Colossians 2: Robbery through philosophy

March 29th, 2007

Most people decide that questions of philosophy are just too difficult to answer. There are too many competing opinions, and so most people just don’t bother to look into it. But, as Socrates said, the unexamined life is not worth living. If you haven’t thought about why you exist, how can you know what you should be doing with your life? How can you make sure that when you get to the end of your life you haven’t wasted it? If you haven’t worked out an answer to the question of what is the meaning of life, then you have simply accepted the default answer, which is that there is no meaning.

Paul’s Letter to the Colossians — Chapter 2

2:1 I want you to know how hard I am working for you, and for the people in Laodicea, and for everyone who has not yet met me. 2:2 I do it so that their hearts can be encouraged and they can be united in love and gain all the riches of fully knowing Christ, the mystery of God, 2:3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 2:4 I say this to stop anyone misleading you with specious arguments. 2:5 Although I am physically absent, I am with you in the spirit, glad to see how well you are living and how solid your faith in Christ is.

2:6 Keep following Christ Jesus the Lord in the way you have received him. 2:7 Put your foundations in him and be built up in him and established in the faith just as you have been taught, and be generous with your gratitude. 2:8 Be careful not to let anyone rob you through philosophy and empty pretence based on human traditions and worldly powers, and not on Christ. 2:9 Every aspect of God lives in Christ’s body, 2:10 and you become complete in him. He is the head of every ruler and authority. 2:11 You were circumcised in him with a circumcision made without hands, removing the sinful nature through the circumcision of Christ. 2:12 You were buried with him in baptism, and you were raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 2:13 You were dead in your sins and uncircumcised flesh, but he made you alive together with him, forgiving us for all our sins, 2:14 wiping out the record of accusations against us. He has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 2:15 He has overthrown the rulers and the authorities. He has publicly exposed them and triumphed over them by the cross.

2:16 No-one should condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for observing or failing to observe particular feast days or new moons or Sabbath days. 2:17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but Christ is real. 2:18 Do not let anyone steal your prize with false humility and angel worship, delving into visions, and being arrogant with worldly thoughts. 2:19 Such people are disconnected from Christ, who is the head from which the whole body is supported and held together with joints and ligaments, and grows through God’s power. 2:20 You died with Christ to worldly powers. So why do you live as if you have to obey rules such as, 2:21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch?” 2:22 These rules are human regulations about things which are gone when we use them. 2:23 They look like wisdom with their self-imposed piety and humility, and asceticism, but they are of no value against self-indulgence.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. » The&hellip  |  April 16th, 2011 at 8:04 am

    […] strict set of rules. Early Christians also felt this tension, and Paul felt obliged to write in the second chapter of his letter to the Colossians: You died with Christ to worldly powers. So why do you live as if you have to obey rules such as, […]

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