- Paul’s Desire that the Saints would be Established (2:1-3)
- The Danger of Persuasive Speech (2:4-7)
- The Danger of Rationalism (2:8)
- Seven Principles That Will Preserve Us From Error (2:9-15)
- The Danger of Ritualism, in the form of Judaism (2:16-17)
- The Danger of Ritualism, in the form of Mysticism (2:18-19)
Paul’s Desire that the Saints would be Established (2:1-3)
The Danger of Persuasive Speech (2:4-7)
The Danger of Rationalism (2:8)
Paul speaks of "the elements of the world" (Gal. 4:3; Col. 2:20), which are the principles that the world operates on. The world operates on the principle of works, not grace; e.g. in the world you need to have a contract to get paid for your work. The world also operates on the principle of self-exaltation (Matt. 20:25). Those principles are “weak and beggarly” (Gal. 4:8-9), because they pertain to the first man, and because we have far higher motivations in Christianity. Notice that in Galatians 4:3 the bondage of Judaism and in Galatians 4:9 the bondage of Pagan idolatry are both called called the “principles of the world”. The bondage of the world is on the same principle as the bondage of the law, only in a different form! When souls drift away from Christ, they often go toward one of the two errors; legality or worldliness. But the truth is that both are the elements of the world.The elements of the world are principles suited to to “a worldly sanctuary” (Heb. 9:1). This is the same root error as we have here in Col. 2:8; philosophy is also after “the rudiments of the world”. It is possible to take up Christianity in a rational, intellectual way without ever having genuine faith in God. And it is equally possible to take up Christianity in a religious, superstitious way without ever having genuine faith in God.
Seven Principles That Will Preserve Us From Error (2:9-15)
The Danger of Ritualism, in the form of Judaism (2:16-17)
The Danger of Ritualism, in the form of Mysticism (2:18-19)
Worshipping angels is a religious practice that many consider to be “super-spiritual”. For instance, they would argue that, since we are to worship God, it stands to reason that we should also worship the angels, even though God hasn’t told us to. It is a false show of “humility”; based on the idea that worshipping angels puts man lower. But this practice is really sin; man “doing his own will”. To insist on praying to a mediator other than the Lord Jesus Christ is idolatry! God’s angels don’t seek worshippers (see Rev. 19:10; 22:9), but Satan and his angels do (Matt. 4:9). To worship angels is to seek a relationship with heavenly beings that God has not revealed to us, and meanwhile to neglect a relationship with the Son who came from heaven to reveal God! The angles are occupied with our care (Heb. 1:14), but we are not to be occupied with them. See Mary's example, who didn’t seem occupied with the angels (John 20:12-13).Mysticism is really just an alternate form of philosophy – a different result from the same root – when the mind of man becomes unmoored from the Word of God. It is a form of spiritual pride; “vainly puffed up by the mind of his flesh”.
- Cowper, William. Exhortation To Prayer. Cowper’s Poems, Sheldon & Company, New York
- Bowley, Mary. Still in a land of drought and dearth. Little Flock Hymnbook #191.
- With one gleam of faith one is entirely freed from sin looked at as a whole. This passage does not refer to practical life. It shews a moral condition, which is, in fact, when we receive Christ by faith. Note here, it does not say, “the sins of the body,” but “the body of the sins” – sin being looked at as a principal characteristic of the body. – Darby, J.N. The Epistle to the Colossians.
- The circumcision of Christ exists in the fact that we are constituted dead to sin. – Darby, J.N. The Epistle to the Colossians.
- God in quickening us pardons our offences; with one act He does the two things. The knowledge of our sins does not prevent Him from quickening us. In this case the quickening brings of itself the pardon of our sins. If, for example, my child is being punished, and I come and take him for a walk, it is clear he is forgiven. – Darby, J.N. The Epistle to the Colossians.
- The handwriting should be, “the obligation” – the obligation that existed in ordinances. An ordinance is all that is given to one in the flesh to accomplish: Peter calls it a yoke that neither we nor our fathers could bear. – Darby, J.N. The Epistle to the Colossians.
- Jesus has, as it were, drawn the enemy into a public scene. – Darby, J.N. The Epistle to the Colossians.
- Here [Colossians 2] we hear of what was done on the cross, the power of the cross; but there [Ephesians 4] it is the public manifestation of the victory, in ascending up on high. The great battle was won. Christ had forever defeated the powers of evil for the joint heirs. This ascending up on high, and leading captivity captive, is the witness that they are powerless against the Christian. – Kelly, William. The Epistle to the Colossians.