Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Answer to Perversions in the Church

Crushing the serpent
© Lars Justinen/Licensed from

Reading: Colossians 2

In a previous post, we looked at the problems in the Colossian Church which prompted Paul to write the Epistle. We saw how relevant the Epistle is to our Church today because most of those problems exist in our Churches today. Today, we want to look at the solutions that Paul suggested. They were effective in tackling the problems then and I am sure that if we apply the same solutions today in our Churches, we shall have solution to our Church problems.

Answer 1: Know who Jesus is (v. 3 and 9)

All the hidden treasures of wisdom, and knowledge. Not in philosophy, not in enticing words! Not in any other thing or person for in Christ dwells the fullness of the Godhead, bodily. What a great truth so simply stated! How can anybody say, Jesus is not God and perfect?

Answer 2: Know what He has done for you  (v. 13 - 15)

Anybody working today to achieve his or her salvation is about two thousand years late. All who are trusting to keep the laws and ordinances – practicing legalism – are living in the wrong age. Christ has borne in His own body all the punishment of laws broken and in its place has offered forgiveness, blotting out the hand writing of ordinances that was against us and nailing it on the Cross. He spoiled principalities and powers, and made a show of them openly, triumphing over them. Yes, He has wiped out all legalism. Only those still ignorant of who He is and what He has done are still burdened with legalism. The Son has set us free and we are free indeed!

Let us particularly take note of verse 14. To fully understand this verse, let us also look at Genesis 2:19 – “Adam called every living creature ... the name thereof” Adam must have had a tremendous vocabulary. A leading American Taxonomist Ernest Mayr lists that there are existing today 3, 500 Mammals species; 8, 600 Birds and 5, 500 Reptiles and Amphibians. In spite of all this, there were seven words unknown and un-experienced by Adam before his fall. The words are:

a. Death – Genesis 2:17

b. Nakedness – Genesis 3:7

c. Curse – Genesis 3:14

d. Sorrow – Genesis 3:17

e. Thorns – Genesis 3:18

f. Sweat – Genesis 3:19

g. Sword – Genesis 3:24

After the fall, Adam soon added these bitter words to his vocabulary. The echo of these wicked words haunted Adam and mankind for over forty Centuries. Then came the Second Adam – Jesus Christ. The New Testament tells us how He met and dealt with each of these seven words.

a. Death – John 11:25; Hebrews 2:9 – He is the Resurrection and Life

b. Nakedness – John 19:23-24 – He gave His dress that we may be clothed

c. Curse – Galatians 3:13 – He bore the curse for us

d. Sorrow – Isaiah 53:3 – He bore our sorrows

e. Thorns – John 19:5 – He turned thorns to a Crown

f. Sweat – Luke 22:44 – He sweated blood for us

g. Sword – Luke 19:34 – He was pierced for us.

As a result of all these, Paul literally shouts out this truth in Colossians 2:14 that these terrible works of condemnation have forever been blotted out!

Answer 3: Know who you are  (v. 10, 12)

We are complete in Him. We do not need anything more. We do not need the traditions of men, nor mysticism, nor idolatry or occultism.There is nothing more to add. You are a very important person (VIP) before God. If this is the case as it truly is, we should therefore live like Princes and sons of the Almighty King not as paupers and beggars. God has given us all things to serve us and for our convenience. It is a pity the picture some Christians are today presenting of their God – ill clad, morose looking and unhappy with heavy faces. That is not my God.

Answer 4: Know what you are to do for Him  (v. 6 -7)

Few words in these two verses need closer examination:

“As”- How did you receive Christ? – by faith. How would you live for Him – By faith! We walk with Him by faith and not by sight! Not by legalism or obedience to all the laws!

“Rooted and Built up” How does a tree get rooted and built up?  By growing the roots deep into the soil; and the leaves and branches, into the air. Paul tells us how to grow in four verses:

Growing downwards – Colossians 1:23 – This is deeper life – by faith

Growing upwards – Colossians 2:7 – This is higher life – by faith

Growing inwards – Colossians 3:3 – This is inner life – by faith

Growing outwards – Colossians 4:5 – This is outer life – by faith

“Taught” – No student matures and qualifies who refuses to be taught. What are we taught? – The word of God by the Great Teacher Himself – The Holy Spirit of God; again by faith.

Oh that we will then abound in thanksgiving, living each day by faith in Him who loved us and died for us!

May the Lord Himself teach us!

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