Colossians 2:1-15

  • 3 August 2022
  • Stuart Robinson

Colossians 2: 1-15

July 31, 2022.

SHAP – St. Peters Watsons Bay.

You may well have heard this lovely old story:

Back in the 19th century, the captain of a ship looked into the dark night and saw faint lights in the distance. 

Immediately the captain told the signalman to send out a message; “Alter your course 10 degrees south.” 

Promptly, a return message was received: “Alter your course 10 degrees north.” 

The captain was shocked and a little outraged; his command had been ignored. 

So, he sent a second message: “Alter your course 10 degrees south, I am Captain Johnson!” 

Soon another message was received: “Alter your course 10 degrees north. I am a Seaman, third class, Smith.” 

Immediately the captain sent a swift return message, knowing the fear it would (or should) evoke: “Alter your course 10 degrees south – I am a battleship.”

Then the reply came “Alter your course 10 degrees north – I am a lighthouse.”

Captain Johnson immediately obeyed and changed course.

Christians are people who have changed course.

Yes, Christ’s command -Jesus’ voice, is that which they now obey; not their own, or the voices of popular culture (v.4), or their peers. 

“Hollow and deceptive philosophy” is how those voices are described in v.8.

Jesus is Lord. 

He is the one they (we) serve and to whom they  (we) submit.

And we do well to take this Jesus seriously -as did the captain take the direction of the lighthouse signaller seriously. 

For you see in Jesus – and you can see it there at verse 9, “all the fullness of the Deity (of God) lives in bodily form”. 

He is, we are told – head over every power and authority (v. 10).

Hard to grasp, I know.

Even more challenging is the notion that when we (you and me) were ‘dead to God’ because of our wilfulness and sin (v.13), this Jesus, wiped away the entire record of our selfishness and our stupidity (v.14), when he himself took the blame – in his death on the cross (v.14).

God – on the cross – for me.

And we can be sure his work satisfied the just requirements of God the Father because v.12 says God then raised this Lord Jesus from death.

Now, I can’t convince you of that truth; it’s only when the Spirit of God (Colossians 1:9) opens your eyes to the great peril you are in without Christ (like that ship heading for the rocks) and gives you the grace (and I quote from Colossians 2:6) to “receive Christ Jesus as Lord”.

Have you done that?

Here’s what happens when people change course and “receive Jesus as Lord”:

They are brought to spiritual rebirth: v 12 says, ‘you were raised with Christ’;

And v.13 says, ‘God made you alive with Christ’ and marked you out – or set you apart as members of his family. 

Here’s the point: 

Christians belong to Christ to the One who:

  • forgives us our sins – v.13
  • rescues us from condemnation and judgement – v.14
  • frees us from all demonic power and oppression though his death and resurrection v.15
  • enables us to stand before God, complete or whole or full v.10; nothing else is required because his saving workalone is entirely adequate.

And to be clear: those upon whom such blessings are poured are those who have placed their faith or their trust in what God has done for us in Christ (v. 12).

And you, beloved, do you trust in what God has done for you in Christ?

The ‘Identikit’ invented by detective Hugh C. McDonald in the late 1950’s comprises a range of facial features that when ordered or organised correctly may produce an accurate likeness, a facsimile, of the person they wish to identify. In 2022 the ‘Identikit’ is referred to as Advanced Composite Software.

Colossians 2:6ff is kind of like a spiritual ‘Identikit’ that helps us identify (or create a picture of) those who have “received Jesus as Lord” and with this I will close.

Here are three features of the spiritual “Identikit”. 

First. People who receive Jesus Christ as Lord continue to live their lives in him (v.6). Jesus is not a religious accessory. 

He is not an optional extra. 

He is the Lord. 

He is God in Christ. 

Therefore, their lives are aligned to his priorities, his values; their hearts beat in sync with his; from the boardroom to the ballroom (and everything in between) – Jesus is Lord.

Second. People who receive Christ as Lord put down deep roots in Jesus (v.7). 

They recognise that he – and he alone, has the words of eternal life (John 6:68) – and they draw their daily strength and direction from his word.

These are people who read the Scriptures and submit to their wisdom and transforming power. That is how they are strengthened in the faith they were taught (v.7). 

And you’ll see those who have received Jesus as Lord being strengthened in the faith they were taught, as they consistently and regularly meet together in worship, fellowship and service. Hebrews 10:24-25 says this 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day [Christ’s return] approaching.

Third. Those who have received Jesus as Lord can be spotted in a crowd (as it were) because (v.7) they are overflowing with thankfulness.  

An ‘attitude of gratitude’ is what is called for.

Let me try and illustrate this and then close with prayer.

Some of you may remember the collapse of the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania – April 25, 2006.

Todd Russell and Brant Webb were trapped 1-kilometre underground – for two weeks following a rock fall – before they were eventually rescued.  Another colleague was killed, tragically.

Ten years after their rescue, 300 people attended a thanksgiving/memorial service in a local church. One of the two rescued men, Mr Brant Webb said this, “it’s really about showing my gratitude to these people…and it’s one of those things where you can never show enough [gratitude]”.

Well said, Mr Webb. 

He knows he is in his rescuer’s debt forever. 

And happily, so.

Here is the point:

Christian people have been rescued – by Jesus – from sin’s cruel power, and have been set free to love and serve him. 

When it comes to gratitude and thankfulness – to quote Mr Webb, ‘it’s one of those things where you can never show enough.”

That’s why those who are truly Christ’s are themselves: 

quick to forgive others; 

generous with their time and resources; 

ready to serve to the betterment of their communities; 

faithful to their promises and in their relationships. 

That’s what overflowing with thankfulness will look like. 

May we pray?


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