Colossians 2:1-7 – PROGRESS!

The Christian life is to be one of spiritual progress.  We are not to stagnate as Christians, but we are to keep PROGRESSING. 

As Paul wrote to the Colossians who were being besieged by false teachers, he challenged them to make progress in at least 5 areas that would help them withstand false teachers. 

BEHIND THE SCENES – Vs. 1 – THE PRAYER MINISTRY OF PAUL 

The Apostle Paul was an encourager. Not only did he encourage through his words, and his letters, but also through his prayers!  For more proof of that just check out Colossians 1:9-14, Ephesians 1:15-23 and 3:14-21, and Philippians 1:9-11. 

In this passage Paul is encouraging the people to continue to stand firm for what is right. He talks of his own personal involvement with them, even though he had never seen them.  It was his friend Epaphras who had won the Colossians to Christ. 

The word conflict means to strive. Paul was striving for the Colossians.  The Greek word here is the one from which our English words “agony” and “agonize” come from. I believe Paul’s strivings, his conflicts, his struggles were centered on prayer.  One of the best ways we can encourage people is to pray for them. 

A good example of encouragement through prayer is the one who won many of the Colossians to Christ, Paul’s friend Epaphras. Colossians 4:12 

It is because of Paul great burden for the spiritual well being of these people that he wants them to progress in five ways.     

PROGRESSIVE STRENGTH – Vss. 2-3 

The Greek word “comforted” is often translated “encouraged”.

But Paul is talking more about being strengthened here.

The real “us”, especially our hearts or minds need to be strengthened.

We start as Spiritual “babes” in Christ, but we are expected to get stronger in our Spiritual thinking and actions. 2 Peter 3:18, Colossians 1:11 

So what happens when our hearts are strengthened?

They are knit together in love.

We might use the word, “united”.  As saints are strengthened, they are united in love. 

There are some things that help a church grow. Inviting people certainly helps. Evangelism certainly helps.  But the way the church will grow that is often overlooked is when people are united in their love for the Savior and their love for each other. John 13:34-35 

Our understanding is to include knowing God’s mystery, or sacred secret of Christ.

We need to be strengthened so we have a true knowledge of Christ! 

Vs. 3 tells us why. We need to know Christ better, because Christ is the source of all treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  The more you know Christ on a personal basis, the more you will know wisdom and knowledge. 

PROGRESSIVE AWARENESS Vs. 4 

If we are going to be PROGRESSING in Christ, we must become more and more aware of the existence of false teaching. We must also become more and more competent at spotting false teaching. 

False teaching is dangerous.

It will keep unsaved people from coming to Christ.

It will keep saved people from being victorious in Christ. 

And notice what the problem is.  There are lots of “smooth talkers” who can trick us with beguiling words. Someone has called them “fine sounding arguments.”  

PROGRESSIVE STAND – Vs. 5 

Now Paul gives these people a compliment. They were doing some things right.

They already had a PROGRESSIVE stand for Christ.

Paul was not there in body, but he was in spirit. And evidently through the reports he had received about the Colossian church he rejoiced in knowing of their order. 

The words “order” and “steadfastness” are military terms.

The word order refers to a line of soldiers drawn up for battle.

Steadfastness refers to the solidity of a group of soldiers.

So far, the Colossians were standing strong, individually and corporately.

He was encouraging them to continue that stand, especially against false teachers. 

This is something we need to do as well.  We need to be armed for battle clothed with the Christian’s armor found in Ephesians 6. We need to be ready to stand strong against false teaching and against sin. 

PROGRESSIVE FAITH – Vs. 6 

So how were you saved?

By receiving Christ by faith!

You believed in Him for eternal life and forgiveness of sin.

As you received Christ, now you are to live in Christ. That’s the life of faith.

And please notice when you received Christ you received God’s chosen one, the Messiah.

And when you received Christ you received “Jesus”, who is the salvation of Jehovah.

And when you received Christ you received a sovereign, a boss, a king. HE IS LORD! 

By faith He’s your Messiah.

By faith He’s your Savior.

By faith He’s your master.

PROGRESSIVE MATURITY – Vs. 7 

If we are soundly rooted in Christ we will be able to stand firm when the winds of adversity and false teaching start to blow. 

After being rooted firmly in Him, now we are to build.

The Christian life is one of continual growth.

As we are built up in Him, we will become established, firm, mature in our faith. 

A mature faith leads to thanksgiving. 

Are you making progress?

PROGRESSIVE STRENGTH – Vss. 2-3

PROGRESSIVE AWARENESS Vs. 4

PROGRESSIVE STAND – Vs. 5

PROGRESSIVE FAITH – Vs. 6

PROGRESSIVE MATURITY – Vs. 7