and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.Colossians 2:19(NASB)
This verse of Scripture is part of a passage that denounces a range of heretical teachings and lays out the criteria for living a high and holy life in Christ Jesus. It seeks to prevent these believers from becoming captive to false teachings or duped by deceptive philosophies, while encouraging them to develop an inner, spiritual, and sacrificial life in Him.
Paul first mentions the dangers of Gnosticism, which promotes salvation through a secret or hidden knowledge for a few initiated elite people, but which denies that Christ is fully God yet fully Man. He further highlights the problem of Legalism, which insists that good works are added as an additional requirement for salvation, rather than recognising that Christ's finished work at Calvary is sufficient.
He denounces Asceticism and severe self-discipline as a means of gaining God's favour, rather than salvation being a free gift of God's grace by faith in the finished work of Christ Jesus. And in these verses, Paul strongly condemns Mysticism and the worship of angels, with its emphasis on extra-biblical dreams, visions, feelings, experiences, and new revelations as being required for true salvation and spirituality.
"Let no one keep on defrauding you of your glorious prize by delighting in self-abasement, false humility or giving undue honour to angelic beings," Paul cautions the Colossians. He warns against those who engage in false spirituality, by adopting an ascetic life-style or developing a passion for a fabricated humbleness and the worship of angels – which sadly robs believers of their heavenly reward.
Paul points out that when these or other false doctrines are added to Christianity or used as a substitute for the truth, they cause us to become inexcusably carnal, fleshly minded, and self-inflated without cause, because we are "not holding fast to JESUS, the Head."
When we are abiding in Christ, we are "holding fast to the living Head – from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows." When we are walking in spirit and truth and holding fast to Christ Jesus our Lord we grow in grace "with a growth which is from God."
When we are carnal, fleshly minded, and engaging in unacceptable heretical practices, we are NOT abiding in Christ, nor are we growing in our Christian life. We are NOT holding fast to our living Head and are stunted in our spiritual growth. When Christians allow themselves to be sucked into unbiblical teachings, false doctrines, and humanistic philosophies, we become unfruitful and lose the heavenly reward that awaits all those that live a godly life in Christ Jesus.
Christ is the one from whom all members of His Body gains their strength. It is by Him that we are supplied with the strength to mature and grow. Christ is the Head of the Body and we are all members of His Body – which means that JESUS is the One Who is building us together in Himself and knitting us together in His love.
We are sustained by our vital connection with our living Head, for without Him we fail to grow in grace and produce much fruit to the glory of God. May we never forget that Jesus Himself reminded us: "I am the Vine. You are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit and God will be glorified – but without Me you can do nothing."
Heavenly Father, thank You for the wonderful truths that are clearly revealed in Your Word. Thank You for the many warnings against the false teachings and destructive philosophies that can ruin my testimony, stunt my spiritual growth, and render my life as fruitless. Give me wisdom to discern if someone's teaching is truly coming from You, as You are the only true source of nourishment for the Body of Christ. I pray that I may abide in Christ and He in me, and that by Your grace I will mature in the faith and produce much fruit for Your praise and glory, and not only me, Lord, but may all those who have been called by Your name, bear much fruit for Your greater praise and glory. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.