Sunday Sermon: 5 Steps to Bondage

Sunday Sermon: 5 Steps to Bondage

I came up with an idea, since I am no longer preaching on a weekly basis, that I would provide a Sunday sermon for my readers… many of whom don't attend a church themselves. I miss the practice of preparing a message from the Bible. So I'm going to post a little more than a sermon outline every Sunday. That's my intention right now. It is free for anyone to use if they wish. It is a bit long so you can just read the 5 main points titles or read the whole thing. Today's message is from Colossians 2. Colossians is probably my favorite letter in the New Testament. The writer is concerned with the Colossians' slow decline from a grace-filled life to a religious life dominated by domineering men. As I studied chapter two in depth, I began to notice inherent in the text the Colossians' slow but certain deterioration into a complete religious and spiritual bondage to the authorities that had imposed themselves over them. I want to outline the five steps from freedom to bondage outlined in this text. Deception (2: 4): The writer talks about Christ in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. He then says, "I am saying this to you so that no one may deceive you with plausible arguments!" This is the problem with deception: it is deceiving. You don't know when it is happening because the arguments are plausible. In other words, they seem true and believable. This is always the first step to bondage. And it begins with and hinges on truth. Captivity (2:8): The author asserts that our lives should be established in Christ. He warns the Colossians to "See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe…" This is why pseudo-truth seems plausible: because it is universally accepted and codified in human traditions. This is where deception moves to captivity because it hooks our allegiances supported by our peers and nourished by our habitual way of doing things. Condemnation (2:16): Once we are deceived and captivated, then condemnation enters: "Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals…" If we accept pseudo-truth and are captivated by it, when we fail to live up to its lofty and even spiritual expectations, condemnation is the result. We have handed those who have deceived us and captivated us our permission to condemn us when we fail. Disqualification (2:18): "Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement…" When we fail and disappoint those in religious and spiritual authority over us and receive their condemnation, the next step is disqualification. We are no longer a part of the elite who succeed in their spiritual lives. We are disqualified because we simply cannot live up to the lofty expectations placed over us. Dictation (2:20): "why do you let yourselves be dictated to…?" When we are told and feel that we no longer qualify as spiritually capable or obedient or successful, then we are reduced to people who blindly obey those in authority over us. We are so afraid of spiritual failure that we will do anything we are told, right down to minutiae of "Why do you submit to regulations like 'Do not handle, Do not taste, do not touch?" (v.21). There you see the certain progression from freedom in Christ to complete spiritual bondage to those in authority over us. It begins with a departure from basic truth and ends in being told how to live our lives. Against this overwhelmingly popular progression the writer warns. Get fine art cartoon prints & original art. Get my t-shirts. Get my book. Please join my newsletter.

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