A sermon idea based on Colossians 2:6-19.
Colossians 2:6-19 NRSV
 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him,  rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.  See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ.  For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,  and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority.  In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ;  when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.  And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses,  erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross.  He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.  Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths.  These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.  Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling on visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking,  and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.
The relevant topic I would be addressing, based on this text…
Wherever you are in your Christian walk, keep going! There’s never been a better decision anyone could have made.
Information about the text that matters to the message…
It’s always best to remember that Paul was writing to a church that had been infiltrated by a Jewish heresy that taught a kind of dualism – that the body and all physical things were evil, and that only that which is spiritual, heavenly, and eternal, could be redeemed as good. This led to a kind of asceticism that required the denial of all physical pleasure.
The point to which Paul drove the congregation back, again and again, was that Jesus was the physical body in which the Godhead dwelt fully. So the physical body isn’t evil. It’s part of God’s creation. And Jesus embodied the very being of God.
The gnostic cult was made up of believers who had become prideful in their having received, according to them, a “higher knowledge” than what others had received.
But Paul grounds the faith of the Colossian believers in what they know to be real.
- They had been baptized in the likeness of Jesus, who was physically baptized in water.
- They had received complete forgiveness of their sins on the basis of Jesus’ work.
- They could never again be condemned on the basis of their sin, which had been forgiven.
- They were free to continue to grow in Christ.
The point Paul drives home is that our faith isn’t rooted in tradition, or in our own performance, but in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
The big call-to-action in the message…
No matter what new philosophy may come your way, remember that your faith rests in the person and work of Jesus Christ, not any tradition or innovation.