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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

Christ is.

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

sensual indulgence.


 

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

Colossian church:


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

following Him


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.



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