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Struggling This Election Season?

Ephesians 4  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  40:17
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Colossians 2:1–5 NASB95

For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face,

that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself,

in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument.

For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ.

A little background on the church in this area during the first century:
Paul probably wrote this book in AD 60-61.
Colossae was located in a fertile valley known as the Lycus Valley on the road to Ephesus.
At one time it was a popular center for trade and was known for their glossy black wool.
At this time in history though, the city was in serious decline and was being engulfed by the neighboring cities of Laodicea and Hierapolis.
Col 4:7-9
Colossians 4:7–9 NASB95

As to all my affairs, Tychicus, our beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will bring you information.

For I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts;

and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of your number. They will inform you about the whole situation here.

These verses tell us that Tychicus and Onesimus brought the letter to them from prison.
We also learn what Paul is making as his main point in this letter.
The key to this entire letter is the Preeminence of Christ.
Paul writes this because they became confused and were approaching heresy!
Check out Colossians 2:8-23
Colossians 2:8–23 NASB95

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,

and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;

and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;

having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,

having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.

Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day—

things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.

Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind,

and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.

If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as,

“Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!”

(which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men?

These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.

During this time, the area included a mixture of peoples.
There were Jews, Greeks, and Phrygians; whom also most likely made up the local church at Colossae.
What's interesting about this is that whenever you get a diverse group of people together for a prolonged period of time, you get a mixture of cultures, even if it's ever so slight.
Take our music for example: We've mixed our regular singing together from very distinct time periods and cultures, and have made it a new norm. We sing cutting edge songs from the late 1700's, songs that got musicians fired. We sing negro spirituals from the Civil War era. We sing spiritualized bar songs. Our music is influenced from the Enlightenment to the Jesus Movement of the 1970's!
And what's ironic is that those from my generation lump every single song from the 1700's to the 1990's as traditional!
It's human nature to take from your culture and move it into a person's current context.
The same thing was apparently happening in Colossae regarding spirituality.
Apparently there was a trend toward what I like to call "religious soup"
Religious soup is where you take whatever you can find in the spiritual kitchen, mix it together, and you have an ideology that's pleasing to one's religious palate.
Here we have evidence of Greek speculation (Colossians 2:4) ,
Colossians 2:4 NASB95

I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument.

What exactly did Paul say?
Colossians 2:2–3 NASB95

that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself,

in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

That their hearts would be encouraged...so that they would result in a true knowledge of Christ!
People everywhere look to unlock the "secret" meanings of the Bible.
Hidden meanings in verses, they do verse counts, saying 3 verses from this verse is the key because 3 is a holy number.
Did you know that the verse numbers in scripture are not inspired? In fact, they were added later on to help us. The earliest found manuscripts of Psalms are written in prose form and do not have verse numbering.
mixed with Jewish legalism (Col. 2:11-17)
Colossians 2:11–17 NASB95

and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;

having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,

having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.

Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day—

things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.

and finished off with a bit of Oriental mysticism (Col. 2:18-23)
Colossians 2:18–23 NASB95

Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind,

and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.

If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as,

“Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!”

(which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men?

These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.

When we try to fit the Messiah, the Christ, Jesus, the one and only God into a Kentucky burgoo of religion, His person and redemptive work on the cross are completely undermined!!
Paul is showing these believers that there is no need for speculation, visions, or ritualistic regulations because Christ is sufficient.

Pray for hearts to be encouraged.

When we watch the debates, read the news, or check out social media and read news regarding the coming election many get discouraged.
In these verses, Paul writes to the church at Colossae and those in Laodicea.

Pray for true wealth

Look for true knowledge

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