When Paul wrote to the people of Colosse, he wrote to people tempted with the philosophies of man that were quite popular in that city. Apparently, this philosophy tried to merge some good influences with evil. It promoted asceticism (a withdrawal from the world into isolation), the worship of angels, and certain Jewish teachings (see chapter 2:16-18). In doing so, this teaching lost connection with the head of our faith, Jesus Christ.
The important point to keep in mind is we should not allow ourselves to be taken captive by these things. In fact, we are commanded not to. Today many false teachings and philosophies encircle us, seeking to take us captive. If we do not take heed, they can swallow us up whole. When God gave us the body of truth in the Bible, He gave it to us once and for all (Jude 3), and He wants us to guard it with our lives. If we do not take heed, we could allow other teachings and beliefs to slip in under the door and steer our hearts away from Christ. Our faith stands on its own, because our foundation is Christ Jesus. We do not need other teachings or beliefs, however popular, in order to help us live our lives. In fact, we should beware of these.
The same thing holds true with moral and values. In the same book, Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, directs us to put to death the deeds of the flesh, such as immorality, lust and evil desires (3:5). Additionally, we must rid ourselves of “all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from our lips” (3:8). These evil characteristics also surround the believer, and it’s not difficult to slip into these attitudes. But Paul does not leave us there. Instead, he shows us the how to live faithfully even in a Pagan society.
He tells us to “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (3:12). Remember, the weapons of our warfare are not of the world (2 Corinthians 10:4), but come from our renewed natures in Christ. We should live like Christ did (1 John 2:6). Do most people live like Christ? Certainly they do not. And we should not allow ourselves to be taken captive by their lifestyles. Instead we should live for Him who died and arose on our behalf, and not seek to join forces with the evil philosophies and lifestyles that characterize this evil age.
Jesus said, “Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown” (Revelation 3:11). Be faithful in your life and testimony, and God will abundantly reward you when you stand before Him.
Posted on Fri, July 19, 2013
by Sam Petitfils