The Christian’s Completeness In Christ

Sermon Notes of Reverend Harvey Alford Matney
(1868 – 1951)
January 21, 1912 – Chapel Hill, Texas

Introduction

From the very beginning Satan has attempted to draw people away from God. He made religion, perversions of true worship since he cannot create, to divide people from each other and their Creator. When the Church was established, he pushed division and theological disputes to split the Believers into denominations. Even within denominations, he sows strife, envy and jealousy to split churches further. And sadly, even at the local church level, he can take the most meaningless issue, offense, or tradition created by men, and use that as a wedge to destroy the church and the message of Christ.

Paul was addressing this in his letter to the church at Colossae. You have to read the entire 2nd chapter to really appreciate all that was happening. And while all the specific difficulties are not listed, you can read between the lines. Satan was sowing seeds of division. Men were teaching traditions instead of Jesus. I like how the Amplified Bible translates it – “following human tradition (men’s ideas of the material rather than spiritual world)” Col 2:8.

In the second half of Colossians 2, Paul reiterates the victory Jesus had already won. There was nothing that they could do that would improve or enhance what Jesus accomplished. What they drank or what they handled, religious rules, were simply symbolic and had no real value. Their relationship with Jesus (the Word), is what really matters.

In this sermon, my Grandfather discusses the supremacy of the real Jesus. — Harrison Woodard

Colossians 2:8-10 AMP
(I recommend reading all of Colossians 2 in 5 popular translations)

See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human tradition (men’s ideas of the material rather than the spiritual world), just crude notions following the rudimentary and elemental teachings of the universe and disregarding [the teachings of] Christ (the Messiah).

For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature].

And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power].

The Christian’s Completeness In Christ

A False Philosophy Of Religion

Not according to Christ was the fatal sentence the apostle pronounces upon the system of doctrine that was finding entrance at Colossae.

However plausible the argument, or lofty its intellectual pretensions, or however skillfully it may avail itself of the venerable rites of ancient faith, or adjust itself to the tendencies of the day, the religious system that sets him aside, or lowers his standard, no difference how apparent its sanctity is a “vain deceit.” For he “is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Their teachers taught the traditions of men. By leaving Christ out they must ultimately fall back to the rudiments (beggarly elements) of the world. (How poor is he who depends on these things.)

The effort of these teachers was to “draw away the disciples after them.” Get the crowd. Men have done that more recently than the time mentioned here and received much praise from men. What will the master say to them?

The Complete Christ Is Our Completeness

For the Christian, everything depends on what he thinks of Christ and makes him to be. Christ’s glory is his security. Our salvation is not a work of Christ, a something wrought out for us, and externally conferred upon us. It is Christ in us.

In robbing Christ of his glory, such teaching robs you of your salvation. By so much as his position is lowered, his fulness to you is diminished, and your spiritual life is imperiled and impaired.

In him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead. All the perfections necessary to being God are in him. He does not rank with the angels, or the various orders of created intelligences in reflecting the scattered broken rays of the glory of God.

He is the complete manifestation of divinity and divine glory. This fullness dwells bodily in him. He is no projection of divinity, abnormally developed on one side and presenting one phase of the supreme God, but the well rounded presentation of all the fullness of the Godhead embodied.

Men talk of the historic Christ. The world will never know God by the history of him. There is enough of his presence, and present actions, to require all of men’s perceptive powers.

Our acquaintance with him must be personal. He will not cease to be the manifestation of God any more than he will cease to be man’s redeemer.

He is still the good shepherd, the Lamb slain, the first born from the dead and the resurrection of life.

 

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