Persuasion and Philosophy (Sermon)

The following is a sermon I preached at Cherrydale Bible Church on September 6, 2015.

Title: Colossians Overview

Passage: Colossians 1:1-18

Theme: The Preeminence and Sufficiency of Jesus

  • 1:15 He is the image (carbon copy) of the invisible God…
  • 1:17 He is before all things
  • 1:18 He is the head of the body, the church
  • A: Who is Jesus to you? Have you been saved by His work on the cross? Do you really believe He is preeminent? Do you live like you believe? (Earn salvation vs. flippant disregard)

Purpose: The Colossians were in danger of being lead astray by (gnostic and legalistic) false teachers, so Paul writes to encourage them to look only to Jesus.

  • 2:1 I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you…
  • 2:4-5 …lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words… I am… rejoicing to see… the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.
  • 2:8 beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy… not according to Christ
  • 2:18 let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in… worship of angels… and not holding fast to [Christ] the head…
  • What is our church tempted by? Is it the desire to be comfortable? Is it the desire to appear put together? Maybe some of us are tempted to try and earn grace by keeping the traditions that have always accompanied the brethren church… Maybe we are tempted to believe that our assembly is better off because of the knowledge we have.

Tone: Personal, Thankful, Paternal, Encouraging

  • Thankful
    • 1:3 we give thanks to… God… praying always for you
  • Majestic
    • 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God… by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth…
  • Paternal (patient, Loving, authoritative)
    • 2:1 For I want you to know what great conflict I have for you.
  • Encouraging
    • 3:23 and whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord…
  • Not angry, Not condescending or frustrated, Not commanding,
    • Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you?
    • Galatians 4:20 I would like to be present with you now and change my tone; for I have doubts about you.
  • A: How do you communicate in general? How do you communicate God’s word? (Very easy to be high and mighty) How do you communicate to those who are being distracted? With loving, paternal/ maternal care or with a harsh, dictatorial tone?

Two problems: Persuasive words and Philosophies

  • Legalism (earning grace by works)
    • 2:8 beware lest anyone cheat you… according to the tradition of men…
    • A. God has given o much grace to us. Do you live in the good of it or do you bind your soul up with external regulations?
  • Gnosticism (coming to a fuller knowledge of God through “secret knowledge”)
    • 2:18 let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels
    • A: The support for “special, spiritual knowledge” is not as popular with the brethren as it is elsewhere, but that does not mean we are free from the temptation. I sometimes find it easier to read books about the Bible, rather than reading the Bible itself. I want the knowledge, but not from the source.

Solution: Look to Jesus

  • Legalism
    • 2:20-23 You died with Christ to the world… 3:1 If you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above.
  • Gnosticism
    • 2:18-19 don’t delight in the worship of angels… Hold fast to the head.
  • Etc.
    • 3:16 Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord

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