Paul worked to comfort believers and help them grow. But other Christian leaders separate them from Jesus Christ and steal their God-given freedom. [UPDATED]
VERSE 1. For I desire to have you know how greatly I struggle for you, and for those at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;
how greatly I struggle for you. Even though Paul had not brought them to faith in Jesus Christ, he worked for their wellbeing. He took on the needs of everybody.
VERSE 2. that their hearts may be comforted, they being knit together in love, and gaining all riches of the full assurance of understanding, that they may know the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ,
VERSE 3. in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden.
that no one may delude you. Many Christian leaders are hungry for new members in their church. They use every sort of persuasive tactic to suck people in. In their zeal, they stoop to deluding people.
persuasiveness of speech. The Greek word is “hpithanologia.” It means fine-sounding arguments. It means persuasive speech that uses plausible but false arguments.
VERSE 5. For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in the spirit, rejoicing and seeing your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.
I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in the spirit. Does this mean that Paul could transport himself in a non-corporeal way?
VERSE 6. As therefore you received Christ Jesus, the Lord, walk in him,
VERSE 7. rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, even as you were taught, abounding in it in thanksgiving.
VERSE 8. Be careful that you don’t let anyone rob you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the elements of the world, and not after Christ.
rob you through his philosophy and vain deceit. Many Christian leaders try to take people captive. They suck them into their system.
human traditions and the elemental spirits of the world. Many Christian leaders found their movements on these things. They use them to suck people in.
not after Christ. Why do people follow Christian leaders?
- People are sincere
- People trust religious leaders
- Leaders are good at sucking people in.
all the fullness of the Deity. Jesus Christ is the fullness of the Deity. He is not derivative. He is not partial.
bodily. Jesus Christ had an actual body. His physical manifestation was not a deception. He was not a ghost.
in him you are made full. We have been given fullness in Jesus Christ.
the head of all principality and power. All spirit entities must answer to Jesus Christ.
VERSE 11. In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ,
VERSE 12. having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
VERSE 13. You were dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh. He made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,
VERSE 14. wiping out the handwriting in ordinances which was against us. He has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross.
VERSE 15. Having stripped the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
VERSE 16. Let no one therefore judge you in eating, or in drinking, or with respect to a feast day or a new moon or a Sabbath day,
eating … drinking … feast day. Many Christians obsess over such things, thinking them to be of actual importance.
Did you fast? Did you go to church on the Holy Day? Do you drink alcohol? Are you a vegetarian?
a shadow of the things to come. At best, the things described in the previous verse merely point to Jesus Christ. They are not Jesus Christ himself.
VERSE 18. Let no one rob you of your prize by self-abasement and worshiping of the angels, dwelling in the things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
Let no one rob you of your prize. There are plenty of Christian leaders who will try to rob us of our prize.
worshiping of the angels. Some Christians are captivated by angels or by visions. They feel themselves superior to people who do not share their experiences.
VERSE 19. and not holding firmly to the Head, from whom all the body, being supplied and knit together through the joints and ligaments, grows with God’s growth.
not holding firmly to the Head. These people have wandered away from Jesus Christ.
The things that excite them are merely their own ideas, and not those of Jesus Christ.
grows with God’s growth. Jesus Christ is our only way to grow in true strength.
VERSE 20. If you died with Christ from the elements of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to ordinances,
subject yourselves to ordinances. We should will no longer “submit” to Christian leaders who bullying us around.
Don’t. These people say that all sorts of things are immoral. They impose their ideas on others as if they were God-given restrictions. They do a good job of “selling” their ideas, and people become beguiled.
doctrines of men. What these Christian leaders teach are mere human teachings. They are the traditions of men.
VERSE 23. These things indeed appear like wisdom in self-imposed worship, humility, and severity to the body; but aren’t of any value against the indulgence of the flesh.
indeed appear like wisdom. These people are usually clever enough to be able to argue persuasively in favor of their ideas.
aren’t of any value against the indulgence of the flesh. Their ideas do not give anyone lasting victory over sin.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.