Tuesday, January 16th, 2024
Scripture: Col. 2:18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind,
Teaching: Paul is continuing his argument against legalism and last week we saw how he called out “delighting in self-abasement” as defrauding believers of the prize that is being complete in Christ. Secondly, he calls out the “worship of angels.” The worship of angels, or spiritual beings, was part of culture in this day. Gentiles had a deeply ingrained practice of magic, making regular appeal to what they considered benevolent spirits to ward off evil, benefit their lives and businesses, destroy enemies, or offer some sort of protection. Jews in this day were also subject to these sorts of errant appeals, as the book of Hebrews begins by establishing why Christ should be worshipped rather than angels.
This argumentation follows what Paul expressed in chapter 1, the preeminence of Christ, and so far in chapter 2, being complete in Christ. Christ is superior to all Creation, including angels, and thus, we worship him and not anything else.
Takeaway: Colossians 2:18 is reminiscent of Paul’s argumentation in Romans 1, especially verses 22-23. He says, “Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.” Paul, here, is commenting on how mankind has exchanged worship of the Creator for worship of creation. Today, this kind of worship goes by other names: paganism, materialism, and all sorts of new age “spiritualism.” When we appeal to any other than Christ, we turn away from God and as we can see in Romans 1:18-32, this kind of living does not lead to life. But how blessed are we that we do not need to appeal to angels or any other created thing when Christ himself came and paid for our sins, and in Him, we have life. We do not appeal to angels as our intercessors, because have Christ as our sole mediator (Heb. 8:6). And Jesus Christ is not impersonal or foreign, or some mystical spirit: He knows us and loves us. Take heart in this today.