Empty Deceit – Colossians 1-2

Colossians is one of Paul’s “prison epistles.” It is supposed that he wrote this letter while in prison after his voyage to Rome, which was documented in the Book of Acts. In chapter one, Paul spends some time talking to them about the fact that (as John 1:1-3 states) Jesus was with God from the beginning of time. But don’t miss the fact that he also states that in Jesus “all things hold together.” You can also refer to Hebrews 1:3 for this, as it says “he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” We have an expectation that scientific experiments performed today will yield the same results tomorrow. We expect that the law of thermodynamics and other scientific truths will not be dis-proven tomorrow morning. The Lord promised us it would be so, as long as we live in this world (Jeremiah 33:25).

English: the first of the Epistles to the Colo...

English: the first of the Epistles to the Colossians (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In chapter 2, Paul makes a statement that is very noteworthy for Christians of all time. Beginning in verse 8, he says “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Some versions say “see to it that no one robs you…” It is the empty philosophy and deceit of man, who tends to be “wise in his own eyes,” that he is speaking of here.

Molecules-to-man evolution and other distortions of reality are great examples of empty deceit that have taken many people captive today.  We must be ever vigilant to teach our children a proper defense of the word of God in the face of such things. We cannot depend on their Sunday school teachers to do it for us, and we certainly cannot depend on the school system for it. We alone must take that responsibility.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

Col. 1, Col. 2, Col. 3, Col. 4, Luke 1

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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

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All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

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Nailed To the Cross – Epistle To Colossae

Paul’s letter to the Colossians is one of the four “prison epistles” (he also wrote letters to the Ephesians, the Philippians, and to Philemon while in prison).  The date of writing is generally thought to be about 62 A.D., which assumes that he wrote it from prison in Rome after his fateful voyage in Acts 27-28.

English: Saint Epaphroditus Русский: Ап. Епафр...

English: Saint Epaphroditus Русский: Ап. Епафродит. Миниатюра из греко-груз. рукописи. XV в. (РНБ. О. I.58. Л. 114 об.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some scholars believe that Paul did not have a hand in establishing the church at Colossae personally. This is partially due to the reference in verse 7 to them having learned the truth from Epaphras. But if one reads verse 6 along with it, the mention of Epaphras appears to be an additional source of preaching of the gospel to the brethren there. It is likely that he at least had a hand in it, and we find it difficult to believe (as some have stated) that he never even visited them – especially being at Ephesus for three years during his third missionary journey. Regardless, Paul’s letter to them demonstrates no small measure of familiarity, and it should be noted that Philemon, to whom another prison epistle was written, was himself a Colossian. And Timothy, who apparently acted as Paul’s secretary for this letter (verse 1), was likely no stranger to them either.

Some parts of this letter appear to be addressing a problem with false teachers, possibly rising from within the ranks of the brethren, just as he warned the Ephesian elders about in Acts 20:28-30. One passage that particularly seems to allude to this is in Colossians 4:18, which says “let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind…”

But the overriding message to the brethren at Colossae (and to us) is about the gift of life given to us by Jesus. It is summarily contained in great detail in chapter 2:8-15. There, Paul speaks of Jesus Christ as deity and “the head of all rule and authority,” with whom we have been buried in baptism. And we, who were dead in our sins, have had our debts paid for us by Him and they were “nailed to the cross.”

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/Bob’s boy
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.

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