As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. — Colossians 2:6-7
The park was filled with dozens of huge old oak trees. According to the sign, the majestic trees had survived windstorms, floods, droughts, and all sorts of natural disasters through the years, yet now they were at risk. A small parasite had infested them, reducing nourishment to the root system, and they were dying. Not far away, in the mountains above the park where the oaks were located, were some huge sequoia trees, some of the oldest and largest living things on our planet. Several of them were in danger of falling, not because of the storms and weather, but because constant visitors to the area had exposed their root systems. This made them vulnerable to disease and left them unstable with shallow roots.
The oak and sequoia trees are among the most majestic of God’s plant kingdom. They grow tall and strong, yet their height and majesty is totally dependent upon their roots. The Apostle Paul reminded a church in the ancient city of Colosse that they should continue to grow in Christ just as they did after they were “planted” in Him. Their visible growth as individuals, as well as a church, was totally dependent upon their roots. Their roots were being assaulted by the philosophy of intellectuals, the tradition of Judaism, and the belief in a type of astrology in which angelic beings ruled stars and planets as well as influenced affairs on earth. They were reminded that their lives and experience were rooted in Christ and must continue in Him.
Our world today offers many philosophies, religious systems, and traditions which can undermine the roots of Christian faith. Today, it is fashionable to acknowledge Christ as one of many options or alternatives. Some people even want to include Christ as part of a “larger, more inclusive” religious plan. Our faith and Christian experience must be rooted and built upon Christ alone. No more. No less. Christ alone. Anything else puts our lives and eternal destiny at risk for a great fall.
The church in Colosse was apparently founded by two laymen, Philemon and Epaphras, who were influenced by Paul’s ministry in the neighboring city of Ephesus. His letter, written to the church about A.D. 60, addresses a crisis confronting the church. This crisis came from heresies combining Eastern philosophy, Jewish legalism, and a type of spiritual aristocracy called Gnosticism, which threatened the stability and purity of the Colossian church. One heresy held that spiritual fullness could only be obtained by those properly endowed with special wisdom. Another held that a holy God would not come near to an evil creation and would only speak to humanity through powerful spirits, which was an ancient form of astrology. Finally, the large Jewish community in Colosse had influenced some to a form of legalism, which mistakenly believed that rigid discipline and simplicity alone would draw them close to God.
It was these heresies that the Apostle addressed in this letter. He stressed that fullness was to be found in Christ alone and that in Him dwelt all deity. In Jesus’ work on the Cross, He settled the question of sin and made possible God’s desire to be near humanity. He also defeated all Satanic forces and fulfilled the legal demands of Jewish law. He alone is preeminent! No mixture or dilution of the foundational doctrines and experiences of Christianity would stand the test of time. Only in Christ was life to be found and lived in complete fullness.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
III. Polemical: the defense of those in Christ
A. Admonition of the believers (2:4-8)
1. The attack of false teachers (2:4)
2. The progressive walk of believers (2:5-7)
3. The strategy of false teachers (2:8)
B. Instruction for the believers (2:9-15)
1. The position of the believer (2:9-10)
2. The circumcision of the believer (2:11)
3. The baptism of the believer (2:12)
4. The resurrection of the believer (2:13-15)
Hymn writer C.P. Jones wrote the following words. “Jesus Christ is made to me, all I need, all I need, He alone is all my plea, He is all I need. Wisdom, righteousness and power, holiness forevermore, my redemption full and sure, He is all I need.” Jesus is all you need today! Make sure you are rooted and established in Him.