Colossians 2:8, “8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
- In verse 8 we see the most common reason we see a spiritual lull in life is because we have distractions coming at us every day like, look at verse 8, philosophy, empty deception, tradition of men, and elementary principles of the world.
- The word “philosophy” literally means the love of wisdom, and when you partner this word with “empty deception” it is love for wisdom that is empty and doesn’t bring about any change. It sounds wise, but it is all fluff, it’s elementary, shallow traditions.
- These types of messages are coming at us all the time through movies, books, songs, and even our own thoughts, but in verse 8 the Apostle Paul writes to the Colossian church, “See to it that no one takes you captive.
- The Apostle Paul is using the word “captive” as a sense of urgency, to grab their attention. The word “captive” has a connotation of a soldier losing a battle, and being carried off as a prisoner of war, getting kidnapped, being held hostage by the messages coming at us every day:
Jesus doesn’t really care
The local church isn’t that important
Sin isn’t that destructive
My worth is my career
Jesus should fix my problems
Nobody has the struggles that I have
I need to do what makes me happy
Our family is too broken for God to care
Nobody understands me
My voice doesn’t matter
We are going through the day taking shots left and right, from within, coming home exhausted, and wondering why we feel so beat up. We are in a battle of lies coming at us every day, and in verse 8 the Apostle Paul says, “We need to get ready!”
Colossians 2:9-10, “9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority”
- It would be easy to spend all of our time drawing out the specific distractions in our world today, identify music we shouldn’t listen to, movies we shouldn’t watch, move out to Liberty Hill, and live in a compound, but instead, the Apostle Paul simply points the church of Colossae to bask in the glory and awe of Jesus, “For in Him and the fullness of God dwells, and in Him, you have been made complete.”
Can I give you three practical ways from the passage that we are made complete in Jesus?
Colossians 2:11-12, “11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”
Jesus is greater than any religious ceremony: In verses 11 and 12 we see the first way we are made complete in Jesus, and it is that Jesus is greater than any religious ceremony.
- In verses 11 and 12 we see two religious ceremonies; one from the Old Testament, circumcision, and one from the New Testament, baptism, and both of them are references to religious ceremonies we try to do to make ourselves complete in Jesus, but listen to me, religious ceremonies are never going to make us complete in Jesus.
Colossians 2:13-14, “13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions. 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”
Jesus is greater than any sin: In verse 13 we see the second practical way we are made complete, and it is that Jesus is greater than any sin.
- The word “transgression” means “sin” and sin is anything we say, think or do that offends the holiness of God.Now, you need to remember the God of Scripture created everything without sin. The God of Scripture created everything to be perfect, Genesis 1-2.
- But, in Genesis 3 we see our sin enter into the story, and as a result our sin fractures our relationship with the God of Scripture, so that all of humanity is born “spiritually dead in our transgressions.”
- In verse 14 the Apostle Paul writes, “In Jesus you are made alive, you are made complete, because Jesus comes to cancel out the certificate of debt decreed against us by nailing our sin to the cross.”
Listen, all of humanity has sinned, all of humanity has disobeyed the God of Scripture, all of humanity has racked up an incredible spiritual debt against the God of Scripture, and Jesus has come to pay that debt!
The word “certificate” in the original language is the word autograph, and it is like when you would buy something back in the day you would have to sign on the dotted line an “IOU.” Signed Michael! Michael is responsible. In verse 14 we see Jesus has come to pay that debt!
When you see the phrase, “He has taken it out of the way” it literally means that Jesus has erased our debt. This is called forgiveness, verse 14, Jesus forgives our transgressions, and the moment you believe in Jesus, the moment you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, the debt is erased.
This is why we want to take those lies of our day captive, expose them for the error that they are, because we have been given so much in Jesus.
We might have thoughts like, “Jesus doesn’t care, sin isn’t destructive, our family is too broken” but none of those things are true, because Jesus is greater than any sin and any lie we could imagine.
Colossians 2:15, “15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
Jesus is greater than anything we could imagine: In verse 15 we see the third practical way we are made complete, and it is that Jesus is greater than anything we could imagine.
- The phrase “rulers and authorities” is a reference to Satan and his influence on our world, and you don’t need to be afraid, but you need to be aware that Scripture describes Satan as the “father of lies, John 8.” John 10 Satan is described as a thief, “Comes to steal, kill and destroy.” Revelation 20 Satan is described as the “deceiver.” The Apostle Peter in chapter 5, “Beware your adversary, the devil, is prowling around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.”
- We don’t need to be afraid, but we need to know that the lies and distractions (vs. 8) coming at us every day are not by accident, they are intentional, and Jesus has come to disarm them, made a public display of them, by paying our debt on a cross that was at a top of a hill, so that everyone can see, so that in Jesus, we are complete, we are triumphant.
Do you know Jesus? Are you growing in Jesus? We could spend all day indenting the lies, and we want to be aware of the lies, but more importantly we want to know Jesus and grow in Jesus.