Clever Speech and Empty Worship-Colossians 2:2-5, 8

Colossians 2:2-5, 8 “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.” 8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”

Colossesi 2:2-5, 8 «affinché i loro cuori siano incoraggiati e, uniti mediante l’amore, siano dotati di tutta la ricchezza della piena intelligenza per conoscere a fondo il mistero di Dio, cioè Cristo, 3 nel quale tutti i tesori della sapienza e della conoscenza sono nascosti. 4 Dico questo affinché nessuno vi inganni con parole seducenti; 5 perché, sebbene sia assente di persona, sono però con voi spiritualmente, e mi rallegro vedendo il vostro ordine e la fermezza della vostra fede in Cristo.” 8 “Guardate che nessuno faccia di voi sua preda con la filosofia e con vani raggiri secondo la tradizione degli uomini e gli elementi del mondo e non secondo Cristo;”

     One of the main purposes of the book of Colossians was to show the deity and supremacy of Christ in the face of the Colossian heresies. In this chapter, Paul covers four types of deceptions that go against the supremacy of Christ. Today we will cover the first two. In verse 4, Paul refers to those who use “fine-sounding arguments”. This phrase of Paul’s is only found here in the New Testament and literally means persuasive words. Believers who are not grounded in the Word of God can be enticed by persuasive words.

     Second, Paul mentions “hollow and deceptive philosophy”. The word “philosophy” simply means the love of wisdom. The whole point of the book of Proverbs was to show true wisdom that is found in God. When Paul uses the word “hollow”, he implies that it is empty and associates it with human tradition. If someone loves wisdom that is not of Christ (who is the sum of all wisdom-Colossians 2:3), what he loves is empty human traditions that will pass away. This reference implies the notion of hanging on to a form of old pagan religious symbols (like idols) while still trying to identify oneself as a professing believer. We need to carefully consider Paul’s warnings as these issues are still valid and current for us even today.

Pray with me: Lord, I know there are many ways that the enemy of my soul tries to deceive me. Help me to be well-grounded in Your Word so I will not fall for clever speech or empty worship.

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