Freed by Christ
Colossians • Sermon • Submitted
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Freed by Christ
Freed by Christ
Colossians 2:20–23 (ESV)
20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.
Introduction: There is nothing you can do to save yourself. The only way to salvation is through the sacrificial act of Jesus upon the cross at Calvary. This is a fundamental truth that we must grasp. There are some who believe that just as long as they are good and treat people nice that will ensure them salvation. The requirement for salvation is to make Christ your Savior.
Paul’s intention in the first two chapters of Colossians is to teach the people in Colossae that Christ is the all sufficient one and the only way to freedom in life from the penalty required from sin.
As Paul concludes this second chapter which you and I have discovered is filled with doctrine, Paul emphasizes the need for understanding that man cannot work, earn nor buy his salvation. It a gift which only comes from the act of Jesus on the Cross.
Proposition: We are freed from the penalty of sin when we make Christ our Savior. Christ paid for all of our sins upon the cross. Because of the act of Christ we are free.
Propositional Statement: Paul presents two freedoms in this passage, freedom from the world and freedom from self-promotion
Transition: Paul repeats what he warns against in vv.16-19. Paul does so to emphasize its importance. So, we recognize our Freedom from the World.
Freedom from the Power of the World (vv.20-22)
“20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings?”
Paul explains, You died with Christ. Now the forces of the universe don’t have any power over you. This death with Christ occurs with when one becomes saved.
This frees the believer from the man made restrictions that were used by false teachers in Colossae.
Paul says, since you know that Jesus is the way pto salvation and the only savior you are no longer bound to the legalistic law. He echos the teachings of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew when Jesus was challenged by the Pharisees because his disciples are without washing their hands. Jesus responded to this challenge by saying:
11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”
There was another incident of which the Pharisees were upset because Jesus healed a a man on the Sabbath and the man picked up his bed he had been laying on before being healed.
10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.”
16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.
Paul desires the people of Colossae to see the Grace that Christ extends. The world will have one believe that traditions and works override the sacrifice of Christ but this is not so.
Jesus says in John 5:24:
24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
Illustration: The story is told of when a bee was drawn into the open window of a car traveling down the road. The bee was upset, and so was a boy in the car, who had previously suffered a severe reaction from a bee sting. But before things got out of hand, the boy’s father caught the bee in his hand and tossed it back out the window. Then he pulled the car over to comfort his son. The boy, however, was now desperately worried that his father would die from the bee sting. “Oh, no,” said the father, showing him that his hand was only slightly swollen. “The sting won’t hurt me like it would you, so I took the sting for you.”
AMG Bible Illustrations, Bible Illustrations Series (Chattanooga: AMG Publishers, 2000).
Transition: And that is just what Jesus did for us: He took the sting of death for us, and now that sting is gone. “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin … But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:55–57).
Application: Spread the word of the Grace Christ has shown from the cross. If fact do not live life as a critic. Express the Grace of God towards others. I know you got it together and you are perfect but some of us are not. We are just thankful for the grace of Jesus. If it were not for His Grace we would be destroyed!
Transition: The second freedom found in the text is Our Freedom from Ritualism
Freedom from Self-Promotion (v.23)
“23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.”
Paul, just as he mentions in the previous paragraph of this text, attacks the practices that were really foreign to the Colossians. He reminds them that God requires them to receive sacrifice of Christ as their sacrifice.
Paul says this stuff that the pagans and Judaizers are requiring may look good and sound good but they are not what God requires for you to be saved.
Asceticism was done under the guise of self-denial. And we know that Christ did say that to follow him that we must deny ourselves.
This is what Jesus says about self-denial:
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
This is not what asceticism was. Asceticism was another way of flaunting oneself before others to burden others with the guilt that they were not holy enough, they were not christian enough.
What Jesus taught was to place everything else secondary to Him and make Him priority in life. Do you see the difference?
Let’s look at another thing. (It’s in here y’all so I have to teach it)
29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
It does not say starve yourself so that you can be Holy or Saved. It says Fast and pray so that you are empowered to served. Fast and pray so that you will hear from the Lord.
Application: Don’t allow people to tell you that you are not holy enough because of what you drive or the house you live in. The question is do you know Jesus? Do you live so that others will know Jesus? Is Jesus a priority in your life? Do you worship Christ? Do you serve Jesus?