Big Apple Chapel is a New Testament based church in New York City, modeled after the pattern of the early church, with a strong emphasis on following Christ as a community of His disciples.

  • Sunday - 10:30 am
  • 520 8th Ave, 16th floor
    New York, NY
  • phone: +1 (973) 837-1041


BAC Sermons

The Truth about Traditions

2005-08-28 Colossians 2

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I. Bad Traditions de-emphasize obedience to the Word of God, Good Traditions promote transforming obedience

Bad Mt 15:3  He answered and said to them, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?

Mr 7:8 laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men… 9 All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. 13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down.

1Pe 1:18…you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers


Good 1Co 11:2 I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you.

2Th 2:15  Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.

2Th 3:6  But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. 14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.


II. Truth-based Traditions focus on internal change resulting in Christlikeness and Eternal Reward

A. We can be deceived about our faith Col 2:4 Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. 5  For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.


B. We need truth-based teaching to help us grow and walk by faith  6 As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7  rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.


C. Our relationship with Christ, according to Revealed Truth is all we need  8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.  9  For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10  and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.


D. We’re forgiven and sanctified as a result of exercising our personal faith in God’s revelation  11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12  buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13  And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14  having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15  Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.


E. Those who lack the inner reality of a submissive relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ focus on externals

16  So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17  which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. {Rom 14: 17  for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.}


F. Those who depart from the Lordship of Christ and a unified relationship with His Body discourage others from reaping reward

18  Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19  and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.


G. Truth-based Freedom from traditional legalism/externals should result in self-control and service

20  Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations——21  "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle," 22  which all concern things which perish with the using——according to the commandments and doctrines of men? 23  These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

{Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.}


H. Those who live by faith under the Lordship of Christ sanctify their desires and actions as they’re motivated by their eternal reward

Col 3:1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2  Set your  mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3  For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4  When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. 5  Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6  Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7  in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.


Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:

1. Why are we attracted to traditions? What are the benefits and disadvantages of traditions? What traditions do you follow?

2. What are some religious traditions that are not based on revealed authenticated Truth? How did they arise? Net result?

3. What are some traditions that help you become more like God intends? Any downside to following them?

4.  What’s the relationship between freedom, tradition, liberty-license, and unity-submission to a Body?

5. What habits will you establish/reinforce this week that will help you reach the objectives God has for your life?