Summary: This message was intended to warn us about worldly wisdom and help us to rejoice and stand firm in Christ who makes us complete.
BEWARE AND BELIEVE
A. Do you remember the reason Paul was writing this letter to the Colossians?
1. As the church grew, people from walks of life were coming to salvation and entering the church
2. With such a diversity in the church some saw the opportunity to set up camp and gain influence and status. To do so they were bringing in a mixture of things (calling them “special” knowledge)
a. Eastern Philosophy – matter is evil, spirit is good – spiritualism and astrology
b. Jewish legalism – rules and regulations
c. And Gnosticism - the idea that there is a religious “elite” within the church who had higher knowledge, than others and that they had something to add to a person’s experience in Christ.
d. Each of these individually, and collectively, demeaned the status of Jesus Christ
B. To counter this, Paul, wrote to the Colossians encouraging them to stay with Christ
1. In our passage for this morning we will find Paul beginning to give us the real meat of the letter.
2. Here he states two things: Beware & Believe!
3. He is about to give some instruction to the believers and he wants them to follow through on what they hear.
4. The proverbs say:
a. Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish. Pro 12:1
b. He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth. Prov 10:17
c. Hear what I am saying and do what the word of God says, is Paul’s desire for this church.!
C. With this in mind lets read our passage for this morning, Col 2:8-10 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
1. From these words we will find much to consider and apply
2. Just as Paul spoke to the Colossians, so he speaks to us:
3. May we consider the depth of this warning as it applies to our day and find stability and assurance in our belief in Christ!
We will begin this morning by looking at Paul’s admonition to
I. BEWARE, Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
A. As Paul gets to the heart of his message to the Colossians, and us, he wants them to be on their guard.
1. He boldly proclaims “BEWARE!”
a. He was telling the church to watch out, be carful, stay on your guard, stay vigilant
b. There is much lurking in the shadows and in darkness that you need to be aware of, Paul is saying
c. Peter echoed Paul’s heart with these words found in 1 Pet 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
2. And what does he want them to “Beware” about? Being taken captive
a. The Greek word here speaks about being taken as a spoil of war or being kidnapped.
b. It gives us a connotation of being in a battle
c. And as we will see in just a moment, that is exactly what it is: a battle between two worlds – the kingdom of light and freedom and darkness and bondage.
3. So Paul heralds the call: Beware lest any man spoil you!
4. Good words for us today – for there are many who would draw us away from the simplicity of the gospel and Christ pandering something that sounds better, but is not.
B. Following his proclamation to “Beware” he goes on to explain how this could happen, through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
1. Note first what he tells us to watch for: philosophy and vain deceit.
a. Please know that Paul was not against philosophy, as such
1) The word philosophy comes from two roots: philo, meaning “love of” and sophy meaning “wisdom,” hence the love of wisdom
2) It was the type of wisdom, so called, that Paul was warning about – humanistic, earthy wisdom
b. And then there is Vain Deceit – that which is devoid of real truth, spoke to confuse, under mind and manipulate
c. The Message translated this portion of scripture with “Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything.”