Putting Christ First: In Christ Alone, Colossians 2:8

March 6th, 2017

Putting Christ First: In Christ Alone

Colossians 2:8

A Warning (v. 8a)

  • As Paul mentioned in v. 4, Paul warns the church against false teachers

    • Whose words sound good
    • But would capture and make plunder* of the hearers
      • Συλαγωγέω (sulagogew): to gain control of by carrying off as booty

 

Philosophies (v. 8b)

  • These false teachers do this through hollow and deceptive philosophy
  • Paul is not speaking of all philosophies here
    • The belief systems of Judaism were called philosophies by Josephus
  • But rather, he is warning the church against the empty and deceitful beliefs of the false teachers

 

Human Traditions (v. 8c)

  • These teachings were based on human traditions

    • Teachings based in human-centered speculation
  • The same language Jesus uses to describe the Pharisees and teachers of the Law (Mark 7:1–23)

 

Elements of the World (v. 8d)

  • These teachings were based on basic ‘elements’ of the ‘world
  • Could have 3 different meanings:
    1. The fundamental components of the world (2 Pet. 3:10, 12)

      • Earth, air, fire, water*
      • Based on a natural view of the world alone
        • Limiting spiritual truth to physical behaviors like circumcision, diet, and holy days (see v. 16, 20-23)
        • Or basing our understanding of the world only on ‘science
  1. The elementary principles of this world (see Heb. 5:12)

    • Tied to their understanding of the Law in life of Christians
    • Thus, to them righteousness would be tied to keeping the Law rather than faith in Christ (see v. 16. 20-23)
  2. Spiritual forces
    • Giving too much attention to angels, demons, and other spiritual beings (see v. 10, 15, 18; 1:16, 20)
    • And thus taking away the central place of Christ

In Christ Alone (v. 8e)

  • Paul returns to what our lives and faith must be centered in

    • CHRIST: Jesus as Lord!
  • Nothing else and no one else helps us understand the world and our place in it

 

So What?

  • What are we building our lives upon?
  • Is Jesus the lens through which we see the world and ourselves?

 

 

Meditation Verse: Colossians 2:8

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