Colossians 2
Colossians 2

Colossians 2

Colossians 2:1-23

1  For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh,

2  that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ,

3  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

4  Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words.

5  For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.

6  As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,

7  rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

8  Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

9  For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;

10  and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

11  In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,

12  buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

13  And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,

14  having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

15  Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

16  So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,

17  which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.

18  Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

19  and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.

20  Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—

21  “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,”

22  which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men?

23  These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

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7 months ago

In the demonstration of new life with its blessings and benefits, there is a tendency to analyze it from a worldly perspective in an attempt to formalize and control it somehow. Even though it is received completely apart from any religious qualifications, there is a natural leaning to fitting it back into what has been reasonable and relied upon in the past, to make it about what is done over who we’ve become. Everything required for transformation is found in Christ alone, and any man-formed requisites only limit its experience.

So what is the conflict that Paul is consumed with for these people? There is yet a need for freedom from the indulgence of the flesh that brings back to life those old bondages of the flesh, the sin that Jesus came to free us from. The dispute is over how to produce this way of life that will reflect the Father’s heart in sending Jesus. Any reliance on acts of the flesh may yield some sense of self-assurance but will not effectively eradicate the behaviors that are really just acting out of a heart condition. The only experience of a life in righteousness that is free from opposing the will and purpose of God comes in the complete cutting away of the flesh as a dictator through our union with Christ. The pursuit, then, can never be a flesh strategy for flesh freedom, but only Christ’s transformation for complete deliverance from flesh dominance. We are complete in Him and any looking elsewhere is only disconnecting from what is already fully found in Him. The knitting together of hearts in a knowledge of Him in relationship over an assumed knowledge of information is assured in His presence alone, quite apart from the presence of human reasoning and ritualizing.

Part of the conflict may also be in those who are claiming freedom from any requirements but are doing so without finding completion in Christ. The dictates of the law have been taken away, but only as there is an immersion in the blood of Jesus and its circumcision of any service of the flesh. Freedom from the flesh and its sin is the purpose of the Father for both the law and identity with Christ. It is possible only in Him.

Last edited 7 months ago by ps
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