Colossians 2: Fullness of Life

Why did Paul have a burden for believers he had never seen?

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Colossians 2:1–3 What a burden I have for you and the believers in Laodicea, for so many have never seen me in person. I long to comfort and encourage you, to see you united in love, with full understanding and confidence in what has been a mystery concerning God our Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, in whom all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom can be found.
King James
Colossians 2:1–3 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

What unique thing could Paul share with believers, which nobody else could do?

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Colossians 2:1–3 What a burden I have for you and the believers in Laodicea, for so many have never seen me in person. I long to comfort and encourage you, to see you united in love, with full understanding and confidence in what has been a mystery concerning God our Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, in whom all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom can be found.
King James
Colossians 2:1–3 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

What are the most valuable treasures of all we can know in Christ?

Author’s Thoughts
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Colossians 2:1–3 What a burden I have for you and the believers in Laodicea, for so many have never seen me in person. I long to comfort and encourage you, to see you united in love, with full understanding and confidence in what has been a mystery concerning God our Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, in whom all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom can be found.
King James
Colossians 2:1–3 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

How can we know when something that sounds right to us is really the truth?

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Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right but ends in death.
John 16:13 “But when the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own authority but will say only what he hears. He will reveal to you things to come.”
Colossians 2:4 I am writing so you won’t be fooled by words that sound good but miss the truth.
King James
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Colossians 2:4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.

If Paul wasn’t present, how deep could his rejoicing really be?

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Colossians 2:5 Although I’m not physically present, I am with you in spirit, rejoicing in your good behavior and the strength of your faith.
King James
Colossians 2:5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.

What is the difference between hearing and listening?

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Matthew 7:24 “Everyone who not only hears my words but also puts them into practice is like a wise man who dug deep and laid the foundation of his house on solid rock.”
Colossians 2:6 Hearing the message of our Lord Jesus Christ isn’t enough. You must follow him by doing what he says.
King James
Matthew 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
Colossians 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

How can we become well rooted in God’s truth?

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Colossians 2:7 As you are taught God’s truth, become well rooted in his Word. Grow in faith, and your lives will abound in thanksgiving.
King James
Colossians 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

What makes us vulnerable to human philosophy and social expectations?

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Ephesians 4:11–14 We spread the good news according to the means he has given to us as his special messengers, teaching, preaching, traveling the country, or speaking in one place to equip God’s people to do his work and strengthen the family of Christ. This effort must continue until we are in complete agreement in our faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ, when we are fully grown to be like him. Then we will no longer be immature children tossed about by every wind of doctrine, easily blown in different directions by deceivers who cleverly manipulate lies to look like the truth.
Colossians 2:8 Don’t be guided by human philosophy and social expectations that do not follow the teachings of Christ.
King James
Ephesians 4:11–14 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

How should knowing Christ change our lives?

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Colossians 2:9–10 Everything about God is expressed in physical form through Jesus Christ. You are made perfect in Christ, chiefest of all authority and power:
1 John 3:2 Beloved, we may be God’s children, but we don’t yet know what we will become. But the more of him we see, the more we’ll want to be like him, for we shall see how great he really is.
King James
Colossians 2:9–10 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

What is the difference between physical and spiritual circumcision?

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Galatians 5:6 Whether we’re circumcised doesn’t affect our relationship with Jesus Christ. What matters is our faith in him, which is revealed in the way we show love to others.
Philippians 3:3 Actually, we are the “circumcised,” who worship God in spirit, rejoicing in Christ Jesus, knowing that the works of the flesh will never make us worthy,
Colossians 2:11–12 Your identity with him is not a circumcision of the flesh but is rather a circumcision by the Spirit in cutting away our sinful desires. Buried with him in baptism, we rise with him through faith in the power of God at work in our lives, the same power that raised Christ from the dead.
King James
Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
Colossians 2:11–12 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

What has happened and still must happen to make it possible for us to live with Christ?

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Colossians 2:13 You were once dead in your sins and alienated from God, but he forgave your wrongdoings and is raising you from the grave to live with him.
King James
Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

In what ways can legal restrictions be a problem for Christians?

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Romans 7:4–9 In the same way, fellow Christians, the law is dead that you may be committed to being and doing everything that God wants. You are now joined to Jesus, who was raised from the dead. While we lived under the law, we struggled with sinful desires that felt good at the time but had deadly consequences. But now, compliance with written commandments is a dead issue. We follow God, responding to the direction of the Holy Spirit, not a written code of behavior. What do you think, then? Are rules bad? No, if it weren’t for commandments like “you must not want what others have,” we might not have recognized our sinful desires. When we have commandments—speed limit signs, for example—all kinds of wrong desires lead us to ignore the traffic laws. We know what the sign says, but we believe we can drive at the speed we want, lying to ourselves that we are doing right. But if there are no laws, we have no sin. Without speed limit signs but with a desire to drive safely, we can live in the freedom of doing what is right. As soon as we have the laws with their restrictions, sin revives as we want to drive our own fatal ways.
Colossians 2:14 God has cancelled the legal restrictions that work against us, nailing those obstacles to the cross and giving us a desire to follow him.
King James
Romans 7:4–9 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

How can we say Christ has stripped authorities of their power when they seem to still be in control?

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Colossians 2:15 Christ stripped rulers and authorities of their power, exposing them for who they are, rising victorious above them.
King James
Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

What does Paul mean when he says, “Pay no attention to people’s judgment”?

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Romans 14:6 If a man regards a particular day as holy, he does so to please the Lord. If somebody else sees every day the same, he still does so to please the Lord. Likewise, both he who eats freely and he who eats with restraint give thanks to the Lord.
Romans 14:13–16 Therefore, don’t be critical. Instead, be encouraging, seeking to avoid any behavior that might cause another Christian to stumble. In my relationship with Jesus Christ, I am convinced that nothing is unclean in itself, but our motives are what really matter. If a man believes something is wrong, he should avoid it without condemning others. If you sense that what you eat might offend someone, be charitable by adjusting your diet for a while so the sacrifice Christ made for them will not be in vain. Don’t let your deeds, which you know to be good, be regarded by others as evil.
Colossians 2:16–17 Therefore, pay no attention to people’s judgment of what you should eat or drink, or whether you should respect what they regard as special days such as the new moon, holy days, or the Sabbath, which were no more than symbols of the reality we have in Jesus Christ.
King James
Romans 14:6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
Romans 14:13–16 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
Colossians 2:16–17 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

What do people gain and lose by accepting a religious substitute for knowing God?

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Colossians 2:18–23 Don’t let people deprive you of God’s reward by accepting a religious substitute for knowing him. Pious self-denial, idolizing charismatic messengers, and putting faith in fantasies, while making people feel good, leaves them disconnected from the true followers of Jesus Christ. As with joints and ligaments, he joins the body of believers so we grow together in God. If living for Christ makes you dead to the world’s expectations, you should not allow yourselves to be bound to the world’s rules and rituals. People may say, “Don’t do this, but do that. Eat this but not that. You must obey our rules without exception.” Their doctrines and practices won’t save them or you. Having no real relationship with God, their religious form offers only an appearance of godliness, restricting their flesh in a false humility. They don’t make us right with God and change our desires.
King James
Colossians 2:18–23 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

If we are “dead to the world’s expectations,” to what extent, if any, should we be concerned about the world’s rules and rituals? Why?

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Colossians 2:20 If living for Christ makes you dead to the world’s expectations, you should not allow yourselves to be bound to the world’s rules and rituals.
King James
Colossians 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,

If doctrines and practices don’t save people, what value do they have?

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Colossians 2:22–23 Their doctrines and practices won’t save them or you. Having no real relationship with God, their religious form offers only an appearance of godliness, restricting their flesh in a false humility. They don’t make us right with God and change our desires.
King James
Colossians 2:22–23 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.