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Encounter Review: Grab the Grace

Last week at encounter we discussed Colossians 2:6-15.  Philosophies based on human traditions are worthless according to Paul.  Our fullness is found in Christ Jesus, in whom “all the fullness of the Deity lives” (2:9).

A little review to this point.  In the first few weeks of this study we have gained ground.  Paul has praised the Colossians for their faith and love.  Paul shares a prayer, which expresses his vision for spiritual growth.  He longs for them to grow in the knowledge of God.  Paul has defined who Christ Jesus is.  He affirms the essential link between Jesus and the material universe, in Christ’s role as Creator and Redeemer.  And last week we saw that the message of Christ is the “word of God in its fullness.”  Full knowledge of the mystery of God is found in Christ and in Christ alone.  Paul addresses his suffering and struggle for the believers.

The foundation has been laid now.  
Greetings are long gone.  
Now it is time to grapple with some deeper Truths.

First, Paul addresses our growth in Christ in verses 6 and 7.  We are already “rooted” if we have come to know Jesus as our Savior, but now we are to be “built up” in Him.  This is our growth, our sanctification being worked out as we mature in Christ.  Paul speaks of his passion to know Christ in other places like Philippians 3:7.

Second, Paul calls the Colossians to guard against gnosticism  in verses 8 to 10.  He warns the church not to let this false philosophy that a few have the secret knowledge to “take you captive.”  This did not come out of the heart of God, but the heart of people in human traditions.  It is fairy-tale-stuff.  Paul says, “Remember, a few verses earlier?  The fullness has been revealed in a person named Jesus.”  He is 100% Diety and 100% Man.  Paul shares that they (and we) do not need to worship anything or anyone but Christ.

Third, Paul challenges the believers to grab God’s grace and hold on in verses 11-15.  Outward circumcision does not matter anymore.  It is all about your heart connection to God.  Paul tells us that “Believer’s Baptism” is now the new circumcision.  It is an outward sign of an inward change that has occurred.  We identify with Jesus being buried in our sin and raised to new life in Christ (verse 12).  As a result of our believing on Jesus as Savior, our legal indebtedness has been canceled (verse 14)!  Not only that, but Jesus “disarmed” and “made a public spectacle” of all powers and authorities like our enemy Satan.  It is the cross that triumphed!

So, now we grow, guard and grab as we are “built up” in Christ Jesus!

Tonight, we are “Taking on the …isms” of the false teachers in Colossi.  Is there an overlap for today?    
Come join us for Colossians 2:16-23.

For more information about encounter click here.

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Jeff Baxter's passion for helping the next generation know and love Jesus led him to pursue his Doctorate in Youth and Family Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary. Jeff has been a frequent speaker in various settings including the National Youth Workers Convention. Jeff lives in Littleton, Colorado, with his wife, Laurie, and their three children where he is an associate pastor at Foothills Bible Church. His most recent book is Together: Adults and Teenagers Transforming the Church (Zondervan). Jeff blogs at sacredoutfitter.blogspot.com.