CHRIST, THE ALL-SUFFICIENT ONE

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[Colossians:1:9-29]; [Colossians:2:8-19].

Lesson No.: 
410
Class: 
Senior
Memory Verse: 

“In him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily”  (Colossians 2:9).

Cross References: 

I Loving Concern for the Colossians
1. The brethren in Rome are grateful for the good beginning of the Church at Colosse, [Colossians:1:3-4].
2. They pray for continued spiritual growth, [Colossians:1:9-11]; [John:17:9], [John:17:15-23]; [Ephesians:1:16-17].
3. Paul reminds the Colossians that redemption and deliverance is through Christ’s Atonement, [Colossians:1:13-14]; [Romans:3:24-25]; [Titus:2:14]; [Hebrews:9:12]; [Revelation:5:9].

II Christ’s Divine Pre-eminence
1. Christ is the image of God, [Colossians:1:15];[Colossians:2:9];; [John:14:9]; [Hebrews:1:3].
2. Christ is the Creator and Sustainer of all things, visible and invisible, [Colossians:1:16-17]; [John:1:3-4]; [Hebrews:1:2-3].
3. Christ is the Head of the Church, and the first-born from the dead, [Colossians:1:18-19]; [1 Corinthians:15:20]; [Ephesians:1:22].

III Christ, the Author of Redemption for Mankind
1. Peace and reconciliation is made through the Atonement, [Colossians:1:20-22]; [Isaiah:57:21]; [Romans:5:10-1].
2. The holy and unblameable spiritual state is conditional on steadfastness in the faith, [Colossians:1:22-25]; [John:8:31].
3. The great mystery is Christ within the Christian, presenting him perfect, [Colossians:1:26-29].

IV Perfection in Christ
1. A Christian is complete in Christ; sanctification brings Christian perfection, [Colossians:2:8-11]; [John:17:17]; [1 Corinthians:1:30]; [Ephesians:5:26]; [2 Timothy:2:21]; [Hebrews:10:10]; [Hebrews:13:12].
2. Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection are wrought out spiritually in the Christian, [Colossians:2:12-13]; [Romans:6:3-5].
3. The Children of God enjoy freedom in Christ, [Colossians:2:14-19]; [John:8:36]; [Ephesians:4:16]. 

Notes: 

The Colossian Church
The City of Colosse was located approximately 100 miles inland from the City of Ephesus. Though Paul had journeyed over much of this territory, never in his writings does he mention directly that he was in the City of Colosse. In reading [Colossians:2:1], it would appear that he had not been there, for he wrote of his concern for as many as had not seen his face in the flesh. No doubt, as a result of Paul’s ministry in Ephesus the Gospel was spreading into the surrounding cities, as in this Epistle he makes mention of the churches at Laodicea and Hierapolis which were neighbouring cities to Colosse.

Philemon was one of the faithful leaders at Colosse, and the church possibly was in his house [Philemon:1:2], [Philemon:1:7]). During Paul’s imprisonment, Onesimus, a native of Colosse, was won to Christ. This man was a runaway servant of Philemon’s and Paul sent him back with the heart-touching letter known as the Epistle to Philemon. (Read [Colossians:4:9]; [Philemon:1:10-12].)

Another leader at the church of Colosse seems to have been Epaphras, who was a faithful minister of Christ [Colossians:1:7]), and who faithfully carried the Colossians on his heart in fervent prayer [Colossians:4:12-13]). Perhaps Epaphras was converted during Paul’s ministry at Ephesus. In any case Epaphras not only loved his people, but he also loved Paul and journeyed all the way to Rome to be with him, to minister unto him, and to share his imprisonment. When this man gave the good report of the faith, love, and hope of the church at Colosse, Paul’s heart rejoiced with thanksgiving [Colossians:1:3-5]). Inasmuch as Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles, he proceeds to write this Epistle to the church at Colosse, though he had never seen their faces.

A Very Hopeful Beginning
How the heart of Paul the Apostle, the prisoner, must have thrilled when he heard the good report from the church at Colosse! But Paul, from years of Christian experience, knew that a good beginning was not enough. He knew there would be many trials, tests, and perils in the spiritual battles that were yet ahead for the young church. Paul desired and prayed that they might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that they might “walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.”

Paul’s great heart went out for them that they might continue and increase in their spiritual graces and attainments. It was his desire that they continue in the faith, grounded and settled, and that they finally be presented before Christ “holy and unblameable and unreproveable.”

Deeper in the Knowledge of Christ
The Colossians had a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, but there are heights and depths and lengths and breadths in Christian knowledge which cannot all be taken in at once. The greatest of saints never stop learning. All Christians need continually to add to their knowledge and to strive after deeper and clearer insights into the mysteries of God and His grace.

One of the profound mysteries of the Gospel is that Jesus could reside here on earth in a human body and still be part of the Godhead, the great Trinity. Philip said to Jesus, “Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” Jesus said unto him, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” [John:14:8-9]). Paul said that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. He bears all the attributes, power, and nature of God.

All creation is ascribed to Jesus as well as unto God. John said, “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Paul the Apostle, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, states that all things in earth, yes, and in Heaven, visible and invisible, were created by divine command. We see nothing here of the modern man-made theory of evolution. The theory that this world gradually evolved through myriads of years is based on a whole series of completely missing links. This theory has been beset by the necessity of constantly being altered and changed because of later scientific discoveries, but the Word of God has remained unchanged down through the years of time. Scientific discoveries have not made it necessary to alter God’s Word. Actually, these discoveries have rather confirmed the Bible and the fact that “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” [2 Peter:1:21]).

The great Creator, Paul says, is the Head of the body -– the Church. This position is not left for an angel, certainly not for a mortal man -– His created beings -– but is for the Creator, not only because He is the Creator, but also because He is the Redeemer. He, the Creator, “took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” [Philippians:2:6-8]). All this, that He might redeem lost souls and forgive fallen mankind’s sins, making peace by reconciling all things unto Himself! This wonderful salvation is a great mystery, and Paul told the Colossians that this mystery is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Sanctification Paul wrote to the Colossians: “Ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.” How thankful Paul must have been that he knew the Colossians had been taught sanctification, that there is a circumcision of the heart in which the very root and nature of sin is removed. Paul was not trying to bring them back under the Law when he was speaking of circumcision (which was a ceremony under the Law, and typified sanctification), but he meant that circumcision which was made without hands, circumcision of the heart performed by Christ. Christ had come and had fulfilled all the Law with its types and shadows.

Jesus had died for their sins, had been buried, and had risen again for their justification; and in testimony of this they had been baptised by immersion in water. (Read [Romans:6:3];[Romans:6:4].) The Colossians were warned not to be in bondage or to be judged by anyone in regard to meat or drink, or the keeping of holydays or Sabbaths or the feasts of new moons. Many of these ordinances, true enough, were given by God, but they were given for a specific period of time, known as the dispensation of the Law; and the Law was a schoolmaster to bring them to Christ. So Paul said that the Law was only a shadow of things to come, but the body (who casts the shadow) is Christ who fulfilled all the Law.

The Colossians were warned of the danger of the Judaizers who wanted to bring them under the bondage of the Law. Paul also warned of those who “through philosophy and vain deceit” were trying to bring them back into the things of the world. But having been born into the family of God, made a partaker of Christ, that great Creator and Redeemer, they became a vital part of the Body of Christ, knit together in the unity of the faith and the bond of peace. No power in earth or hell could break such an intimate bond as this; but the aged Apostle knew that it all depended upon each one whether he would continue in the faith. They, being free moral agents, could take themselves out of the Lord’s hands and thereby lose all the benefits of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But if they kept true, their faith and confidence steadfast unto the end, they would increase with the increase of God as they received more of God, and would eventually become partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, and enjoy the bliss of Heaven for all eternity.

Questions: 

1. What prompted Paul to write to the Colossians when he had never seen them?
2. Paul compared Christ to God; describe this comparison.
3. The first verse of the Bible states, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” How then could Jesus be called the Creator of all things?
4. Why could Christ be called the Head of the Church?
5. Explain how we know that the Colossians had been taught about sanctification and water baptism.
6. What was the mystery of which Paul spoke?
7. What was the ultimate end that Paul wanted to see the Colossians and everyone reach?