Tuesday, November 14th, 2023
Scripture: Col. 2:6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him,
Col. 2:7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Col. 2:8 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.
Teaching: Verses 6-8 of Colossians 2 sets up Paul’s next big thesis of this letter, what it means to depend on Christ. Here, his briefly describes what depending on Christ looks like in verses 6-7, living in him, both rooted and built up in him, strengthened by faith in Him, and overflowing with thankfulness. It is a picture of a strongly built and full life because it is in Christ. Contrary to this kind of life is what Paul warns against in verse 8. It is easy to see the comparison of fullness/overflowing in Christ versus the “hollow and deceptive” beliefs and philosophies of the world which offer nothing but ways to process the world, never any hope. One can argue that certain life philosophies can lead to wealth, friendships, and other measures of success – but where do they lead when one faces their own mortality? In this way, they are hollow in hope and deceptive in drawing one away from Christ.
Takeaway: The reason for these verses was that the Colossians, and us today, are always susceptible to feeling like we need more. In our own eyes, we are not successful enough by worldly measures so we, as Paul warned in 2 Timothy 4:3, “ ...accumulate for [our]selves teachers in accordance with [our] own desires.” These teachers come in many forms, some even with a seemingly Christian message on the surface. But there is a difference between a worldly message with Christ as the footnote and Christ himself. The cure for feelings of worldly failure or jealousy is contentment in Christ. When we are content, satisfied, and fulfilled, overflowing in thankfulness in Christ, we have no need for hollow and deceptive worldly philosophies, for we have Christ.