Sunday, December 9, 2018


Colossians 2:6-9 (ESV)
[6] Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, [7] rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. [8] See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. [9] For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.

We have an enemy that wants to hinder the work of God in any way that he can. He will distort truth, distract us from our purpose, divide us over things that seem important but really aren’t, and discourage and dissuade us through weariness, opposition, and even apparent failure. One of his primary strategies is the use of plausible arguments. Almost every one of the ways he uses to distract and distort has plausible reasoning behind it, yet it takes our attention away from our true calling. In fact, he will link it to our calling to make disciples, and then subtly get us so busy doing something “good” that we lose our passion for Christ and his call on our lives, yet we are convinced that we are serving Christ.


It is like a person in the wilderness who realizes that in order to eat he must first have fire to cook the food. He then gets so obsessed with starting a fire, keeping it going, and putting up enough wood so that he will always have a fire, that he forgets to actually cook. In this second chapter of Colossians there are at least four plausible arguments that are apparently distracting and distorting the Colossian believers’ faith. Gnosticism (2:8-10), legalism (2:11-17), mysticism (2:18-19), and asceticism (2:20-23) all sound reasonable when presented in combination with the right Bible verses, yet each of them draws us away from the truth of the gospel and centers our focus on us. We could add to the list almost infinitely: nationalism, socialism, traditionalism, emotionalism, stoicism, and on and on the list goes. Each with a semblance of rationality. Each ultimately distracts us from the gospel.


We always need to come back to the central truth of the gospel. That is what keeps us grounded. Following Christ is not a system to be worked, a religion to follow, or a passionate mission to accomplish and protect. It is about being in Christ and Christ in us. In him we have life. In Christ we are new creations. The flesh always seeks to earn favor with God and to conquer the passions of the flesh by works of the flesh. That just cannot work. As believers in Jesus Christ, we walk by faith because we are in Christ. And for that we super-abound in gratitude (Col 2:6-7).

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