| Back to Home Page | Back to Book Index |


Colossians Chapter Two


Colossians 2

Thus we have a double ministry, as well as a double preeminence of Christ, and a double reconciliation; and each having a similar relationship the one to the other: Christ, the Head of all things in heaven and earth, the Head of the assembly; all things in heaven and earth are to be reconciled, Christians are reconciled; Paul exercises his ministry in the whole creation under heaven, he is the minister of the assembly. Naturally his ministry was limited to the earth. In every respect the extent and bearing of the glory of Christ, and of the ministry, went beyond the limits of Judaism, and were in contrast with the whole system.

The apostle then insists on the second part of his ministry, of which he had been just speaking; dwelling however particularly on that which met the need of the Colossians, and developing it, in order to secure them in the enjoyment of the whole circle of these precious truths. He completed the word of God by announcing this mystery, which had been hidden from all ages and generations, but was now manifested to the saints. No display of the ways of God since the creation had (in the truths on which it was founded, in the revelation of God-of His power, or of His thoughts, which formed its basis and gave it its character) contained the mystery contained in the doctrine of the assembly. It had not been communicated to any of those who formed part of the system which preceded it, or who were the medium of light to others, as instrumental in the revelation of the light of God. Angels, men, Israel, the prophets-all were alike in ignorance of it. The assembly (this body united to the Son of God become man and glorified) and the calling of the Gentiles into that unity was hidden from them all.

Now that Christ the Head of the assembly, the Head of the body, was glorified, the mystery of this body was made known. The apostle here dwells on one particular side of this subject, which, after the Person of Christ, forms the centre of all God's ways. This side is Christ in us, especially as Gentiles, the hope of glory. And in this again we see how the saints are viewed as on earth, though in the power of resurrection. The aspect here given of the mystery is, Christ in us down here, not union with Him actually in glory, though inseparable from that. In fact this mystery was in every way a new thought, a new truth. That which was known was a Messiah who should be manifested among the Jews, the accomplishment of glory in their midst; the Gentiles at most having part in it, as subordinate to the people of God. But according to the doctrine of the assembly, Christ invisibly dwelt in the midst of the Gentiles, [1] and even in them; and as to the glory He was only the hope of it. A Christ dwelling in the hearts of men, and of men formerly rejected and outside the promises, and filling their hearts with joy and glory in the consciousness of union with Himself-this was the wondrous mystery prepared of God for the blessing of the Gentiles. It was this Christ, a Christ such as this, whom Paul preached, warning every man, and teaching every man according to the full development of the wisdom of God, which wrought mightily in the apostle by the Spirit, in order that he might present every man in a spiritual state answering to this revelation of Christ, as being also its fruit. Not that every man would receive it; but there was no longer any limit. All distinction between them was blotted out, alike by sin and by grace, and there was but one thing to do; that is, to seek that every man, by the power of the word and the Spirit, should reflect Christ and grow up unto the stature of His fullness as revealed in the doctrine committed to the apostle. He laboured for this according to the working of Christ in him; for Christ was not only the object, but the power that wrought to form souls after His own image.

Now this power wrought in the apostle's weakness; in a human heart, that felt the necessities of men and the difficulties that occurred by the way-that felt them as a man, although according to God, and was the fruit of His love. He desired that the Colossians should understand the conflict he had for them, and for all those who had never seen him, in order that they might be encouraged and be thoroughly united in love; so that they might understand, in all the riches of a full assurance, the mystery of God.

The apostle felt that it was this which they needed and which would be a blessing to them. He knew that union with Christ, realised in the heart, was a safeguard from the wiles of the enemy, to which the Colossians were exposed. He knew the unutterable value of this union, and even of its realisation by faith. He laboured, he wrestled in prayer-for it is indeed a conflict-in order that the full sense of this union with the glorious Head might be wrought in their hearts, so that the Christ on high should be in them by faith. All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge were found in the mystery, of which this was to their souls the centre and the power. They had not to seek elsewhere. Science, falsely so called, might pretend to furnish them with heights to which the simplicity of the doctrines of Christ did not reach but in fact the wisdom of God and the depths of His counsels left these cloudy efforts of the human mind at an infinite distance. Moreover they were truth--reality-instead of being but the creatures of imagination inspired by the enemy.

For this reason the apostle had brought forward these marvelous revelations of God respecting the double glory of Christ, and with regard to His Person. He declared them in order that no one should beguile the Colossians with enticing words. He avails himself of the order that existed among them, and of their faith to guard them against the danger they were in from these thoughts which might glide unperceived into their minds, while all was yet going on well, and the consciousness of their faith was not touched. This often happens. People have faith in Christ, they walk well, they do not perceive that certain ideas overthrow that faith; they admit them, while still maintaining the profession of faith together with these ideas; but the force of the truth and the sense of union with Christ and the simplicity that is in Him are lost. The enemy has so far attained his end. That which is received is not the development of Christ, but something outside Him.

Therefore the apostle says, "As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in him; rooted and built up in him, and confirmed in the faith, even as ye have been taught." When we have received Christ, all the rest is but a development of that which He is, and of the glory which the counsels of God have connected with His Person. Knowledge, or pretended knowledge, outside this, does but turn us away from Him, withdraw our hearts from the influence of His glory, throw us into that which is false, and lead our souls into connection with the creation apart from God, and without possessing the key to His purposes. Thus, since man is incapable of fathoming that which exists, and of explaining it to himself, his efforts to do so cause him to invent a mass of ideas that have no foundation, and to endeavor to fill up the void that is found in his knowledge through his ignorance of God by speculations, in which (because he is at a distance from God) Satan plays the chief part without man's suspecting it.

Man, as a child of Adam, is not at the centre of the immense system of God's ways. Out of Christ and without Christ, he does not know the centre; he speculates, without foundation and without end, only to lose himself more and more. His knowledge of good and evil and the energy of his moral faculties, do but lead him astray the more, because he employs them on higher questions than those which simply relate to physical things; and they produce in him the need of reconciling apparently inconsistent principles, which cannot be reconciled without Christ. Moreover the tendency of man is always to make himself, as he is, the centre of everything; and this renders everything false.

Christians then ought to walk with simplicity in the ways of the Lord, even as they have received Him; and their progress ought to be in the knowledge of Christ, the true center and fullness of all things.

When man occupies himself philosophically with all things, the insufficiency of his own resources always throws him into the hands of an intellectual leader, and into tradition; and, when religion is the subject, into traditions which develop the religion of the flesh, and are suited to its powers and tendencies.

In those days Judaism had the highest pretensions to this kind of religion, allied itself with human speculations and adopted then, and even pursued them assiduously; offering at the same time proofs of divine origin, and a testimony to the unity of the Godhead, which the absence of the grossness of Pagan mythology and the meeting of human consciousness of the divine rendered credible. This relative purity tended to remove-for enlightened minds-that which was disgusting in the Pagan system. The Jewish system had, by the death of Jesus, lost all pretension to be the true worship of God; and was therefore suited (by the advantages it offered in the comparative purity of its dogmas) to be an instrument of Satan in opposing the truth. At all times it was adapted to the flesh, was founded on the elements of this world, because by its means, when owned of God, God was proving man in the position man stood in. But now God was no longer in it; and the Jews, moved by envy, urged the Gentiles to persecution; and Judaism allied itself to Pagan speculations, in order to corrupt and sap the foundations of Christianity, and destroy its testimony.

In principle it is always thus. The flesh may appear for a time to despise tradition, but that which is purely intellectual cannot stand in the midst of humanity without something religious. It has not the truth nor the world which belongs to faith, and for an immense majority superstition and tradition are needed; that is to say, a religion which the flesh can lay hold of, and which suits the flesh. God by His power may preserve a portion of the truth, or allow the whole to be corrupted; but in either case true christian position and the doctrine of the assembly are lost. [2] We may indeed find philosophy apart from the religion of the flesh, and the latter apart from the former; but inthis case philosophy is impotent and atheistic, the religion of the flesh narrow, legal, superstitious, and, if it can be so, persecuting.

In our chapter we find philosophy and the emptiness of human wisdom united with the traditions of men, characteristic as "the elements of this world," in opposition to Christ: for we have a heavenly Christ who is a perfect contrast to the flesh in man living on earth, a Christ in whom is all wisdom and fullness, and the reality of all that which the law pretended to give, or which it presented in figure: and who is at the same time an answer to all our wants. This the apostle develops here, shewing death and resurrection with Him as the means of participating in it.

And first all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Him bodily. Instead of the misty speculations of men and fantastic aeons, we have the fullness of God bodily, in a real human body, and thus efficaciously for us, in the Person of Jesus Christ. In the second place we are complete in Him; we need nothing out of Christ. [3] On the one side, we have, in Him, God perfectly presented in all His fullness; on the other side, we possess in Him perfection and completeness before God. We are wanting in nothing as to our position before God. What a truth! What a position! God, in His perfect fullness, in Christ as man, we in Him before God, in the perfection of what He is--in Him who is head of all principality and power, before which man in his ignorance would incline to bend the knee! We are in Him, in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwells as to His Person; in Him, who is above all principality as to His position and His rights as Christ, man exalted on high.

The apostle then enters into some details of application to demonstrate that the faithful have all in Christ, viewed according to the position which He has taken without having anything to seek elsewhere here below.

Circumcision (the divine token of the covenant with the Jews, and of the putting off the flesh, which was required in order to form part of God's people) had its reality in Him. By the power of the life which is in Him, and which is theirs-being made partakers of the efficacy of His death-Christians account themselves to be dead, and have put off this body of sin by faith. This is the true circumcision of Christ made without hands. Circumcision made by hands was but the sign of this putting off the body of the flesh-the privilege of the Christian in Christ. Having a new life in Christ, he has efficaciously put off the old man.

We are buried with Christ by baptism (this is its meaning), in which also we are risen with Him by faith in this operation of the power of God whereby He was raised from among the dead. Baptism was the sign and expression of this; [4] faith in the operation of God which raised Him, the means by which is effected in us this marvelous resurrection with Christ into a new state and scene-this happy death, or rather this precious participation in the death of Him who has accomplished all for us. And when I say "faith," it is the power of God's Spirit working in us. But it is the power of God Himself, as it wrought in Christ, which works in us to give us the new standing in life. Viewed in connection with our resurrection with Christ it implies-by the very fact of our receiving it-that we are forgiven perfectly and for ever. We were under the burden of our sins, and dead in them. This burden Christ took upon Himself, and died for us, accomplishing what put away our sins in going down into death. Raised up with Him, inasmuch as partaking of that life which He possesses as risen from the dead, we have-like Him and with Him-left all that burden of sin and condemnation behind us with the death from which we have been delivered. Therefore He says, "Having forgiven you all trespasses."

Christ, when He arose, left death and the weight of condemnation under which we were lying, behind Him-we also being raised up with Him. Naturally God, in thus raising us up from the state in which we were, has not raised us up to condemn us, or with condemnation attached to this new life, which is Christ Himself. For He had already borne the condemnation, and satisfied the justice of God, and died for the putting away of sin, before He communicated this life to us. God brought us out of death and condemnation with Christ who had borne it for us. But this is connected with another aspect of this work of grace, spoken of here, and also in Ephesians, and even in John 5 and 2 Corinthians 5. He who is alive in sins is dead in them towards God. If I look at him as alive in them, death must come in and has come in on the cross. (See Rom. 6) This side is not brought forward in Ephesians; only death in Romans; in Colossians death and resurrection in Christ, of which we have spoken. In Ephesians this is not spoken of at all. We are viewed as dead in sins, dead towards God, and all good is a new creation according to God's counsels. We are quickened together with Christ when dead in sins. This also is taken up in Colossians: only it is not spoken of as a new creation. But in both a new life is given when we are dead; only Ephesians begins with this in Christ raised and exalted, and by the same power in us. In Colossians it is introduced as completing what is taught of the administration of this doctrine of death in baptism and our resurrection by faith of God's operation in Christ. In Ephesians grace finds us dead and quickened with Christ. In Colossians it finds us alive in sins and brings in death and resurrection, and completes this by quickening with Christ.

All the ordinances likewise, which belonged to the rudiments of this world and which applied to man in the flesh, and weighed as an insupportable yoke upon the Jews (and to which they endeavoured to bring others into subjection), which put the conscience always under the burden of a service unaccomplished by man, and a righteousness, unsatisfied in God-these ordinances were blotted out. In them the Jew had put his signature, so to speak, to his guiltiness; but the obligation was destroyed and nailed to the cross of Christ. We receive liberty as well as life and pardon.

This is not all. There was, the strength of principalities and powers against us-the might of spiritual wickedness. Christ has vanquished and despoiled them on the cross, having triumphed over them in it. All that was against us He has put aside, in order to introduce us, entirely delivered from it all, into our new position. It will be seen here, that what the apostle says of the work of Christ does not go beyond that which He did for our deliverance, in order to set us in the heavenly places. He speaks (ver. 10) of the rights of Christ, but not as sitting in the heavenly places, nor as, leading the enemy captive; neither does he speak of us as sitting in Him in the heavenlies. He has done all that is necessary to bring us into them; but the Colossians are viewed as on earth though risen, and in danger at least of losing the sense of the position which was theirs in virtue of their union with Christ, and were in danger of slipping back into the elements of the world and of flesh, of the man alive in the flesh, not dead, not risen with Christ; and the apostle seeks to bring them back to it, by shewing how Christ had accomplished all that was requisite-had taken out of the way all that prevented their attaining it. But he cannot speak of the position itself: they were not consciously in it. In the things of God we cannot comprehend a position without being in it. God may reveal it. God may shew us the way to it. The apostle does so here with regard to the Person of Christ, which alone could bring them back to it; and at the same time he develops the efficacy of His work in this respect, in order to set them free from the shackles that kept them back, and to shew them that all obstacles had been removed. But in detail he has to apply it to the dangers that beset them rather than to display its glorious results in heaven.

Jewish ordinances were but shadows, Christ is the substance. By bringing in angels as objects of homage, and thus putting them between themselves and Christ, they would separate themselves from the Head of the body, who was above all principalities. The simplicity of christian faith held fast the Head, from which the whole body directly drew its nourishment and thus increased with the increase of God. It looked like humility, thus to bring themselves into relation with angels, as superior and exalted beings who might serve as mediators. But there were two faults of immense importance in this apparent humility. First, it really was thorough pride-this pretension to penetrate into the secrets of heaven of which they were ignorant. What did they know of any position held by angels, which would make them the objects of such homage? It was pretending to mount up into heaven for and by themselves, and to measure their relations with God's creatures without Christ, and at their own will to connect themselves with them. Secondly, it was to deny their union with Christ. One with Him, there could be nothing between Him and them; if there were anything, then they were dead and twice dead. Besides by this union they were one with Him who was above the angels. United to Him, they received, as we have seen, a communication, through all the members of the body, of the treasures of grace and life which were in the Head. The mutual links between the members of the body itself were thereby strengthened, and thus the body had its increase.

Two applications of the doctrine that they are dead with Christ and risen with Him follow. (Chap. 2:20.) He applies the principle of death to all the ordinances, and to the asceticism which treated the body as a thing vile in itself which ought to be rejected; and (chap.3:1) he uses the resurrection to raise their hearts into a higher sphere and to bring them back to Christ by looking up; they being dead as regards the old man. [5] To make these instructions more plain by shewing their connection, we may remark that the apostle points out the double danger, namely, philosophy, and human tradition, in contrast with Christ. (Chap. 2:3; see vers. 9-15.) While identifying us with Christ, he speaks of the bearing of the work of Christ Himself rather thanof this identification. In verses 16-19 he applies it first (ver. 16) to subjection to ordinances, that is, to the Jewish side of their danger; and then (ver. 18) to the Gnostic philosophy, [6] science falsely so called, which linked itself with Judaism (or to which Judaism linked itself), reproducing itself under a new form. From verse 20 the apostle applies our death and resurrection with Christ to the same points, or to the deliverance of the Colossians by raising their thoughts on high.

But the Colossians are not the only ones who may have been in this danger. In the main these principles have been the ruin of the church at all times. They are those of the mystery of iniquity, [7] which has so much ripened since then, and produced effects so various, and under such different modifications, on account of other principles which have also acted, and under the sovereign providence of God. We shall see the deep, simple, and decisive principle which is involved in it in the verses that follow.

The verses already quoted, as far as the twentieth, had judged this whole Judeo-philosophic system from the point of view of Christ's work, of His resurrection, and of union with Him in His heavenly position.

That which follows judges it after our position. The preceding verses had demonstrated that the system was false because Christ and His work were such as is declared in them. The passage we are going to consider shews that this system is absurd, cannot be applied to us, has no possible application, because of our position. On the one hand it is a false system, null and void in all its parts, if Christ is true and is in heaven; and, on the other hand, it is an absurd system in its application to us, if we are Christians. And for this reason: it is a system which supposes life in this world, and relationships to be acquired with God, having their foundation in that life, while it pretends to mortify flesh; and yet it addresses itself to persons who, for faith, are dead. The apostle says, that we are dead to the rudiments of this world, to all the principles on which its life acts. Why then as though we were still living (alive) in it, as though we were still alive in this world, do we subject ourselves to ordinances which have to do with this life, and which suppose its existence?-ordinances which apply to things which perish in the use of them, and which have no connection with that which is heavenly and eternal. They have indeed a semblance of humility and self-denial as regards the body, but they have no link with heaven, which is the sphere of the new life--of all its motives, and all its development; and they do not recognize the honour of the creature, as a creature come out of the hand of God, which, as such, has always its place and its honour. They put a man in and under the flesh, while pretending to deliver us from it, and they separate the believer from Christ by putting angels between the soul and the heavenly place and blessing; whereas we are united to Christ, who is above all these powers, and we in Him.

These ordinances had to do with merely corruptible things-were not connected with the new life, but with man living in his life of flesh on the earth, to which life the christian is morally dead; and as far as regarded this life, they did not recognize the body as a creature of God, as it ought to be recognised.

Thus this system of ordinances had lost Christ, who was their substance. It was connected with the pride that pretended to penetrate heaven, in order to put itself in relation with beings whom we do not know in such a manner as to have any relations with them--pride which in so doing separated from the Head of the body, Christ, and thus disowned all connection with the source of life, and with the only true position of the soul before God. This system falsified equally our position on earth by treating us as though still alive after the old man, whereas we are dead; and dishonoured the creature as such, instead of recognizing it as coming from the hand of God.

That which was a danger to Christians in the apostle's days characterises Christianity at the present time.

The Christian's position was thus set forth, but in its application thus far rather to the danger of Christians than to their heavenly privileges. Thus grace has provided us with all we need, using every privilege, using the faith of some, giving warnings and instruction above all price, and turning the faults of others to account.


[1] I have already remarked that the Gentiles are especially in view in the Colossians, not the union of Jew and Gentiles in one.

[2] There were some very beautiful legends, embracing partial truths, in the Gnostic system; but they had lost God and truth, and reality of conscience before God.

[3] These expressions relate to the double character of Christ already set before us in chapter 1. They shew us what we have in Christ in a positive way as that which follows applies it to everything here below which would prevent our enjoying it. In Christ is the fullness of the Godhead, the object of our delight, in whom we possess all things. We have also in Him a position above all creation, in the perfection which has placed Christ there. We are complete in Him who is the Head of all principalities and of all power. As regards the phraseology, the change of a word, to one not however better in itself, shews the mind of the apostle. In Him dwelleth all the completeness of the Godhead bodily; and we are complete in Him.

[4] Some do not connect "risen" with baptism. If so, I apprehend the passage must be read thus: "In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with Him in baptism; in whom also ye are risen together [meaning with Christ] through faith,". Baptism clearly signifies death, and it is not the baptizing but the coming out of the water which can be applied to resurrection. The giving of life is in no way the sense of baptism even as a figure, but leaving the life of Adam by death (the death of Christ) and entrance through that gate into a wholly new place and position.

[5] These applications flow from chapter 2:11, 12. It is to be remarked that Romans from chapter 5:12 treats of death to sin, in which man (as child of Adam) was alive. In Ephesians man is reckoned as dead in sins as towards God. Colossians takes up both: chapter 2:11,12 follows them out, adding resurrection with Christ. Verse 18 follows Ephesians doctrine. Chapters 2:20, 3:1, follow on chapter 2:11,12. and we have the putting off of the old and putting on of the new man

[6] Although this word has the appearance of learning and of not being scriptural, this is not the case. Science, falsely so called, of which the apostle speaks elsewhere, is in Greek "gnosis" , whence this presumptuous and corrupting philosophy was called "Gnosticism," and its votaries " Gnostics." It plays an immense part in the history of the church, with which I have nothing to do here. But its principles are frequently formed in the New Testament, brought forward by the apostles in order to combat them. The Jews had largely fallen into the notion of a mediatorial work of angels, though not in the form exactly of Gnostic philosophy.

[7] This was working in the apostles' days; Paul withstood it in the energy of the Holy Ghost. After his departure that power was gone. The historical church never had the two great fundamental principles of Christianity, perfection in Christ ("by one offering he hath perfected for ever "), and the presence and leading power of the Holy Ghost down here. These were supplanted by sacraments and the clergy.

── John DarbySynopsis of Colossians


Colossians 2

Chapter Contents

The apostle expresses his love to, and joy in believers. (1-7) He cautions against the errors of heathen philosophy; also against Jewish traditions, and rites which had been fulfilled in Christ. (8-17) Against worshipping angels; and against legal ordinances. (18-23)

Commentary on Colossians 2:1-7

(Read Colossians 2:1-7)

The soul prospers when we have clear knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. When we not only believe with the heart, but are ready, when called, to make confession with the mouth. Knowledge and faith make a soul rich. The stronger our faith, and the warmer our love, the more will our comfort be. The treasures of wisdom are hid, not from us, but for us, in Christ. These were hid from proud unbelievers, but displayed in the person and redemption of Christ. See the danger of enticing words; how many are ruined by the false disguises and fair appearances of evil principles and wicked practices! Be aware and afraid of those who would entice to any evil; for they aim to spoil you. All Christians have, in profession at least, received Jesus Christ the Lord, consented to him, and taken him for theirs. We cannot be built up in Christ, or grow in him, unless we are first rooted in him, or founded upon him. Being established in the faith, we must abound therein, and improve in it more and more. God justly withdraws this benefit from those who do not receive it with thanksgiving; and gratitude for his mercies is justly required by God.

Commentary on Colossians 2:8-17

(Read Colossians 2:8-17)

There is a philosophy which rightly exercises our reasonable faculties; a study of the works of God, which leads us to the knowledge of God, and confirms our faith in him. But there is a philosophy which is vain and deceitful; and while it pleases men's fancies, hinders their faith: such are curious speculations about things above us, or no concern to us. Those who walk in the way of the world, are turned from following Christ. We have in Him the substance of all the shadows of the ceremonial law. All the defects of it are made up in the gospel of Christ, by his complete sacrifice for sin, and by the revelation of the will of God. To be complete, is to be furnished with all things necessary for salvation. By this one word "complete," is shown that we have in Christ whatever is required. "In him," not when we look to Christ, as though he were distant from us, but we are in him, when, by the power of the Spirit, we have faith wrought in our hearts by the Spirit, and we are united to our Head. The circumcision of the heart, the crucifixion of the flesh, the death and burial to sin and to the world, and the resurrection to newness of life, set forth in baptism, and by faith wrought in our hearts, prove that our sins are forgiven, and that we are fully delivered from the curse of the law. Through Christ, we, who were dead in sins, are quickened. Christ's death was the death of our sins; Christ's resurrection is the quickening of our souls. The law of ordinances, which was a yoke to the Jews, and a partition-wall to the Gentiles, the Lord Jesus took out of the way. When the substance was come, the shadows fled. Since every mortal man is, through the hand-writing of the law, guilty of death, how very dreadful is the condition of the ungodly and unholy, who trample under foot that blood of the Son of God, whereby alone this deadly hand-writing can be blotted out! Let not any be troubled about bigoted judgments which related to meats, or the Jewish solemnities. The setting apart a portion of our time for the worship and service of God, is a moral and unchangeable duty, but had no necessary dependence upon the seventh day of the week, the sabbath of the Jews. The first day of the week, or the Lord's day, is the time kept holy by Christians, in remembrance of Christ's resurrection. All the Jewish rites were shadows of gospel blessings.

Commentary on Colossians 2:18-23

(Read Colossians 2:18-23)

It looked like humility to apply to angels, as if men were conscious of their unworthiness to speak directly to God. But it is not warrantable; it is taking that honour which is due to Christ only, and giving it to a creature. There really was pride in this seeming humility. Those who worship angels, disclaim Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man. It is an insult to Christ, who is the Head of the church, to use any intercessors but him. When men let go their hold of Christ, they catch at what will stand them in no stead. The body of Christ is a growing body. And true believers cannot live in the fashions of the world. True wisdom is, to keep close to the appointments of the gospel; in entire subjection to Christ, who is the only Head of his church. Self-imposed sufferings and fastings, might have a show of uncommon spirituality and willingness for suffering, but this was not "in any honour" to God. The whole tended, in a wrong manner, to satisfy the carnal mind, by gratifying self-will, self-wisdom, self-righteousness, and contempt of others. The things being such as carry not with them so much as the show of wisdom; or so faint a show that they do the soul no good, and provide not for the satisfying of the flesh. What the Lord has left indifferent, let us regard as such, and leave others to the like freedom; and remembering the passing nature of earthly things, let us seek to glorify God in the use of them.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on Colossians


Colossians 2

Verse 1

[1] For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;

How great a conflict — Of care, desire, prayer.

As many as have not seen my face — Therefore, in writing to the Colossians, he refrains from those familiar appellations, "Brethren," "Beloved."

Verse 2

[2] That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

Unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, unto the acknowledgment of the mystery of God — That is, unto the fullest and clearest understanding and knowledge of the gospel.

Verse 6

[6] As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

So walk in him — In the same faith, love, holiness.

Verse 7

[7] Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Rooted in him — As the vine.

Built — On the sure foundation.

Verse 8

[8] 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.

Through philosophy and empty deceit — That is, through the empty deceit of philosophy blended with Christianity. This the apostle condemns, 1. Because it was empty and deceitful, promising happiness, but giving none. 2. Because it was grounded, not on solid reason, but the traditions of men, Zeno, Epicurus, and the rest. And, 3. Because it was so shallow and superficial, not advancing beyond the knowledge of sensible things; no, not beyond the first rudiments of them. 9, For in him dwelleth - Inhabiteth, continually abideth, all the fulness of the Godhead. Believers are "filled with all the fulness of God," Ephesians 3:19. But in Christ dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead; the most full Godhead; not only divine powers, but divine nature, Colossians 1:19.

Bodily — Personally, really, substantially. The very substance of God, if one might so speak, dwells in Christ in the most full sense.

Verse 10

[10] And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

And ye — Who believe.

Are filled with himJohn 1:16. Christ is filled with God, and ye are filled with Christ. And ye are filled by him. The fulness of Christ overflows his church, Psalms 133:3. He is originally full. We are filled by him with wisdom and holiness.

Who is the head of all principality and power — Of angels as well as men Not from angels therefore, but from their head, are we to ask whatever we stand in need of.

Verse 11

[11] 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:

By whom also ye have been circumcised — Ye have received the spiritual blessings typified of old by circumcision.

With a circumcision not performed with hands — By an inward, spiritual operation. In putting off, not a little skin, but the whole body of the sins of the flesh - All the sins of your evil nature.

By the circumcision of Christ — By that spiritual circumcision which Christ works in your heart.

Verse 12

[12] 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.

Which he wrought in you, when ye were as it were buried with him in baptism - The ancient manner of baptizing by immersion is as manifestly alluded to here, as the other manner of baptizing by sprinkling or pouring of water is, Hebrews 10:22. But no stress is laid on the age of the baptized, or the manner of performing it, in one or the other; but only on our being risen with Christ, through the powerful operation of God in the soul; which we cannot but know assuredly, if it really is so: and if we do not experience this, our baptism has not answered the end of its institution.

By which ye are also risen with him — From the death of sin to the life of holiness. It does not appear, that in all this St. Paul speaks of justification at all, but of sanctification altogether.

Verse 13

[13] And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

And you who were dead — Doubly dead to God, not only wallowing in trespasses, outward sins, but also in the uncircumcision of your flesh - A beautiful expression for original sin, the inbred corruption of your nature, your uncircumcised heart and affections.

Hath he — God the Father.

Quickened together with him — Making you partakers of the power of his resurrection. It is evident the apostle thus far speaks, not of justification, but of sanctification only.

Verse 14

[14] Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Having blotted out — in consequence of his gracious decrees, that Christ should come into the world to save sinners, and that whosoever believeth on him should have everlasting life.

The handwriting against us — Where a debt is contracted, it is usually testified by some handwriting; and when the debt is forgiven, the handwriting is destroyed, either by blotting it out, by taking it away, or by tearing it. The apostle expresses in all these three ways, God's destroying the handwriting which was contrary to us, or at enmity with us. This was not properly our sins themselves, (they were the debt,) but their guilt and cry before God.

Verse 15

[15] And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

And having spoiled the principalities and powers — The evil angels, of their usurped dominion.

He — God the Father.

Exposed them openly — Before all the hosts of hell and heaven.

Triumphing over them in or by him — By Christ. Thus the paragraph begins with Christ, goes on with him, and ends with him.

Verse 16

[16] Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

Therefore — Seeing these things are so.

Let none judge you — That is, regard none who judge you.

In meat or drink — For not observing the ceremonial law in these or any other particulars. Or in respect of a yearly feast, the new moon, or the weekly Jewish sabbaths.

Verse 17

[17] Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Which are but a lifeless shadow; but the body, the substance, is of Christ.

Verse 18

[18] Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

Out of pretended humility, they worshipped angels, as not daring to apply immediately to God. Yet this really sprung from their being puffed up: (the constant forerunner of a fall, Proverbs 16:18) so far was it from being an instance of true humility.

Verse 19

[19] And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

And not holding the head — He does not hold Christ, who does not trust in him alone. All the members are nourished by faith, and knit together by love and mutual sympathy.

Verse 20

[20] Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,

Therefore — The inference begun, Colossians 2:16; is continued. A new inference follows, Colossians 3:1.

If ye are dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world — That is, If ye are dead with Christ, and so freed from them, why receive ye ordinances - Which Christ hath not enjoined, from which he hath made you free.

Verse 21

[21] (Touch not; taste not; handle not;

Touch not — An unclean thing.

Taste not — Any forbidden meat.

Handle not — Any consecrated vessel.

Verse 22

[22] Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

Perish in the using — Have no farther use, no influence on the mind.

Verse 23

[23] Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

Not sparing the body — Denying it many gratifications, and putting it to many inconveniences. Yet they are not of any real value before God, nor do they, upon the whole, mortify, but satisfy, the flesh. They indulge our corrupt nature, our self-will, pride, and desire of being distinguished from others.

── John WesleyExplanatory Notes on Colossians


Chapter 2. The Fullness of Christ

Buried with Him
Raised with Him

I. The Mystery of God Is Christ

  1. Encouraged in Heart
  2. United in Love
  3. All Riches of the Full Assurance

II. Fine-Sounding Heresies

  1. Hollow and Deceptive Philosophy
  2. Human Tradition
  3. Basic Principles of this World

III. Connected with the Head

  1. Triumph by the Cross
  2. Nullify Ritual
  3. Cancel the Regulations
── Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament
Chapter Two General Review
1) To see the relation between understanding the "mystery of God" and
   having a strong assurance of our salvation
2) To appreciate how baptism serves as our spiritual circumcision, and
   that it is a work of God which is performed, not a work of man
3) To understand how Christ brought an end to the Old Law by His death
   on the cross
Paul reveals his great concern for those at Colosse and others he has
not seen, expressing his desire that their hearts be knit together in
love, and that they may have the assurance that comes from an
understanding of the mystery of God as revealed through Christ.  He
rejoices in their good order and steadfastness, and encourages them to
be firmly established in Christ, abounding in thanksgiving (1-7).
The word "Beware" in verse eight summarizes the rest of the chapter, in
which Paul warns them of the dangers of "The Colossian Heresy".  These 
dangers include being cheated through philosophy and vain deceit, and 
defrauded of their reward by those who appeal to false humility, the 
worship of angels, false visions, and strict regulations according to 
the commandments and doctrines of men which really have no value 
against the indulgence of the flesh.  In Christ they are made complete,
having undergone a circumcision not made with hands, in which God made
them alive together with Christ.  Since Christ has also nailed to the
cross the "handwriting of requirements" that was against them and taken
it out of the way, none can judge them regarding religious observances
that were only a shadow pointing to the true substance of Christ
      1. He has a great conflict for those...
         a. In Colosse and Laodicea (1a)
         b. Who have not seen his face in the flesh (1b)
      2. His desire is that...
         a. Their hearts be encouraged, knit together in love (2a)
         b. They attain to all the riches of:
            1) The full assurance of understanding (2b)
            2) The knowledge of the mystery of God (2c)
               a) Both of the Father and of Christ (2d)
               b) In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and 
                  knowledge (3)
      1. Lest anyone deceive them with persuasive words (4)
      2. Though absent in the flesh, he is present with them in spirit
      3. He rejoices to see...
         a. Their good order (5b)
         b. The steadfastness of their faith (5c)
      1. As they have received Christ, so they should walk in Him (6)
         a. Rooted and built up in Him (7a)
         b. Established in the faith (7b)
         -- As they were taught (7c)
      2. Abounding with thanksgiving (7d)
      1. Beware of being cheated by philosophy and empty deceit (8a)
         a. According to the traditions of men (8b)
         b. According to the basic principles of the world (8c)
         -- And not according to Christ (8d)
      2. In Christ dwells the fullness of God, and you are complete in
         Him (9-10)
         a. All the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily in Christ (9)
         b. You are complete in Him, who is head over all principality
            and power (10)
      1. In Christ you have a circumcision made without hands (11-12)
         a. A putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh (11)
         b. Having been buried with Christ in baptism (12)
            1) In which you were also raised with Him (12a)
            2) Through faith in the working of God, who raised Jesus
               from the dead (12b)
      2. You are made alive in Christ, and the handwriting of 
         requirements that was against us has been taken away at the 
         cross (13-15)
         a. Dead in sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God has
            made you alive (13a)
         b. He has forgiven you all trespasses (13b)
         c. He has wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was
            against us (14)
            1) That which was contrary to us (14a)
            2) He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the
               cross (14b)
         d. He has disarmed principalities and powers (15)
            1) Having made a public spectacle of them (15a)
            2) Triumphing over them in it (15b)
      3. Therefore don't let anyone judge you in regards to food, 
         festivals, or sabbath days (16)
         a. They are only a shadow of things to come (17a)
         b. The substance is of Christ (17b)
      1. Don't let anyone defraud you of your reward (18a)
         a. By taking delight in false humility and worship of angels
         b. By intruding into things not seen, vainly puffed by fleshly
            minds (18c)
      2. Such people do not hold fast to Christ as the Head (19a)
         a. From whom all the body grows (19b)
         b. Nourished and knit together by various elements, with 
            increase from God (19c)
      1. There is no need to submit to human ordinances (2:20-22)
         a. For you have died with Christ from basic principles of the
            world (20a)
         b. Therefore do not subject yourselves to ascetic regulations
            1) Such as "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle" (21)
            2) They only concern things which perish with the using
            3) Which are according to commandments and doctrines of men
      2. Such practices are of no value (23)
         a. They may have an appearance of wisdom in their...
            1) Self-imposed religion (23a)
            2) False humility (23b)
            3) Neglect of the body (23c)
         b. But they are no value against the indulgence of the flesh
1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Paul's solicitude (1-7)
   - Warnings against the "Colossian Heresy" (8-23)
2) What was Paul's strong desire for those he had not seen? (1-2)
   - That their hearts may be encouraged, knit together in love
   - That they may be richly blessed by the assurance that comes from
     an understanding and knowledge of the mystery of God
3) What is "hidden" in Christ? (3)
   - All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge
4) What had Paul seen in the Colossians that caused him to rejoice? (5)
   - Their good order and steadfastness of faith in Christ
5) How were the Colossians to walk in Christ? (6-7)
   - Rooted and built up in Him
   - Established in the faith
   - Abounding with thanksgiving
6) What three things might be used to "cheat" us? (8)
   - Philosophy and empty deceit
   - Tradition of men
   - Basic principles of the world
7) What is said about Jesus in relation to the Godhead? (9)
   - In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily
8) What is our condition in Christ? (10)
   - We are complete in Him
9) What sort of "circumcision" have we had in Christ? (11)
   - One made without hands
   - A putting off the body of the sins of the flesh
10) What takes place in baptism?  Who is the one at work in baptism?
   - We are buried with Christ, raised with Christ, made alive together
     with Christ
   - God, who raised Jesus from the dead
11) What did Christ take out of the way, having nailed it to the cross?
   - The "handwriting of requirements"
12) In what things should we not let others judge us? (16-17)
   - In food or drink
   - Regarding religious festivals, a new moon or sabbaths
13) In what ways might people seek to defraud us? (18)
   - Through false humility, worship of angels, appeals to things not
     really seen
14) What sort of "basic principles of the world" might others try to
    regulate upon us? (21)
   - "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle"
15) What is the truth about such traditions of men? (22-23)
   - They have an appearance of wisdom, but are of no value against the
     indulgence of the flesh
Spiritual Maturity In Christ (2:1-8)
1. In Co 1:28-29, we saw that Paul's primary goal in his labors was to
   "present every man perfect in Christ Jesus."  That is, that they be
   "spiritually mature in Christ."
2. This being the case, we are not surprised to find Paul now writing to
   the Colossians of:
   a. His great concern for them - Co 2:1-3
   b. The reason for this concern - Co 2:4-5
   c. Some exhortations in light of his concern - Co 2:6-8
3. From these eight verses, there are a couple of things we can glean
   concerning the subject of "Spiritual Maturity In Christ"
[First, from verses 1-5 we can take note of several...]
      1. Remember that Paul is an example of spiritual maturity and thus
         worthy of our emulation - 1 Co 11:1
      2. We see that he had a concern for his brethren (notice 2 Co 11:
         28-29 also), even for those he personally had not seen!
      3. Epaphras likewise demonstrated this "mark" of maturity - Co 4:
      4. Do we have such concern for our brethren?
      1. The KJV uses the word "comforted"
      2. It is the Will of God that we serve Him with hearts that are
         full of comfort and encouragement
         a. Such was the concern of Jesus - Lk 21:34; Jn 14:1,27
         b. Such was the frequent prayer of Paul - 2 Th 2:16-17
      3. A "troubled, anxious heart" is not the mark of a mature
      4. Consider the example of Paul in facing impending death - 2 Ti
      1. I.e., a love similar to that experienced by David and Jonathan 
         - 1 Sa 18:1
      2. The brethren at Colosse were well on their way in this regard 
         - Co 1:4
      3. How about us?  Are we developing hearts "knit together in
      1. Similar to having hearts that are encouraged, we need to have a
         strong assurance concerning ourselves and our salvation!
      2. Of course, this assurance comes as we increase our
         "understanding" concerning the basis of our salvation
      3. Indeed, the Word of God was so written to increase that
         understanding, and provide the assurance of our salvation 
         - 1 Jn 5:13; 3:19; note also Ro 15:4
      4. As one matures in Christ, this "assurance" will increase, and
         it is indeed one of the "riches" we have in Christ!
      1. I.e., an understanding of the gospel, which once was hidden,
         but has now been revealed - cf. Ep 3:3-6; Ro 16:25-26
      2. Thus, a good knowledge of the gospel of Christ is essential to
         maturity in Christ
      3. Are we increasing in this knowledge?
      1. The word "order"...
         a. From taxis {tax'-is}, a military term, suggestive of men
            marching in proper order and precision, as in a drilling
         b. This suggests that a mature Christian is one whose walk as a
            disciple is in proper line with what is expected
      2. The word "steadfastness" is a word which goes right along with
         this idea of marching in a straight line
      3. What is our "life of faith" like?
         a. Are we progressing in order, steadfast in our progress?
         b. Or are we wavering constantly?
[These are but a few indications of spiritual maturity.  If they are 
found in our lives, it is a good sign that progress is being made!
From verses 6-8, we can also learn of some...]
      1. This the Colossians had done
      2. Today, many seem to want Jesus just as a "Savior," but not as
      3. That is, they profess to want Him as "their personal Savior,"
         but then do not obey Him in what He commands them
      4. Yet God has made Him both! - cf. Ac 2:36
      5. Until we enthrone Christ as Lord in our lives, we cannot hope
         to become "perfect" (complete, mature) in Christ
      6. Again, Paul provides a good example - e.g., Ga 2:20
   B. WALK IN CHRIST (6-7)
      1. Having received Christ as Lord, we must now "walk" (or live)
         in Him
      2. Verse 7 explains what it means to "walk in Christ"
         a. "rooted" - Christ must be the FOUNDATION and SOURCE OF
            NUTRITION in our lives (like tree depends upon its roots)
         b. "built up in Him" - allowing ourselves to become the kind of
            building He would have us to be
         c. "established in the faith" - well taught and grounded in the
            teachings of Christ, and living by them
         d. "abounding in it with thanksgiving" - ever overflowing with
            an attitude of gratitude
   C. BEWARE... (8)
      1. To grow spiritually, we must beware of dangers which would
         hinder our spiritual growth
      2. Otherwise, in our zeal to grow we can easily be misled by false
         doctrines which promise an easy route to spiritual maturity,
         but do not deliver on that promise!
      3. Thus the need for "negative preaching" as the occasion may call
         for it
1. Our next lesson will look at some of those false doctrines those at
   Colosse were facing which promised much, but gave nothing of true
2. For the moment, let's close by asking two questions:
   a. Why should we even be concerned with growing in spiritual maturity
      in Christ?
      1) Because in Him "are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and
         knowledge" - Co 2:3
      2) Because He has warned of what will occur if we do not mature
         and "bear fruit" - Jn 15:1-2
   b. How does one initially receive Christ as Lord?
      1) By doing what He says, i.e., the Father's will - Lk 6:46; Mt
      2) This includes the command to repent and be baptized, for in so
         doing one receives the remission of sins as they also "put on
         Christ" (i.e., "receive Christ") - Ac 2:36-38; Ga 3:26-27


Believer, Beware! (2:9-23)
1. It was Paul's desire that his brethren be "perfect (complete) in
   Christ" - Co 1:28; 2:1-3
2. But there were influences at Colosse which endangered their 
   salvation, against which Paul warns in Co 2:8-23
3. As we consider what those threats were, we see similar threats today
   as well!
4. In other words, subtle (and some not so subtle) influences which may
   promise us much, but can easily lead us away from Christ!
[For example, we notice from verses 8-10 that at Colosse there was the
danger of...]
      1. They "cheat" you
         a. They don't deliver what they may promise
         b. They can even cheat you of your salvation!
            1) By rendering our worship and service to God as "vain"
            2) As Jesus warned in Mt 15:9
      2. This they do through "empty deceit"
         a. It is not evident (otherwise, none would accept it)
         b. But like many of the workings of Satan, it is through
      1. The "philosophies" of:
         a. Atheism
         b. Evolution
         c. Humanism
      2. The "traditions of men," found rampant in:
         a. Protestant denominations
         b. Catholicism (both "Roman" and "Orthodox")
         c. Various cults
      3. Though these "philosophies" and "traditions of men" may possess
         a lot of truth, it is the error in them that can lead one away
         from the pure and simple doctrine of Jesus Christ!
      1. In "Jesus Christ" are found ALL the treasures of wisdom and
         knowledge - Co 2:3
      2. In "Jesus Christ" is to be found the FULLNESS of the Godhead
         bodily - Co 2:9
      3. In "Jesus Christ" we are COMPLETE - Co 2:10
      4. As Peter wrote in his second epistle:  "Grace and peace be
         multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our
         Lord, as His divine power has given to us ALL things that
         pertain to life and godliness , through the knowledge of Him
         who called us by glory and virtue," - 2 Pe 1:2-3
[So "Believer, Beware!" when anyone suggests that we need the
philosophies or traditions of men in addition to or instead of Jesus
In verses 11-17, Paul deals with what was a real problem in the first
century church...]
      1. Many Jewish Christians felt it necessary for Gentile Christians
         to be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses in ADDITION to
         following Christ - cf. Ac 15:1-5
      2. The early church had to constantly deal with this problem
         a. Which they did at Jerusalem (where the problem originated) 
            - Ac 15:6-27
         b. Which Paul did in writing Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, and
      3. Here in Co 2:11-17, Paul deals with the problem by pointing
         a. Through baptism into Christ, we experience the "true
            circumcision", which is a cutting away of the sins of the
            flesh - Co 2:11-13
         b. By His death on the cross, Jesus has taken the Old Law out
            of the way - Co 2:14-15 (cf. Ep 2:14-16)
         c. Therefore, we are to let no one try to judge (condemn) us
            in matters of the Old Law - Co 2:16-17
      1. Various denominations with their Sabbaths and food regulations
      2. Other religions with their separate priesthood and many other
         practices, based upon the Old Testament, and not the New!
      1. We have died to the Law and Jewish ceremonialism (this 
         especially pertains to Jewish Christians) - Ro 7:1-6
      2. We have been set free, and need to beware of becoming 
         "entangled again with a yoke of bondage." - Ga 5:1
      3. If we seek justification by our observance of things found in
         the Old Law, we are fallen from grace! - Ga 5:2-4
[So "Believer, Beware!" when people try to impose things upon you which
are based upon the Law of Moses.  Remember, "you are complete in HIM."
In verses 18-19, we see there was still another danger at Colosse...]
      1. Perhaps because they felt angels were needed as "intercessors"
      2. Perhaps with "a sense of humility", they felt they could not go
         to God (or even Jesus) directly
      1. It is actually the result of a "false humility" and based upon
         one's "vain imagination"   - Co 2:18 (cf. He 4:14-16, where
         we learn we can "come boldly to the throne of grace")
      2. It actually diverts one away from Christ, the rightful "Head of
         the body" - Co 2:19
         a. For this reason, angels refused any semblance of worship -
            Re 22:8-9
         b. And so did the apostle Peter - Ac 10:25-26
      OF ANGELS...
      1. E.g., Catholicism with its veneration of Mary and the "saints"
      2. The reasoning is similar:  "humility" ("We need them to 
         intercede for us")
      3. Though an attempt is made to distinguish between "veneration"
         and "worship", in practice the distinction is lost among the
         average person
      4. And the result is still the same:  "not holding fast to the
         Head," venerating other beings rather than Christ!
[Finally, from verses 20-23 we can glean that there was the problem
      1. Such as fasting and other forms of abstinence
      2. Or self-flagellation (beating one's self with whips)
      1. As Paul points out in Co 2:23
      2. Indeed, transformation comes through "renewing the MIND", not
         afflicting the BODY
         a. As Paul wrote in Ro 12:1-2
         b. Yes, those who "set their minds on the things of the Spirit"
            are the ones "who live according to the Spirit" - Ro 8:5
            1) They are the ones who by the Spirit will be able to "put
               to death the deeds of the body" - Ro 8:13
            2) For the "fruit of the Spirit" includes self-control - Ga
      1. Fasting may have a place in the lives of Christians - cf. Ac
         13:2-3; 14:23; 1 Co 7:5; 2 Co 11:27
         a. But not for the purpose of developing self-control!
         b. Rather as a means of humbling oneself before God as we pray,
            that God might hear our prayer - cf. Ezr 8:21; Mt 6:17-18
      2. Those religions that would teach various forms of "asceticism"
         as a means of developing spiritual maturity would have us
         believe that "the secret" is in such "neglect of the body" 
      3. But Christ is "the secret", and by holding fast to Him we find
         the ability to "crucify the flesh with its passions and 
         desires." - Ga 5:24
1. As we live the Christian life, attempting to mature spiritually,
   beware of any doctrine or teaching of man that suggests we need more
   than Jesus Christ!
2. Remember, He is "THE" way (not "A" way) - Jn 14:6
3. And we are COMPLETE in Him!
Are you IN Him?  - cf. Ga 3:26-27...


--《Executable Outlines