1. In Colossians 1:28-29, we saw that Paul's primary goal in his labors was to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
2. This being the case, we are not surprised to find Paul now writing to the Colossians of:
a. His great concern for them - Colossians 2:1-3
b. The reason for this concern - Colossians 2:4-5
c. Some exhortations in light of his concern - Colossians 2:6-8
3. From these eight verses, there is much we can learn concerning the subject of spiritual maturity in Christ
A. A DEEP CONCERN FOR OUR BRETHREN IN CHRIST
1. Remember that Paul is an example of spiritual maturity - 1 Corinthians 11:1
2. We see that he had a concern for his brethren, even for those he had not seen!
3. Epaphras likewise demonstrated this mark of maturity - Colossians 4:12-13
4. Do we have such concern for our brethren?
B. A HEART THAT IS ENCOURAGED
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
b. Such was the frequent prayer of Paul - 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
3. A troubled, anxious heart is not the mark of a mature Christian!
C. A HEART KNIT TOGETHER IN LOVE WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS
1. A love similar to that experienced by David and Jonathan - 1 Samuel 18:1
3. How about us? Are we developing hearts knit together in love?
D. A FULL ASSURANCE OF UNDERSTANDING
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
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. 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
1. The word order is a military term, suggestive of men marching in proper order and precision
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?
4. 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!
A. RECEIVE CHRIST AS LORD
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! - Acts 2:36
5. Until we have Christ as Lord in our lives, we cannot hope to become perfect in Christ
6. Again, Paul provides a good example - Galatians 2:20
B. WALK IN CHRIST
1. Having received Christ as Lord, we must now walk 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
b. built up in Him - allowing ourselves to become the kind of building He would have us to be
c. established in the faith - continuing in the teachings of Christ, and living by them
d. abounding in it with thanksgiving - ever overflowing with an attitude of gratitude
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
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 - Colossians 2:3
2) Because He has warned of what will occur if we do not mature and bear fruit - John 15:1-2
b. How does one initially receive Christ as Lord?
-- Don Treadway, May 2009 --