Colossians 2:1-14


In Colossians Chapter 2 verses 1-2 it says, "For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seem my face in the flesh; That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the asknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;"


The Bible is a spiritual book and should be taken from a spiritual perspective. Therefore the important thing about verses in the Bible such as verse 1 here in Colossians Chapter 2 is not Paul, nor is it who he was writing to, but the question is it’s spiritual application.


There are two important ideas in verse 1. The first is the word conflict, and the second is the phrase, "having not seen my face in the flesh." There is a spiritual conflict or struggle that is occurring in this world. This struggle is ever present in the souls of all men: the struggle of good and evil. The word “conflict” comes from the greek word ‘agon’ which means a “fight”, “race” or “place or struggle.”


The last part of verse 1 says; "as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;" Although Paul wrote this epistle, it is also the word of God, and therefore God speaking. We have not seen God in the flesh. We will see Him shortly though, when our time on this earth has passed. But until then, we must walk by faith and not by sight. Yet as the first part of verse 2 says, our hearts may be comforted. There are two reasons for us to be comforted and knit together in love. They are the same reasons as had Paul and the Believers at Colossi and Laodicea. First, the conflict that Paul had for them, or in our case the conflict that God has for us. It is God’s desire that we all experience first His great gift of grace in Jesus Christ and then peace through a life of fellowship with Him. We can be comforted in our life despite the trials and tribulations and even despite our own failures because of the conflict that God has for us. The conflict or desire that God has for all humans is that they might be saved and then draw close to Him. We can always be comforted to know that God loves us, because God is love and His will in our lives will never change. You can never fail too many times to make God stop loving you, or even to make God withdraw His mercy and blessings and forgiveness from your life. This is indeed a great comfort.


The next important thing to note is in verse 2, which says "unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ." The other reason in these two verses that God has given us to be comforted and knitted together is assurance. Assurance comes from faith and faith comes from the word of God. The Bible says "to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ."


A mystery is something that we do not understand. Spiritual truths are mysteries to all men until God chooses to reveal light into an individual’s soul. The Bible is God’s mystery to those who do not understand it. But when God reveals His truths to us and we believe, then there is assurance. Assurance means comfort, and comfort means joy, peace, and love.


There are those, for example, who think that they can lose their salvation. There is certainly no comfort in a promise that is not certain. Yet, if such people would merely believe the promises of God, then they would not have such doubts. Faith in God will give comfort to the heart of man.


Colossians Chapter 2, verse 3 says; "In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Verse 2 ended by speaking of God, and of the Father, and of Christ. There are two kinds of wisdom and knowledge in this world: the wisdom of man and the wisdom of God. The wisdom of man is vain. The Bible says so. But the wisdom and knowledge which comes from God is true and valued far above silver and gold. This wisdom is only found in God’s word.


The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Yet over 2000 years ago Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world. Every soul can be saved from an eternity in hell. The wisest thing any man can do is repent of his sins and believe on the name of Jesus Christ. If you have trusted in Jesus then you have opened the door to the mysteries of God and His word. And you have opened the door to the treasures of His wisdom and knowledge. The benefits of which are assurance, comfort, and love; that is to say, assurance of eternal life. We also have the many blessings and mercies of God and peace and comfort from the Holy Spirit, and of course we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that abounds with love.


Colossians Chapter 2 verses 4-7 says, "And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. And as ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving."


It is essential to have a solid and unwavering faith, if you desire to be close to God and have protection from those who walk about in sheep’s clothing but inside are wolves. To have a solid faith in Jesus it is necessary that you give your 100% to keep the commandments given to you in the Bible. To do this you must walk in Him. Moment by moment each day you must trust in Jesus. We are all sinners and we will fail from time to time, but it is important to remember that you only fail when you do not trust in God. Therefore the more you trust in God the less you will fail. Hebrews Chapter 11, verse 6 says; "without faith it is impossible to please God", and indeed it is, for without faith you will not obey God’s will.


Verse 7 tells us how we can increase our faith and this verse also tells us what are the great benefits of having ourselves rooted and built up in Him. The last half of verse 7 says: "as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving." What is it that we have been taught, except the gospel according to Jesus Christ? And this we have been taught through the word of God. The word of God will establish faith in your mind and heart like a great tree whose roots have grown deep into the soil of the earth, so deep that the strongest storms cannot uproot them. The benefits of your faith becoming a solid foundation are very simple. The last part of verse 7 says, "abounding therein with thanksgiving." Everything that happens in life is because God is love. All good things come from God. This can only be understood through faith. But once you start believing the promises of God, then you will find yourself abounding with thanksgiving. After all, everything in life, the joys and the sorrows, the trials and the tribulations, the good and the bad, is truly a reason to be thankful to God.


The important thing to remember is that Jesus Christ is our faith. Jesus Christ has saved us from sin and from the eternal punishment that awaits us in the flames of hell. He is the center of our faith and therefore also the center of our thanksgiving. He is the reason we can abound with thanksgiving. For there is no greater gift of God’s grace, than Jesus Christ the Savior of our souls.


Verses 8-10 says, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him which is the head of all principality and power." After being told of how to have a sound faith, the Bible then reminds us again of false doctrine. If you have a sound faith in Jesus Christ you will be much wiser than others as to the difference between a truth and a lie and the difference between something that is good and something that is evil.


Verse 8 says beware. The best way to protect yourself from those who would seduce and entice you with the lies of this world, is to watch out for them and avoid them. Verse 8 tells us of three things to beware of: the philosophies of man, the traditions of man, and the rudiments of the world. Man is vain in his own imagination and there are indeed many philosophies to beware of, from evolution to psychiatry, to religion. Yet perhaps even more subtle than the philosophies of man are his traditions. The traditions of God are found in His word. If it is not in His word then it is a tradition of man and quite possibly could be something that takes away or dilutes God’s word or even teaches a lie. The rudiment of this world is sin. The very essence of this world is sin. We live in a physical universe and every day we will be surrounded by the temptations of material things, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Yet, certainly all of these things are very easy to avoid if you simply cling to the cross. Anything that is closely intertwined with the gospel of Jesus Christ is probably good. Anything that is not, whether philosophy or even your fellow man, is something to avoid. For as verse 10 says; only in Jesus Christ are we made complete. Only in Jesus Christ can we have life and have it more abundantly. And only in Jesus Christ will we find peace and contentment in this life.


Colossians Chapter 2, verses 11-12 says; "In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead." We are circumcised in Christ. There is physical circumcision and a spiritual circumcision. The reason God gave Abraham and the Jews the physical circumcision was as a symbol to help them understand what happens to a soul when its trust is placed in Christ. That is why verse 11 says the circumcision made without hands, because it is a spiritual work of God and not a physical work of man.


When a person opens his heart to Jesus and accepts the free gift of the forgiveness of sins that is offered on the blood stained cross of Calvary, then new life is given to a soul that before was dark and stained with trespasses and sins. That is what Jesus meant when He spoke of being born again. Salvation brings a new spiritual beginning and a restoration to the soul, which also includes the cutting away of the former self. That is why the last half of verse 11 says, "in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ."


There have been many in life that have made the mistake of believing their works or a physical ceremonial act of some kind could save their souls. Many Jews made this mistake, especially in the time of Christ and the apostles. In their own eyes they were righteous. They were self-righteous. All physical things are temporary and one day will pass away. Even this universe in which we live one day will be destroyed by God. Certainly no physical act of man can save his own soul.


Verse 12 speaks of baptism. Baptism is another symbolic act given by God to believers in Jesus Christ, just as circumcision was given by God to the Jews. The Greek work for Baptism stems from the Greek word for baptized which is “baptizo”. This word refers to a permanent immersion, a spiritual cleansing of the soul from sin. That is what baptism symbolizes and verse 12 explains this. We are washed in the blood of the lamb. Jesus died for our sins and rose again, that we who have placed our faith in Him may rise again in the next life.


Mark Chapter 16 verse 16 says; "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned." The Bible does not say he that is not baptized shall not be saved, but he that believeth not. The Bible says the just shall live by faith. The Bible also says in Romans Chapter 5:1 that we are justified by faith. Faith in Jesus Christ will save your soul from sin and hell, and nothing else will.


That is why the Bible warns you in Colossians Chapter 2, verses 4 and 8 to beware of the philosophies and traditions of man, and of the rudiments of this world, for they will lead you away from Jesus Christ and they will seek to strip you of your faith. If you do not have faith in Jesus Christ, then you have nothing.


Verses 13-14 says, "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us."


The question is: what is the meaning of life? There are many things the world would have you believe, but there is only one correct answer, Jesus Christ. All sin leads to death and the Bible says that all have sinned. Therefore we can understand how it is that verse 13 here in the second chapter of Colossians speaks of being dead in your sins.


The previous verses have helped us to understand the meaning of the word circumcision, so that now we understand this word is meant from a spiritual perspective. To be dead in sin is to be uncircumcised. To be dead in sin is to have no faith in Jesus Christ. Yet, if you have faith in the Son of God then the last part of verse 13 applies to you. You hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses. The word quickened means to make alive. If we are all sinners and we are all dead, then it would indeed take one who is not a sinner but alive to give us life. Jesus knew no sin and the Bible says in I John Chapter 5 verse 12, "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."


The word trespass comes from the Greek word “paraptoma” and in other places in the New Testament it is translated as offence, fall, fault, or sin. In Jesus we are made alive where once our sins had given us death. Verse 14 says, "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;"


We have new life in Jesus because our sins are forgiven. Our sins are forgiven because Jesus paid the debt for them. Verse 14 speaks about the handwriting of ordinances that was against us. The word ordinances could be translated law. We all know what law is. The governments of this world have certainly written many a law hoping to improve society. Yet the law serves only one function, to provide justice to the victim and condemnation to the law breaker. Has it ever been heard in a court of law, that when a man was found guilty the judge said you are guilty but we will let you go free? Certainly not, because even if the lawbreaker is repentant there is a debt to be paid to society. The Bible says that we are all sinners, we have all broken the laws of God. Our lives are lives filled with sin, filled with the selfish acts of ourselves, and the law demands punishment for our sins against God and our fellow man. The reason that we can find forgiveness through Jesus is because Jesus paid the debt. He died for our sins.


II Corinthians Chapter 5 and verse 21 says, "For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." Our sins have been nailed to the cross of Jesus Christ. They were nailed there over 2000 years ago. When the Roman soldiers took those nails and drove them into Jesus nailing Him to the cross, they were actually nailing Him to that cross with your sins. Certainly it is a great and noble sacrifice to give your life for another. But there could be no greater sacrifice than to die for the sins of the world.


II Corinthians Chapter 5 verses 14-15 says, "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again."


The story of Jesus Christ is indeed the greatest story ever told. It is a true story and it is a story of victory. Those who trust in Jesus will be justified from their sins. If you trust in Jesus, the handwriting of ordinances that is against you will be blotted out and you will be given eternal life.



Copyright; 2000 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved