In last week’s lesson we took a look at the spiritual warfare that Satan attempts to wage against God. The devil wages war against God by trying to get us to fall into sin. The first thing that the devil will attack is what you believe and have accepted to be true. So, for all of us that believe in Christ, the only begotten Son of God, the devil will attack that belief. In our lesson this week, Paul speaks of the supremacy of Christ – the head of the church -to affirm and assure our faith.
Our lesson this week comes from Paul’s letter to the Colossian church. We will notice in this letter that Paul wasn’t focused on the body and its members as he was with the church of Ephesus.
Christ is the Head of the Church
In Matthew 7:24-28, Jesus taught about being attentive to His word. We have to remember that when Satan tempted Jesus, Jesus told the devil that man should live by the word of God (Matt. 4:4). As the devil tempted Christ, he will tempt us.
This is why Jesus taught that whoever was attentive to His word would be like one that built his house on a rock (Matt. 7:24). Those that aren’t attentive to His word are like someone that built their house on a loose foundation (Matt. 7:26). The devil can’t destroy anything built on the foundation of Christ!
A few weeks ago, I did a study about one choosing not to listen to God. When one chooses not to listen to the word of God, they put themselves on a pathway towards destruction. In order to get off that path, one must turn to Christ to strengthen their foundation.
Our lesson opens with Paul stating, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation (v.15).” Paul is speaking about Christ. This talking point is a major stumbling block for many people. In 1 John 4:3, John wrote that every spirit that does not confess that Christ came in the flesh is not of God. They are of the spirit of the Antichrist.
Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. Who are we to say that cannot be true? The religious leaders of His day tried telling Jesus that He was not the Son of God. Jesus said to them, “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true (John 5:31-32).
Jesus made those statements as He would go on to share His fourfold witness of who He is. Jesus said that His witnesses were John the Baptist, His works, the Father, and the Scriptures (John 5:33-40). The religious leaders still refused to accept Christ. This did not stop Jesus from proclaiming that He and the Father are one (John 10:30)
As John wrote in John 1:1, 14, the Word was with God in the beginning because the Word was God. Then, the Word became flesh and dwelt among His creation but His creation did not accept Him. Christ died and He rose with all authority given to Him in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18).
Paul is teaching that Christ is sovereign over all things seen and unseen, known and unknown (vss.16-17). So, Jesus is not only the head of the church but He is the head over all things (v.18). One must either accept His witness or reject His witness. No matter how much the devil tries to poke holes into that foundation, it still has not cracked.
The Work of Christ
So, if attacking the person of Christ fails, the devil will turn his attention to the works of Christ. How often have you heard Jesus’ word spoken against? How often have you heard someone speak against the miracles of Jesus? How often have you heard someone speak against His death and resurrection? As often as you have heard those things, you have heard the devil trying to influence you.
Jesus brings harmony
We will see that Paul worked to assure believers of the truth of the works of Christ. We will see Paul wrote about how it pleased the Father to have all things reconciled to Him through the Son (vss.19-20). All things were reconciled through the death and resurrection of Christ.
Reconcile: to restore to friendship or harmony. God created mankind to dwell with mankind in harmony. All harmony was lost with God when mankind chose to listen to the voice of Satan. So, as Paul said to the Colossian church, we were once alienated and enemies to God (v.21).
Satan will often attack you by trying to make it seem like there is no harmony between you and God. Let us remember that when the devil tried Job, he did it with the intent of trying to make Job believe God did not love him.
God’s love towards us
There are many people in the world today that believe that God does not love them. Anyone who believes that God does not love them has been listening to the lies of the devil. Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3:16 that God loved the world and gave the world His only begotten Son.
You often hear me express how deep such love is when one gives you their all. Imagine for a moment giving up your only child for the rest of the world. Could you do that? Could you give up your only child for an disobedient and ungrateful world? The Father did that but what He gave is greatly underappreciated.
Many are under the belief that God doesn’t love them because their struggles are many. Most of us are hung up on the physical while God is more concerned about the soul. When the mind is more focused on the world, it will be unable to recognize God’s love in action. This is exactly what we see Paul speaking of to the Colossian church (vss.22-23).
God’s desire is for you to become holy and righteous, not for you to be a billionaire! The thoughts of being millionaires and billionaires are the desires of worldly thinking. These are the desires that our great adversary love to prey on. The devil will offer riches of the world but how many has he actually delivered those riches to?
Stop being deceived by Satan!
All Things Are Possible Through Christ
These thoughts take us back to a place that we covered at the very beginning of this quarter. To the Philippians, you should remember that Paul said, “To live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21). Paul counted all his gains in the world lost for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ (Phil. 3:8).
To the Colossian church, Paul wrote that he rejoiced in his sufferings and afflictions of Christ (v.24). As was the case in his letter to the Philippians and Ephesians, Paul wrote this letter from prison (Col. 4:3, 18).
As I said in earlier lessons this quarter, the devil will try to use your situation against you. This is an attack from Satan to persuade you to believe that God doesn’t love you. Trust me, when my kidneys first failed me years ago, I questioned and wondered why?
After five years of dialysis, I grew even stronger in my faith. Now, in my third year of having a transplant, I’m stronger than ever in my faith. My motivation is at an all time high as I truly do believe that all things are possible through Christ. The devil will try to use what you are going through against you. However, God’s grace is sufficient in our weaknesses (2 Cor. 12:9).
Paul was in a situation that would have angered and frustrated many that profess to be of faith. Yet, we see Paul spoke of the great joy he had in being a steward of God and being able to reveal hidden truths (vss.25-26). Paul rejoiced in being able to share the riches of the glory and to give hope to all (v.27).
Christ, salvation, is our hope. The devil will try to attack the hope of salvation (deliverance) unto righteousness. Yet, if His word abides in you, and you live by His word, you will always overcome Satan. Jesus said that He shared the divine truth with us so that we may have peace and be of good cheer in the world (John 16:33). Our hope rests on the fact that we will overcome the world just as Christ overcame the world as well.
So, don’t ever let the devil try to persuade you otherwise. Don’t let the devil try to take away your hope. I encourage you to remain steadfast in your faith in Christ. Your faith is built on a rock and there is no storm in life that can destroy anything built on that foundation.