Summary: A false teaching had seeped into the Colossian Church, called Gnosticism. This teaching has attacked the very person-hood of Jesus Christ and denied His deity.
A false teaching had seeped into the Colossian Church, called Gnosticism.
This teaching has attacked the very person-hood of Jesus Christ and denied His deity.
Today the Gnostic belief is still alive and well, in the form of the New Age movement and other, shall we say, “Created” faiths.
Jesus said in: [John 14:6] “‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”
Elaine Pagels (author of The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ) says she had an epiphany while reading the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas during graduate school, particularly this passage, which reads:
“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you.”
According to Pagels, “This saying DOES NOT tell us WHAT to believe but challenges us to discover what lies hidden within ourselves….”
This Gnostic perspective essentially says that salvation is within ourselves, and that through a process of self-discovery we are able to find redemption.
In other words, you have the ability to save yourself if you will look deep enough within.
Let’s look at verse 15 of Colossians chapter 1 and compare the truth with fiction.
1. This verse tells us that Jesus is the “image” of the invisible God:
The word “image” here is from the Greek είκών [pronounced I-cone] which means the exact image, the very person of God.
What this word tells us is that Jesus was the perfect manifestation of God.
God is invisible but Jesus Christ reveals God to the world because Jesus IS God in the flesh.
2. Gnosticism says there are many mediators between God and man:
This is the very same teaching, TODAY, that tries to convince you that there are many ways to get to God and you do not need Jesus ALONE to get there… just jump on any of these roads that make you feel comfortable.
Now you can add a little Jesus if it makes you feel better but you don’t really need Jesus to get to God… just try one of these other, more easier to deal with ways.
Let me show you some facts that Jesus teaches us about God that destroys this gnostic teaching.
a. The fact that Jesus came to earth shows that He and He alone is supreme and the only one who is qualified to get you to God.
b. His coming to earth and mingling with people proves that God is near, unlike the gods of the world, He is not some distant and uncaring being who is separated from you and me by a multitude of go-betweens or many different ways.
c. The fact that Jesus died at the hands of men proves that He willingly sacrificed Himself for you and me.
Don’t forget what Jesus told Peter, when Peter cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest: [Mat 26:53 NKJV] “Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?”
3. Early Gnosticism taught that matter is evil, therefore the body is evil:
Here’s what happened
The early Gnostics believed that God, being holy and pure, could have no contact with matter because physical matter is evil and if God were to take on a human body He would become contaminated. But they also believed they could combine their theories with Christianity.
To do so, however, they had to explain how God could have created the world with all of its evil and be seen as blameless.
There was two parts to their solution.
1. God created a lesser god who in turn created another who god who created another… for at least 30 times. This way thru true God would not get too close to matter.
Christ, in their teaching, was nothing more than one of these created beings.
The second part of the solution was:
2. Christ really didn’t become a man but only appeared to have a body because, even if He were just a created subordinate, by receiving a real body He would become contaminated and would no longer be qualified to be the Savior of all mankind.
So, in reality, by claiming that Christ was just one of these created gods, sent to free us from the evil matter they were denying the deity of Christ by saying that He is not true God. And so God Himself would not have been contaminated by evil when Christ came in the flesh. (Lutzer 1998)
But it seems to me, by this conclusion that the Christ of Gnosticism has been disqualified as a Savior.
I would like to show you how Jesus coming in the flesh proves Gnosticism to be nothing more than a myth.
The body is not evil but is held in high honor before God. If the Gnostic belief were true, Jesus would not have taken on a human body when he came to earth.