Sermon Outlines - Sermons From Colossians - Spiritual Maturity In Christ (2:1-8) Sermon Illustrations

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Sermon Outlines - Sermons From Colossians - Spiritual Maturity In Christ (2:1-8)


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                     "THE EPISTLE TO THE COLOSSIANS"
                  Spiritual Maturity In Christ (2:1-8)
INTRODUCTION
1. In Co 1:28-29, we saw that Paul's primary goal in his labors was to
   "present every man perfect in Christ Jesus."  That is, that they be
   "spiritually mature in Christ."
2. This being the case, we are not surprised to find Paul now writing to
   the Colossians of:
   a. His great concern for them - Co 2:1-3
   b. The reason for this concern - Co 2:4-5
   c. Some exhortations in light of his concern - Co 2:6-8
3. From these eight verses, there are a couple of things we can glean
   concerning the subject of "Spiritual Maturity In Christ"
[First, from verses 1-5 we can take note of several...]
I. INDICATIONS OF SPIRITUAL MATURITY (1-5)
   A. A DEEP CONCERN FOR OUR BRETHREN IN CHRIST (1)
      1. Remember that Paul is an example of spiritual maturity and thus
         worthy of our emulation - 1 Co 11:1
      2. We see that he had a concern for his brethren (notice 2 Co 11:
         28-29 also), even for those he personally had not seen!
      3. Epaphras likewise demonstrated this "mark" of maturity - Co 4:
         12-13
      4. Do we have such concern for our brethren?
   B. A HEART THAT IS ENCOURAGED (2)
      1. The KJV uses the word "comforted"
      2. It is the Will of God that we serve Him with hearts that are
         full of comfort and encouragement
         a. Such was the concern of Jesus - Lk 21:34; Jn 14:1,27
         b. Such was the frequent prayer of Paul - 2 Th 2:16-17
      3. A "troubled, anxious heart" is not the mark of a mature
         Christian!
      4. Consider the example of Paul in facing impending death - 2 Ti
         4:6-8,17-18
   C. A HEART KNIT TOGETHER IN LOVE WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS (2)
      1. I.e., a love similar to that experienced by David and Jonathan 
         - 1 Sa 18:1
      2. The brethren at Colosse were well on their way in this regard 
         - Co 1:4
      3. How about us?  Are we developing hearts "knit together in
         love"?
   D. A FULL ASSURANCE OF UNDERSTANDING (2)
      1. Similar to having hearts that are encouraged, we need to have a
         strong assurance concerning ourselves and our salvation!
      2. Of course, this assurance comes as we increase our
         "understanding" concerning the basis of our salvation
      3. Indeed, the Word of God was so written to increase that
         understanding, and provide the assurance of our salvation 
         - 1 Jn 5:13; 3:19; note also Ro 15:4
      4. As one matures in Christ, this "assurance" will increase, and
         it is indeed one of the "riches" we have in Christ!
   E. A KNOWLEDGE OF THE MYSTERY OF GOD (2)
      1. I.e., an understanding of the gospel, which once was hidden,
         but has now been revealed - cf. Ep 3:3-6; Ro 16:25-26
      2. Thus, a good knowledge of the gospel of Christ is essential to
         maturity in Christ
      3. Are we increasing in this knowledge?
   F. GOOD ORDER AND STEADFASTNESS OF FAITH (5)
      1. The word "order"...
         a. From taxis {tax'-is}, a military term, suggestive of men
            marching in proper order and precision, as in a drilling
            exercise
         b. This suggests that a mature Christian is one whose walk as a
            disciple is in proper line with what is expected
      2. The word "steadfastness" is a word which goes right along with
         this idea of marching in a straight line
      3. What is our "life of faith" like?
         a. Are we progressing in order, steadfast in our progress?
         b. Or are we wavering constantly?
[These are but a few indications of spiritual maturity.  If they are 
found in our lives, it is a good sign that progress is being made!
From verses 6-8, we can also learn of some...]
II. STEPS TO SPIRITUAL MATURITY (6-8)
   A. RECEIVE CHRIST AS "LORD" (6)
      1. This the Colossians had done
      2. Today, many seem to want Jesus just as a "Savior," but not as
         "Lord"
      3. That is, they profess to want Him as "their personal Savior,"
         but then do not obey Him in what He commands them
      4. Yet God has made Him both! - cf. Ac 2:36
      5. Until we enthrone Christ as Lord in our lives, we cannot hope
         to become "perfect" (complete, mature) in Christ
      6. Again, Paul provides a good example - e.g., Ga 2:20
   B. WALK IN CHRIST (6-7)
      1. Having received Christ as Lord, we must now "walk" (or live)
         in Him
      2. Verse 7 explains what it means to "walk in Christ"
         a. "rooted" - Christ must be the FOUNDATION and SOURCE OF
            NUTRITION in our lives (like tree depends upon its roots)
         b. "built up in Him" - allowing ourselves to become the kind of
            building He would have us to be
         c. "established in the faith" - well taught and grounded in the
            teachings of Christ, and living by them
         d. "abounding in it with thanksgiving" - ever overflowing with
            an attitude of gratitude
   C. BEWARE... (8)
      1. To grow spiritually, we must beware of dangers which would
         hinder our spiritual growth
      2. Otherwise, in our zeal to grow we can easily be misled by false
         doctrines which promise an easy route to spiritual maturity,
         but do not deliver on that promise!
      3. Thus the need for "negative preaching" as the occasion may call
         for it
CONCLUSION
1. Our next lesson will look at some of those false doctrines those at
   Colosse were facing which promised much, but gave nothing of true
   value
2. For the moment, let's close by asking two questions:
   a. Why should we even be concerned with growing in spiritual maturity
      in Christ?
      1) Because in Him "are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and
         knowledge" - Co 2:3
      2) Because He has warned of what will occur if we do not mature
         and "bear fruit" - Jn 15:1-2
   b. How does one initially receive Christ as Lord?
      1) By doing what He says, i.e., the Father's will - Lk 6:46; Mt
         7:21
      2) This includes the command to repent and be baptized, for in so
         doing one receives the remission of sins as they also "put on
         Christ" (i.e., "receive Christ") - Ac 2:36-38; Ga 3:26-27
 

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