power and glory of God (Heb 1:3)

3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, NASU

Jesus is supreme because He is above all authorities and powers (Eph 1:19-23)

That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Jesus is supreme because He is the Head of all things (Eph 4:15)

15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.

Jesus is supreme because His name is above all names (Phil 2:9-11)

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus is supreme because He is before all things and all things exist through Him (Col 1:16-17)

16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Jesus is supreme because all powers are in submission to Him (1 Peter 3:21-22)

21 It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand — with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

 

Firm because Jesus transforms (11-12)

Jesus transforms us into a new creation (2 Cor 5:17)

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Jesus transforms us through reconciliation (Col 1:21-22)

21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—

Jesus transforms us through being born again (John 3:3-8)

3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." 4 "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" 5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

Jesus will transform us at the Rapture (1 Thess 4:14-17)

14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

Jesus will transform our bodies into a glorious one (Phil 3:20-21)

20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Jesus is transforming us into His likeness (2 Cor 3:18)

18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

 

Firm because Jesus forgives sin (13-15)

Jesus forgives because He is faithful (1 John 1:9)

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Jesus forgives because He redeemed us (Titus 2:14)

14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Jesus forgives and does not remember our sins again (Heb 8:12)

12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."

Jesus forgives because of His blood covenant (Matt 26:28)

28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Jesus forgives because His blood cleanses (Heb 9:14)

14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

 

Conclusions and Other Thoughts

Practical Points from the Bible Expositor and Illuminator

1.      Relying on Christ provides the stability we need to serve Him (Cot. 2:6-7)

2.      Knowing God's Word helps us detect wrong teachings when we hear them (vs. 8)

3.      When we believe in Christ, we are putting our faith in God, who provides our salvation (vs. 9-10)

4.      Everything God does for us is based on His character, not on ours (vs. 11-12)

5.      Brooding over past confessed sins prevents us from concentrating on future service (vs. 13-14)

6.      Christ's triumph over sin and evil means we can freely serve Him (vs.15)

 

Concluding Thoughts from the Bible Expositor and Illuminator

Probably most of the people in an average Sunday school class nominally understand Christ and salvation. They think they have genuinely received Christ and will thus escape hell and gain heaven. Their lifestyles may have changed to a degree. They may think they have all the religion they need or want. Many may think of their religion as more of a convenience or a comfort to them than the bedrock foundation of their worldview. They may enjoy a good sermon if it does not make them uncomfortable, and they may really like gospel concerts as entertainment. But they also may not be too upset by the issues of falsehood and ungodliness that they encounter around them or even in their own lives. This lesson can make us see that there is much, much more to being a Christian than conventional wisdom would indicate. Our good works have no part in saving us, since we are saved by grace. We cannot earn more salvation than what God has freely given us in Christ Jesus. However, we need to see clearly what we have been freely given. We can walk daily in the fullness of the spiritual stature He has given us. What we do can reflect who we are as those complete in Christ. Tragically, it is also possible to walk as spiritually immature people. This is possibly the deepest and most glaring fault of individuals in the Christian church today. Many think and sin in ways similar to the unsaved, who do not know Christ. Every time you go through a crisis while trusting Christ, you grow in faith. You get more established in trusting Him. You get more thankful to Him for all He has done and is doing for you daily.

 

Sometimes Christians forget they became children of God when by faith they accepted Christ as their Saviour. Salvation is the gift of God to alt who acknowledge their lost state and receive Christ alone as their Substitute. Even before Jesus came to earth and died in our place, God the Father saved all who believed in Him on the basis of what He would do on the cross. Many who have received Christ as Saviour fail to realize that God wants His children to walk by faith. That means to live by faith in Him. This does not mean Christians get more saved when they live by faith in Christ. Nor does it mean that if they do not walk in Him all the time, they will lose their salvation. What it does mean is that we cannot be in fellowship with God through Christ if we do not walk in Him. Walking in Christ does not save us, and it does not keep us saved. However, walking in Him does help us to grow up in Him, to be in a maturing fellowship with Him. The Scripture for this week's lesson, Colossians 2:6-15, is a wonderful reminder of what it means to be clothed in Christ. I once heard an educator define secular philosophy as "the muddled meanders of mixed-up men." That sounds about right to me. Now the word "philosophy" simply means "love of wisdom," and we all know that in itself philosophy is not at all wrong. But a philosophy that does not allow for supernaturalism or the God of the Bible must be rejected by the believer. In the days of the Colossian Christians, there was a philosophy that, among other important things, denied the deity of Christ. Paul warned the believers about it and its dangers. Today there are still views and movements that, when examined carefully, reveal how far short they are of what the Bible teaches, especially about Christ. A quick and sure way to find out whether these movements are true or false is to find out what they say about two indispensable doctrines: what is believed about the Bible and what is believed about Christ. Nothing is as important for God's people as remembering their relationship with Christ. Many of us forget that. Our relationship with the Saviour is an intimate one. When we accept Him, His victory over Satan and death at Calvary is our victory. Our debt is canceled, and we are free of Satan's shackles.

 

Devotional Commentary from Our Daily Bread Devotional

How would you answer the following questions:

1. Did Jesus ever sin?

2. Was Jesus resurrected?

3. Do all religions teach the same basic ideas?

According to George Barna and Mark Hatch in their book Boiling Point, many people who call themselves Christians have a hard time with questions like these. When Barna and Hatch surveyed professing believers, one-fourth said Jesus committed sins, one-third said He did not rise from the dead, and one-third said all religions are basically the same.

These are troubling statistics, for they reveal a serious lack of biblical understanding. The answers to the questions above are concepts that are clearly defined in Scripture and are foundational to the truth of the gospel.

So, what can we do to make sure that we are “established in the faith”? (Colossians 2:7). First, we must dedicate ourselves to read and study the Bible. Second, we should seek the help of godly teachers and dependable resources. Third, we must ask God to lead us to truth and to keep us from error.

As God’s people, we must love the truth, look for the truth, and live by the truth.

 

Truth is not determined by how many people believe it.

 

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Jesus didn't sin: 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; 1 Pet. 1:19; 2:22.

Jesus was resurrected: John 20-21; 1 Cor. 15:1-20.

Jesus is the only way to God: John 14:6; Acts 4:12.

 

(from "Our Daily Bread" devotional dated January 9, 2003)