Colossians 2:18-23 / Dead to the World

Posted on July 12, 2015


This is the eleventh in a verse by verse exposition of the book of Colossians. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the evening of July 12, 2015. This message deals with true inward cleansing. This post contains an audio recording of the sermon, as well as my sermon notes (sermon notes are not necessarily a complete transcript).


Col. 2:18-23



Faithfulness brings rewards, but those rewards you’ve earned can quickly be lost.

  • Matthew 16:27
  • 2 John 1:8

Salvation may be irrevocable, but our rewards are not. When we follow a false teacher, and their ways, we will lose the rewards we have amassed.

This false humility is nothing but a show, an act. They put on a false front to make themselves look pious and holy. They may fool people, but God sees right through it.

  • Matthew 6:1-5

What this really is, is pride, which God hates.

  • Proverbs 6:16-17

They were also worshipping angels. This was the beginning of a heresy that would plague the colossian region for centuries, and it is still done today. Scripture clearly forbids this.

  • Exodus 20:3
  • Revelation 19:10

The worship of angels opens the door to all types of deception.

Like virtually all cults and false religions, the Colossian false teachers based their teaching on visions and revelations they had supposedly received.
When you begin to worship angels, you can bet that Satan and his demons will take full advantage of it. People will receive visions, but they won’t be from God. People will think they are communicating with their deceased loved ones, even though scripture prohibits that. (The rich man and Lazarus). Fortune tellers and psychics will receive supernatural messages and insight. They will believe its real, because they’ve seen it. After all, seeing is believing. In reality they are nothing more than pawns of satan. This is all the result of the fleshly mind being deceived, a mind that has not held fast to Christ (the Head). This is why we should set our minds on things above.

  • Colossians 3:2

We should never forget that it is in Christ that we have our being, our nourishment and our sustenance. Growth and increase are from God, and without Him we wither away and die.

The point is, we want to die with Christ, not apart from Christ. When we die with Christ, we die from the sinful ways of this world. If we die with the world, then we die apart from Christ, which means eternity in hell. Instead, we should die with Christ, and die to the world, so that we are no longer held captive by its sinful restraints.

Paul’s point was that if we had died with Christ, from the principles of the world, why then would you still live by those worldly principles? If you were a slave, and someone purchased you freedom, would you voluntarily stay as a servant for your old master? Of course not! You would never return to that life. 

This describes that state of a believer, who was once a slave to the world, until his freedom was purchased by the blood of Christ. Why then, do so many Christians remain in the world? Why do we remain captive to man made rules and regulations which cannot save, and have no eternal value?

None of our man-made rules and regulations will last, they simply provide a facade. They give that outward appearance of righteousness, without any internal cleansing.

  • 2 Timothy 3:5

Appearance without substance is meaningless. Lets strive for true, inward godliness.

Posted in: Sermons