Colossians – Christ in us!
I had a boss who knew enough about religions and denominations to be dangerous. He loved to debate what each religion dictated. He even made fun of those (me) who were more spiritually joyful in their praise, how they sang, or lived their lives. He boasted of the church he attended and how much influence he had on the board. He came from a high church background but was now going to a church with less ritualistic practices but still did church the “right” way. He knew how to talk about God but did he know Christ? I still don’t know. Every thing got lost in the debate.
Do you know people like this? Are you one of those people? It’s similar to the debate, rather the drilling, the religious heads did to the now sighted man that Jesus healed. His response after all the accusations and debate was, “I don’t know. All I know is I was blind and now I see.” In our next passage, Paul clearly explains why it is dangerous to enter into religious debates when there is Someone far more important to think about, imitate and live for…The Source, The Center of all life, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Colossians 2, The Message
6-7 My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.
8-10 Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that’s not the way of Christ. Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.
11-15 Entering into this fullness is not something you figure out or achieve. It’s not a matter of being circumcised or keeping a long list of laws. No, you’re already in—insiders—not through some secretive initiation rite but rather through what Christ has already gone through for you, destroying the power of sin. If it’s an initiation ritual you’re after, you’ve already been through it by submitting to baptism. Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ. When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s cross. He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.
16-17 So don’t put up with anyone pressuring you in details of diet, worship services, or holy days. All those things are mere shadows cast before what was to come; the substance is Christ.
18-19 Don’t tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions. They’re a lot of hot air, that’s all they are. They’re completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us.
20-23 So, then, if with Christ you’ve put all that pretentious and infantile religion behind you, why do you let yourselves be bullied by it? “Don’t touch this! Don’t taste that! Don’t go near this!” Do you think things that are here today and gone tomorrow are worth that kind of attention? Such things sound impressive if said in a deep enough voice. They even give the illusion of being pious and humble and ascetic. But they’re just another way of showing off, making yourselves look important.
What do we learn?
–We don’t need to look for signs of Jesus. Jesus lives in us! Look inside!
–Don’t debate. Jesus needs no defense. Jesus was and is and is to come. Period.
–Jesus is the Source of life abundant and forever. Want answers about life…go to The Source.
–We grow up healthy in God on as He nourishes us. God grows us! Did you get that? Debates about Him do not grow us, they just frustrate us.
–Jesus is the Source. HE puts all things together in one piece. He is the Head and we are body doing the part He has assigned us to be and do.
–Jesus’ very breath and blood flow through us! Wow…just think about that for a while, praising God for The Source of life.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We come to you this morning with grateful, humbled hearts. We praise you for The Source of life in your Son who died and paid our debt. We praise you for breathing life into our very souls. Continue to transform our thinking, being and doing. Transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, Amen