What Does Colossians 2:8 Mean?

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

Colossians 2:8(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Paul does not spend time teaching the errors of false doctrine, rather He sets out very clearly and concisely the truth contained in the gospel of God. Paul does not spend time outlining the various errors that were evident in Judaism, Gnosticism, Pantheism, Polytheism “ad nauism', nor does he expound on the content of the various philosophies, idle fancies, wild imaginations and convincing arguments that are rooted in human traditions and spring from a fallen world-view.

Paul's epistles focus on teaching a specific body of truth - doctrine which New Testament apostles and prophets received from God for our learning and which points to our sufficiency in Christ. He was far more concerned to establish the Church in sound doctrine than to refute specific errors, for Paul knew that only as we are established in the Word of God and continuing to mature in the faith.. will we be in a position to recognise, refute and challenge false teachings.

Paul knew the dangers that Christians face from false doctrine and knew the only antidote against being deceived by enticing words and convincing arguments is to know Christ - to know the adequacy of Christ.. to know the sufficiency of Christ and our position in Christ - all of which is laid out for our instruction in the Word of God.

To prevent ourselves from being deceived we must come to a secure understanding that in Christ alone are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, so that we are not enticed from biblical truth by the convincing arguments of men and their humanistic philosophies. We must never forget that undistorted truth is found only in the Word of God, which must remain our all-sufficient plum-line for wisdom, knowledge, truth and doctrine.

The Colossians to whom Paul was writing were spirit-filled believers. They were steadfast in the faith and had not been enticed away from the truth of the gospel - and yet Paul proceeds to give his sober warning to this group of mature believers. His remedy on avoiding a fall was to keep advancing in the truth. They were not only to stand firm on Paul's sound doctrinal teaching but were to advance in their spiritual growth - and to avoid being influenced by convincing arguments which conflict with the Word of God.

Having been rooted in Christ at salvation, believers should be continuously growing in the faith, in order to became increasingly stable in doctrinal knowledge and our understanding of the gospel - which will manifest itself in an ever increasing mental attitude of thanksgiving and grateful praise. But however secure we consider ourselves to be in the faith.. Paul's warning is clear: Take care, lest there be someone who leads you away as prisoners.. by means of his philosophy and idle fancies, following human traditions and the world's crude notions instead of following Christ.

Every one of us is in danger of falling for false teachings and of being led astray by enticing philosophies.. and Paul exhorts us to keep on growing in the faith - as we have been taught from the BIBLE. It is only as we stand firm in the faith and continue to grow in the knowledge of Christ, that we will be able to stand firm on the truth - for Paul tells us that our stability stems from biblical doctrine and sound teaching.

The philosophies of the world are very dangerous and deceptive as they can take a person captive because they mix truth with error and then deliver it in an acceptable Christian covering. As believers we do not have to succumb to any alternatives because we are in Christ and are complete in Him - for in Him dwells all the knowledge of the Godhead bodily.

Why, therefore do we need to embrace other teachings when our sufficiency is in Christ and set out clearly in the written Word of God.. May we never be enticed away from the truth of contained in Scriptures, which were written for our learning. How important that we come to the realisation that all we have is in Christ and all we need for life and godliness is to be found in Him, alone. So many Christians today are searching for something outside of Christ.. having a form of godliness but denying the wisdom, the power, the glory and the majesty - but our hope, our life, our light and our truth is found in Christ and Christ alone.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus and that all things were made by Him and for Him. I realise that without Him there is no meaning in life. Keep me from being influenced by the enticing arguments, idle philosophies and crude notions of human traditions, which inevitably look for answers to life, anywhere except to the truth, which is only found in the Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in the Word of God. Thank You that He is the only way, the only truth and the only life. May I grow in grace and in a knowledge of Jesus day by day AMEN.

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