Week Two // Colossians 2 (NIV)
1 I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at
Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My goal is that they
may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full
riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery
of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and
knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding
arguments. 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you
in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in
Spiritual Fullness in Christ
6 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 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 was put off
when you were circumcised by 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 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.
Freedom From Human Rules
16 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!” 22 These 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
For these three questions, use a journal to write down your answers.
1. Paul says all wisdom and knowledge is in Christ Jesus. Take a moment
to reflect on what wisdom and/or knowledge you may need from God in a
current circumstance, relationship or decision. Write down a prayer asking
the Lord for exactly what you need. Invite someone to pray with you and
come back to these words after the situation has resolved.
2. Paul addresses the very real cultural pressures the Colossians faced in
everyday life to turn away from Jesus. What cultural pressures do you think
Christians face today that tempt us to turn away from Jesus? Which of those
impacts you most personally?
Paul names four specific areas of false teaching (aka heresy) affecting the
The philosophers: those who might say they follow Jesus, but in practicality
focus the majority of their time and energy on the ideas and doctrines of faith
while Jesus Himself is secondary.
The legalists: someone who’s faith centers on doing all the right things and
thinking that will get them closer to Jesus. The rules are more important than
their relationship with Jesus.
Those who worship angels: someone who thinks they need an intermediary
to talk to God and put angels in an improper role of importance within their
faith. Paul says Jesus is the only mediator between God and humanity.
Those who adopt asceticism: someone who exercises severe self-discipline
avoiding any kind of indulgence or pleasure and eventually forms a sense of
pride or an idol of their sacrifice that dulls their love for Jesus and focus on
3. It may be easy to read about these four groups of people Paul addresses
and think “that’s not me.” However, take a moment to examine your faith
practices. Does your need to complete the “Christian checklist” of bible
study, quiet time, prayer, and/or serving ever overshadow your relationship
with Him? Do you look down on others who may not follow the same “rules”
or observe the same tradition of faith? When you ask for prayer from a friend,
do you talk to Jesus about that thing yourself before and after asking them?
Does your exercise regime, self-imposed dietary restrictions, or adopted
daily routine dictate how you live your life?
Take a moment to honestly reflect and where applicable, confess and
surrender those things to God.