Colossians 2: What is at the Very Heart of Christianity?

COL-33-230312 - length: 85:23 - taught on Mar, 12 2023

Class Outline:


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Welcome To



Rory Clark



Good Morning!


Welcome to Barah Ministries…an intimate, local Christian Church with a worldwide impact.  My name is Pastor Rory Clark.  Thanks for listening to this Bible lesson! 


What does Barah Ministries stand for?  We are Christians!  Not non-denominational Christians…not evangelical Christians…not part of a Christian religion, because Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ…nor any of the other non-biblical words the world likes to attach to the simplicity of being a Christian.  We worship the Lord Jesus Christ because He is God.  He said so Himself in John, Chapter 10, Verse 30…


JOHN 10:30

“I (the Lord Jesus Christ) and God the Father are one (we are the same in essence and nature).”


At Barah Ministries you’ll learn the Word from God’s perspective and not from

man’s perspective.  Isaiah, Chapter 55, Verse 9 tells you why…the Lord says…



“…just as the heavens are higher than the earth…so are My ways higher

than your ways…and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.”


By studying the Word of God, Christians get to know the Lord and His thoughts.  In Proverbs, Chapter 3, Verses 1 and 2, the Lord reminds us why this is important…



My sons…do not forget My teaching…but let your heart keep my mandates.


For My words will add length to your days and years to your life and the peace of God to your soul.


God has an enemy, Satan, whom the Lord made ‘the ruler of this world.’  His primary aim against believers in Christ is to lure us away from the firm and victorious foundation of our union with Christ by making us doubt God and His Word.  The Lord warns us in First Peter, Chapter 5, Verses 8 and 9…



Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.



But resist him…and keep on being firm in your faith…


Satan has no power over us…he has no authority over us…he simply has a big mouth and he loves using it to entice us to do things that hurt us.  As believers in Christ, we say, “No thanks!”  We’re foolish to listen to him.



What is at the Very Heart of Christianity?




I heard a man call his best friend a “good Christian” … and I wondered what such a being is like.  False teachers would have the answer, and every contention would be preceded by “you gotta.”  Okay…you gotta believe in Christ, but also “you gotta” keep the sacraments…“you gotta” fast…“you gotta” be circumcised (ladies…I don’t know what to tell you)…“you gotta” go to church without ever missing…“you gotta” never have a bad thought…you get the picture.  All these “you gottas” are things no one could ever do including those who impose such nonsense on Christians.


The simple answer to what makes a person a good Christian comes from God’s perspective…LOVE.  Good Christians live unconditional love…the most important gift from God.  In today's passage, we'll see how God slaughtered the “you gottas” once and for all time.  In addition to studying the next passage in Paul’s letter to the Colossians, as we do every month, we’ll celebrate the Lord’s Supper.




God doesn’t consider Christians to be like dolphins, so He doesn’t flip us fish and He doesn’t give us hoops to jump through.  Here’s June Murphy to remind us of what the Lord has done for us in one of the best songs ever written…WHEN I SAY I LOVE YOU.




Let’s Sing the Lord’s Praises



June Murphy 




Let us pray...


We’re grateful, Heavenly Father, for the privilege of studying Your absolute truth...the Word of God…


Father, thank you for making it easy to follow You…thank you for sending Your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to do the hard work on the Cross that makes being a Christian easy for all of us…thank you for your inclusive approach to salvation…you are willing to save “whosoever”… thank you for loving us unconditionally when we chose to become your enemy by committing personal sins…thanks for resolving a problem that was not Yours, by letting Your Son do the work to reconcile us to You…and thank you for God the Holy Spirit who leads us into all the truth…who counteracts lies that attack Christians and confuse Christians in Satan’s kingdom…


…as we learn this lesson today, use the passage to take us to the very heart of Christianity so that we continue to know the glorious riches You have provided to us without counting the cost…


…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s name...Amen.


What is at the Very Heart of Christianity?




The easy answer is Christ.


Even though it was not pleasurable, yesterday I had the privilege of officiating a memorial service for a believer in Christ who recently went home to be with the Lord.  It was the fourth member of this family I have done a memorial service for in the last five years.  The Lord must consider this family special because He continues to send a truth-telling Pastor to them when they are the most vulnerable.  It was not pleasurable because I’m attached to them, and this was the hardest of the ceremonies to conduct.


The man’s name was John Wayne Mercure.  He is a believer in Christ.


The celebration was pretty emotional for me…so emotional that I fought to hold back the tears.  From the moment anyone meets John, he becomes a part of you without you noticing it.  He has a positive effect on people.  He had a huge personality and loads of charisma and he was a kind man, all characteristics powered by his relationship with the Lord.


His seventy-one-year best friend recalled the essence of who John is as a man… and his descriptions were accurate, genuine, and heartfelt.  His granddaughters remembered him with an affection that was born from the attention John paid to them by teaching them during the formative years of their lives.  John poured his passion for learning into them and it was easy to see his effect on them by hearing their words.


It struck me deeply that John grew up poor, as did I.  There’s something special about growing up poor, especially when as you get older you are no longer poor.  It’s easy to forget the struggle until someone reminds you of how things were, then all the feelings come rushing back. 


Imagine living in poverty, and one day when you come home there is an eviction notice nailed to your door.  You have thirty days to get out.  Let’s look at today’s passage.  The Lord Jesus Christ nailed an eviction notice to the Cross, and this notice was for your benefit.  Colossians, Chapter 2, Verses 9 to 15…


For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form…



…and in Him you have been made complete…and He is the head over all rule and authority…



…and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ…



…having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.



When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions…



…having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us…and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the Cross.



When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.


A reminder…in this letter, Paul is warning a group of new believers in Christ in home-based churches in Colossae, Laodicea, and Hierapolis.  Now that they are running the Christian Way of Living well, false teachers will infiltrate their churches with false teaching.  Here are the two warnings from last week’s lesson… Colossians, Chapter 2, Verses 4 and 8…



I (Paul) say this (the things in the previous series of verses) so that no one will delude you with persuasive (fine-sounding) arguments.




See to it that no one takes you captive…(by kidnapping you with evil seduction designed to plunder you)…through philosophy…and empty deceit (which is hollow and deceptive teaching) according to the tradition of men…according to the elementary principles of the world (through angelic creatures who influence the world through the heavenly bodies…astrology)…rather than according to the thinking and the principles of Christ.


Let's look at this passage verse-by-verse to see what it has to offer us…



For in Christ all the fullness of Deity (“Godness” … Divinity) dwells in bodily form…


The Lord Jesus Christ is the God-Man…100% God and 100% Man in one person forever…the unique Person in the universe.  No one else has divine and human essence in a single person.  He is the preeminent One…there is no one like Him and there never will be.



…and in union with Jesus Christ you believers in Christ have been made complete (nothing need be added to Christianity) … and Jesus Christ is the head over all rule and over all authority…


The false teachers wanted the Colossians to add to Christianity…in analogy, they would say, “It’s okay if you drink Fiji Water…but toilet water is good, too!  And then eventually they would take away the Fiji Water and get us to drink only toilet water.  Christ is the Fiji Water.  The toilet water is a life without Christ…or a life where Christ is dumbed down as if He is just like every other “prophet.”  He is not like anyone.  He is God!  If in union with Christ we believers in Christ are complete…filled up to a total fulness by God…why would a Christian need anything else?  We don’t.  We simply draw on the Lord’s completely sufficient power.


Jesus is the head over all authority including evil ones…Romans, Chapter 13, Verse 1…



Every believer in Christ is to be in subjection to the civil authorities in power.

For there is no civil authority in power except ones that were put in power by God the Father…and those civil authorities which exist in power are established by God the Father.


As believers in Christ we report to the highest authority in the universe.  Why would we ever choose to listen to anyone else?



…and in union with Jesus Christ you believers in Christ were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands…in the removal of the body of the flesh…by the circumcision that comes from Christ (spiritual circumcision) …


This is not a reference to physical circumcision…the removal of flesh from around the head of the penis which is a Jewish ritual to this day.  This refers to spiritual circumcision.  In our bodies we have what the Bible calls "the flesh”…a nature predisposed to hate God, to hate you, and to hate everyone you love.  What God cuts away through spiritual circumcision is the old man…the old self…at the moment of salvation.  For believers in Christ, the old self is crucified at the Cross…it is rendered impotent…yet it is still in us and it is still loud.  It is no longer sovereign over us as it is with unbelievers…it has no power over us…and we don’t have to listen to it (even though sometimes we do).



…having been buried with Christ in baptism…in which baptism you believers in Christ were also raised up with Christ through faith in the working of God the Father…who raised Jesus Christ from the dead.


This is a reference to spiritual baptism…the baptism of the Spirit at the moment of salvation by which God the Holy Spirit enters believers in Christ into a permanent union with the Lord Jesus Christ.  Baptism means “identification with.” The baptism of the Spirit identifies every believer in Christ with EVERYTHING associated with Christ…His death…His burial…His resurrection from the dead… His ascension into heaven.  As believers in Christ, all of the things true for Christ are true for us as well.  The reality of these already given gifts is not apparent to us yet…but they will be…and we will spend the first one million years in eternity blown away by all the Lord has done for us.



When you believers in Christ were spiritually dead in your transgressions and the

uncircumcision of your flesh (from the moment of physical birth)…God the Father made you spiritually alive…in union with Christ (the spiritual birth)…having forgiven us all our transgressions…


We were in deep debt to God through sin, and there was no way for us to get out of debt on our own.  Imagine all your sins listed on a printout.  How many shelves in the Smithsonian Institute would be needed to house the record of all your sins?

What did the Lord do with the printout of your sins?  He nailed it to the Cross!  You are forgiven for ALL of your sins…past, present, and future!  The Lord’s work on the Cross…



…having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us… which decrees were hostile to us…and God the Father has taken the decrees of the Law out of the way…having nailed it to the Cross.


Your sins were evicted by the Lord Jesus Christ at the Cross!  That’s an eviction notice you are excited to see! 


Imagine being ten million dollars in debt.  There is no way, in your lifetime, that you could ever earn enough to pay it off.  A person hears about your problem and agrees to pay the debt for you.  That's what Christ did for you at the Cross by paying for all of your sins.  He did something you could never do.  Now imagine someone whose debt is paid saying, "No thanks!  I'll pay it myself."  That's unbelievers (and Midwesterners 😊).  There is no way an unbeliever could EVER pay the debt for his own sins…but he wants to do it anyway.


What did God the Father do through Christ at the Cross?



When God the Father had disarmed the rulers and authorities…He made a public display of them…having triumphed over them through Jesus Christ.


The Father defeated our enemies, first by disarming them…He stripped them of any weapons against us.  David when he faced Goliath said, “The battle is the Lord’s!” 


Then God the Father taunted them in an embarrassing public spectacle. 


When Roman generals would conquer a land, they would take the territory…seize all the weapons…take all the spoils (everything of value)…march the enemy leaders into Rome on foot…and then execute them publicly. 


Finally, like God the father, they would announce the victory by erecting an arch commemorating the victory, similar to the Arc de Triomphe in France.


So how did God the Father slaughter the “you gottas” proposed by false teachers?  He nailed them to the Cross.  He evicted them.  God does everything for us.  He saves us.  He guides us.  All we do is say yes to everything He proposes.



For the flesh sets its desire against God the Holy Spirit…and God the Holy Spirit is against the flesh…for these two are in opposition to one another…


Notice…God the Holy Spirit is the One who battles the flesh.  You are completely powerless against the flesh, that sinful nature inside of you!  So when the false teachers propose the “you gottas,” they are inviting you into a fruitless pursuit designed to frustrate you and to rob you of mental serenity.  Don't listen to them.  Your debt has been paid in full by the Lord Jesus Christ at the Cross.  Moses had it right!  At the Red Sea, with the Egyptian army quickly approaching to recapture the Jews whom they had released…with the Red Sea in front of them and the army behind them…in a completely hopeless situation, what did God do?  Exodus, Chapter 14, Verses 13 and 14…


EXODUS 14:13

Moses said to the people, “Do not fear!  Stand back and watch the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today…for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever.’


EXODUS 14:14

“The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.”


The Red Sea parted…the Jews crossed…the Egyptians followed them into the opening of the sea…and they were drowned.  The Lord always fights for us.  All we have to do is keep silent, resting in the completeness and the fullness God gifted to us.


What is at the heart of Christianity?  Christ, who nailed our burdens to the Cross!


Take a five-minute break.




Casting Crowns



What is at the Very Heart of Christianity?




When you’re giving, what’s important to God is your attitude.  Second Corinthians, Chapter 9, Verse 7…



Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart…not grudgingly or under compulsion…for God loves a cheerful giver.


Give voluntarily, thoughtfully, cheerfully, prayerfully, generously, and enthusiastically.  Make sure your attitude is an EXACT reflection of the Lord. 


Deacon Denny Goodall is on a well-deserved vacation for the next two weeks…so let me be the one to thank you for your generosity.  Like a college kid would say to his Mom, I say, “Send money!”  Thank you!




Instrumental Version



Let’s Remember How the Lord Restored the Harmony Between Us


Let’s enjoy the Lord’s Supper Celebration.  In the Lord’s Supper Celebration, we remember. 


On the night He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus Christ took bread and He gave it to His apostles…he took a cup of wine…and He shared it with His apostles…and what He said is revealed in First Corinthians, Chapter 11, Verse 26…



…as often as you eat this bread…representing My body…and as often as you drink this cup…representing My blood…as part of the Lord’s Supper Celebration…



…you proclaim as a reality and you announce the significance of My death…until I come again at the second coming.


The Lord wants us to remember Him, so we keep on celebrating the Lord’s Supper calling to mind all He did for us at the Cross.  Memories incite gratitude in our hearts, and gratitude is a weapon against God’s enemy…Satan…against his world system of evil thought…and against the flesh resident in us.


In Colossians, Chapter 1, Verses 13 and 14 the Lord wants us to remember that we are His possessions…



For God the Father rescued us believers in Christ from the domain of

darkness…and the Father transferred us believers to the kingdom of the Son the Father loves…the Lord…Jesus…



…the Christ…in whom we have REDEMPTION…the forgiveness of sins.





To release from slavery…to be freed by a ransom payment


We were in slavery to sin…we were under the power of Satan…we were victims of the law which held an indictment against us.  By sinning we were lawbreakers and our relationship with God the Father was ruined.


At the Cross, the Lord Jesus Christ changed everything.  His death on the Cross and the shedding of His blood not only redeemed us, it also RECONCILED us.


Every human being comes to the earth as spiritually dead sinners.  Because of the betrayal of Adam’s sin and because of the betrayal of our own personal sins there is an enmity…a condition of hostility…between God and us…from birth!


Since we were powerless to correct this situation, God the Father developed a solution for us.  It’s called RECONCILIATION.  God the Father sent His Son to die on a Cross to restore the peace between God the Father and all mankind.  That restoration is called RECONCILIATION.



The removal of an enmity…the restoration of harmony…the reinstatement of peace.


Because of the Person and the Work of the Lord Jesus Christ at the Cross, peace between mankind and God is restored.  Colossians, Chapter 2, Verses 13 and 14…



When you believers in Christ were spiritually dead in your transgressions and in the uncircumcision of your flesh…God the Father made you spiritually alive together with Christ…having forgiven us ALL our transgressions…



…and having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us… which was hostile to us…and God the Father has taken the debt out of the way… having nailed it to the Cross.


When we accept the Person and the Work of the Lord Jesus Christ for our own salvation, we are no longer sinners…we are saints…and the result is the restoration of peace between us and God…Romans, Chapter 5, Verse 1…



Therefore, having been legally justified on the principle of faith in the past, we believers in Christ now and forevermore keep on having peace with God the Father through our union with the Lord Jesus Christ…


Romans, Chapter 5, Verse 11…





And not only this…much more!  We believers in Christ also exult in union with God the Father through our union with the Lord Jesus…the Christ (the Jewish Messiah)…through whom we have now received the RECONCILIATION.


Colossians, Chapter 1, Verses 19 to 22…



For it was God the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness of Deity to dwell in the Christ (the Jewish Messiah) …



…and through the Christ to RECONCILE all things to Himself…having made peace through the blood of Jesus Christ’s Cross…to RECONCILE all things, I say…whether things on earth or things in heaven.



And although you were formerly alienated from the resurrection life and from God the Father…and although you were formerly hostile in mind toward God… engaged in evil deeds (your trespasses and sins)…



…yet Jesus Christ has now RECONCILED you to God the Father in His fleshly body through physical death on the Cross…in order to present you before God the Father…holy and blameless and beyond reproach—


We give thanks to God the Father…and to the Lord Jesus Christ…for their selfless work on our behalf…and we thank God the Holy Spirit for revealing the truth to us so that we can enjoy the memories of how much we are loved, how much we are forgiven, and how much grace is at our disposal every minute of every day.  It’s a pleasure to remember..



Enjoying the Elements


Bread and wine.  The Lord gave us these things to remember Him.  We will enjoy the elements together in a few moments as we listen to The Lord’s Supper Song.


Matthew, Chapter 26, Verses 26 to 28 tells us the reason the Lord wants us to celebrate this meal together…



While the apostles were eating, Jesus took some bread…and after a blessing, He broke the bread, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take…eat…this is My body which is being broken for you.”



And when Jesus had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it…all of you…”



“…for this is My blood…the blood of a new covenant…My blood…poured out for whosoever…for the forgiveness of their sins.”


We celebrate to remember.  Jesus Christ died as our sin substitute…Jesus Christ is risen from the dead to prove His Deity…Jesus Christ will come again to gather us unto Himself.  We celebrate, and we are grateful. 


Enjoy the elements as you listen to Nicole Mullen remind us that our reconciler and our redeemer lives.





Nicole Mullen



The Good News of Jesus Christ’s Salvation Offer to the Human Race


How do you get to heaven?



Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life


You are one of God’s creatures!  If you choose, you can be a child of God.  John, Chapter 1, Verse 12 says…


JOHN 1:12

But as many as received the invitation from Jesus to be saved…to them He gave the right to become children of God the Father…even to those who believe in Jesus’ name…


The problem is you may think the Lord is like our human parents…emotional, arbitrary, and sentimental.  Our parents tell us what to do…we do the opposite… and they let us off the hook.  Your Divine Parent, the Lord Jesus Christ, does not operate that way.  Matthew, Chapter 7, Verses 24 to 27…



“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.”



“And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.”



“Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.”



“The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”


God is inviting you to be saved.  He tells you EXACTLY what you must do to be saved.  God says there is ONE WAY to heaven in John, Chapter 14, Verse 6…


JOHN 14:6

Jesus said … “I am the way (to salvation)…and I am the truth (through the gospel message in the Word of God)…and I am the resurrection life…and no one comes to God the Father (in heaven) but through believing in Me.”


God has a plan for your salvation.  In Matthew, Chapter 7, Verse 21, the Lord says…





“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven... but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter into the kingdom of heaven.”


What IS the will of God the Father for your salvation?  It’s simple…Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31…


ACTS 16:31

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”


It takes about thirty seconds of your time to be saved.  You simply turn to the God who saves you and ask for salvation.  You can do it right this minute.  The apostle Paul describes the Lord Jesus Christ in First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verses 3 and 4…



For I (Paul) delivered to you as of primary importance the gospel message I also received from God… that it was Jesus Christ who died for our sins according to the Old Testament Scriptures…



…and that He was buried…and that He was raised from the dead on the third day…according to the Old Testament Scriptures…


If you ignore God’s offer of salvation, there are consequences…Revelation, Chapter 21, Verse 8…



But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars (all references to unbelievers in lifestyle not sins) … their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”


There’s spiritual death and there is the second death in the Lake of Fire…the eternal home of those who reject a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.


We encourage you to accept the invitation and heed the warning of John, Chapter 3, Verse 36…John, Chapter 3, Verse 36…


JOHN 3:36

“He who believes in the Son has the resurrection life right at that moment… but he who does not obey the command to believe in the Son will not see the resurrection life…instead the wrath of God (the Lake of Fire) abides on him.”


When you believe, you simply take God’s word for it concerning what it takes to be saved!  Do it right now and you’ll be saved for all time!




The Lord Jesus Christ’s wounds at the Cross have paid the ransom for our sins according to Phillips, Craig, and Dean…let’s enjoy them singing about the deep, intimate, and personal love God the Father has for all of us believers in their song HOW DEEP THE FATHER’S LOVE FOR US.




Phillips, Craig, and Dean



Let us pray...


Almighty God and Father…


Thank you for purchasing us from slavery to sin…thank you for repairing our relationship with You through reconciliation…thank you for making our enemies impotent against us…thank you for stripping them of their weapons against us…and thank you for making a public spectacle of them…


…as we go forth into the week, help us remember we have the victory through Christ…keep us from being discouraged by the world…remind us that in the future, all those who think they are triumphing over us will bow before you and admit with their tongues what believers in Christ have known all along…that Jesus Christ is God…the preeminent One…the Sovereign God of the Universe…


We ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s name...Amen.



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