Our study of
Colossians this week finds us in Chapter 2 and verses 8-13 which
“Beware lest any
man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the
tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after
Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality
and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision
made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh
by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein
also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of
God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your
sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened
together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;”
I have entitled this section “Christ Plus Nothing Equals
section of study is verse 8 of which I call, ‘The Nothing Of
Rudiments’. Paul in these verses warns us about being ‘spoiled’.
The word means to be carried off as booty. It is used to describe
the carrying off of a child by kidnapping. Paul uses this word to
describe being carried away from the truth into error. How many
much wiser than we have been spoiled by error? Esau traded his
birthright for a bowl of soup. Ahithophel traded David for
Absalom. Achan traded a few pieces of possession for his and the
life of his family. Judas traded Heaven for Hell. Demas traded the
mantle of Paul for the pleasures of this world. O to trade truth
for error is a high cost.
The method used
for spoiling mentioned in this text was ‘philosophy’. We are
told we cannot understand Christ through the intellect. It is not
what we form mentally that gives understanding of Christ but what
comes through the revelation of truth. Another instrument of spoil
is ‘the rudiments of the world’. This would involve the
elementary teaching of the pictures of the Old Testament. Any
little child could understand but only a child of revelation will
not be spoiled by the errors. We would surely not hug pictures when
we have the real thing!
In verse 9-10
we have ‘The Everything Of Christ’. In verse 9 Paul tells us
that all the fullness of the Godhead bodily ‘dwells’ in
Christ. The word ‘dwelleth’ means to settle down in or live
or reside in as ones permanent home. The fullness of the Godhead in
all the power, authority, attributes, nature, person, personality,
and character dwells bodily in Christ. He was fashioned by the
virgin birth into this body. He died in this body and was buried in
this body. He arose in this body and ascended in this body. He now
sits at the right hand of the Father in this body. He will come
again in this body. O what a powerful body and to think I was
placed in Him before time began. This is one more full body.
In verse 10
Paul sees the redeemed as a part of Christ’s mystical body of which
He is the head. In our connection with Him we are now ‘complete’.
The word has the idea of being full of the fullness.
In verse 11
Paul brings up ‘The Nothing Of Rituals’. He brings us the
Old Testament rite of circumcision. The circumcision would only
reach out to Jewish 8 year old boys. The cross could reach out to
both Jews and Gentiles of any age. Circumcision was God’s stamp of
death upon man’s ability to create anything in this world that would
last forever. In verse 11 he speaks of ‘putting off’ the
body of sins. The phrase means a stripping away of ones clothes,
what the knife failed to do to the flesh in the Old Testament, the
Cross accomplished in the New Testament. The Cross performed that
delicate surgery of cutting away the flesh of sin in the
circumcision of the heart.
In verses 12-13
Paul mentioned ‘The Everything Of The Cross’. Paul speaks of
baptism, which has no connection with circumcision. There are two
New Testament ordinances, baptism that testifies of my death with
Christ and the Lord’s Table which speaks of Christ’ death for me.
Baptism magnifies the Cross. When we stand in the water it speaks
of His death. In verse 12 we are buried with Him in baptism. Placed
under the water speaks of His burial. Raised out of the water
speaks of His resurrection.
In verse 13 the
cross forgives all trespasses. The cross is the only way to deal
with all we are by natural birth. Even infant baptism is connected
with Romanism and avails nothing. Let us lay aside all dead rituals
and hold to the living reality. Remember it is and has always been
Christ plus nothing equals everything. My, what a mathematical