Sermon Notes: Maturity: Colossians 2:6-7

Faith in Jesus and submission to Jesus

Maturity is not moving on from the simple faith of following Jesus.

Maturity is moving “farther up and farther in” with our faith in Jesus. (think “The Last Battle”)

The false teachers (Gnostics) were teaching that there was a deeper knowledge to be had spiritually while denying physical obedience and physical realities, and they viewed Jesus as the gateway to that spiritual knowledge. This is untrue. 

Jesus is not a gateway to knowledge that is divorced from him and only spiritual in nature.

Jesus is the fullness of what it means to know, and have knowledge in all realms of existence (spiritual and physical), and in him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, Colossians 2:3.

This is a subtle distinction, and it is the difference between real faith (faith in Jesus alone) and false faith (faith in Jesus as a means to an end). 

Satan disguises his schemes as elite spiritual counterfeits. 

2 Corinthians 11:12-15 (CSB) 12 But I will continue to do what I am doing, in order to deny an opportunity to those who want to be regarded as our equals in what they boast about. 13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no great surprise if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.

Jesus is not a means to other and deeper ends. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus is the beginning, middle, and end. 

We don’t come to Jesus to get to know other things. We come to Jesus by faith, and in him, all his truth will come into focus as we grow up in him. This is because he created all things, and all things are being reconciled back to the Father in him. 

There is no knowledge apart from Jesus. All discoveries by those not acknowledging Jesus are just foolishly picking up easter eggs in the yard thinking they’ve actually sought and found mysteries not knowing they were put there by God for them to know him. 

The way of error sees Jesus as a way to know other things separate from Jesus as if other things have a nature of eternality to them. These folks will then move on from their simple faith to “deeper things”, and in so doing, they will abandon Jesus. 

The way of maturity sees Jesus as all in all, since by his word and from his sustaining all things exist. 

Don’t confuse this with the writer of Hebrews rebuke of his audience’s immaturity in 5:11-6:3, and pit the Bible against itself like it’s being contradictory. 

They were stuck on working for their salvation versus faith, and they needed to move on from dead works to life in Christ. The writer of Hebrews is not saying that the basics of Jesus are immature. He’s saying they need to get those basics down in salvation because some of them are not saved, and it’s being proven by their abandoning Jesus to save their lives. Their faith was being tested, and some of them were proving their faith was not real. 

So, by maturity, we are not advocating for some superior knowledge that only the spiritually elite have access to. We are talking about more of Jesus’ reign over us in all aspects of our very being. 

So, what will we learn to practice today that will help us stay on God’s plan of growing up into Jesus?

Let’s read Colossians 2:6-7.

“Walk” is the main verb in the sentence, and it is imperative. So, the main action of this sentence is “walk in him”. 

The word “continue” is added as an interpretive help so we can clearly understand Paul’s intent: that the Colossians keep walking/living in the same way they received the Lord Jesus in the first place. 

They are to grow up toward maturity by doing the same thing they did when God saved them. 

I want to give you my simple translation of verses 6-7 that I believe is a little clearer so you can see the reason for our main points. 

“So, just as you received the Christ Jesus, the Lord, in him walk, being rooted and being built up in him and being established (in) the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude.” Colossians 2:6-7

Just like we got saved, keep walking that way, living like that. 

“Christ Jesus” and “Lord” both get the definite article and thus define the two ways we are commanded to “walk” to grow in maturity. 

NOTE: SINCE THERE IS ONE COMMAND AND TWO MEANS GIVEN TO OBEY THE COMMAND, THEY ARE NOT REALLY TWO, BUT ONE THAT MANIFESTS IN TWO WAYS. IN OTHER WORDS, WE CAN’T DO ONE OF THESE AND FAIL TO DO THE OTHER WITHOUT NULLIFYING THE ONE WE DO. TO SAY IT CLEARER, BOTH OF THESE GO TOGETHER. WE CAN’T HAVE ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER. THERE IS NO FAITH WITHOUT SUBMISSION TO JESUS. 

  1. Believe in Jesus as the Christ of God.
    1. So then, just as you have received “the Christ Jesus”.
    2. The object of their faith was/is the historical person of Jesus who is the Christ of God the Father.
      1. They had placed their faith IN Jesus as the one God had been promising would come since Genesis 3:15.
      2. As they believed IN Jesus for salvation, they are to keep believing IN Jesus for life and all things.
        1. One of Satan’s goals is to temp us our of our faith in Jesus.
          1. 1 Thessalonians 3:5 (CSB) 5 For this reason, when I could no longer stand it, I also sent him to find out about your faith, fearing that the tempter had tempted you and that our labor might be for nothing.
      3. This is not hard and it is not supposed to be confusing.
      4. We have somehow gunked it up by making discipleship seem like a progressive climb up an intellectual mountain.
        1. Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
          1. Hebrews 11:6 Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
          2. Faith is not just a mental trip.
          3. Faith is tangible hope and evidence we believe what we can’t see.
            1. Faith is what we believe and how we live it out.
            2. Living out of our growing understanding of Jesus.
        2. What are some tangible ways we can keep the faith?
          1. Honest wrestling with times of unbelief when we have them. Mark 9:14-29
            1. I believe, help my unbelief.
          2. Prayer: Luke 18:1-8
            1. We keep coming to Jesus in all ways that are completely dependent on him, and in both these instances, it is in prayer.
          3. Fight to choose righteousness over sin by overcoming temptation.
            1. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (CSB) 13 No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to bear it.
  2. Submit to Jesus.
    1. So then, just as you have received “the Christ Jesus”, “the Lord”…
      1. Followers of Jesus are to keep on receiving the Lordship of Jesus.
      2. In other words, to grow into maturity, we have to live a life of continual submission to Jesus.
        1. How do we do this?
        2. See the application…

Application

NOTE: “AS YOU WERE TAUGHT” IS A REFRAIN THAT BELONGS WITH EACH MODIFYING ACTION THAT HELPS US KEEP BELIEVING AND SUBMITTING TO JESUS. THAT MEANS THERE IS A PLACE FOR SOMEONE TO TEACH ANOTHER HOW TO DO THESE, AND THIS CAN’T BE DONE ON SUNDAY ALONE.

My role is to provide you with teaching, and each disciples job is to take that teaching and multiply it throughout the week at home, in discipleship relationships, and in your RL group so that we are able to help each other grow up into Christ and multiply the work and make more room for more disciples so that we can multiply more RL groups, send more disciples to the nations and multiply churches. 

Each one disciple one, two or three and the one, two or threw disciple one, two, or three? Who is your one, two, or three?

  1. Be rooted in Christ, as they were taught. V. 7
  1. Be built up in Christ, as they were taught. V. 7
  1. Be established in the faith, as they were taught. V. 7
  1. Be overflowing with gratitude, as they were taught. V. 7
    1. How?
      1. Life with the Holy Spirit. 
        1. Learn to listen to and discern Spirit from the world, the flesh and the Devil. 
      2. Be guided by the Bible. 
        1. Sola Scriptura versus Solo Scriptura.
      3. Test all things in fellowship with accountability to one another. 
      4. Worship

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