Father God, thank You for those who have labored to establish me in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray You will keep me from being deceived by plausible arguments about how to find wisdom and life apart from Christ. Thank You for granting me forgiveness and new life through Jesus’ death and resurrection. May I cling to Jesus today as the source of my righteousness and my growth. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Read Colossians 2
Colossians 2:1–3 Paul had never met the Colossians, but he was concerned about these young believers in Christ. He was concerned they not get derailed by competing philosophical and religious ideas. Remember, he told them, it’s all about Christ, so don’t be tricked by nice-sounding arguments or impressive spirituality that places the focus on anything other than Christ.
Even though the Colossians had experienced the power and joy of being reconciled to God in Christ, Paul still thought they were in danger of missing the entire point. On the one hand, there was no shortage of persuasive arguments on how to find the “good life” through human wisdom. These arguments were not just logical and plausible, but the people advocating for them were such good people. They were disciplined and self-denying, and they spent a lot of time in “spiritual” activities.
Colossians 2:4–15 But the only good life is life rooted and grounded in Christ. Our human reasoning alone is completely incapable of finding true wisdom, for God has hidden His wisdom in Christ. We can only begin to be wise by trusting in Him. Our human striving for perfection and superiority is like the activity of a dead person, but Christ is the One who rules over all and has raised to life those who trust in Him.
Colossians 2:16–23 The problem with these wise and spiritual people was simple: they weren’t connected to Christ! They were living in a world of shadows, when the solid substance of Christ was right in front of them. So Paul gave the Colossian saints a simple encouragement: “Hold on to Christ.” Later in the letter, he explained practically what that looks like.
8 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.9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.
- How have you been influenced by the philosophies of the day to search for the good life apart from Christ? In other words, how do you define success? What do you think you need to be happy? What does maturity look like?
- Based on this chapter, describe the kind of teachers and mentors that Paul might encourage you to follow.
- Ask one of your non-Christian friends how they define “the good life.” Where do they look for wisdom on how to live well? Use this conversation to learn about your friend and to examine your own worldview.
- Contact one of your mentors this week and thank them for their work to establish you in the gospel.