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The Sufficiency Of Christ

"For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
Good Morning my beloved,
We would like to welcome all of our brothers and sisters in Christ from around the world.
We're glad you're here with us. Thank you for joining us.

Scripture is God’s Word to the world. It is God’s treasure chest. If we are to discover the truths in God’s treasure, we must first find Jesus. The most certain place to find Jesus is within the pages of the Bible. As we study the Word, we get to know Jesus, and we discover the hidden treasure of God. If we truly are to get to know Jesus, we must be immersed in His Word, and be led His Spirit.

God’s truths must be sought earnestly with all the attention of someone seeking hidden treasure. In Psalm 119:162, the psalmist said, "I rejoice at Your Word as one who finds great treasure."

The church today is full of deception. False teachers and false doctrine have infiltrated the Body of Christ. I'm sure that some of you probably think that there is no way that you could be deceived. You have enough biblical knowledge or at least enough common sense to recognize biblical untruths when you hear them. I would imagine that the followers of David Koresh and Jim Jones, likely thought the same thing. Jehovah's Witness society doesn't think that. The watchtower leadership sensed within the midst of Christendom were millions of professing Christians who were not well grounded in the truths once delivered to the saints, and who would easily be pried loose from the churches and led into a new and revitalized watchtower organization.

This is the same method Satan most often uses. In fact, Jesus called him the father of lies. The greatest lie, is a half truth!

The Apostle Paul made it clear in II Corinthians 4:2, that he was not among those who was seeking to gain converts through deceptive teaching.

Let us bow our heads in prayer.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for this Word for us today. Thank You for the Holy Spirit, Who brings clarity and understanding to the truth. Lord, we pray that You would bind Your truth to our hearts, that we would recognize the deceptive plans and tactics of the adversary. Give the boldness and courage to speak against those who are teaching heresy, and false doctrine. Cause to stand firm against those who would attack the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ and the sufficiency of Christ alone.
In Jesus' name we pray.

Today's Message: The Sufficiency Of Christ

There is widespread confusion with regard to those who present themselves as ministers of the gospel, purveyors of Christianity. The common deception is teaching something that appears to look good on the outside, its certainly filled with many great promises, yet it is empty on the inside. The misconception is that Christianity offers you whatever you want. Whatever it is that makes you happy. Christ is here to give you health, wealth and for the fulfillment of all of your dreams and desires. That is not only a misleading, confusing message and it is also a very unbiblical one. The message of Christianity is very simple; it is very pure; it is about having Christ, knowing and obeying Christ.

The potential for Christians, especially those who are new to the faith, to be fooled by all the heresy and lies being taught today, by the false teachers that are out there, is high. Beloved, we need to be aware of its danger and we must learn how to face it, head on.

Beloved, our greatest protection against such false doctrine comes from a full wisdom and knowledge of God's Word, of Christ, in whom we find truth.

In our text today, it contains a warning against the subtle mixing of Christian thought with the false philosophies of the world. Knowledge is not the answer to meaning in life. Jesus is. We do not think our way through to reality. We find truth and reality in Jesus Christ. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ is foundational for the true believers and the Christian life.

So, are you eager to discover the truth in God's Word? Then lets start digging into God’s eternal Word!
Open with me your Bibles to the second chapter in the book of Colossians. As we continue our study of this wonderful epistle we'll be looking at the first three verses. As Christians, we are the channel through which the presence and power of the indwelling Christ flows into the life of others and into the world. This happens in two ways: through our prayers and our presence. 
Before we begin, I want to make something plain, something very clear, Christ is sufficient! You can take all the philosophers the world has ever known, both in ancient and modern times, all of the scientists, psychologists and theologians, they add nothing to what is already in Christ.
That said, I would like to encourage you to follow along with me as I read Colossians 2:1-3, to set the text in our minds. Colossians 2:1-3.

"For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."

As we come to chapter 2, the Apostle Paul sees that church and those other two sister churches being attacked by false doctrine, false teachers. In verse 1, Paul elaborates the importance of intercessor prayer. "For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face"

The Greek word translated struggle here in verse 1 is "agôna," meaning a gathering, contest, struggle from which we get our English word "agony." It denotes strenuous activity, here indicating deep and earnest intercession. The spiritual powers that Paul wrestled to keep the work from defeat were real and resolved therefore he had to come against them with the power of prayer. He was strenuously exerting himself in prolonged, penetrating intercession and attentive receptive listening for God’s answer concerning what he should be praying.

Paul’s labor of love was not limited to those he personally knew; it extended to those who had not met him personally. He might be confined in a roman prison, but his love and prayers were not confide in a small, selfish, dark heart.

Colossians 2:1, provides us with the theme for the paragraph, which describes Paul’s hard work in ministry for the sake of the church. Paul’s hard work is the means by which he accomplishes two purposes, both of which are given in Colossians 2:2. The first purpose Paul’s hard work accomplishes is to encourage their hearts. This phrase is modified by a participle explaining the means through which this encouragement takes place: "having their hearts knit together in love." The preposition eis, in verse 2 introduces the second purpose of Paul’s hard work: that they may have "attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself." The pronoun in verse 3 modifies "Christ" in verse 2 and gives a description of Christ, that "in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."

In verse 2 we have the stated purpose of Paul’s intercession. He agonize in prayer that the church would be knit together in their love for Jesus Christ and each other. "that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the riches that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself,"

Though Paul could not be with them personally, he could still minister to them by prayer and by the written word. He prays that the Colossians will be "encouraged," that they will be "knit together or "sumbibasthentes," in the Greek, in love," that they will experience the "assurance of understanding." 

Beloved, who needs our intercession to these ends?

Love is what unifies the church, a love for Christ and a love for one another. Love is certainly what united this congregation in Colossae. It was what encouraged them to oppose those leading them astray. This unifying love for Christ gave them confidence and strength of conviction that yielded a fuller understanding of the truth. There is no full knowledge apart from commitment to Christ. Complete knowledge and understanding results from complete yielding. Christianity doesn’t need lies and half-truths in order to draw people in. The truth of sound doctrine speaks for itself, it is real, fresh, and it is what true believers are seeking.

It is because people do not recognize the danger that they are in that they feel no compulsion to be in church on a regular basis. They view church as something that is nice to do when there is nothing else more pressing or more pleasurable and enjoyable taking place in their lives.

Only Christians can live a life based on true understanding. Because as I Corinthians 2:14 teaches us "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised."  Because “those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh," Romans 8:5, they are "darkened in their understanding," Ephesians 4:18.

When the believer begins to live in light of spiritual truth, it becomes truly understood and leads to assurance of his or her faith. Here, the New Testament concludes, that knowing the truth and acting upon it, leads to full assurance of understanding.

My purpose as your pastor, as the shepherd of this flock, is to rightly instruct you in the Word of God and protect you from the dangers that are lurking out there. Let me ask you something. When a wolf is trying to devour one of the sheep, which one does he set his eyes on? The one that is in the middle of the pack close to the shepherd, or the one that is straggling behind and straying off by itself?

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says "Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up."

And in verse 12, "And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart."

Your fellow sheep and I cannot protect you if you are not walking with the group. There is strength in numbers.

The Apostle Paul felt that same compulsion for the people of Colossae, Laodicea and other Christians which he had never met. Though they were strangers to him, he felt such a strong attachment to them that he was willing to struggle for them. And according to chapter 1, verses 9 and following, he struggled in prayer for them. Other portions of scripture tell of his physical struggles to continue the spread of the Gospel – beatings, stoning, shipwrecks and imprisonments. Paul went through all of this for people that he did not even know, all because He knew that they needed the Savior. Paul had a love for Christ, and a love for the church to which he had been called. Paul's ministry to the church was one of suffering.

Many Christians have often expressed doubts about their salvation, even though they have attended church regularly. The primary issue is not a lack of knowledge, but a failure to apply the truths they know. Truth that finds solid footing in a strong heart and works itself out to fellow believers in love results in deep conviction. That is the basis for assurance.
A rich understanding is Christ centered. For Christ, is the mystery of God, who reveals God to man. Knowledge is not the answer to true meaning in life. Jesus Christ is. We do not think our way through to reality. We find truth and reality in Jesus Christ. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ is foundational for the Christian life. And true insight into God’s ways enables believers to know epignôsin, Christ fully.

Scripture teaches us that we find our completeness in Christ. If you possess Him, then you are completed, and fulfilled by being possessed by Him. Having Christ, you have everything you need. We are called upon to appropriate God’s fullness for ourselves by yielding ourselves to the indwelling Christ. The supreme reality of God is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ, in whom are all the treasures of existence both now and eternal.

It would be all too easy for us as individuals or as a church to get an isolationist attitude just as many want America. We’re going to look out for own needs and make sure that we are protected, why should be at all concerned about the rest of the world? Why should we as a church struggle to pay our bills when we could take the money that we give to missions and use it to make life easier for us? After all, we don’t know the missionaries and we certainly don’t know the people that they are working with. They’re strangers to us.

Now, allow me to bring that thought in a bit closer to home. Why should I give up time, energy and resources for the people in the church? Why should I struggle for them to learn how to share my faith? I don’t know them, and they’ve never really done anything for me. Here’s why, the answer is in Galatians 6:2, "Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ." We can face danger and we can help others to face the danger when we face it together.

The bottom line is give to us in verse 3, "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."

True treasure, eternal treasure, is found only in Christ. The English word "treasure" is translated from the Greek word "thēsauroi," from which we get our word thesaurus which refers to a treasury of words. In the original the word referred to a treasure chest or storehouse where a great treasure was kept.

Spiritual truth is often hidden. The treasure of the kingdom is unrecognized, unknown, and walked over by millions of people. People can be standing so close to it and not know it’s there. While those of us who truly follow Christ know how immeasurable value a relationship with Him is, those of the world have no clue. Unbelievers are caught up in other worldly pursuits, sadly, they are oblivious to the true treasure that could be theirs. Your heart is the focus of what you do and why you do it. It is your passion, your vision.

Matthew 6:21 says "for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

If you’re serious about spiritual matters, you must be willing to dig beneath the surface in order to discover treasure of the kingdom.

The way that false religions such as Catholicism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, and Islam, et cetera get a hold of Christians is that they claim to offer something that they are not finding in Christianity. The problem is not in Christianity, the problem is in the pulpit! It is in the false doctrine they're being taught. Paul is saying to all us, that in Christ, we have all that we will ever need and all that we could ever want.   

Only the blood of Jesus Christ can purge the conscience from dead works to serve the living God. While other religions may make many promises, only Jesus can offer you forgiveness of sin and release from the bondage of your past.

We have all heard the old saying "choose your battles." What this means is that you don't have the energy and strength to fight every potential battle. Decide who you really are, what you are really about, what is the most important to you and what will have the greatest consequences for your life, and then fight for that. Sometimes, you take a look at the church with all of its problems, and you begin to wonder if it really is worth fighting for.

There have been times when the enemy has come attacking me, saying "Is it really worth it, week after week, studying for hours on end, writing a message that no one really wants to hear? Can't you see that you're not making a difference!"

And God always responds through someone reaching out, sending a message, telling me how much they have learned about Christ, how much they've grown, or have come to Christ! If even one person has come to Christ, one more soul has been saved, every effort has been worth it.

I believe that many of us are yet to discover the "treasure" we have in Jesus Christ, all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And of that treasure is in Jesus.

Everyone desires wisdom to navigate life successfully must come to the realization that there is nothing more, nothing less, nothing else than Jesus. All treasures of wisdom are in Him.

It is critically important to understand Christ's deity. No person can become a Christian, without this true knowledge of Jesus Christ as the incarnate God. Yet so many Christians who affirm the deity of Christ continue to live as if He were not the One in whom all spiritual sufficiency resides.

Jesus is the One "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Christ alone is sufficient. Hidden is from "apokruphoi,: from which we get the English word apocrypha. It was commonly used by the false leaders to refer to the writings containing their "secret knowledge." It comes from the root word "apokruptó," meaning to conceal, or hide.
Beloved, there is no secret or hidden spiritual knowledge needed for salvation and sanctification outside of Christ. All of these treasures of wisdom and knowledge in Christ are hidden from all except maturing Christians.
Because Jesus Christ is sufficient, there is no need for the writings of any cult, philosophy, or psychology to supplement the Bible. He is the source of all true spiritual knowledge. That knowledge is also crucial to assurance because doubts about Christ's sufficiency bring doubts about His ability to do what He promised.
If you have Christ you already have all the wisdom and knowledge you will ever need to live life successfully.
May it be so...
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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