Introduction to Chapter 2:

1. Paul continues in Chapter 2 with his thought from Chapter 1- that he is “struggling & laboring” to present everyone under his care “perfect in Christ,” Col. 1:28-2:1.

2. Chapter 2 will now address some of the doctrinal issues the Colosse church is facing- “legalism and lawlessness.”

Summary of Each Section in Chapter 2:

1. Col. 2:1-5 // When you correctly believe in Christ and are united in your love with all true disciples, you cannot be deceived by “fine-sounding arguments.” 

(a.) v. 1, Paul mentions his struggle for Colosse with Laodicea (who he had not met either), and sad but true Laodicea became a “luke-warm” church (Rev. 3:16).  Thus, his concerns were very valid.

TAKE AWAY #1 // Heed the warning of your leaders and honor their work among you.

(b.) vs. 2-3, Paul clarifies his purpose which is for all believers to be (i) encouraged and (ii) united in love so that they may know Christ better- the mystery of God.  Plus, he states that all the treasures of “wisdom” and “knowledge” are found in Jesus.

TAKE AWAY #2 // Be encouraged and united in your faith and love for Jesus.

(c.) v. 4, Paul boldly declares “why” he tells them to be encouraged and unified in their love for Jesus- so they cannot be deceived by fine-sounding arguments.

TAKE AWAY #3 // Listen to leadership’s instruction in sound doctrine and unity so you will not be deceived by fine-sounding arguments.

(d.) v. 5, Paul lets the disciples of Colosse know that though he is “absent in body” he is “present in spirit.”  This most likely refers either to (i) them having his words as Jesus said “His Words were spirit and life,” in John 6:63 or (ii) Since the Holy Spirit was in him and them- the Holy Spirit could make him aware of their faith and order.

TAKE AWAY #4 //  God can help leadership discern your life whether it’s in order and in faith or not.


2. Col. 2:6-15 // You’re flesh (sinful nature) has been cut away- you are new in Christ!

(a.) v. 6, Paul declares that a disciple must “continue” in the faith they had when they first believed- otherwise they can shipwreck it (1 Timothy 1:18-20).

TAKE AWAY #5 //  Continue in your faith in Christ.

(b.) v. 7, Paul states that the disciple is already “rooted,” “built up,” and “strengthened” in faith thus they are to be thankful.  This does not mean the disciple cannot grow in their salvation (1 Peter 2:2), however, the growth comes from the foundation.

Example:  Think of a car that is already built and you get in and ride it- your salvation is already built but now you must grow in it by living it.

TAKE AWAY #6 // Overflow with thankfulness because you are able to live for Jesus based on the foundation He has given you.

(c.) v. 8, Paul rebukes the first set of false doctrines the Colossians are dealing with- “Pagan Philosophy.”  The “human traditions & basic principles” probably refer to things like “myths and scientific theories.”

TAKE AWAY #7 //  Don’t fall for science and “make believe” that tries to turn you away from God.  Scientists like Francis Collins and great mythological authors like C.S. Lewis believed the Bible was far superior to both science and myth.

(d.) vs. 9-10, Paul declares that in Christ all the fullness of Deity (God) lives in bodily form.  Plus, the believer has the fullness of Christ living in them.  Notice Christ is “deity in bodily form,” however, the believer simply has “fullness in Christ.”

The difference is “nature.”  Jesus is God in flesh by nature.  However, saved man is still man in nature but given God’s presence.

TAKE AWAY #8 //  Believe Jesus is God and worship Him.  Also, believe that all of Jesus is in you- you can all things through Him (Phil. 4:13)!

(e.) vs. 11-15, Paul states that the believer is now circumcised from their “sinful nature” because of Jesus.  Through baptism the “old man is buried” and “raised a new man” in Christ.  Therefore, the believer no longer has a sinful nature, a written code against them, or a powerful enemy able to defeat them.  However, the believer is alive with Christ, forgiven of sins, and made victorious over the devil.

TAKE AWAY #9 //  Stop believing you are “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” one part evil and one part holy.  You are 100% new in Christ, your old sinful nature has been “cut away and circumcised.”


3. Col. 2:16-23 // No one can disqualify you from serving God with “man made laws,” so live free in the Spirit.

(a) vs. 16-17, Paul rebukes the second false set of doctrines- “Jewish Legalism.”  The Jewish converts were trying to retain their Mosaic Laws with Jesus’ teachings thus they were guilty of changing the “grace of God” into “bondage” (Galatians 5:4).

Paul declares like the author of Hebrews that everything in the Mosaic Law, Old Testament is fulfilled in Christ- New Testament (Hebrews 8:13).  Thus, Christians can eat and drink what they wish and live free from Jewish festivals and Sabbaths.

TAKE AWAY #10 //  Be free from Jewish legalism by following the New Testament!

(b) vs. 18-23, Paul rebukes the third set of false doctrines- “Christian Legalism.”  Some Christians in Paul’s time believed that if they fasted regularly, abstained from all pleasure- even good ones, and sought mystical experiences they were “more spiritual.”

However, Paul teaches that these kind of Christians lose connection with Christ (the Head), begin to worship angels (their experiences), and really have no power over their “sensual indulgences.”

TAKE AWAY #11 //  Don’t try to be more Christian than Christ- He came “eating and drinking,” Luke 7:34.  Also, don’t allow “false humility” to keep you from really being from your flesh.  Trust in Jesus and believe He set you free (John 8:36)!


1. Love Jesus!

2. Believe your sinful nature has been cut away- you are new in Christ!

3. Don’t be fooled by “Pagan Philosophy,” “Jewish Legalism,” or “Christian Legalism,” live free in Christ!

Sunday’s Sermon, “Live Free!”