October 6, 2023 at 10:01 am
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. ~ Colossians 2:8
Our trust in Christ must be strong, to defend us from wrong ideas
Be careful, Paul says to Colosse’s Christians. There are many people who want to lead you away from the simple truth of the gospel (the good news about Christ). They want to rob you of your trust in Christ, to take away the joy of your relationship with Christ.
Now that you are a Christian, Christ must be your guide (verse 6). You must constantly depend on him for the strength and power to live in the way that pleases God (verse 7). So you need to keep to the gospel message that you have learned. You need to grow and to develop your trust in Christ. You need to learn a grateful attitude, and constantly to give thanks to God.
Otherwise, those people who are bringing wrong ideas into your church will tempt you away from Christ. They speak so well, with their impressive arguments and clever ideas. However, those ideas are really lies, because they come from men and not from God.
That is why so many people approve of false teachers. Unless our faith (trust in Christ) is strong, we all much prefer our human ideas to God’s word. In other words, we want to control our own lives, and not to allow God to direct us.
Human traditions and rules seem to give us control over our own lives: we know what we are doing. However, that feeling is not real. In reality, we are giving other people (and not God) the right to direct our lives. That was why the false teachers taught these rules: they wanted to control people’s lives (2 Corinthians 11:13-20). When Christians accepted their authority, they were not just allowing wrong teachers to direct their lives. The devil was using those wrong teachers to spoil Christians’ relationship with Christ. Christians need to stand against such attacks by the devil, by such means as the Bible, prayer and faith (trust) in Christ (Ephesians 6:10-18).
What should fill a Christian’s life?
Wrong teachers were coming into the church at Colosse. They tried to persuade the Christians there to follow their traditions, or to believe their new ideas. However, a true Christian needs none of these things. Paul insists that the traditions were of human origin, not from God. He calls the teacher’s ideas ‘empty lies’, in other words, lies that have no value (2:8).
Paul then contrasts those ‘empty’ things with what should fill a Christian’s life. It is Christ who should fill the Christian’s life, not false ideas or human tradition. No tradition and no false, human wisdom can ever bring God into a person’s life. A strict religion with careful rules about behaviour cannot do it (2:20-23). Those things depend on human effort – but no amount of human effort can earn for us a right relationship with God (Romans 4:1-8). Only Christ can give us a right relationship with God. He will give us that relationship if we put our trust in him (Romans 1:16).
The wrong teachers argued that Paul was emphasising Christ too much. Instead, they wanted Christians to accept their authority and to follow their rules. Paul replied that those teachers had not in reality understood about rule and authority. Christ is fully God (2:9). Therefore, all rule and authority properly belong to him (1:15-16).
So, we must never allow anything else to replace Christ’s rule over our lives.
From: usefulbible.com – by Keith Simons
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