Summary: True spiritual life and wisdom is not found in strict adhearance to rules, or in paths that lead to pagan gods. It is only found in Jesus.
Not rules and superstition
Love and Wisdom; God and You
The famous astronaut Buzz Aldrin faced a conflict after returning from the moon. He spiraled into a deep depression that ultimately resulted in him being hospitalized, medicated and put through a battery of psychiatric treatments. Ignorant of the depth of his own disability, once
the medicine kicked in, he felt so much better that he immediately began making plans for a new start:
• He would divorce his wife and marry his lover
• First, he would spend Thanksgiving with his wife and children so everything could be like old times
• He would then take his wife to Acapulco for their 17th anniversary and break the news to her
Of course, his counselor was aghast and tried to talk him out of it. He was in far too fragile a state to make such life changing decisions. He was also reaching for two very different senses of fulfillment. Aldrin admits that he did not see the contradiction in this plan. His medicine made him feel better, but his mind was still not reasoning clearly. He wanted so badly to have a new start that he was grasping at everything that seemed to hold out that hope.
That kind of contradiction is what the Colossians were facing. They were traveling a new spiritual road, rushing forward with power and speed. Along side that spirituality, in their town of great philosophical and religious industry, were a couple of other groups that wanted to lead them along their own paths. Paul, like Aldrin’s counselor was working hard to help them see the incompatibility of these two other influences with the path they had chosen.
The Colossians faced two sets of teachings that endangered their understanding of true spirituality. Paul merged with the description of the problem an explanation of why the Colossians should resist being drawn in, they had received Jesus. This change in their lives brought into play many important truths:
• Everything they had learned about Jesus’ Way
• The strengthening "rootedness" of their faith
• All the blessings of Jesus for which they were thankful
• Jesus’ ultimate identity as God
• His resurrection
• Their forgiveness through His power
• The "circumcision" of their hearts
Paul was telling the Colossians that all of this must be measured against two problems that threatened their practice of true faith in Christ. Like Buzz Aldrin, They were facing a dilemma of contradictory values.
So Paul was reminding them of the profound nature of the road they were on:
• Remember who it is that you serve
• Remember the power He has demonstrated
• Remember what He has done for you
• Remember everything you have learned
These truths were the bases for them to evaluate the value of the alternative paths calling out to them.
What were those paths?
The early disciples were criticized by two groups: One was conservative Jewish communities who saw their teachings as a departure from tradition. The other was pagan sources who thought they threatened their own gentile cultures and religions.