Colossians: Jesus is Better than Special Knowledge, Part 3

In the course of studying the Letter to the Colossians, one quickly notices the Apostle Paul gives a powerful and truthful defense of the Christian faith against gnosticism. “Jesus is better than special knowledge” is the theme of the epistle.

Colossians: Jesus is Better than Special Knowledge, Part 1 — Paul communicates joy and thanks for the Colossian believers just before describing the benefits each believer enjoys with Christ Jesus as Savior.

Colossians: Jesus is Better than Special Knowledge, Part 2 — Paul examines the greatness and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, contrasted by what the Colossian believers were and did before they received redemption & reconciliation to God through Jesus. He furthermore explains the sure cleansing and reconciliation each believer has in Christ, but the Apostle warns them about wavering from faith in Jesus. These warnings and defenses are part of Paul’s (and every minister’s) struggle to preserve and guide the body of Christ—the Church.

The 3rd part of our study begins at the traditional chapter 2 mark.

2:1-7

Paul continues by explaining how great is his (inner) struggle for the Colossians and the Laodiceans and for all the new believers whom he had not seen face-to-face.

Why is seeing new believers so important to Paul? Even though Paul is absent in body, he is with the believers in spirit (v. 5), rejoicing to hear of their good determination and the firmness of their faith in Christ. But, Paul wishes to see new believers in person (especially the Colossians)…

  • SO THAT their hearts (with the result of being knit together in God’s love)…
    • might be encouraged to reach all the riches that come from:
      • (gaining) the full assurance that comes from understanding and fully knowing God’s mystery, which is Christ…
        • in Whom are hidden all the treasures of riches and knowledge.
  • IN ORDER THAT no one may delude the new believers with plausible arguments.

On these grounds, Paul charges the Colossian believers to continue walking in the Lord Jesus Christ, just as they had received him [with good determination and firmness of faith – ref. v. 5] …

  • being both rooted and built up [solely] in Jesus Christ
  • being established in the faith just as they were taught
    • [by] “abounding” (fig. meditating tirelessly) in those teachings with thanksgiving

2:8-15 

And so, Paul begins to warn believers against:

  • [The kinds of] Philosophy and Empty Words (Lies) which are

Paul warns them of these things, because:

  • In Christ dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily. [He’s not a mere emanation]

This is important, because:

  • Believers have been filled (i.e. baptized) in Him, who is the Head of all (spiritual and physical) rule and authority.
    • In Him, believers were circumcised (showing identification as God’s) with a circumcision made without hands >>[Spirit baptism, see also Romans 6; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph.1:13]>>
      • by putting off the body of the flesh by means of the Circumcision of Christ (a.k.a. Spirit baptism)
        • having been buried with him in (Spirit) baptism
        • [and] in which (baptism) believers were also raised with Him
          • through faith in the powerful working of God
            • who raised Him from the dead

And also, because:

  • Believers, who were once dead in regards to trespasses (disobedience to God’s Law) and the un-circumcision of the flesh (a.k.a. not belonging to God’s covenant of redemption), …
    •  God has made alive together with Christ…
      • having forgiven all our trespasses
        • by canceling our the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. God set this record aside, nailing it to the cross.
    • God disarmed the (spiritual) rulers and authorities and put them to open shame
      • by triumphing over them in Christ

 

In other words, JESUS IS BETTER THAN SPECIAL KNOWLEDGE!!!

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