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Sermon: Christ Is God, Colossians 2.8–10

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Christ Is God 

Colossians 2.8–10

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • September 11, In the year of our Lord, 2016

Scripture Reader and Reading: Phil Joseph – Colossians 1.15–18

Prelude

  1. I will show you from Colossians 2.9 
    1. that Christ is God,

      9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily… (Col 2.9).
    2. However, we need to see first why Paul made that declaration,
      1. what warning he delivered just before he declared that truth, and
      2. what that truth means for us.

Persuasion

  1. Colossians 1.1–2.7 – The Prominence of Jesus Christ 
    1. 1.2–3 referred to Jesus as Lord.
      1. When we confess Jesus is Lord,
      2. we confess that He is the Lord of the Old Testament.
        1. Does that not announce that Christ is God?
        2. Do you not think of the Lord of the Old Testament as God?
    2. In 1.15–19, Paul showed just how preeminent Christ is,

      15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell… (Col 1.15–19).
      1. Christ is the image of the invisible God.
        1. Christ manifested in Himself
        2. what we could not see of God before.
          1. How can Christ do such,
          2. unless He Himself is God?
            1. If the Father had come to the Earth instead of Jesus,
            2. would there have been any difference?
      2. Christ Jesus created all
        1. in Heaven and on the Earth,
        2. whether you can see it or whether you cannot see it—
          1. the microscopic world,
          2. the atomic world,
          3. things light years away, and
          4. the world of the Spirit—
        3. whatever form of authority it takes, because
          1. He created all things and
          2. all things were created for Him.
            1. To say He created,
            2. implies He is the Creator.
              1. Can He be Creator,
              2. without being God?
                1. If so,
                2. I am missing something.
      3. He is before all things,
        1. making Him greater than everything and everyone, and truly
        2. in Him all things consist.
          1. That sounds like a perfect description of God.
          2. If not, then what or who does it describe?
            1. Why use such language,
            2. if Christ is not God?
      4. The church is the greatest thing on Earth.
        1. Yet, He is the Head of the church.
        2. He is the beginning
          1. because as Creator
          2. He began everything.
            1. Everything that is,
            2. began with Him.
        3. He leads us all in the resurrection.
          1. He is the firstborn from the dead, because
          2. we follow Him when we rise from the dead.
      5. Therefore, in all these things He has the preeminence.
        1. You can see that further by the fact
        2. that all the fulness dwelt in Him (1.19).
          1. In Jesus of Nazareth, you could find all the attributes of God, but
          2. not in limited ways as in us, but
            1. He had the fullness of all God’s attributes.
            2. We have knowledge and power, for example, but
              1. we do not have them to the extent that God does,
              2. otherwise, we could do as God does, but
                1. Jesus has all knowledge and all power, and
                2. you can say the same with all of God’s characteristics.
      6. You have to keep in mind the truth of 1.19, for
        1. it will show up again in chapter 2,
        2. that in Jesus all the fullness dwelt.
    3. In the first half of chapter 2,
      1. Paul said he worked that the brethren might have
        1. the understanding and the knowledge of God, because
        2. in the Father and in Christ,

          3 …are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2.3).
      2. In verse 4, Paul explained why he reminded them of this truth,

        4 Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words (Col 2.4).
        1. Paul knew that either someone was there who would
          1. pull them away from Christ as the full expression of God, or
          2. that someone would arrive shortly.
        2. Someone would introduce additional information,
          1. persuading our Colossian brethren
          2. that Jesus did not supply them with everything,
            1. that they were not complete in Christ alone, but
            2. that they needed additional teachings.
      3. Paul did not want someone to deceive them with persuasive words, for
        1. as verse 5 says they were steadfast in their faith in Christ, and
        2. even as they had received Christ,
          1. so, verse 6 says, they should continue to walk in Him,
          2. rooted and built up in Christ,
          3. established in their faith.
    4. That moved Paul then to say that they had to beware.
  2. Colossians 2.8 – Do Not Let Anyone Cheat You

    8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
    1. Someone could turn them away from Christ and their completeness in Him
      1. through philosophy and empty deceit,
      2. established by the teachings of man,
      3. following the basic principles of the world, and
        1. not according to Christ.
        2. What has Paul already said about Jesus thus far?
          1. Jesus is Lord.
          2. Jesus is preeminent over all.
          3. Jesus is the Creator.
            1. The Colossian Christians believed and lived these truths.
            2. However, a teacher using
              1. philosophy,
              2. teachings of wise men, and
              3. the principles of the world
                1. could lead even the most stable Christian in Colossae
                2. away from believing that completeness is in Christ.
    2. The key is knowing the identity of Jesus, and
      1. just what that identity means, and
      2. how it affects us.
        1. If you keep those things in mind,
        2. no one shall ever cheat you out of the promised blessings of Christ.
    3. Meditate then upon just exactly who Christ is and what He has.
  3. Colossians 2.9 – In Jesus Dwells the Godhead

    9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
    1. “For” – here is why you do not want anyone to cheat you out of Christ, for
    2. in Jesus dwells all the fullness of the Godhead.
      1. What makes God, God?
      2. Whatever it is, Jesus has all of it.
    3. Was that true even while He lived in the flesh on the Earth?
      1. Yes, for Paul said in Jesus dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. 
      2. If that seems too much to affirm, then
        1. what did Jesus lack at that time, and
        2. what does He lack now
          1. that keeps you from acknowledging that Christ is God?
    4. If Christ is not God,
      1. how do we explain Paul’s statement in verse 9?
      2. Was Paul misinformed?
      3. Did he misunderstand the Holy Spirit?
        1. For disciples of the Christ,
        2. we conclude
          1. that Paul spoke the truth, and
          2. that Paul understood the leading of the Holy Spirit.
    5. If this passage does not affirm that Christ is God,
      1. what does it affirm?
      2. I confess that I cannot even think of an alternative.
        1. I cannot even see how else to interpret it.
        2. I try to keep myself open to other explanations, because
          1. I am not God, and
          2. that means sometimes, often, I will get things wrong.
            1. I open myself to an explanation
            2. that does not acknowledge Christ as God in this passage, but
              1. what does it mean?
              2. What is the context?
      3. The context is about our stability in faith in Christ.
      4. If He did not have the fullness of God whether
        1. in His natural body or
        2. in His spiritual body,
          1. then our stability and our completeness
          2. comes into question.
  4. Colossians 2.10 – He Makes You Complete

    10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
    1. If Christ has the fullness,
      1. the completeness of the Godhead within Him,
      2. then we can find
        1. our completeness,
        2. our wholeness in Him.
          1. What else do we need?
          2. What has the world or man come up with
            1. that will supply us with
            2. what Jesus cannot supply?
    2. If verse 9 does not affirm that He is God, and
      1. that would include the passages from chapter 1 affirming His deity,
      2. then we are not complete in Him.
        1. How can we find completeness and wholeness in Him,
        2. if He Himself was not actually what He appeared to be?

Exhortation

  1. Jesus is our everything, He is our all. 
    1. Why look elsewhere?
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