Colossians,  William Daly

Colossians 2:11-15: “Complete in Christ”

Colossians 2:11-15: “Complete in Christ”

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2023

RECAP: So, last week we went back through the WHOLE LETTER and caught ourselves up on where we’re at up to this point. So we probably won’t do that again until we reach Chapter 3 but suffice it to say that where Chapter 1, among other things, was Paul’s “defense” against the false teachings the Colossians were hearing, a sort of “Apologetic” focus – here in Chapter 2 Paul takes a different tack – he actually goes on the offensive, he takes a more “Polemic” stance in his argument here. A more “direct address” of the false teaching. And he carefully outlines his counter-attack against the heresy that’s come against the Colossian believers. He’s taking these false teachers head-on in this part of the letter. If you were to distill THIS Chapter down, in essence, Chapter 2 is Paul’s comparison of Christ’s complete and total SUfficiency against the philosophical and religious DEficiency in the errant beliefs that these false teachers were trying to sway the Colossians with. 

So if you have brought your Bibles this evening (and you haven’t already done so) turn with me to the book of Colossians. Of course, if you were here last week, we looked specifically at Verses 8-10 – BUT those 3 verses are all really part of 1 larger argument that Paul’s making over the rest of Chapter 2. So just like we did last week, let’s read the whole argument so that we can keep everything in context and within the understanding of Paul’s point here. So if last week was a Part-1-of-3, then tonight will be our “Part 2 of 3” study, since we’ll break up the rest of Chapter 2 into 1 final piece which we’ll look at next Wednesday. But for the Part 2 tonight, we’ll just focus our attention on Verses 11-15.

But let’s read the entire chunk of text together, again this is Colossians, Chapter 2, starting at verse 8 (again, even though we’re only going to focus on verses 11-15) and we’ll read all the way through verse 23. I’m reading from the ESV, the English Standard Version:  

[8]  See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 

[9]  For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 

[10]  and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.

[11]  In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 

[12]  having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 

[13]  And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 

[14]  by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.

[15]  He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

[16] Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 

[17] These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 

[18] Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,

[19] and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

[20] If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 

[21] “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 

[22] (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 

[23] These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.