Sermon Summary/Passage Guide:
Text: Colossians 2:8-15
One of the greatest human quests is the quest for fulfillment in life. This is one of the reasons why Olympic athletes sacrifice so much time and effort to be the best they can be.
But even success at the Olympic dream often leaves one empty. It’s not failure, it is success that causes depression and suicidal thoughts in Olympic participants. An article in the Washington Post reveals that Baltimore’s own, Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history struggled often in his career with depression.
What’s more, many Olympians have committed suicide over the years. This show cases a particular, eternal truth – despite his or her best efforts, a person cannot find ultimate fulfillment outside of Jesus Christ.
In Colossians 2:1-7, Paul the Apostle Paul implores the believers in Colossae to remain firmly rooted and grounded in Christ. Now, in Colossians 2:8-15, he will go on to explain not only why Christ is all sufficient, but how we are to live in the fullness of Christ as well. Paul exhorts believers in three ways.
Be aware of wrong thinking that hinders living in Christ’s fullness.– 2:8
There are so many applications of this today both in the life of the unbeliever and in the life of the believer. Everything from ridiculous rules like not mixing wool and cotton in fabric to avoiding white bread, to guarantees a utopian marriage from the purity movement, to lists of rules and formulas for success in the Christian life.
The list is extensive: the extremes of legalism to license, the mistake of performance rather than service, the error of attempting to take the Old Testament characters in the Bible and making them heroes of Christian success. We are so easily distracted and “captured” away from the sufficiency of Christ.
Understand the reasons to live in Christ’s fullness. – 2:9-10
Reason #1 – In Christ is all of the fullness of God!
Reason #2 - We are complete in Christ!
If you take a cup and place it under a one of those orange thermoses, it is going to take a while to be filled and you will eventually run out. But if you take the same cup and submerge it in the Pacific ocean it will be filled immediately. Christ is infinite in his vastness and the fulness of the Godhead. Why would you go anywhere else when you can be filled by Christ!
Experience the reality of living in Christ’s fullness. – 2:11-15
In this final section, Paul masterfully displays 4 facets of our life in Christ!
1. Christians are dead to the slavery of sin completely. - 11
2. Christians identify with Christ positionally. – 12a
3. Christians are raised with Christ immediately. – 12b
4. Christians are forgiven by Christ entirely. - 13
The section ends with two glorious realities which are clinching arguments for why we must be fulfilled by Christ’s fullness:
Our Freedom is In Christ- Christ’s Accomplishment- 14
Our Victory is In Christ- 15
1. We must be constantly aware of wrong thinking that can so easily captivate us!
2. We must remember that Christ is our greatest fulfillment!
3. We must experience completeness in Christ!
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