Read Colossians 2
2 I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.
Spiritual Fullness in Christ
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Freedom From Human Rules
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
The church in Colossae was under siege with a mix of cultural false doctrines threatening their Christian faith. This is the main emphasis we read about today in Colossians 2. In verse 4, Paul warns against being deceived by “fine-sounding arguments,” verse 8 warns about being taken captive by “hollow and deceptive philosophy,” and verse 16 warns against adopting the false doctrines of humans. These false doctrines and philosophies were subtle turns from the truth, using aspects of Christianity and twisting them into intelligent arguments. Christians today face similar attacks to their faith. What is the best way to recognize false teaching?
In chapter 1, Paul establishes the supremacy of Christ. As a continuation, verse 2:6 begins a section on the fullness of Christ. We see the phrases “in Christ” and “in Him” repeated often. In Christ we have everything we need. Our flesh no longer rules us (v. 11), our old life is gone, we have been raised to new life (v. 12), our sins have been forgiven, our debt has been paid (v. 13- 14), and He has triumphed over the enemy on the cross (v. 15)! We see these same truths throughout Paul’s other letters. Romans 8:1 asserts, “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul states that in Christ we are a “new creation.” In Philippians 4:19, Paul says God will meet all our needs in Christ. Jesus tells us repeatedly in John 15 to remain in Him. Having a death-grip on who Jesus is paramount to recognizing false doctrine in our culture.
Today, we put our trust in science and higher knowledge, in prosperity gospels, in man-made rules, ideas and legalism. Many people call themselves Christians, yet they haven’t spent time studying the person and teachings of Jesus. Paul is teaching the Colossians (and us) that our lives should be rooted and strengthened in Christ and overflowing with thankfulness (verses 6-7). When we have questions or disagreements, we should hold them up to Christ. He is the one we follow. He is our standard. He is the foundation of our faith in whom we find all the “treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (vs. 3).
May we follow Paul’s example here by fighting for our fellow believers to be encouraged and united in Jesus. He is supreme, complete, and all that we could ever hope for.
- What did you learn about Jesus from this passage?
- What heresy or false doctrine do you see around you today?
- Are you contending and fighting for others to know the truth of Christ? What would it look like for you to do that?
For further study on what heresy is and why it’s important that we can spot it, read this article from GotQuestions.org!
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4 thoughts on “Colossians 2”
Today this passage emboldened me to be on guard! Do not be held captive by “deceptive philosophies, human tradition and basic principles of the world”
With Christ, He turned the world upside down. Thank the Lord for this mystery made known to us. That we can live in freedom & unity and not be trapped.
But oh Lord, if we are trapped in anything not of you, break open the doors of the stronghold(s)and help us run right through it to the cross. Thank You, Lord! Amen!
Paul sets the tone for this chapter as he uses the strong word “contending” to describe how actively he was pursuing the purity of Christ’s church. Paul knew the struggle was real in fighting heresy, which was popular & often accepted in the church. On the other hand, the treasures of true wisdom and knowledge were “hidden” in Christ. Believers must dig & discipline themselves to know the truth and stand firm in faith. What often sounds attractive is probably too good to be true! (Thank you BRP for challenging us to know the word.) As long as we have breath in us we grapple with an onslaught of information vs. the truth of scripture. Where do we look when headlines blare the news of a school shooting? We will wrestle, strive and contend well only with our eyes, mind, and heart firmly planted on Christ and nothing else. There seems to be a prevailing theme of lament that I’m being drawn into. Always and forever, I trust the “mighty power of God, who raised Jesus from the dead.”
We are built up in and through Christ. We have been set apart for God’s purposes for such a time as this. Paul gave such a wonderful example of Christ like love(agape). We are to die to self (selfishness) and to live united with other like minded believers. If I would completely live my life in that humility of editing God with all of me and my actions, glory to God.
God thank you for giving me your wisdom daily. Thank you for how you answer prayers. I am so grateful thankful and blessed!!!! Thank you for showing and sharing with me if someone I am listening to or something I am reading is not accurate. Thank you that my learning more and more is doctrine truly from You. In Jesus name amen
Today, I praise God for His sovereignty! Even with all evil and sadness many woke up today with still—I will put my trust and faith in Your goodness! What a wonderful passage of comfort and hope to read this morning! Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for directing us back to the gospel in times of need and uncertainty. Thank you, for reminding us that all our paths and questions are to belong only to YOU–through Your guidance of the Spirit. Let us not devalue your word by others of this world that do not seek rest, hope, and comfort in seeking truth in You. You, alone, is where we find knowledge and wisdom. May we learn to seek You above all things first. May we lay to rest the confusion of this present day and keep loving others and praying for those who are so lost and in desperate need of repentance. Thank you, God for your amazing, unfailing love. Comfort those today who are seeking answers, and ease their breaking hearts with your love. Our trust and hope is in You. We love you..In Jesus Name I pray