The Problems to Overcome

Colossians 2.6-17; 3.1-5

1. Introduction (2.6-9)

Remember Who Jesus Is (9)
Understand What Paul Means by “philosophy” and “empty deceit” (6-8)

The devil always sends errors into the world in pairs–pairs of opposites…He relies on your extra dislike of one to draw you gradually into the opposite one. But do not let us be fooled. We have to keep our eyes on the goal and go straight through between both errors. We have no other concern than that with either of them.
— C.S. Lewis

2. Beware Your Inner Pharisee (2.10-23) (Your Conscience Runs Amok)

Signs of Legalism:

  • Somehow simple faith just doesn’t cut it for you (2.10-13)
  • You have to have your rules and you don’t like them to be changed (2.14)
  • You fear the demonic realm because your conscience isn’t really free (2.15)
  • You are vulnerable to other people’s inappropriate expectations (2.16)
  • You don’t start with Jesus, you start with shadowy attempts to appease him (2.17)
  • You put too much faith in human theories (2.18-23)

3. Check Yourself into a Rehab Center (3.1-7) (Your Desires Run Amok)

Signs of Addiction:

  • You keep looking to earthly pleasures to satisfy your deepest longings (3.1-4)
  • Your sexuality is out of control (3.5a)
  • You refuse to admit that your desires are contrary to God’s design (3.5b)
  • You always need more (3.5c)

4. Note the Warning Signs of These Two Extremes (3.8-9)

  • You have unresolved anger
  • You have powerful negative emotions (People walk on eggshells around you)
  • You carry resentment
  • You are verbally toxic, or even abusive
  • You have a foul mouth 
  • You lie

 5. Application (3.10-11)

. . .put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge
after the image of its creator.  Here there is not Greek and
Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian,
slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.