Colossians 2:8-10 – DON’T BE FOOLED! 

There are all sorts of religions looking for something that isn’t there.  Can you name some of those religions? (Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon, Islam, Hindu, Buddhist, etc.) 

We Christians can be fooled into looking for something that isn’t there when we try to add various beliefs to our Christianity that God never intended to be part of our faith. 

In this passage we find Paul warning the Colossians and us not to be fooled.  In our text Paul tells us to:

          BE WARNED – Vs. 8

          BE WISE – Vs. 9

          BE WHOLE – Vs. 10 

BE WARNED – Vs. 8 

The Old Testament prophets were good at handing out warnings. Ezekiel 3:17, Jeremiah 9:23-24, 

In the New Testament warnings are handed out by the Lord Jesus, the Apostles, and writers of the Epistles the Book of Revelation. Luke 12:1-2, 2 Corinthians 13:5, 1 Peter 5:8, Revelation 22:18-19 

And the preacher is told that warning is part of his job in

2 Timothy 4:2 – Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 

So Paul gives the Colossians and us a warning in verse 8.

It begins with the word “Beware”. 

Paul was warning the Colossians because of false teaching that was prevalent in Colossae.  

The word “spoil” here means to “kidnap”.

The Colossians were not in danger of being kidnapped physically, but spiritually.

They were in danger of being drawn away from the true faith.

It has been said that many cultists are those who been drawn away from the Christian religion.  Although they were probably not saved individuals, they did have their roots in the Christian faith.    

The word “philosophy” literally means “love of wisdom”.

We as Christians should love wisdom, the wisdom that comes from God. James contrasts two kinds of religion in James 3:14-18. 

The “philosophy” presented to the Colossians undoubtedly sounded very learned and, I imagine, complicated.  It would have relied on man’s “wisdom” and not God’s. All it amounted to was learned sounding gibberish! 

“vain deceit” means “empty deception”.

Were these false teachers evil? Of course they were.

Did they appear to be evil? I highly doubt it.  They were probably as moral, or more moral than the average Christian in Colossae.  Satan is a deceiver, and can make his followers appear to be very righteous. 2 Corinthians 11:14-15 

“Philosophy and vain deceit” have two sources.  They are mentioned next.  The first source is “traditions of men”.    

Not all traditions are bad.  However they are bad when they are contrary to the Word of God. Mark 7:5-9 

“Philosophy and vain deceit” have two sources.  The first source is “traditions of men”.      

The second source is “the rudiments of the world”.

The word “rudiments” could be translated “elemental spirits.”  And there is not agreement as to what it refers. 

It could refer to the “basics” or the “ABC’s” suggesting that the teaching was simplistic no matter how learned it sounded. 

Astrology was practiced in the days of the New Testament.

“Rudiments” or “elemental spirits” could also refer to angels who supposedly moved the stars around. A person supposedly needed knowledge in order to understand what they were doing.

Whatever the word “rudiments” means let us remember that it is of the “world”, that is the world system.  Whatever is of the world system is to be avoided. 1 John 2:15-17 

And the last phrase of verse 8 reminds us that the teaching being practiced was not after Christ. 

Some religions and philosophies claim to honor Christ, but they do not recognize Him as the supreme authority.  They do not recognize his deity. They do not recognize His authority as “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords”.    

BE WISE – Vs. 9 

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 

We should be wise as to who Jesus is!

In Christ, in his person, resides all there is of God.

He is God the Son. He is a member of the Trinity. John 1:1-5, Colossians 1:15-19, Hebrews 1:1-4 

Jesus is God in a body. John 8:58, John 14:8-9   

BE WHOLE – Vs. 10    

Colossians 2:10 – And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 

When it says that we are “complete in him” it means that we are filled with or have his fullness.  The moment we were saved we became “full of Christ”. 

What does this mean to you and me?

It means, first of all, being full of Christ, I have all I need for eternal life.

There is nothing lacking.  There is coming a day when my faith will be sight.  I shall be in his presence. 1 John 3:2 

Secondly, because I am complete or filled full with Christ I have the capacity for fellowship with Him.

Jesus would never ask you to do something that is impossible would He? 

And Jesus because He is fully in me, wants me to “abide in Him”. John 15:4-5, 7 

Finally, because I am complete or filled full with Christ I have the assurance of living a victorious Christian life. Galatians 2:20 

As I recognize myself as dead with Christ, and alive with Christ I have all I need for victory over sin! Romans 8:3-4 

We have been given so much with Christ in our lives. Let’s enjoy it! Let’s appropriate it for Godly living!