Sunday, September 7, 2014

Colossians 2A: Christ is Enough


Col 2:6-15 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. 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. 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. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

Paul warns the Colossian believers not to be swayed by "philosophy and empty deceit" which are often humanistic ("according to human tradition") and sometime demonic ("according to the elemental spirits of the world"). But instead, we should constantly return to our root, which is Christ: "as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith" (Col 2:6-7). Christ is all that we have and Christ is all that we need because "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" (Col 2:9-10). To have Christ is to have the fullness of God dwelling within our body, and Christ is the head of all rule and authority.

So, instead of being undermined by the world's humanistic and agnostic worldviews, we should stand by our Christ-centred worldview. So, Paul again reminds the Colossians that once they were baptized, they were circumcised spiritually, their carnal flesh was cut off, and they are raised in Christ "in the powerful working of God". In other words, we are no longer walking after the flesh--we have received the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit to overcome the sinful flesh: "you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands" (Col 2:13-14). In Christ, we have been made alive by God and all our sin-debts have been forgiven. Once we are in the Christ's kingdom, sins cannot condemn us anymore, for in Christ we have "redemption, the forgiveness of sins" (Col. 1:14).

The source of our life is not the world but "in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption" (1 Cor 1:30). We need to return to the root and source of our spiritual life--Christ and Christ alone. Don't be deceived by humanistic ideologies, many of which are demon-inspired e.g. Darwinism, Marxism, jihadism, racism, sexism, feminism, gay lifestyles, even New Age beliefs and worldviews. All these fanciful ideas are not new--they grew out of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. But only Christ is both the root and fruit of the Tree of Life.

Father, deliver us from being charmed and tempted by humanistic ideas and ideologies. Keep our hearts and minds fixed on Jesus Christ, who is our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. Amen. 

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