11th February 2017

confused.com

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”
Colossians 2:8 (NIV)

The world can sometimes be a confusing place to live in. There are so many ideas, philosophies and values that vie for our attention and allegiance. There are so many religions that claim to have the truth, and so many lifestyles that offer us the happiness that we desperately long for in this life.

Well, the world hasn’t changed that much in 2000 years. When the Apostle Paul was writing, there were Christians in the churches he was looking after who were just as confused.com! In Colossae the young Christians were being influenced by some other kind of philosophy. We don’t know exactly what this was but Paul says it was hollow, deceptive, based on human ideas, but also seeming to have some kind of spiritual element to it. They were under incredible pressure to conform to the beliefs and practices of those that lived around them. They had initially believed in Jesus and received him as Lord with enthusiasm but they were now being influenced by other ideas and were in danger of being led away from Christ. We face a similar problem today, because we are constantly bombarded by ideas and values that can influence us away from Jesus.

So how does Paul counteract these ideas? Well first of all he reminds them that in Christ all the fullness of deity dwells (verse 9). What he means simply is that Jesus is God and anything that would lead them away from Jesus, would lead them away from God. All the fullness of God is found in Jesus so they don’t need to follow any other philosophy or way of life.

Paul then tells them that they have been given fullness of life in Jesus (verse 10). That means they don’t need to look for wisdom, knowledge, perfection or ultimate happiness in any other place but in him. Any way of life or religion or philosophy that would lead us away from trusting Christ and living in the way he wants us to will not bring us the fullness of life we long for. So Paul says that in the same way that we received Christ Jesus as Lord, we should continue living in him (verse 6). In other words, we should continue to live our lives in Christ with the same enthusiasm, trust and love for Christ that we had when we first became Christians.

Let’s be thankful for what God has given us in Christ (verse 7) because thanksgiving is the answer to discontentment which brings the temptation to be led away from Christ.

Prayer
Father, thank you for all you have given us in Christ. May we be happy and content in him, because fullness of life and happiness are to be found in no-one else. In Christ’s name we pray.
Amen

Study by Barry Robinson

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About the Author:
Barry Robinson is an Elder and pastoral worker in the Greater London area, particularly the Camberwell and North London congregations of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Camberwell
The Salvation Army Hall
105 Lomond Grove
Camberwell
LONDON SE5 7HN

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11 am

Local Congregational Contact:
Barry Robinson
Email: barry_robinson@wcg.org.uk

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