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The Excellency of Christ (Colossians 2)

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“Christ... In whom dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9)




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Colossians 2

Paul warns the Colossians of false teaching
For I would have you know how greatly I strive for you and for those at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, 2 that their hearts may be comforted, they being knit together in love; and to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, that they may know the mystery of God as it is in Christ. 3 In him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 This I say, so that no one deludes you with persuasive speech. 5 For though I am absent in the flesh, I am still with you in the spirit, rejoicing and seeing your order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.
6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord- walk in him, 7 rooted and up built in him and established in your faith, even as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the elements of the world, and not after Christ.
   9 For in him, in a bodily form, dwells all the fullness of all that God stands for; 10 and in him you are made complete. He is the head of all principality and power. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ.

The meaning of baptism
12 Having been buried with him in baptism, by which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses. 14 Having blotted out the bond written in ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, Christ did away with it by nailing it to the cross. 15 Having despoiled the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

No need to keep the Sabbaths
16 Let no one therefore judge you in food, or in drink, or in respect of a feast day or a new moon or a Sabbath day. 17 They were a shadow of the things to come, but the real object is Christ. 18 Let no one rob you of your prize by a false humility and worshiping of the angels, keeping on about all the things which he has supposedly seen in visions, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast the Head, from whom all the body, being supplied and knit together through the joints and bands, increases with the increase of God.
   20 If you died with Christ from the elements of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to ordinances? 21 Handle not, nor taste, nor touch 22 (all things that perish with the using), after the precepts and doctrines of men? 23 Which things have indeed a false appearance of wisdom in worship and humility and severity to the body, but are not of any real value against stopping the indulgence of the flesh.


2:1 For Paul, prayer was a striving with God- based upon the example of Jacob wrestling with an Angel until his request was heard (Gen. 32:24,25; Hos. 12:4).

2:2 Understanding brings assurance; this is the advantage of searching the Bible for the correct understanding of God.

2:9 As the fullness of God dwells in Jesus, so it can also dwell in us (v. 10; Jn. 1:16; Eph. 1:23; 4:13). But this doesn’t make us God Himself in person, and neither does it make Jesus that.

2:12 Baptism is an immersion in water, symbolizing death in the grave, and emerging in resurrection. Baptism isn’t sprinkling.

2:13 Forgiveness of sins is associated with baptism; which is why baptism is so important.

2:14 Written in ordinances- A reference to the ten commandments, which include the Sabbath. Most of the other nine commandments are repeated in the teaching of Jesus; but the Sabbath command isn’t.

2:17 The rituals of the Jewish law pointed forward to Jesus (Gal. 3:24). But now that He has come, the Jewish law has been ended (v. 14).

2:23 It may ‘feel good’ to obey legalistic rituals, but this will not help us in our battle against self-indulgence.