Jesus Christ – Our Sufficiency (2)

Colossians 2:16-23






It seems as we get deeper into the teachings of the apostle Paul to the Church at Colossae that we find how relevant the teaching is for Christians and local churches in our day.

People can get hung up on “Days”, “Moons”, and “Sabbaths”, as though that were the thing to gain one’s favor with God. There can also be a problem with legalism among Christians of our day. There is a growing problem of the “Mysticism” within many of our modern churches which call themselves Christians, who put as great an emphasis; or greater; on their experience as upon the Scriptures. When will Christians learn that Jesus is enough? He is all we need. There is enough of Him to go around, and at the cross where He died the ground is level.

Then, there are those who want to “Do without” to appear holy. They will fast, and let everyone know they are doing so. They will speak lowly of themselves before other people, but yet are very full of themselves; priding themselves in their “Humility”. These have not come to the place of humbling themselves before the God of Heaven and earth. They have not met this personal, merciful, loving God. When one meets God you fall on your face before Him and you are humbled by His presence and glory.

In the church at Colossae, these who were “Holy” and above others, by their own behavior; were even worshipping angels. It was the apostle John who fell down on his face before an angel, and the angel demanded that John arise, “See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God” Rev. 22:9. They were or soon would be leading the church at Colossae, and Laodicea astray from the worship of God. Don’t you suppose that the reason Paul wrote to the Galations, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8-9) was partly for this reason.

JESUS IS SUFFICIENT OVER THOSE THINGS THAT WERE SHADOWS (vv. 16-17). Jesus – the One who casts the shadows. This ought to be particularly meaningful for the time of year we are in. Our annual celebration of the Nativity – the Birth of Jesus Christ – or Christmas as we have all become accustomed to calling it.

It is almost a sin in some people’s eyes if you do not send out cards. It is a sin to not buy anyone Christmas gifts. God forbid if you do not spend enough on . Whose Birthday are we celebrating?, and who gets gifts at their birthday? It is Jesus’s Birthday, and He is the one who should get the gifts. Right or wrong?

In my thinking Easter is the most meaningful, because He died and rose again, and that is how we readily remember Him. Of course, some will say, “Well He had to be born, before He could die for our sins”, and I would agree with that. Why was He born? He was born to die. Die for the sins of mankind.

I am not saying that there is anything wrong with remembering the birth of our Savior. We do need to remember, that, we do not really know what day He was born, but it is my belief that it would have been Spring or Summer, maybe closer to the day of “Passover”. My reason for believing that is that the shepherds were in the fields watching their sheep. It is not likely that they would have been out on a Winter’s evening. It makes little to no difference as long as we give Him the worship and glory in this day; that we should every other day.

Paul tells the people, “Be satisfied in Jesus – He is your sufficiency”, and “Do not let these others judge you”. The days, the feast, the moons Paul speaks of were shadows of Christ Jesus. We do not need shadows any longer. We have the very substance.

JESUS IS SUFFICIENT OVER THOSE WHO HAVE PUFFY MINDS (v. 18). “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind…” We can see by this verse that the Gnostics who were the mystics, the “Righteous”, and “Closest to God” were really not righteous at all, were teaching lies to lead Christians away from true doctrine; especially the doctrine of Christ as God in flesh.

These “Know-It-Alls” prided themselves in their “Humility”. They made little of themselves; may have said things like, “O I am nothing”, yet exhibited great pride over their humility. It is surely a good saying, “Humility is a funny thing, when you think you have it; you don’t”. I do not remember where I first heard that, but it is true. We are not to make little of ourselves. We are to make much of our God and Savior. Look what Jesus has done for us. Think of the cross. Think of His burial. Think of His resurrection. Think of Him as who He is – our Creator. Before Him we all pail in comparison. We have no need of tearing ourselves down, but we do have need of building Him up.

I have heard Christians, both preachers and others who are speaking publicly say, “I am nothing. I do not deserve to be here”. My thoughts when I here that is, ‘No! You don’t, and I don’t either, but get on to the One you are here to talk about. He is worthy”. For some reason we spend too much time belittling ourselves, and not enough time lifting Him up. Could it be that in our ‘False humility’ we are seeking the approval of others? That was the goal of the Gnostic – mystics, and such.

Jesus is our sufficiency over puffed up minds.

JESUS IS SUFFICIENT FOR THOSE WHO DESIRE TO GROW IN FAITH (v. 19). “And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God”. There is a right way to grow in faith of the Lord Jesus. It is not through mystic experiences, public self humiliation, or in ‘legalism’ which is basically the use of the law to gain salvation, or for the keeping of one’s salvation.

It is God’s calling that every Christian grow in faith, and knowledge of Him in the right way. John MacArthur writes, “We, like the Colossians, must not be intimidated by those who would make something other than knowing Christ through His Word a requirement for spiritual maturity. Christ is all sufficient, ‘seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence’ (2 Peter 1:3)”. From The MacArthur New Testament Commentary on Colossians pg. 122.

JESUS IS SUFFICIENT OVER THE LEGALISTS, THE MYSTICS, AND THE ASCETICS WHO PROJECT THEMSELVES AS BEING CLOSER TO GOD (vv. 20-23). “Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,  (Touch not; taste not; handle not;  Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?  Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh”. The life of the Christian is free from the ordinances, and manmade rules that so quickly bind, and enslave those who practice them.

By the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross, all the things that were shadows of Jesus became meaningless. Jesus was/is the real thing. He is the reality of the photograph. Anyone who would honor the ordinances, laws, days, and Sabbaths over the fulfillment is floating in the wrong boat, without motor or paddle, headed over a waterfall to destruction. Those who are trusting their own experience over the truth of God’s Word is deceived, deceptive, and living toward destruction. Those who are dependent upon their own “Humility”, their asceticism, are beating themselves to death for no reason.

Jesus is sufficient – He fulfilled the Law. Jesus is sufficient – the Word of God tells us about Him, “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10b). How can there be any more? Jesus is sufficient – There is no need of false piety, false humility, and depriving one’s self to gain the honor of men. Jesus is the One who deserves all the honor, glory and praise.

Just as the Gnostics tried to lord over the churches by trying to appear more ‘spiritual’ so there are those in churches today who say they have ‘spiritual’ experiences which draw many people’s attention. Who is getting the attention? He or she is usually oooohed and aaaaahed and counted as being really spiritual. Who is getting the glory?

JESUS CHRIST IS OUR SUFFICIENCY. In Him we must glory. We must count our life’s gain but loss. We count Christ everything. Quoting the nineteenth century Scottish preacher Alexander McClaren, John MacArthur writes, “Any asceticism is a great deal more to men’s taste than abandoning self. They will rather stick hooks in their backs and do the ‘swinging poojah’ than give up their sins and yield up their wills. There is only one thing that will put the collar on the neck of the animal within us and that is the power of the indwelling Christ. Ascetic religion is godless, for its practitioners essentially worship themselves. As such, we are not to be intimidated by it.” IBID.

These things, are perversions of the truth. They replace Christ with self. JESUS CHRIST – OUR SUFFICIENCY.

Jesus Christ – Our Sufficiency

Colossians 2:10-15



The whole of the book of Colossians is about the first place, the preeminence of Jesus Christ. One of the greatest things about being a Christian is “Being in Christ” and He being in us. When we are in Him we have His assurance that He is Lord of all; and that does not mean only of ourselves, but of those who want to exalt themselves over Him. Those who hate Jesus and you and myself.

If there is one thing that Christians of our day need to see clearer than anything else is that Christ is SUFFICIENT to meet our every need. He is our every need.

HE IS SUFFICIENT – THE ONE WHO IS SUPREME OVER ALL (v. 10). In Jesus we are “filled full of God”. When we are walking in Jesus our Savior there is no more of Him that can be in us, than, who is in us. Even when we are not walking in Him; He is still filling us full of Himself; it is due to our sin that He is not being seen, and that we are not being victorious in Him.

Jesus is the Supreme One. He rules over all. Even when the rulers – kings, presidents, prime ministers, dictators, etc. – do not yield to God He is still supreme, and His will is carried through. God is not surprised by our decisions against Him, for Him, nor is He surprised by our indecisions.

In order for us – the Christian – to have Jesus seen in our lives and for you and I to have victory also, we must endeavor to walk in Him. We do that by maintaining our daily devotions, Bible reading, Prayer, and Planning to live for Him in love.

Jesus is sufficient to give us the power, grace, mercy and strength to live for Him. We were not saved in our own strength. We cannot maintain our faith, keep our faith or grow our faith in our strength. It is by His. In Him alone we must trust and obey.

HE IS SUFFICIENT IN THE PUTTING AWAY OF THE FLESH (vv. 11-12). In the Hebrew’s culture circumcision was a sign of one’s commitment to God. It showed in symbol the cutting away of sin from the life. It of itself, was a bloody act, and we know that because Moses’s wife Zipporah told him, “Surely a bloody husband you are to me”. Moses had been forty years in the wilderness taking care of his father-in-laws herds and flocks, and evidently had forgotten about the circumcision part of his commitment. On the way to Egypt, while they stopped at an “Inn” to spend the night; God “Sought to kill” Moses, and somehow it occurred to Zipporah to circumcise their son. Thus was God’s anger toward Moses stayed.

Sin is a serious matter. We all sometimes make silly little jokes concerning sinful matters, but sin is a serious matter. With God there is no joking about sin. It must be cut away and it must be put away. Christ’s death was the cutting away of sin, His burial was the putting away of sin, and His resurrection is the cancellation of all sin’s power. In Leviticus 16 there is a picture of the putting away, or carrying away of sin. There were two goats brought to the door of the tabernacle. Aaron would ‘cast lots’ to determine which goat would be for the sacrifice to the LORD, and which would be the scapegoat. These goats represent the cutting away of sin, and the putting away of sin. The one offered as a sacrifice was the cutting away of sin, and the scapegoat was the putting away of sin. They both represent the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, and His burial. The picture of these goats as representative of the work of Christ shows Him as a sin bearer – sin that was not His, but ours.

The ‘scapegoat’ was led into the wilderness, after the sins were pictorially placed on the goat, and some tell us was cast over the edge of a cliff, or something like that, and that goat was never seen again. Thus, once again there is the picture of sins being put away. How far has our sin been put away from us? “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us” Ps. 103:12 (KJV). How deep are our sins buried to never surface again? “He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea” Micah 7:19 (KJV). In the burial of Jesus our sins were carried away and Jesus arose bodily from the grave. We are buried with Him in His burial, and risen with Him in His resurrection. It is certain. It is sure. By the resurrection of Jesus He showed the conquering of sin’s power which is death.

HE IS SUFFICIENT IN FORGIVENESS, RESURRECTION LIFE, PUTTING AWAY THE ORDINANCES OF MEN, TRIUMPHING OVER THEM OPENLY (vv. 13-15). Having been dead in ‘trespasses and sin’ we have been made alive in Jesus Christ, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” Eph. 2:4-6. The word ‘quickened’ means to “make alive”.

Verse 13 tells us three things which happen upon one’s conversion through Christ Jesus; having been dead – 1) We are made alive; 2) We are with Him; and 3) We have been forgiven ‘all trespasses’. Because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross, all our sins are washed away; never to be held against us. That is, considering that the sinner has sought repentance, and has received forgiveness and cleansing in the first place.

In verse 14 Paul writes of ‘blotting out the handwriting of ordinances…’, and that they ‘was against us’. These laws did condemn us. Verse 17 reveals to us that these things were or ‘are’ ‘a shadow of things to come’. All the written laws, the sacrificial laws, ceremonial laws were pictures, shadows, types of the coming of the Lord Jesus. He fulfilled all of these, by His death on the cross. By His death on the cross these ordinances are forever powerless to cause guilt, fear, or condemnation. The work these portrayed has been done. It is finished. They were nailed to the cross with Jesus.

In verse 15 it speaks of spoiling the ‘principalities and powers’ and that ‘He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.’. The Scribes, the Pharisees, and the Sadducees all used the law to try and condemn Jesus. By the abuse of their laws they did condemn Him to death, but He arose victorious over death, doing so openly, and being also victorious over the powers that be.

Philosophy or Christ

Colossians 2:1-9

Philosophy is defined in The Mirriam/Webster Dictionary [Pocket edit] as, “A critical study of fundamental beliefs and the grounds for them”. Here is the definition from the old Webster Dictionary, “PHILOS’OPHY, n. [L. philosophia; Gr. love, to love, and wisdom.]

1. Literally, the love of wisdom. But in modern acceptation, philosophy is a general term denoting an explanation of the reasons of things; or an investigation of the causes of all phenomena both of mind and of matter. When applied to any particular department of knowledge, it denotes the collection of general laws or principles under which all the subordinate phenomena or facts relating to that subject, are comprehended. Thus, that branch of philosophy which treats of God, &c. is called theology; that which treats of nature, is called physics or natural philosophy; that which treats of man is called logic and ethics, or moral philosophy; that which treats of the mind is called intellectual or mental philosophy, or metaphysics. The objects of philosophy are to ascertain facts or truth, and the causes of things or their phenomena; to enlarge our views of God and his works, and to render our knowledge of both practically useful and subservient to human happiness. True religion and true philosophy must ultimately arrive at the same principle.” To put the meaning into a shorter definition, mine, it would be the study of ideas concerning God, morality, man, and nature.

While taking a class on Philosophy at Boyce Bible School in Louisville, Kentucky in 1977 I quickly learned that not all people, and supposedly christian professors, believed the Bible. The teacher I had relegated the teaching of Genesis to allegorical hodge podge. There was no seven day creation, there was no Adam and Eve, they were only allegorical; having only a ‘spiritual’ meaning. That was back in the days when liberalism was running the Southern Baptist seminaries. It is not philosophy that declares these things to be true. It is God’s Word that declares an actual Adam, and a living Eve – made from the rib of Adam – walked with God in the garden of Eden. The philosophies of men will almost always deny the truths of God’s Word, or relegate them to allegorical meaning. The use of allegory itself can be good and helpful in understanding a thought or idea. Jesus used allegory in His teaching, such as, “A sower went forth to sow” (Matthew 13:3). As a matter of fact He used many of them.

The apostle Paul “Struggled” much with what was going on in the Colossians church and the church at Laodicea. The word used here is the word “agony”; “agōn


From G71; properly a place of assembly (as if led), that is, (by implication) a contest (held there); figuratively an effort or anxiety: – conflict, contention, fight, race.”



STRUGGLING OVER THE ISSUES FACING THE CHURCHES (vv. 1-3) Paul agonizes in prayer. We have looked at the prayer pretty extensively in verses 9 – 14. He is concerned for them. These Gnostic “Know-It-Alls” coming in denying the only Lord and Savior.

Some would argue that statement, “Denying the only Lord and Savior”, but by declaring the heresies they declare, such as; God and flesh cannot dwell together; that God created a little god, who created a littler god; who, thus created an even littler god; and created an even littler teeny god, who created all that we see. This final one being the Jesus who created and sustains all things; is out and out heresy, and it is not the Jesus Paul preaches, nor the One Whom I know.

To his letter to the Galation church Paul warned of “another gospel”, which would be ‘another Jesus’ (Gal. 1:6-10). The Jesus I know and the One whom Paul writes of is truly the divine Son of God. He has been with the Father always. Is just as much God as is the Father, and He became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14).

Is it important that we declare the Jesus of Paul and warn about the teachings of some who deny the Lord Christ Jesus by saying He was and is not the incarnate God? If people are to know the one true God who is the sovereign Lord of all creation, who rules in the hearts of men, who sustains all things by the word of His power, who died for our sins, was buried and rose again, and is returning for His Bride; then YES! That is the Jesus we must preach. The people of the world will not perish as in some future fire, they are currently perishing, and will continue to perish in that future fire, unless they come to this glorious Savior.

Words of comfort are extended to the church. Their hearts knit together in love for Christ Jesus and for one another. Dr. J. Vernon McGee writes,

“Unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding.’ ‘Full assurance is an interesting expression; it literally means ‘to be under full sail.’ It means that believers should be moving along spiritually – they should be moving along for God.”
FROM pg. 150 of THRU THE BIBLE COMMENTARY SERIES The Epistles Philippians and Colossians.

As far as the mystery spoken of here it would make perfect sense to say that Jesus Christ is the Revelation of this ‘Mystery’. In Christ are the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and the Church is the Body of Christ where that wisdom and knowledge abides.

ENCOURAGING WORDS AGAINST ENTICING WORDS OF MEN (vv. 4-5). Would to God that all that professes to be the church would be holding steadfastly to the doctrine of Jesus Christ.

Sadly, there are many people who are in religious cults and even within legitimate religious organizations and like churches who believe they have an inside connection with God and all things spiritual. The thing that makes them in error is that they believe their experience with “God” overrules what Scripture says. Every believer in Jesus Christ has an “inside connection” with God. It is called faith in Jesus Christ, prayer, the reading and study of God’s Word the Bible. Anyone who declares themselves to have a better or stronger connection to God apart from the written Word of God should be placed on your “BEWARE” list. Such as anyone who says they have been to Heaven, and what they say is more than the Bible says, and not what the Bible says, thus placing more authority on their “vision” or “dream” than upon God’s Word.

These are the “Philosophies of men” and should be open to scrutiny from every child of God. This letter from Paul says to the Christians at Colossae, and to the Christians of Laodicea that they have a great “stedfastness of … faith in Christ”. There is no hope in mysticism and that is what those special “Connections” with God really are. All Christians have a special connection with God. You can talk to Him. You have power with Him when you pray. You can know His will for your life by reading and studying His Word; you cannot leave all the study and reading up to the pastor, or to just one day a week, or month, or year. Get in the Word. Get in prayer. Get in the Spirit of God through Jesus Christ.

Have you noticed how gullible some professing Christians are to such stories as, “I Saw Heaven”, or “I Was In Hell”, or “How I Journeyed To Israel Without Leaving Home” – as far as I know these are all made up titles [Mine]. If I wrote anything on these telling you these had happened to me I could probably entice many people, but it would not be true.

Paul could not be with the people to whom he is writing, but he was with them in spirit, and he was serious about that. The testimony of Epaphras was what Paul was speaking from. He was encouraged by what he heard of them.

WALKING, ROOTED, BUILT UP, AND STABLISHED WITH THANKSGIVING (vv.6-7). Walking is an average exercise. It is not real strenuous, nor real tiring. The average, fairly healthy individual can walk all day long, with occasional rest stops, of course. If you doubt that just go to a mall and watch the people walking around; as a matter of fact; just look at yourself. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him” (v. 6).

You can walk longer than you can run. Do you not imagine that is why the picture of walking is used in Scripture of a life that continues with the Lord. It is said of Enoch that he “Walked with God”. It is also said of Noah. As far as I have been able to see no other character of the Bible has that said of them. However, it is mentioned many times in the New Testament, and in this present verse, “Walk ye in Him”. We are told to be “Filled with the Spirit”. These are all speaking of the same thought. If you are walking with God you are filled with the Spirit. If you are filled with the Spirit you are walking with God. If you are filled with the Spirit and walking with God you are walking in Christ Jesus. “Walking” has for it the matter of endurance. Walk in Christ. Walk with God. Be filled with the Spirit. One more, Walk in the Spirit. It does not involve mysticism.

“Rooted” has to do with stability. When something is rooted it is planted to stay. When we are “In Christ” it is to stay. We must root ourselves in the practice of daily Bible reading and study, prayer, and all the things Christians ought to do. As the Psalmist says in the first Psalm, “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Ps. 1:3). This tree the Psalmist speaks of is rooted in good soil, next to a good water supply. The foundation of a building is its ‘root’, firmly planted.

For the Church; Jesus Christ is the Chief Cornerstone which sets the size and shape of the building. The foundation is then the apostles and prophets, “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Eph. 2:20). The Church and the individual Christian is built up by walking with Jesus, and is in the process of being built up. Jesus alone determines the numbers and direction of the Church. There will be one final “living stone” placed to complete it. SEE 1 PETER 2:4-6.

To be “Stablished in the faith” you are rooted and built up accomplishing the Lord’s purposes for your life and walk with Him. It is a life of “super abundance” ie., abundance of the Lord’s presence, power, glory, with wisdom and knowledge, and especially a life of thanksgiving. Be thankful for the many abundant blessings of our God and Savior.

BEWARE OF BEING LED AWAY FROM BIBLICAL TEACHINGS AND FROM CHRIST (v. 8). The “Philosophy” spoken of here is “Reasoning that is sound in appearance only”. It may sound good, but is really full of holes. The reasoning of the Gnostics may have made sense, but it does not fit with the teachings of God, godliness, and truth of God’s Word.

Philosophy itself is to find the answers to questions we as the human being asks. Questions such as, “Who am I?”, “Where did I come from?”, “Why am I here?”, “Where am I going?”, and “How do I get there?”. Those questions are answered through thinking and philosophy gives an answer. It is actually an attempt to answer. Mankind offers many philosophies. Probably as many as there are people.

There is, however, only one correct answer, and God gives us the answer. The philosophy of the evolutionist to the first question above, is “You are the product of chance. You are nothing more than an animal with a little intellect.” God’s answer to that question is, “You are the special creation of God’s created order, made in My image and likeness”. Which of those answers fit with the Word of God? Of course, the latter of the two.

The way we are to guard our lives, our hearts, our minds is what was said in the previous point; “Walk in Christ” – study His Word, hide it in your heart, live by it; pray fervently, diligently; be a vibrant witness for Christ. Live, as you grow in Christ, live like Jesus.

JESUS IS ALL WE NEED (v. 9). In Christ Jesus is “Housed permanently” the fullness of God. There is a absolutely nothing lacking. Because there is nothing lacking in the person of Jesus of the Godhead He is all we need.

The philosophies of men may deny it. They can teach and preach against it. The false science of the day may even have “evidence” against it, but the Word of the Lord is the test. The Word of the Lord says to us clearly and without exception Jesus is “The fullness of the Godhead bodily”. When you trust Jesus you trust the Father. When you call on Jesus you are calling on the Father. When you pray in Jesus’s name you are calling on the Father’s will to be done. When we walk, live in the Spirit we are walking in Jesus.

Jesus is all I need. Jesus is all you need. Jesus is all this world needs. The “traditions” and “rudiments” of men are not trustworthy and certainly cannot show one the way of eternal life. Only Jesus can. PHILOSOPHY OR CHRIST. That is really your choice. Jesus Christ is FIRST PLACE

Christmas Day Eighty and One

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want for things, possessions, and personal desires to always take a back seat; or to be completely unloaded; so that God, His Son Jesus, and others in my life, and those I have not met yet as well; might be my treasure.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, ‘That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:23-24 (KJV)

“With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26