Sermon – October 30, 2016
Paul has urged the Colossians to “continue in the faith” (1:22), and to not be taken captive by the thoughts and schemes of men (2:4, 8) because Christ is where “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (2:3) are. Christ is all the Colossians need in their life. Such a claim is huge, especially for people who are used to turning to separate gods for their every need. Paul would say nothing different to us today: to live a fulfilled life, all you need is Christ.
1. A fulfilled life is formed in the body of Christ.
Paul is not a moralist; he doesn’t want the Colossians to simply live better or more moral lives. There is nothing here approaching the status of those who claim to be “good Christians.” Rather, Paul is reminding them that fulfillment can never be found outside of a union with Christ, and Christ cannot be found outside of his church. Further, Paul reminds them that, even within the church, Christ is still the reigning head and authority.
2. A fulfilled life is founded on the work of Christ.
But how does this somewhat mystical union take place? How are we actually unified to Christ? Your union with Christ is based on the work that he has done in making you alive again, forgiving your sins, and removing your sinfulness. Christ has done this through his work on the cross, which you have also participated in through faith. This union is confirmed, amazingly, not through private faith or personal prayers, but through the rite of baptism. Baptism is a public demonstration of a person’s union with Christ (Rom 6:1-11; Gal 3:27) and union to other believers (1 Cor 1:10-17; 12:13; Eph 4:1-6). Therefore, it is intimately tied to the Church.
3. A fulfilled life is freedom from your enemies in Christ.
A life is fulfilled not simply because of what it has, but what it lacks as well. Christ has not only given us much for our good, he has also taken away that which seeks to harm us. Here, Christ has taken away our debt owed to God, and embarrassed the rulers and authorities who would seek to oppress us. We are free from these obstacles; everything that might keep us from running well in the Lord.
There are plenty of distractions in life, and walking as sojourners in this world is a difficult task. While we are to thank God for the good things he has provided, we also need to be careful lest those good things take the place of the one who provided them. The provision of Christ is God’s richest blessing in the world; there is nothing else we could ever need!