*This blog post was adapted from Pastor Bobby’s sermon on 4/3/2022. You can find the sermon video below.
In Colossians 2:8, Paul warns believers to beware of philosophies that spring from human minds and not from God’s.
Philosophy is the love of wisdom. The Bible shows us that good philosophy is connected to God. Bad philosophy, then, is not connected to God. Philosophy disconnected from God is both vain and deceitful.
In Romans 1:21-22, we can see where bad philosophy can take you. It says, “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools.”
People tend to think they can figure things out without God. But even the greatest of human philosophies became futile and foolish when facing death.
At the time of Paul’s letter, there were two main philosophies in Colossae: Humanism and legalism. The Greeks mostly adhered to humanism, which emphasized the agency of human beings.
The Greeks often mixed different philosophies. So, when Christianity was introduced to them – rather than discarding everything they thought they knew, many simply added it into their humanist worldview.
This mixing of philosophies was a danger to the faith of Christians in Colossae. Scripture tells us that we are complete in Christ and don’t need to add on these other ideas. He is enough. When we place Him on the same level as our other philosophies, we are deceiving ourselves.
Colossians 2:8 says, “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.”
The phrase “see to it” shows us that we have a responsibility to guard what we believe and the information we consume. There are forces out there that are trying to hijack our thinking and hold us captive. They want to keep us from fulfilling our potential and rob us of the joy and peace that can be found in Christ.
People are always ruled by something. Romans 6 tells us that we will either be slaves to Christ, or slaves to sin. If we aren’t careful, we can be taken captive and be slaves to sin.
Pain in our lives can create weak spots where we are susceptible to being led astray by our own feelings. We can also be deceived by what is popular in our culture or by human solutions.
To avoid deception, we need to be regularly feeding our minds truth from God’s word. The FBI doesn’t learn to spot counterfeit bills by studying all the counterfeits out there, but by studying what real money looks like. Similarly, we can learn to spot counterfeit philosophies by knowing the real thing (God’s truth) so well that we cannot be fooled.
Colossians 2 continues, “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.” This passage shows us that when you accept Christ into your life, you have God in your life. Christ is not simply another human being – in Him is the whole fullness of God.
Verse 10 then builds on this idea and tells us that we are filled in Him, which means we are complete in Christ. We don’t need to stress about our inadequacy because Christ is enough. Here are a few ways we find completion in Christ.
In Christ, we have complete salvation. Salvation does not come from following a religion, doing good deeds, or from any outward action. It comes from accepting Christ through faith.
We also have complete forgiveness in Christ. We were dead in our trepasses but through faith in Christ, we are born again. We all had long records of debt but God, through His grace, has nailed them to the cross and allowed us to be made righteous before Him.
In Christ, we also have complete victory. He has disarmed rulers and authorities and put them to open shame (Colossians 2:15). Satan has no power over us. We also have victory over death, sin, and darkness.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37
May you rest in the knowledge today that through Christ, you have complete salvation, forgiveness, and victory.
Mandy manages CFC’s social media presence. She started attending CFC in 2016 after God led her to visit the church with her husband, Ben. Mandy also serves on the Writing and Research Team for the Women’s Ministry and as a preschool teacher for Community Kids. She is grateful for the opportunity to combine her love of content creation with her desire to serve the Lord. Mandy lives in Lancaster with Ben and their three girls: Elyse, Evelyn, and Ella.