In Chapter 2 Paul addresses particular things that the false teachers were teaching and he also explains the superiority of Jesus Christ.
Paul’s letter to the Colossians was also in part to the Church at Laodicea. Laodicea was about 16 kilometers west of Colossae, which was about 10 miles. Therefore this letter was written to the Christians in both of these Churches. (Colossians 4:16) Jesus issued a warning to the Church in Laodicea in Revelation 3:14-22.
Paul’s work was to help each Christian to grow in spiritual maturity. (Colossians 1:28) Mature Christians in each Church would also bring the whole Church to a greater spiritual maturity. In Colossians 1:4 Paul had praised the Christians for their love for other Christians thus uniting them. Paul also wanted them to know and believe the complete truth about Jesus Christ. There was no need for the secret wisdom and knowledge that the false teachers had claimed to have. The false teacher’s motive may have been that they wanted to be viewed as an elite group of teachers within the body of the Church. Paul states that all they need to know came to them through Christ. Thus they should be encouraged as they gain in trust of Christ.
A person who us solid in the truth will be able to recognize a lie and able to see anything that is false. The false teachers within the Church were very clever in the way that they taught these false doctrines. These teachers were very persuasive in their teachings and wanted the people to believe them. Therefore, it was very important to Paul that the Christians at Colossae firmly knew the truth of Jesus Christ that they could discern what was false.
“My spirit is with you” was Paul’s way of letting them know that he cared deeply for them and that they were in his prayers. Paul gave them his praise because they still believed the truth. Discipline and firm are words that a soldier would use and this is the terminology that Paul used to express that they were soldiers for Christ. Christians are the soldiers of Christ who oppose Satan and that Satan is the father of lies. (John 8:44) If the Christian knows the truth, then it is easier for him to oppose the lie.
The Christians at Colossae had started the walk in their faith in Jesus in the right way. Jesus had become the Master of their lives. Paul did not now want them to become mislead by false teachings.
Paul uses the picture of a tree in this verse. A tree grows roots that fix it into the ground. The deeper and stronger the roots the less possibility that the tree can be uprooted. The storms cannot blow the deep rooted tree over. A Christian must fix his life into Christ. People build their houses on a strong level base or foundation. A Christian who builds his life on Christ will be built on a strong level foundation. Jesus taught this in Matthew 7:24-27. Epaphras had taught the Colossians about Christ and Paul was urging them to continue to believe the truth.
The Christians life should be one of praise and gratitude towards God for what He has done for them through Christ.
We now have Paul’s explanation of why the false teachers were wrong. Paul warns them not to become captive to the false teachings of the world. These false teachers thought the people had to obey many rules. But the truth of Christ is that we are free from the law through grace. John 8:31-32, 36) Philosophy can refer to human wisdom and thinking. But it is more than merely the academic discipline, but describes any theory about God, the world, or the meaning of life. Any wisdom without Christ is a false wisdom. People’s traditions may seem to be good and wise but often are used to control people. Traditions depend on the ideas of humans and are founded on human wisdom. They are not founded on the wisdom of God. Basic principles refers to the evil spirits of this world. Many people believed that the spirits ruled this world and some people even worshiped them.
In verse 9 Paul repeats Colossians 1:9 that God had filled Christ and that God is the only true God. Therefore, Christ is superior to everything that Paul had stated in verse 8.
The false teachers had nothing that the Christians at Colossae needed. The Christian already has all that is needed through Christ. God fills the Christian with His nature and power. Christ is the ruler of all creation and of every spirit and angel. (Colossians 1:16 Colossians 2:15) For this reason Christians should not worship spirits.
Every Jewish male was marked by circumcision as a link to God’s promise to all the Jews. (Genesis Chapter 17) If the Gentile wanted to become a Jew then the Jews would circumcise him. Circumcision was not always physical in the Old Testament as sometimes it referred to a circumcision in the heart. (Deuteronomy 30:6) When a Jew or a Gentile becomes a Christian Christ circumcises them by removing the old nature. Christ makes them free from the power of their old nature.
In the New Testament new Christians were baptized as soon as they became Christians. (Acts 2:38-42) They went down by the riverside or found a deep pool of water. The new Christians fully immerged themselves and then came back up. The water was as a grave in which they buried the old nature and rose up from the water with Christ’s new live in them. This was an outside act which showed what had taken place on the inside. Christ had died and then rose from the grave and at the Christian’s baptism they joined in Christ experience. In Paul’s letter to the Romans more is explained about baptism. (Romans 6”1-10)
Here in verses 13 being dead means that our transgressions had separated us from God. (Ephesians 2:12) God is holy, separated from man in that God is perfectly righteous. We cannot approach God in our sinful state. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, because Jesus paid the sin debt for all the world, God is able to forgive those who place their faith in the atoning blood of Jesus. We have to first accept God’s free gift of salvation through the work of Jesus on the cross and ask God for His forgiveness. Once we are forgiven we are seen by God in the righteousness of His Son Jesus and places the Holy Spirit in each Christian’s life. (Ephesians 1:13)
In those days the form of capital punishment was to cross. The cross was a large wooden pole placed in the ground with a cross beam near the top. They nailed the criminal to the cross by putting nails through his wrist. They would also nail his feet to the bottom portion of the wooden pole. The Romans would also nail a sign on the cross stating the crimes that the criminal was being punished for. The criminal would be left hanging on the cross until he was dead.
God established His law in the Old Testament. God is Holy and can only accept people that are also holy. No one is able to obey God’s law and therefore sin and the punishment for sin is death. (Romans 6:23) God sent His only begotten Son into the world to live as a man. Jesus lived a perfect life completely obedient to the will of the Father. In spite of Christ living a sinless life God put the record of our sins onto the cross of Jesus. Jesus bore the guilt of all our sins and we received the record of His perfect righteous life. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
The evil powers and authorities are those under control of Satan and his wicked angels. Christ never gave into Satan and obeyed God His Father completely. Satan is unable to accuse Jesus of any sinful act. Satan is but a fallen angel and has no power over Jesus but Jesus as a deity and ruler of creation has power over Satan.
In the Old Testament there were laws of God that told people what they should eat or drink. God also made laws about what people should not eat. God also made special holy holidays that the people were to observe. (Leviticus 23) God created the heavens and the earth in six days and on the seventh day He rested. The Jewish are to rest on the seventh day which is called the Sabbath. (Genesis 2:2-3) The Pharisees added hundreds of extra laws to God’s law. The false teachers in the Colossian Church told the Christians that they must obey these laws also. The False teachers told the Christians that this would make them better Christians. Paul taught that the false teachers were in error. In Mark 7:19 Jesus said the laws about food had come to an end. Paul also wrote to the Galatians because they too had started to obey the false teachers.
|At the time of Christ and the early Church, Jews made much of rules and laws in their understanding of religion. This was natural to them because God has given His law to the Jewish people as a mark of His favor upon them and as a way for them to ratify the covenant agreement He had made with them. However, many Jews added to the laws that God had given to His people, trying to develop rules for every situation in which they might find themselves. Their motivation was often a positive desire not to transgress any of God’s laws. As Jesus often pointed out, however, the rules developed by Rabbi sometimes became obstacles to obeying God’s rules. (Mark 7:1-15) Furthermore, many Jews thought that following the law would automatically endear them to God.
Paul apparently confronted a situation of this kind in Colossians 2:16-23. False teachers, influenced by Jewish beliefs, were insisting that Christians follow certain rules as a way of expressing their faith. Paul criticized this in light of faith in Christ. As the culmination of all God’s plans and purposes, Christ is the center of all true piety. This does not mean that rules for conduct are inherently bad. Some rules, such the prohibition on lying (Colossians 3:9) clearly manifest an aspect of Christ character. Paul also had no problem with individual
Christians imposing rules on themselves that they thing are conducive to their own growth in Christ. (Romans 14:5 1 Corinthians 8) But they must not require others to obey these self-imposed rules.
The Old Testament law demonstrated to the Jew the right way to live their life. The Old Testament law reminded the Jews that God was Holy. The laws of the Old Testament did not give the Jews the power to live a holy life. However, every Christian can live a holy life through Jesus Christ. The Old Testament laws were good but Christ is superior to the laws. The laws showed people haw to live in God’s way but Christ actually lived in God’s way. Christ gives His power to all that will trust Him. The Christian does not need law but only to trust Christ.
In Exodus 20 God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. The first one of these commandments say that we should not worship anyone or anything except God. But some people in Colossae were worshipping the angels. These people also said that they had received special spiritual experiences and they thought they were superior to all the others.
In Colossians 1:18 Paul referred to Christ as the head of the body. The Body of the Church which is its members. The false teachers were teaching the people were not good enough and they needed to add extra things in order to be real Christians. Paul stated that the false teachers were not real Christians at all. A true Christian has everything that he needs through Christ. It is Christ that gives life to His Church and the false teachers had separated themselves from Christ. Therefore, they could not be part of Christ’s body, the Church.
Paul did not state that all rules are bad but did say that the rules the false teachers were making we of no spiritual value. The rules that the false teachers were making were so they could control what the people were doing. These rules dealt with outer behavior. Christ makes people different because His changes the inside, He strips off the old sinful nature.