In Christ alone!
Scripture reading for October 6th: Colossians 2:8-23
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8) Paul’s straight-forward warning to these believers is also for us today. Our western world is full of hollow and deceptive philosophy, often taught in the church! Examples might include ‘positive thinking’, ‘God wants you rich’, ‘keep these rules’, or ‘there are many ways to be saved’.
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. In Him, you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him through your faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:9-12) Believers have all they need in Christ alone! In Him we have been given fullness of salvation. Christ is head over all power and authority in heaven and on earth. He circumcised us internally as we placed our faith in His sacrifice through the cross.
The false teachers were trying to get these believers to keep certain religious festivals and go through certain rituals like circumcision. They were being told that what they ate or didn’t eat made them holy. These were probably the Jewish dietary laws. Paul told them that these were only a shadow of the reality that they had in Christ Himself. (Colossians 2:17) These have the appearance of wisdom but are of no value in restraining sensual indulgence! (Colossians 2:20-23)
Another aspect of these false teachers was supernatural visions and contact with angels. They used these visions to distract the believers from Christ and take them another direction. I believe that the church today must be discerning about those who claim to be prophets and use supernatural experiences to attract a crowd. Not all who come in the name of Christ are really of Him. In Christ alone and His holy word do we have safety and salvation. Test everything by the Spirit and Word. Pray for a knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and discernment! Don’t worry, God will keep you safe!