Summary: The 7th message of 13 in an expository series on the book of Colossians.
The Sufficiency of Christ – Part 1
8See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. 9For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.
I Be Aware
Verse: 8See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
Word: see to it (blepo) be aware; be on constant guard; be watchful
Note: Paul is concerned that those who have been rescued from Satan’s domain and who have been relocated as citizens in God’s kingdom no become enslaved again to a worldly and sinful lifestyle b/c they have been confused and tricked by false teachers who lead them astray w/ nice sounding philosophies.
Idea: Christians must constantly be on guard against man-made religions and philosophies that sound rational but which are in actuality deceitful and Satanic. Satan is constantly attacking the tenets and foundation of the Christian faith to destroy the credibility of Christ and the veracity of God’s existence.
Word: takes you captive (sulagogeo) to kidnap or carry off w/ the booty or spoils of war
Idea: Satan is constantly at work to “kill, steal, and destroy.” Like a roaring lion he roams around seeking out and stalking his prey that he might pounce on them to drag them away to their demise. And through false teachers and modern day philosophies Satan employs his tactics that he might kidnap and abduct people so that non-Christians never come to Christ and so that Christians never do anything for Christ.
Word: philosophy (philosophia) to love and pursue wisdom
Idea: This is the only time Paul uses this word. In using this word, Paul is referring to the heresy being espoused by the Colossian errorist. Specifically, the Colossian errorist had a devised a human philosophy that attempted to explain and determine who God was and how he worked. Of course, their philosophy was a mixture of all religious thought and of human philosophies. The Colossian errorist maintained a universal approach to the person, nature, and work of god.
Word: empty deception (kenes apates) to be void of or bankrupt of truth; to trick through hollow pseudo-truth
Idea: The problem w/ the dogma Colossian errorist was that it was void of truth. It was fine sounding, but it was wrong. It never intended to redeem man to God, it only acted as a belief system governing the attitudes and activities of man enabling them to do as they pleased in the name of god. It didn’t pursue the holiness of God, instead it pursued the passions of paganism incarcerating men to the whims of their pleasures and desires.
Trans: The source of this inaccurate humanistic belief system was the traditions of man and worldly principles.
Word: tradition (paradosis) that which is passed down from one person to another.
Note: Not all traditions are bad, but there are numerous traditions (including good traditions) which can serve to prevent the movement of God. Too often men prefer traditions over truth. We will build elaborate philosophical schemes to which we will commit our lives and remain committed to those schemes long after they are proven erroneous. Specifically, Paul is addressing building your life on man-made traditions.
Question: What are some traditions we hold near and dear to our hearts that may not be biblical?
What are some traditions that are biblically correct, but if misunderstood can cripple the work of God?
Word: basic principles (stoicheia) base remedial elementary teachings – things in a row
Idea: Simplistic man-made attempts to understand the nature, person, and work of God. Feeble, elementary teachings that cause a true believer to regress b/c they are too simplistic and childish.
Note: Linear Greek Thinking vs. Circular Hebraic Thinking
II Be Complete
Verse: 9For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.
Trans: It is in this text the Paul makes his grandest statement of Christ. He states that in Christ alone God exists. He does not exist in Buddha, Mohammad, Confucius – God is revealed completely in the person of Jesus Christ.
The Colossian errorist were propagating a religious philosophy that stated matter was evil and spirit was good. They ignored the revelation of God and conjured up a religious system that suited them selves. But Paul offers a different solution – in Christ alone God completely dwells in bodily form.
Paul says, Jesus is God in the flesh.