Formations lesson for April 14: A People Who Belong to God
March 21 2002 by Steve Zimmerman , Colossians 2:8-23

Formations lesson for April 14: A People Who Belong to God | Friday, March 22, 2002

Friday, March 22, 2002

Formations lesson for April 14: A People Who Belong to God

By Steve Zimmerman Colossians 2:8-23

Do you recall when the television game show "Let's Make a Deal" originally aired? For those of you who were not born at the time or haven't seen it on TV Land, the host of the show, Monty Hall, would always try to see if he could get a contestant to change what they had in their possession for something unknown. It was always funny to see people figuring out what was behind door number one, two or three. Some of the contestants made a trade and came out better off by taking a risk. Others didn't fare so well. They already had a good deal but squandered it on the gamble.

Empty or Full (Colossians 2:8-15) The early Christians in Colossae were struggling to choose between following any or all spiritual avenues including Christ or to follow Christ alone. Paul shared with these new believers the benefits of belonging to Christ alone. When we have Christ come into our lives, He does not do anything halfway. We are fully content. We do not need anything else.

A trait of this fullness is that of circumcision in verse 11. The apostle shared with his largely Gentile audience that this spiritual procedure, done by Christ, frees us from the power of sin in our lives. We are no longer under its control.

Another characteristic of our new life is found in the next two verses. The image of baptism reflects leaving an old life of sin to a new life in Christ. This new spiritual energy causes us to be alive and not dead. Adding other worldly or twisted spiritual elements to this new experience would only bring sorrow.

The thrill of paying off that last payment to a creditor is exciting. No longer does your money have to go to them. You are free of that obligation.

Paul reminded these Christians that their sin debt was no longer valid. The reason was that Christ paid it in full at Calvary with his blood. In that same process He cancelled out all the other spiritual powers and authorities that affected their new lives. They have everything they need in Christ.

These statements about the struggle of living the Christian faith could easily be applied to some of our church members today. They feel that being saved, along with a few other good spiritual intentions, is good for their souls. However, if they decide to settle for anything less than total surrender to Christ, their lives will not be complete.

Slavery or Freedom (Colossians 2:16-23) The Colossian Christians had another option to make. Should they listen to everyone else about how to live their lives? Should they settle for adding nothing else except Christ to their daily life? The former choice brings bondage. The latter sets a person free.

The early believers struggled to find the clear path for their lives. There was much talk about angel worship and following certain religious rules and regulations in order to be perceived as a good Christian. Those false teachers who promoted this notion forgot that this kind of activity only causes more problems. Some of the rituals that were promoted were useless because of Christ's coming. Other intentions were meant to be good, but they only drew attention away from Christ rather than toward Him.

Good or Best In our lives today we have this same dilemma. How do we choose the best for ourselves over what seems good right now? Who or what do we follow?

I think the apostle had the right answers to this dilemma in the two verses prior to this passage (Colossians 2:6-7). The best life is found in inviting Jesus to take up residence in our hearts, allowing Him to go deeper into our souls to nourish us, and drawing strength from Him in our faith as we have been taught. The reward for following Him will be a life full of thanksgiving.

I don't know about you, but I am going to choose that course!

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3/21/2002 11:00:00 PM by Steve Zimmerman , Colossians 2:8-23 | with 0 comments
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