April 17, 2016 - Captivated by Christ, not Captive to Religion
Captivated by Christ, not Captive to Religion
Main Idea: If we remain captivated by Christ (Colossians 2:6-7), we avoid being taken into spiritual captivity by philosophers with puffed-up minds, whose systems promise a higher plane of wisdom but deliver only the depths of bondage to sin. Seven principles found in Colossians 2:16-23 will keep us and our loved ones free and joyful in our Christian walk.
1. Awareness. Be aware of the philosophies that hold sway in a culture and that try to infiltrate churches and Christian homes, perhaps having the outer shell of Christianity, but not the
2. Salvation. If a philosophical system is without Christ as the Substance, it is unable to qualify a person for real eternal life.
3. Confidence. It is appropriate to regard worldly philosophies as being puny and pathetic in comparison to Christ (see Philippians 3:8).
4. Freedom. Walking with Christ is characterized by freedom, not legality.
5. Differences. While there are some absolute truths for which we have to fight, the freedom we have must include the recognition that there are allowable differences of opinion with regard to some aspects of Christian doctrine and practice.
6. Church. The key ingredient to remaining free and growing in Christ amidst the strong delusions that are the world’s philosophies is to remain in a close-knit Christian community that exalts Christ as the Substance of her life.
7. Baptism. Each individual Christian needs to constantly reaffirm their decisive break with the world and its philosophies that was marked off by baptism, remembering that you have emerged free from worldly (man-made) religious practices.
Application: Review the seven principles we derived from Colossians 2:16-23. Make note of those that particularly resonate with your need and that offer freedom to you and your loved ones. Pray, then look for opportunities to share these principles of freedom with others who may be in danger of being taken captive “by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians