Col 2:8 Beware that no one carries you off as spoil through his philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ; 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, 10 And you have been made full in Him, who is the Head of all rule and authority.
[Part 1 of 2] We need to beware that no one carries us off as spoil through his philosophy. The philosophy through which the believers at Colosse were carried off as spoil was Gnosticism, a mixture of Jewish, oriental, and Greek philosophies. The philosophy and empty deceit in this verse is "according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ." The source of the Gnostic teaching at Colosse was the tradition of men. It did not depend on the revealed writings of God, but on the traditional practices of men. Many cultural traditions are good. Otherwise, no one would care for them. We need to have a keen discernment to be kept from being deceived by the traditions in Catholicism and the denominations. One principle we should follow is that of testing everything with the Bible. We should care only for God's direct revelation in the holy Word, not for anything that is according to the tradition of men. We need not accept anything inherited from men as a tradition if it does not correspond to the divine revelation in the Bible. On some occasions I have pointed out to certain Catholics the error of worshipping Mary and have shown them that this is not according to the Bible. Nevertheless, they said that the worship of Mary is according to the teaching of the Catholic church. Although practices of this kind are not according to the Bible, Catholics follow them because of tradition. The traditions of men are also found in the denominations and in the independent Christian groups, where many believers care more for the tradition of men than for the Word of God. (Continued tomorrow) (c) 2007 Living Stream Ministry.
Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible and Words of Ministry from Witness Lee, Life-study of Colossians, pp. 174-175. Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA. Please visit us at www.emanna.com. Send comments to: email@example.com.
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