Colossians – Complete Maturity in Christ

God similarly wants us to develop from spiritual babes into complete maturity. Right doctrines, strong foundations, good leadership are key facets of maturity.

 

Key Verses

Colossians 1:28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.   29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.

Presentation Overview

  • Introduction
  • Supremacy of Christ
  • Maturity from Leader
  • Maturity of Christian
  • Maturity Checklist/s
  • Discussion

Background

  • Paul’s letter to the Colossians was written around 62 A.D., during imprisonment in Rome.
  • Colosse, once significant, was on the wane
  • The inhabitants were mostly Gentiles.
  • Paul had never visited Colosse.
  • He was in contact with Epaphras (founder of the church which met in Philemon’s house).[1]

Introduction

The following had crept into the Colossian church [2]:

  1. Human philosophybased on the traditionsof men.
  2. Jewishor Judaisticelements
  3. Asceticelements to control the flesh (Colossians 2:20-23)
  4. Worship of angels(Colossians 2:18)
  5. Mystery, secrecy, superiority, in knowledge.

Introduction (Cont'd)

 

Countering false doctrines including primitive Gnosticism, Paul stresses the divine person and finished nature of the creative and redemptive work of Christ (Colossians 1:14-22; 2:8-15).

In this letter Paul emphasizes growth and spiritual maturity. Words like “full”, “fullness”, “complete”, “overflowing” are used a number of times both in the context of Christ’s position in God and our position in Christ.

Complete Maturity in Christ

Supremacy of Christ

  • Image of God
  • Filled with God
  • Head of the Church
  • Supreme over creation  
  • Holds together creation
  • Reconciles creation to himself

Maturity From Leader

  • Complete Christ’s suffering
  • Completely cover God’s word
  • Complete wisdom to teach
  • Complete the ministry received
  • Complete prayer support

Maturity of Christian

  • Completely know God’s will
  • Completely understand Christ
  • Complete thankfulness
  • Completely seasoned speech
  • Complete confidence and maturity

Supremacy of Christ

Colossians 1:15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together

Supremacy of Christ

Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on eartha or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Discussion

  • In what ways did the false doctrines in the Colossian church lower the stature of Christ
  • What are the things and people that replace Christ today?
  • In what ways do we as a Church replace Christ today? – By doctrine? By practice?

Complete Christ’s Suffering

Colossians 1:24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 

What does it mean by complete Christ’s suffering?

Beautiful Blistered Feet

A missionary walked from village to village preaching the gospel amidst many hardships. He was driven out of a village and exhausted went to sleep just outside the village.

The villagers saw his blistered feet while he slept and realized that they may have sent out a man of God who had suffered to give them a message.

Beautiful Blistered Feet

So the evangelist filled up the afflictions of Jesus with his beautiful blistered feet. He represented Christ and his sufferings while sharing the gospel with those who had never heard it before.

Completely Cover God’s Word

Colossians 1:25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people.

Complete Wisdom in Teaching

Colossians 1:28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.

Complete the Ministry Received

Colossians 4:17 Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.”

Complete Prayer Support

Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.

Discussion

In John Maxwell’s words, “Leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less”.

As we all influence people knowingly or unknowingly, discuss how you fare with respect to the leadership benchmark set in this epistle:

  • Complete Christ’s suffering
  • Completely cover God’s word
  • Complete wisdom in teaching
  • Complete the ministry received
  • Complete prayer support

“The one indispensable requirement for producing godly, mature Christians is godly, mature Christians.” – Kevin DeYoung

Complete Knowledge of God’s Will

Colossians 1:9 We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 

Complete Knowledge of God’s Will

Colossians 2:My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge

Complete in Christ

Colossians 1:22 he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.

Colossians 2:10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness.

Colossians 3:Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden in Christ in God. 

Completely Seasoned Speech

Colossians 3:16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 

Colossians 4:Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every  opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Complete Confidence

Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.

Ch 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 

Discussion

  • In what ways can we share in Christ’s suffering?
  • Practically, how can we put off bad habits and put on good habits?
  • How can we keep our minds at Christ’s level (ch 3) when the world around and often the church functions at a lower level?
  • In Col 3:18-22, which instruction do you find most challenging? How do you overcome the challenges?

Complete Maturity Checklist

Complete Knowledge of God’s Will

1

Is every work bearing fruit?

 

2

Do you have strength and patience to endure all things?

 

3

Is your life worthy of Christ?

 

4

Do all your actions please God?

 

5

Is your knowledge of God continuously increasing?

 

Complete in Christ

6

Are you positive you are saved and going to be pure without blemish?

 

7

Have you got rid of old practices?

 

8

Do you view things from God’s perspective?

 

9

Have you developed increased compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience?

 

10

Have you forgiven as God has forgiven?

 
Complete Thankfulness
11 Are you overflowing with thankfulness?
12 Is God’s glory the motive for all your actions?
13 In trials does peace rule in your heart?
14 Do you pray with thankfulness for your leaders?
Completely Seasoned Speech
15 Is your conversation always full of grace?
16 When you need to answer someone for your faith, are your words carefully chosen?
17 Have you learnt to admonish with positive biblical basis?
Complete Confidence
18 Are you confident you are in the centre of God’s will?
19 Are you confident that all efforts will be rewarded?
20 Are you confident you are growing in maturity

References

1.biblegateway.com

2.bible.org

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