Guarded and Grateful

 1. Paul explains his CONCERN. Vs 1  “I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally.”           

A. Paul was committed to the welfare of the believers in Colossae. Even while in jail, Paul was not passive. He labored in prayer even for those who hadn’t met him.

2. Paul’s goal is for them to be COMFORTED. Vs 2-3 “My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”                                       

A. Paul wanted the church to enjoy the peace and comfort of God, being united together in love, experiencing the abundance of God and commitment to the Gospel.

3. Paul warns them to be CAUTIOUS. Vs 4  “I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.”                                                                                   

A. Truth and error can almost look the same, but one is a counterfeit. The attraction or lure often comes from a motive to be a better Christian.

4. Paul is delighted in their COMMITMENT. Vs 5  “For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.”                                 

A. Paul’s absence is only from his imprisonment in Rome. His thoughts and prayers are with them. He is thankful for their discipline and faithfulness to Jesus.

5. Paul wants them to remain CONSISTENT. Vs 6-7   “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”                                                

A. To receive Christ, is to know Christ, live for Him, and pursue Christ constantly after salvation. Abide in His strength and do not rely on yours. God does the strengthening as we are taught the word of God. Gratitude humbles us and keeps us in dependence upon Him who has redeemed us.

6. Paul warns them of being taken CAPTIVE. Vs 8  “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”                                                             

A. Beware not to be led astray as you will not only miss God's blessing, but also become captive to the slavery of sin and error.